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How to properly prepare for a long trip to other countries on your own car.


A trip by car to other countries is a responsible event, and it is necessary to prepare for it in advance. Travel planning and fees remind the quest - you need to go through all levels to calmly cross the border, avoid fines on the roads, do not get tired, do not drive past the most interesting and get the most pleasure. We have collected tips for you:

The first stage: from the route to the visa

Action plan: we compose a route, book hotels (certainly with a park), prepare the necessary documents, including insurance, and get a visa. If this is the first trip by car abroad, then do not try to "grasp the immensity", trying to travel all the cities and countries in record time. Long journeys are very tiring, and short stops will not allow you to enjoy the beauty of new places. When planning to take into account the fact that when you arrive in a settlement, you will most likely leave the car in the hotel parking lot, and you will be able to see the sights by public transport. Park cars in the center of a European city is problematic, it costs a lot of money, nerves and time.

The second stage: learn the rules

We study the national rules of the road and especially carefully read about the penalties of each country through which your path lies.
You will need a special sticker on the car window - a vignette, buying which you pay the road charge. It also gives permission for travel on the country's roads within a certain period of time.
The vignette costs a few euros, but if you do not have it, you risk paying a large fine - several hundred euros. In advance, find out where to buy it.


The third stage: we get international rights

 Many drivers successfully drive with the rights received in their country and do not experience difficulties. Traffic police in many countries are loyal to this, but in the case of an accident, the lack of an international driver's license (IDP) will be an aggravating circumstance. In some countries, for example, Italy, for lack of IDPs, a fine of several hundred euros is required. Therefore, it is easier to issue an international certificate than to worry about possible problems. If you still went with "their" rights, it is highly desirable to have a translation into the language of the host country, certified in the consulate of that country.
Nuance: formally in countries that signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968 (this is almost all the countries of the European Union), motorists are allowed to travel on national rights. However, in March 2011, amendments were adopted on the unification of national rights, and the old rights now do not meet the requirements of the international standard.
The fourth stage: we prepare the car

We check the car for readiness for a big trip:
If there is not enough time for the nearest technical inspection, it is better to pass it ahead of schedule. To ensure that you are not returned to the border, read the requirements of the country of entry to the cars in advance. Take care of the serviceability of all mechanisms, seat belts, and for the transportation of children must have a car seat.
Before the trip to Europe, you will have to get rid of the tint on the windows and studded rubber - they are banned in most countries.

What should be in the car?

In different countries, different requirements for the necessary set of things in the car. The must-have list includes an emergency stop sign, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, a tow rope, a spare tire, a tire repair kit. In many countries, it is necessary to have a reflective vest in the cabin, so that the driver or passenger at an emergency stop is noticeable on the highway. A fine in the absence of a waistcoat is provided, for example, in Austria, Lithuania, and Portugal. In France, every driver must have an alcohol test machine. If it is absent, € 11 will be charged.
It is also worthwhile to have a set of spare lamps.

One of the most important moments in the journey is the security of documents. We strongly recommend you retain and carry their documents in a separate bag, which must lie nearby. Meet Travel Wallet & Passports Holder with RFID Blocking.  The bag has a handle, the length of which can be adjusted. You can hang it around your neck or shoulder. You will not have to hold it in his hands. Bag with zipper. Inside a lot of pockets for cards and passports. There is a small pocket for small items, such as USB flash drive, which is also on the snake. For the money and important papers, there is an inner pocket with zipper. There is also a lock, which can be attached keys. Even in the bag has pockets for ID cards, where you can put a driver's license. The advantages of this bag are that it can put a lot of things and they will always be in the manner and under your supervision. 

Fifth stage: we are planning a budget
It is necessary to provide for the costs of gasoline, toll roads, and parking, the purchase of vignettes, possible fines, repairs and unforeseen circumstances. The best way to save money is not to break traffic rules. Even if you do not meet any road policeman on the road, this will not protect you from getting a fine: European roads are well equipped with cameras.
Gasoline in Europe is more expensive, so before crossing the border, fill the fuel tank. A certain amount of gasoline can be carried with you in the canister.
To calculate the road, gasoline and time will be useful Google Earth: it can choose paid or free roads, and then make a copy of the route to the GPS-navigator.

Sixth stage: maps and navigation

You can rely on the GPS-navigator in the car or on the navigator in your smartphone. Do not forget to download updated maps. It is convenient to travel with the Google Maps application: it will help to lay the route, exclude, if necessary, toll roads, and also show the nearest gas stations and cafes.
But! The navigator can not show some roads or not take into account changes in signs, turns, and other subtleties. So, for safety, it is worthwhile to have paper cards in the glove box and carefully look at the signs.