Road Trip

WHAT TO KNOW BE­FORE GET­TING BE­HIND THE WHEEL

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - CONTENTS -

There are many exciting things about trav­el­ling to Europe. Even if you have driven in a part of Europe be­fore, the laws and rules can vary widely from one re­gion to another. Re­search the rules re­gard­ing speed lim­its, traf­fic laws, and the lim­its on al­co­hol con­sump­tion (if you plan to im­bibe).

The good news is, most of Europe fol­lows the same right­hand lane driv­ing ap­proach used in the States, so you prob­a­bly won’t need to get com­fort­able driv­ing on the op­po­site side of the road. How­ever, get ac­cus­tomed to be­ing sur­rounded by fast­paced traf­fic, at least in cer­tain parts of Europe. Driv­ers in many re­gions are no­to­ri­ous for be­ing fear­less to both speed and quick ma­neu­vers around traf­fic. Fa­mous ex­am­ple is the Au­to­bahn in Ger­many; well-known for its lack of speed lim­its. In just about any part of Europe, driv­ing de­fen­sively and stay­ing out of the way of faster driv­ers is gen­er­ally your best bet.

Signs and road mark­ings are a crit­i­cal el­e­ment of safe driv­ing in Europe. Road mark­ings are sim­i­lar to ones that U.S. driv­ers may rec­og­nize, but oth­ers-while sim­i­lar in ap­pear­ance-mean some­thing dif­fer­ent. Take time to re­view the traf­fic sig­nals and road mark­ings in the place where you are headed in ad­vance to save your­self some headaches and close calls.

Be pre­pared for round­abouts. In some parts of Europe they are im­pos­si­ble to avoid, so you must learn to love (or at least tol­er­ate) them if you want to get around with­out some anx­i­ety.

Check out the toll sys­tem for the area where you plan to travel. In some places, it works like re­gions of the U.S., where you can pay tolls at des­ig­nated stop points along the way. Other ar­eas re­quire you to have a sticker on your car, which you can pur­chase at the bor­ders and other travel lo­ca­tions.

Pay at­ten­tion to park­ing con­di­tions. Vi­o­lat­ing park­ing rules can re­sult in get­ting your car towed or in­cur­ring hefty fines. Lastly, be sure to take time to en­joy the view! One of the best things about tour­ing Europe by car is the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence some unique and breath­tak­ing scenery.

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