Ask anyone for their top three adventures of a lifetime and more often than not a grand road trip will be right at the top of the list. Whether it be the wide-open highways of America or any of the many picturesque routes through Europe, exploring a destination by car is an unforgettable and exhilarating experience. Not only do you have the freedom to go where you want, when you want, you’re also much more likely to stumble upon some delightful hidden gems along the way. |
To ensure that you only make good memories of your adventure, it’s very important to know the rules of the road (in whichever country you’re travelling) and feel confident that you’ve covered all the bases when it comes to things like route planning and car hire.
But there are also a number of big ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind.
Don’t Skimp on Necessities
The first non-negotiable when it comes to renting a vehicle abroad is getting car hire excess insurance. While you may be an excellent driver and think you’ll never have to make a claim, when it comes to unfamiliar routes you can never be too careful. Make sure you’ve got yourself covered with a decent car hire excess insurance policy, so you can get on with your adventure with peace of mind and there’s no danger of having to fork out for unexpected claims.
Don’t Forget the Map
Even if you usually rely on your smartphone, you’ll soon find that phone service can become patchy or non-existent when you’re driving out in the open plains of the USA or winding down country tracks in Europe. Make sure that you’ve downloaded a map of your planned route before you set off and, if you’re old school, double check you have the appropriate paper maps for wherever you’re travelling tucked away in the glove compartment in case you get a little lost along the way.
Don’t Be Disorganized
Venturing out on a road trip without a great deal of preparation beforehand is a rookie mistake and one you’d be well advised to avoid! Some basic things to remember are to stock up on snacks and water, have a few extra blankets and warm clothes just in case you break down or get delayed on the road unexpectedly, and make sure you’ve got cash in your wallet for emergencies (some small petrol stations and shops will only accept cash). It’s also a good idea to tidy up the interior of the vehicle regularly and keep on top of the rubbish disposal.
Don’t Drive in Silence
A road trip really isn’t right unless you’ve got a fabulous soundtrack to keep you company. Don’t forget to bring everyone’s favourite CDs, or a cable to plug in your playlist from your smartphone, so you can keep the tunes pumping. You can also tune into local radio stations as you go. There’s no better way to stave off boredom than with a good old-fashioned sing-along, and if you make sure everyone gets a turn to choose the music there shouldn’t be any arguments.
While getting out on the open road to explore by car gives you the freedom and inspiration to discover the heart and soul of a destination, you’ll definitely have a much better time if you make sure you don’t fall into any of these traps above. Plan your route, get your car hire excess insurance in place and play by the rules and you might just be in for the trip of a lifetime.
Author Plate Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car hire excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.
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