Driving in a foreign country is a great way to get around. Go where you want, when you want. No missed buses, crowded trains or dodgy cab drivers. Just you and the open road baby! Here are a few handy driving tips for a smooth journey.
1. Get an International Driving Permit
While you can get away with your valid South African driver’s licence in some countries, it’s a much better idea to apply for an International Driving Permit. Most car rental companies will ask for it, plus if you get into an accident, it will make things a lot easier for you. Luckily, applying for an International Driving Permit is pretty easy. Click here for the full low down.
2. Whose side are you on?
In SA we drive on the left. But that’s not always the case in other countries. In the US, South America and most of Europe, right is where it’s at. Find out which side of the road you should be on and stick to it. It may take a bit of getting used to, so take it slow at first.
3. Different country, different rules.
The rules of the road aren’t the same everywhere. A minor offence in SA could be a major issue in another country. Do your homework ahead of time to find out speed limits, road signs, legal driving age, compulsory items you need to keep in your car etc. If you’re pulled over, stay chill and be helpful to the authorities.
4. Are we there yet?
Google Maps and Waze are the best. But batteries can die, and phones can get lost or stolen. Go old-school and keep a paper map with you just in case. It’s also a good idea to check your route ahead of time, so you know if there are any tolls, how long between bathroom breaks, and if there are any cool things you should stop off to see along the way.
5. Make sure you're covered
Whether you’re in a fender bender or serious accident, good travel insurance is a no brainer. Damage to your rental car, transport to the hospital, medical costs and all sorts of other stressful stuff will be taken care of – phew!