Driving on holiday is sometimes unavoidable; or, you can have the whole trip based around it, such as a campervan holiday or a road trip. Either way, knowing how to feel confident when driving abroad can make your travels much less stressful, as well as ensuring your safety.
Here are five tips if you’re planning to drive abroad for the first time.
- Be Prepared for Automatic
A lot of countries only supply an automatic car the majority of the time. You may be able to request a manual, but it may not be guaranteed based on availability. If you’ve only ever driven a manual car, you can find Automatic Driving Lessons to build your confidence before you go, and always be sure to ask for a demonstration of the specific vehicle you’re driving when you go to pick it up.
An automatic can actually be much easier when driving in a new country, as it means much less to think about and more concentration can then be spared for the road itself.
- Check Which Side of the Road They Drive On
Depending on the country you’re traveling to, they may drive on the left hand side of the road instead of the right. Some countries, like New Zealand, drive on the same side as the UK, but others like America are the opposite.
This can be very daunting the first time you need to do this, but as long as you have checked beforehand you can then plan ahead.
- Don’t Feel Pressured
Getting used to a new car may see you driving slowly or making mistakes. Other drivers who are natives to the country may become impatient, overtake you or even beep at you. It’s important to remember that you’ve done nothing wrong (and they don’t know that you’re new to their country) so take it slow and if you ever feel pressured, pull over when it’s safe to do so and let other cars pass.
- Avoid Planning a Full Schedule
If you have a packed schedule which sees you driving from place to place with no time to relax in between, this can put more pressure on you to keep to a schedule, as well as giving you no down-time away from driving. This means you’re more likely to feel stressed and tired when you’re driving.
Driving can be very tiring anyway, but include the fact that you’re in a whole different country with a list of other things to think about, and you’ll be feeling burned out in no time. Try to stagger your driving needs and take breaks.
- Research the Driving Laws of Your Chosen Country
Road rules, laws and speed limits vary from place to place. It will be second nature when driving in the UK to understand the designated speed limits in certain areas, but this can all change in a new country.
Do thorough research regarding lawful driving in the country you’re traveling to, and check what their speed limit signs look like so you know how to look out for them.