Depending on where you’re from, you’ll have your own opinion about which side of the road is right, and which side is wrong. Regardless, though, at some point on your travels you will most likely end up on a side of the road that feels a little more than uncomfortable. There are nearly 30 nations that drive on the left hand side of the road, and the rest are hanging out on the right. We’re not taking sides (pun intended), but we do have some tips that will help you make the most of the situation.

Before You Go

  • Do you even need to deal with this problem? If you don’t really need a car, why not just get a tour guide (or take taxi’s) for the portions of the trip that need transport? Might be less hassle, but perhaps more money.
  • Check your license and insurance. Are you even allowed to drive in the foreign country? What insurance is provided in the car hire?
  • What kind of a car is it? When hiring the car, make sure you check out the details. They are correct in saying the devil is in the details. Is it an automatic or a manual? Is it a bigger car than you’re used to?
  • Do some homework. What do the road signs look like? Typical interchanges? What is the route you’ll be driving – and where are convenient times for pit stops?

While You’re There

  • Get situated in the parking area before heading out.  Most car hire counters are pretty busy but most will accommodate you if you ask  if there’s somewhere for you to park and get yourself situated. It’s always better to spend 5 minutes familiarising yourself with the car rather than hitting the expressway full speed only to realise you have no idea how to turn on wind-shield wipers.
  • Be extra vigilant at intersections/roundabouts/interchanges. A straight road makes for a fairly easy drive, but it’s those intersections where your brain begins to go “what the…!”  Careful.
  • Bring help. Hopefully if you’re doing a roadtrip you won’t be alone  recruit a team-mate to help read maps, decipher confusing intersections and make sure you stay on track on the correct side of the road.
  • Take your time. There’s no need to rush if it means getting into an accident. Make sure your schedule allows plenty of travel time so you aren’t stressed and making silly mistakes.

Please, drive safe on your travels – regardless of the side of road!

Photo by indieman

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, March 12th, 2012 at 11:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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