Driving in a Foreign Country



Driving in a foreign country for the first time can be scary. There are different rules to follow, and depending on where you’re from, you might even have to drive on the different side of the road than you do in your home country. Plus, not knowing the environment can only add to the stress. All in all, there are many things you need to keep in mind at all times. So, to make this a bit easier for you, here are a few tips that might help you make your trip a bit less stressful.



used to the car

Get used to the car

If the car you’ll be driving in a foreign country will not be your own, take some time to get familiar with it. Sit in it for a while and just memorize where all the controls are, set your mirrors, adjust your seat, etc. To gain some confidence with it, consider driving around an empty parking lot or a quiet park. It would give you a chance to practice the controls and ensure that everything works as it should. This is even more important in case you’ll be sitting on the other side of the car or driving on the side of the road that you’re not used to. In short, take some time to get comfortable in your new car.


Learn the laws and speed limits

Speed limits and road signs differ from country to country, as do laws and general traffic rules. So, it might be a good idea to do some research before you start your trip. Start by confirming on which side of the road you should drive, and go from there. For example, in some countries, vehicles that are on a roundabout have the right of way, while in another country, those entering the roundabout have it. Additionally, if you happen to be traveling with children, make sure to check car safety laws.


Plan your car insurance and be prepared

car insurance and be prepared
In case you’ll be driving your own car, let your car insurance provider know, so they can adjust the policy to cover your trip. On the other hand, if you’re planning on renting a car, check more than one option before choosing your agency, so you don’t get overcharged, and always read the small print on the contract. Moreover, make sure to have a lawyer’s number, in case of a car accident. For example, if you’ll be driving in California, you can find contact details of San Jose personal injury lawyers that can help you in case you need any medical attention after a car accident or if you aren’t sure how to pay for the medical bills.


Stay calm

When driving in a foreign country, it’s important to stay relaxed. So, for example, you should stick to the slow lane if it makes you feel more comfortable. You can switch to the fast lane when there is a big gap in the traffic or when you feel ready. Moreover, try to avoid driving when tired. It’s important to stay as alert as you can be when driving, but since there are more things to keep in mind in a foreign country, driving when tired can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, if you got to the country you’ll be driving in by plane, take some time to rest before jumping into the car. Also, don’t hesitate to take a break when you start getting tired – a quick nap at a service station and a cup of coffee can do wonders for your mood and focus.

Get a GPS


Get a GPS

When driving in a foreign country, getting lost is one of the biggest fears for most people. If this is one of your concerns as well, or if you simply don’t have much time for figuring out the map on your own, consider getting a GPS. You can get it from the same rental company from which you are renting your car, but you can also bring your own if you already have it. Having a GPS can put your mind at ease, and it can help you get to your destination faster.

It’s completely understandable for you to be anxious about driving abroad for the first time, especially if you’ll be alone in the car. However, the more often you do it, and the longer you do it, the easier it becomes. So, take time to get used to the new circumstances, do your research on the traffic laws of the country you’ll be visiting, don’t rush or drive when tired, and this experience is bound to be much less stressful.