A perfect car trip: expectations and reality
It is always difficult to make decisions for the first time — getting behind a wheel for the first time, buying your first car and then the moment comes when you decide to make a journey. A journey across your native country, even if it is long, has already turned into a routine. A foreign car trip is a different story. Here you start thinking about the things you have never really thought about before. These are the following:
- whether I will pass through the customs if the splash board of my car is slightly dented
- whether I am allowed to transport vital and essential medicine
- how to communicate with the people around if I face language barriers
- what to do if I suddenly feel unwell during the trip
- how to act if I am unfairly fined, etc.
Quite often people start panicking already when they hear all the possible problems they may face during their car trip and finally give up this idea. That’s not the right decision since such trips sink into the mind and bring the biggest satisfaction.
Let’s find out whether you should be afraid of travelling overseas by car.
Take care of your health
To go on a foreign trip, one should have strengths and health. That’s why we recommend you to start preparing for a journey in advance. Temper yourself, take vitamins, attend your dentist and if necessary get your teeth fixed, get the vaccination if you are going to visit hot regions, an African road safari for instance, and get medical insurance as well. If you feel good, it will save you trouble and money since you don’t need to transport tons of useless drugs. Moreover, every country has its own embargo list. A healthy person is always open to the people around and positive. Thus, he will get more pleasant impressions!
Do not hitch your waggon to a star
First of all, do not plan a trip across 5-6 European countries at once. Start with 1-2 neighbouring countries and see how it will work for 3-5 days. It will help you to feel confident and understand that we are all humans and the people around will never push you aside. Let it be two or three short trips and you will see your weak spots and learn how to plan a car trip more deliberately. Advance preparation will save you a lot of troubles. What’s important here is your experience, but not the reasoning. Therefore, only practically you will understand how and when best to go on a trip, what to take, whether it is better to travel alone or with a companion, etc.
How to prepare for a car trip
Four months will be enough for a deliberate plan. During that time, you can get your visa (and even an international passport if you still have none), an International driving license, decide which car you are going to drive and its technical condition, prepare the required amount of money in the appropriate currency (or order a currency card), get to know local traditions and habits of the country you visit, traffic rules and fine system, clarify a travel route and if necessary book a room at the hotel. The better you are prepared, the easier it is for you to drive. Moreover, each tourist experiences his trip three times: while preparing for it, while travelling and while recollecting the trip when looking through the numerous photos and souvenirs.
Keep in mind that not only millionaires, polyglots, and car mechanics go on car trips every year. People are different and they all have their own problems. Try to be confident, that’s why, first of all, you should be psychologically ready for the trip. Determination and self-possession make for a necessary motivation level while all the rest depends on you.
What to take on a car trip
There is a standard set of items to take with you on a car trip. The thing is that a trip abroad cannot be spontaneous, thus, make sure you have prepared the following in advance:
- documents and copies (and make a photo to store it on your phone), visas, vouchers, insurance, emergency service contacts;
- cash and non-cash money (credit cards);
- a change of clothes and shoes;
- personal cosmetics, toiletry;
- a tent, sleeping bags, dishes, a gas range;
- a first-aid kit;
- foods for a start (preferably freeze-dried);
- a minimum set of spare parts for your car, repair and overhaul tool kits;
- gadgets and chargers, inverter and navigator;
- toys and books, a tablet PC with cartoons if you are going on a trip with kids;
- a cage, a leash, a muzzle, a pet passport with a list of vaccination, food reserve. Don’t forget to chip your pet and get an exit permit.
Believe us: your car trip can be perfect! However, it will be brighter and more interesting if you need to overcome difficulties in various situations. Such an experience will be the most memorable. It will help you to plan your next trip.
If you go on a car trip abroad, don’t forget your International driving permit. It will help you to drive and talk confidently to local police enforcers anywhere in the world. If you still have no IDP, apply for it right now!