After telling you the must-knows about cruise holidays, Ashutosh Mehere is back! This time he’ll share why an international self-drive holiday need not end with you paying huge fines.
Get rid of your beginner anxieties, and make the most of your time on unfamiliar roads with these handy tips from the expert of adventure road trips!
The modern community of travellers perceive themselves as ‘explorers of the planet’ for which they used to hop on to flights to get from one city to another. But eventually they turned to trains and other local modes of transport for a more in-depth experience on the destination. Today, there is a gradual inclination towards a self-drive option where they truly believe that this offers the flexibility to pace your experiences.
Know More About Self Drive
Why It Makes Sense To Opt For A Self-Drive Holiday
Here are some great advantages of a self-drive holiday and adventure road trips:
- Firstly, you can decide your preferred route with pace & halts along the way.
- Secondly, they offer the comfort of lugging your bags from door to door, from your earlier stop to the next one.
- Lastly, they are easier on the pocket in terms of value offered, especially if you have four to six people travelling in one car.
What’s Stopping You?
Considering all the factors involved in a self-drive holiday abroad, it is almost seen as a soft adventure of sorts. Most travellers are unaware of how to deal with this monster, by head or by the tail and hence shy away from it.
But it’s really not a tough nut to crack once you get the basics right. So read on to know exactly how you can kick out the anxiety and ensure an exciting getaway!
#1 It’s All About The Side
If you’re a beginner, simply choose a destination that has right hand drive (RHD) cars driven on the left hand side of the road, like in India. Just this one decision is enough to take away 50% of your anxieties about self-drive holidays.
In case you choose a left hand drive (LHD) option, best to hire a car with automatic gears instead of manual stick option. If you are not used to LHD cars, by choosing automatic transmission, there is one less thing to worry about while you are driving.
Close your eyes… imagine you are steering with your left hand, changing gears with your right AND remember the sequence of gears as you do so… you will see what I mean…!!
#2 Weather Forecasts
Eliminate confrontation with the weather, and you have covered even more ground towards the goal! You would rather drive in mild temperate sunny weather than on slippery freshly snowed roads.
PS: Depending on the time of the year, it’s compulsory to use snow chains on your tires by law in some countries, whether it snows or not! So make sure to do your homework on the climate of the destination to avoid some unpleasant surprises.
Looking for amazing road trip experiences?
#3 Crowded Cities? Pass
Avoid driving in a crowded modern metropolis like London, New York, Hong Kong or Singapore, and you have taken care of the last challenge on the block…traffic..! There are internationally recognised routes that are promoted as self-drive itineraries that should work out best for a beginner. Simply because it will take care of all the challenges mentioned above.
Note: Some of the more popular ones are Route 66, (USA), Inland Scenic Route 72, (New Zealand), Great Ocean Road (Australia).
#4 Islands, The Ultimate Solution To All Problems
Here’s a suggestion that should work great for self-drive beginners, and solve most of their problems. Choose to start your first self-drive holiday on an island in summer with cars driven on RHS. This will take care of the weather, RHS driving, traffic, parking issues, and pace of itinerary. Some of the examples that come to mind are Mauritius, Seychelles, Langkawi, Ibiza and South Island, New Zealand. After all you can’t really get lost or drive-off an island, can you?
In the second article, I will guide you on the various elements involved in managing a car rental for a self-drive holiday, including:
- The choice of car
- Driving licenses
In the third and final article, I’ll address the actual experience of driving in an international location, and cover essentials like toll, parking, speed limits & fuel. At the end of the series, hopefully, nothing will hold you back from enjoying your first, self-drive holiday!
Inspired to have a road trip adventure?
About The Author
Unusual, frequently outspoken and absolutely fun! That’s Ashutosh Mehere, Sr. Vice President – Alliances & Special Projects at Nissi tours and Travels Group, India.
A globe-trotter in its truest sense, he has over 21 years of experience in the travel & tourism industry. Ashutosh is always equipped with valuable (and quirky) advice for every travel query! You can get in touch with him at [email protected]