As the days become longer and warmer, more people will want to hit the road and go to the continent for a vacation. Road trips provide people with a distinct perspective on other areas, and travelling by automobile allows you to see so many diverse sites on your journey. However, there may be some important things to consider and keep an eye out for in order to make everything run a little more smoothly! From prepping your car to optimizing your route and learning about restrictions and fees, here are the top ten things to consider before driving across Europe for your long road trip!
1. Plan your route ahead of time to account for tolls
Tolls are an important component of driving across Europe, and they may add a significant amount of money to your overall vacation cost. The Michelin Route Planner is a terrific tool for this since you can enter facts about your unique vehicle, and it will create not just the route and toll costs, but also a fuel estimate!
2. Before you leave, examine your vehicle
It’s tempting to take our automobiles’ condition for granted at times. When embarking on a cross-country road trip, you may cover more ground in a week than you would in a month. As a result, it’s even more vital to examine things like the quality of your tires, which can deteriorate faster than usual if you use them more frequently.
3. Ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation
When driving across Europe, always carry a printed copy of your car and travel insurance documentation, a breakdown cover, and your driving license with you. This will make your life a lot simpler if you are stopped by the police or have an accident. We mentioned tolls before, but you may also need to pay for these in advance (or occasionally as you cross the border), for example in Switzerland, you must purchase a Vignette to travel on their highways.
4. Become acquainted with driving laws
Driving rules differ from nation to nation, so it’s always a good idea to investigate what you’ll need to bring before you depart. When you cross the Channel into France, it’s typically simple to pick up a travel pack that includes stickers to change your lights, breathalyzers, roadside breakdown triangles, and other items to cover you for various needs. However, even inside the EU, laws vary somewhat between borders.
5. You may require an international driving permit
If you have a UK plastic picture driving licence, you can drive in the EU, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein without obtaining extra permission. However, if you still have a paper licence, or if your licence is from Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, or the Isle of Man, you may require one as well.
6. Plan your route before you go
It’s simple to push the sat-nav button and follow it blindly to your destination, but this might also land you in Paris at rush hour. With a little study, you can generally find a route that will get you there on time while still allowing you to stop and view some additional attractions along the way.
7. Allow Google Maps to do what it does best
This may appear to be a cop-out, but when you’re driving hundreds of miles in a day, you don’t want to spend time stopped in traffic. Some individuals may prefer not to use Google Maps when overseas due to roaming charges, but if you do, make sure you download offline maps for the places you’ll be visiting. This means that if you lose signal or switch off your connection while driving across Europe, you should still be able to follow a route and not get lost – but you will miss out on traffic updates.
8. Schedule some of your stops
If you know where you want to stop, it will take some of the burden off your driving. For example, if you’re travelling with small children and know they’ll need to stop every couple of hours, locating facilities that have restrooms, nice food, and gasoline all at the same time may be really beneficial. Some fuel gaps on European highways can be significant, especially when changing lanes, and it’s best not to be caught off guard!
9. Know what to do if you experience a breakdown
The criteria for breaking down differ from country to country, as bizarre as that may sound! It’s absolutely worth familiarizing yourself with what to do if you find yourself stuck on the hard shoulder of a European highway. Hopefully, you have European breakdown cover, and if you contact them, they should be able to help you, although this is not always the case.
10. Bring snacks to make the journey easier
It’s usually a good idea to have food and liquids on hand in case you can’t or don’t want to keep stopping. Another important piece of equipment is ensuring that you have your music – and that you can play it once you’ve left the UK! In certain circumstances, this may include listening to CDs or ensuring that your playlists are kept in offline mode so you’re not downloading them across the continent.
This is all for today, and we hope the next time you’re planning on setting off to the sunset driving across Europe, Our tips for driving across Europe make your trip a lot easier, more fun, and more adventurous!