Some people don’t want to travel right now because of the pandemic. That’s understandable. If you get on an airplane, you’re breathing in the same recirculating air as everyone else, even if you have on a mask.
However, some individuals feel okay about foreign travel. They feel like it’s an acceptable risk. Maybe you’re traveling out of the country for work, or perhaps you’re doing so for pleasure.
In either instance, when you get to your destination, you’ll have to think about how you’re getting around in whatever foreign country you’re visiting. You could use public transportation or cabs. Alternatively, you could rent or borrow a car in some cases.
If you do so, you should keep some things in mind. Let’s look at a few of them right now.
Make Sure the Car is in Drivable Condition
Let’s say you arrive in a foreign country, and you plan on borrowing a car for a few days from a friend you know there. Perhaps you’re going to rent a vehicle instead.
If so, you should carefully check the car’s condition before you drive it. The vast majority of accidents are caused by negligence, and you don’t want to have to deal with a breakdown or collision while on foreign soil.
- You might not speak the language
- You may not know how best to deal with the local authorities
It’s one thing if you’re visiting a foreign country with which you’re familiar. If so, you can probably deal with a breakdown or vehicular collision without much trouble.
If you’re in a country you’ve never visited before, you want to avoid this situation. Sometimes, looking over the car for potential issues before you drive it can save you from some unpleasantness later.
Make Sure You Know the Local Speed Limits
If you’re going to drive in a foreign country, you should also find out what the local speed limits are in the area you’re going to visit. You don’t want the authorities to pull you over because you went too fast. If that happens:
- You’ll have to deal with a speeding ticket
- You might have to communicate with the police, and you may not speak the language fluently
It helps to drive cautiously in a foreign city anyway since you probably don’t know your way around. Look for speed limit signs and follow them.
You Might Have to Drive on the Road’s Other Side
If you’re American, you’re used to driving on the road’s right-hand side. In some countries, though, it’s the opposite.
If you’ve never driven on the road’s other side before, that might confuse you. You’re going to have to rely on all your skill to adjust to it. It might not feel right till you’ve done it for quite a while, and you likely won’t be in the country long enough to completely adjust.
Know About Any Unusual Traffic Laws
You may have to deal with some traffic laws that might be slightly different from American ones. You should know when you have to yield, who has the right of way, whether you can turn right on red, etc.
It’s helpful to read up on local traffic laws if you’ve never driven in a foreign country or city before. You might get a book on the subject or watch some online tutorials.
Be Ready for the Language Barrier
You might also have to deal with a language barrier if you try to rent a car. If you’re in Salamanca, and you speak fluent Spanish, you can probably rent a car without too much difficulty.
If you barely speak the native language, car rental will challenge you, as will just about everything else. You might try bringing a friend along who speaks the language fluently if that’s an option for you.
You also must be sure that you can drive if all you have is an American license. The country in question might not allow you to drive without a native license.
If you have dual citizenship and regularly visit this country, this probably won’t be an issue. You can show the rental agency your driver’s license for that country, and you’re good to go.
You will likely find driving in a foreign country challenging for all the reasons we mentioned. That’s why many individuals elect not to do it. If you decide to drive, try to prepare yourself as best you can to make sure this process goes smoothly.