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Beep Beep Four Tips For Getting Over Your Fear of Renting A Car Abroad

This blog post was updated on October 5, 2018.

A common deterrent for renting a car in a foreign country often boils down to fear. The first time that I rented a car by myself abroad, I took on driving on a side of the road and a side of the vehicle that was foreign to me while in Ireland. While this might not be the best way to go about getting over those fears of driving in foreign lands, I did learn a great deal about how to make this fear fade away. Renting a car abroad lend the opportunity to see more and travel according to your own schedule. You shouldn’t have to limit your travels merely because you are afraid to rent a car abroad.

Splurge on Satellite Navigation: If you are unsure about driving in a foreign country, the idea of navigating through an unfamiliar road system can seem insurmountable. Satellite navigation can be a renter’s confidence booster when driving a car abroad for the first time. If you are already worried about driving in foreign lands, you can eliminate the worry of getting around by having someone else take care of directions. The most economical option in terms of satellite navigation depends on the length of your trip and how often you plan on driving in that continent. Many systems only work in certain places so if you buy a satellite navigational system for Europe, you better travel to Europe frequently. If you are just planning on renting a car for a few days, you can generally rent a GPS from you car rental agent.

Study Up on The Meanings Behind Foreign Road Signs: One of the most confusing and fearful elements to renting a car abroad is having no idea what the road signs mean. Travelers worried about hiring a set of wheels in a foreign country should study up on their destination’s road signs. You would hate to head down a dead end or drive into oncoming traffic simply because you didn’t know what the road sign indicates. This can only make the experience of renting a car miserable and stressful for the traveler. Eliminate the stress and worry and know which sign means go or don’t go.

Start Small:  I tackled Ireland as my first experience renting a car abroad. This was not the best of ideas as it was a big undertaking for the already nervous. I had to learn how to shift, drive and sit on the wrong side of the road for me. The best advice for those a little unsure about renting a car in foreign lands is to start small. Rather than tackling the chaos of downtown Rome on your first stint at driving abroad, consider heading for the countryside and away from so many vehicles. Once you have gotten used to the idea of driving in a foreign country, those high stress-driving situations will come a bit easier.

Don’t Drive While Jet Lagged: If it is your first time driving in a foreign country and fear has bitten you, the traveler should avoid driving the minute that they arrive if they have traveled far distances. Trying to navigate a rental car while severely sleep deprived and in a foreign country will only make stomachs twist and turn. Rather, pick up your rental car a day or two later and then head out from your starting point. The fearful of driving in a foreign country always do better on the roads when sleep deprivation isn’t working against them.


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