Road Trip: 7 Useful Travel Tips
Today, car rental companies have offices in every European airport and in almost any resort town. At the largest of them – Hertz, Europcar or Вudget – you can rent a car for only 15 euros per day.
Where to start, what not to forget, what to pay special attention to if you have never traveled in a rented car before, these tips will help you:
Before the trip
1. Do I have to take international rights with me?
Depends on where you are going. If you are going on a tour of Europe, the Russian national driver’s license will suffice. If in Asia or America, you should find your country in advance in the list of countries participating in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
2.Make an accurate route
This can be done using google-maps or special sites that have mileage meters and route planning tools. Check the condition of the routes through which the route runs (this is especially true for the mountainous regions of some countries). Do not forget to download the latest maps in the navigator, as well as take on the road a map of the sights of the area on which you will pass. Sometimes the most interesting places are outside the main tourist routes.
Important: if you are traveling with a company, take into account the characteristics of all passengers when drawing up a route. Someone quickly gets sick, someone needs to eat every two hours due to gastritis and so on.
3. Traveling by a rented car makes it possible to use the services of low-cost airlines and choose the destination airport, which, under other circumstances, you would never want to fly to due to difficult access. With the car, you have no such restrictions.
4. Book your hotels along the entire route in advance. Of course, if you travel across Europe, you will not be left without an overnight stay, but you will greatly overpay by ordering a room on the day of arrival.
By the way, you can significantly save on hotels if you book rooms in a network of inexpensive hotels that are located near the airport or at the entrance to the city (for example, Formule 1). They are designed for travelers who rent cars and usually offer free parking.
5. Learn the features of parking and road marking in the countries along which the route runs.
They may differ in details from the Russian rules that are familiar to you, and it can sometimes be difficult to navigate on the spot. By the way, you can’t pay in cash at some European gas stations – make sure you have enough money on a credit card.
During the trip
1. Book your car in advance at the airport, not in the city
If you rent a car in the city, especially in the resort, most likely it will cost you 5-10% more. Only large car rental companies can afford to keep an office at the airport, and private city companies located in the city cannot afford to dump.
2. Remember that most car rental companies can take a car in one office and return it in another, in any city or country in which they have offices. So you can plan the route as flexible as possible.
And finally: a trip by a rented car is a great time for picnics in the fresh air. Many European cafes and restaurants located along major highways even have specially equipped places for such dinners, with tables and benches.