Visiting foreign countries can be a wonderful experience full of lifelong memories and fun automotive opportunities. No matter where you end up going, you’re almost certainly going to require a vehicle to get yourself around and with proper preparation beforehand, you can spend less time on headaches and more time enjoying yourself. Whether you’re visiting for vacation or for a significant period of time it’s important to be prepared for anything whilst traveling on the road abroad.
Know what to do in Emergencies
Here inside the United States, we all know what to do in the event of an emergency which is to contact 911, but do you know the emergency services number for Mexico, Canada, or even the United Kingdom? Something so simple can be easily overlooked however it’s a super simple fix that can get you the help you need as soon as possible. Simply do a quick google search and write down or memorize the number.
It’s also important to know how insurance is being handled if you’re a part of an accident in a foreign country. If you’re renting a vehicle look into the policies and procedures you will need to do in the event of an accident. If you plan on staying for a longer period of time and intend on using a more permanent automotive option, you can even look into policies in your current country that offer car insurance with an international license.
Know the Laws
Debriefing yourself on the laws of the road for any foreign country is essential for the safety of yourself and those around you. Even neighboring countries can have subtle differences that could get you pulled over by law enforcement or even cause an accident. For example, in Montreal Canada, it is illegal to turn right on red, and in Quebec, you must have snow tires during the winter. Both of these laws are legal in America, therefore it’s important to do your research beforehand to avoid breaking the law or causing collisions.
Coinciding with the previous point, it’s also good to know what to do when flagged by law enforcement. The most useful advice we can give is to simply act predictably and calmly. The differences between being pulled over in America or Europe aren’t that much, and it’s much more important to act safely when pulling to the side of a road. After then, just simply be upfront with what you’re doing and provide the necessary documents.
Get physical copies of directions and maps beforehand! Relying on your phone and GPS services is often the norm when traveling in places you are more familiar with, but a disaster waiting to happen when inside an unfamiliar environment. What if this country doesn’t have good cell coverage? What if the GPS doesn’t function properly outside of the country it was made in? These problems can be avoided by learning the areas beforehand and having physical copies of maps and directions at your disposal. Knowing the area will also help if there is an unexpected amount of traffic or a road blockage and you will know secondary routes to take to get to where you want.
Without a doubt, there is more to be known, but we feel that these are among the most important things to know when driving within a foreign country. The last thing you want to experience when elsewhere in the world is an unfortunate run-in with law enforcement or even an accident. So please take the time to prepare yourself accordingly and in turn, you will have a safer, more fun, and enjoyable experience while driving in a foreign country.