An international road trip will surely be a memorable and exciting experience for anyone. However, we are also aware that road trips, especially international ones, have their challenges. You must be prepared for anything as you never know what you may encounter along the way. If you want to make sure that your journey goes smoothly, you’ll want to try and avoid these 9 common international road trip mistakes:
1. Forgetting Your Travel Documents
One thing that you should always have during an international road trip is your travel documents. Your travel documents are irreplaceable, and if you get caught without them, you might find yourself in trouble. To be safe, you’ll want to store your travel documents in a waterproof container so that they don’t get damaged. It will also help if you have a copy of your travel documents just in case. Don’t forget the travel documents related to your vehicle as well.
2. Relying on Online Maps
If you want to drive to any destination while on your trip, your first instinct may be able to look for the location on your car’s or phone’s GPS. However, for an international road trip, you might want to avoid relying solely on online maps.
Many reliable road trip packing guides encourage you to bring physical navigational tools, like a map and a compass, and for a good reason. You might also want to get a protective waterproof cover for your map so that you can still use it in case it rains. Some places are so remote that even Google Maps doesn’t have an accurate reading of it. That’s why having a physical map is essential.
3. Bringing Harmless But Prohibited Items
Since you’re traveling in your car, it might not feel like an extravagant international road trip, so you might get lax about specific items that you bring with you in the car. Make sure that you double-check the rules and laws of the country that you’ll be visiting. What might be okay to bring in one country might not be okay for the other, even if the item you’re carrying isn’t anything dangerous.
4. Ignoring Traffic Patterns
When going on an international road trip, remember that you aren’t at home, so traffic patterns may be different or unknown to you. If you don’t want to see yourself stuck in traffic on a pleasant afternoon, ensure that you know what traffic is like along your designated route. That way, you can plan your drive accordingly and know when you should be leaving or staying in one place.
5. Not Looking Ahead
Speaking of not wanting to be stuck somewhere, you should also make sure to double-check the state of the routes before driving. There might be changes to routes that might make it difficult for you while driving.
Looking ahead to your planned itinerary should help you figure out what other routes you could take if needed. For example, some roads might be closed off due to a specific celebration that you didn’t know would happen, or maybe a road is closed for construction. This is why you must do your research and look ahead before hitting the road.
6. Making Your Vehicle Susceptible
They say that you shouldn’t look like a tourist when traveling in unfamiliar territory. For one, having stacks of suitcases tied on top of your car is a surefire way to tell people that you’re from out of town. As much as possible, you want to avoid that so that you don’t become a target for possible thievery.
7. Forgetting to Get Pre-Road Trip Maintenance
Before you set off and away on your vehicular adventure, you should make sure to check up on the critical part of your road trip: the car. Make sure that you get pre-road trip car maintenance. Doing so reduces the likelihood of your vehicle breaking for unknown reasons in the middle of the road.
8. Failing to Bring a Spare Tire
Speaking of your car breaking down, make sure that you prepare for any common car concerns that could happen during a road trip. One common issue would be a flat tire, so make sure that you have a spare tire with you. Also, don’t forget to keep the tools that you need to replace a flat tire with a spare and make sure that you know how to replace a flat tire if needed.
9. Not Notifying Your Bank
Notifying your bank that you will be traveling overseas should help you use your credit card even when abroad. You don’t want your card to be suspended while you need to buy supplies for the continuation of your road trip. Thus, notifying the bank beforehand is helpful.
Now that you know these mistakes, hopefully you can avoid making them yourself. Doing so can hopefully ensure you a safe and enjoyable international road trip. Safe travels!