As obsessive travellers, I can honestly say we have learnt the hard way on many occasions. This is a lot to do with my gung-ho attitude to life. Do now and read the instructions later. Fortunately I have a wise other half who researches the important things, the finer details.
I concentrate on the bright and beautiful; resorts, food, weather and flights. Transport to the airport, or car hire from Miami to Orlando are tiny details I try to forget. Chris generally steps in with his well-detailed plan to organise me at the last-minute.
Being prepared saves so much stress and low-level holiday bickering. You know, like the time you are both blaming each other for not knowing a vital piece of holiday information. You are both stressed and someone has to take the blame.
When Holiday Autos asked me what my top tips are for driving abroad I smiled. We can laugh at those moments now, but at the time they were not funny. A few simple tips will stop that holiday stress and make your travel arrangements part of the adventure.
When driving abroad research the Highway Code to ensure you are observing local laws and rules.
Such as: in Florida a red light does not always mean stop. You can turn right on a red light if it is safe to do so. In France you must always give way to people turning from the right. It is important to ensure you turn off the speed camera detection on your sat nav as this is illegal in France, as is driving with a hands free mobile kit.
Take the time to check out the laws. We have found so many are different to here in the UK. And with serious penalties should you be seen to break the local rules and laws.
Check if there is any specific equipment you will need driving abroad.
In France you must carry high visibility jackets for everybody in the vehicle, spare bulbs for headlights, 2 alcohol breathalyzer kits, an emergency warning triangle and have a clearly display euro plate or GB sticker. Failure to carry these items can result in fines or prosecution. All of these products are available in the UK reasonably cheap, be prepared and avoid inflated prices when you arrive.
Check what equipment is standard in your hire car.
We paid extra for a sat nav in Miami, however the car we had booked had integrated sat-nav. It was a real drama getting our money returned. The chances are if you book a top of the range vehicle this will be the case. A simple email would have saved us a lot of grief.
Always have change or a credit card ready for Toll Fee’s.
If you are traveling a considerable distance you may encounter tollbooths. Check your route, and any fee’s. It cost us roughly €35 to travel from Calais to Burgundy. Fortunately we had lots of change at hand. You must also use the correct booths, in our experience there were booths for cash, card and automatic pre registered payment. So make sure you are familiar with the signs for each.
Make sure you are well prepared for bored kids.
The biggest thing when traveling any distance abroad, is keeping the kids entertained and happy. Lets face it; they can make or break a journey. I always carry travel-sick tablets. Occasionally on a journey one of the boys may start to feel nauseous. Children’s travelsick tablets are a godsend in these situations, I also ensure I have boiled sweets or humbugs handy; sometimes all they need is a little sugar.
Be prepared with a holiday survival kit filled with a few healthy snacks, a book or magazine, puzzle book and a few small toys or cars. I also ensure the boys have their favourite movie and some music downloaded onto their iPads. And the most important thing, earphones, so they can listen on peace and save your ears, and any arguments over whose volume is the highest.
With a little bit of planning your journey will be part of your adventure instead of a stressful drama. Check out Holiday Autos video for a couple of super handy tips.
Pin this for later