Friday, March 31, 2017

SAFE DRIVING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Safe driving is not only essential for the safety of yourself and the vehicles occupants but with ever increasing insurance costs, an accident may increase your car insurance premium drastically.

 Upon passing the driving test, bad driving habits soon accumulate and become part of normal driving for many of us. These bad habits may seem trivial, but it’s these bad habits that are the result of most road traffic accidents.
Explained are essential, but simple safe driving tips designed to enhance your driving skills, confidence and awareness leading to a better, safer driver.

Although there are many more drivers on the roads these days, there are fewer fatalities. This is due to safer road conditions, safer vehicles and in part, the higher standards needed in obtaining a driving licence.

Many of the bad driving habits unfortunately remain with many and below details the most common causes of road accidents and how they can be prevented.

DRIVING TOO CLOSE TO OTHER VEHICLES


Driving too closely to another vehicle in front (tailgating) is dangerous and is one of the main causes of road accidents as it simply does provide a driver with enough reaction time to stop in the event of the vehicle braking or stopping suddenly. Tailgating is also illegal. In the event of sudden braking or stopping, it not only increases the chance of you hitting the vehicle in front but the vehicle behind you is at risk of hitting you also.

Safe Driving
Maintaining a safe following distance increases your thinking and stopping distance. If you are unsure of a safe following distance, the 2 second rule is an easy method for such safety aspects.Other than safety factor, driving too close to a vehicle in front causes greater brake and disc wear due to the constant accelerating and slowing, increases fuel consumption. A safe following distance allows the car more often to slow down without the need to brake and as a result less acceleration is needed.If a vehicle is driving too close behind you, increasing the distance from yourself and the vehicle in front of you will allow you to slow down over a greater distance, therefor giving the driver behind more time to react. Along with keeping a safe driving distance, safe braking techniques such as progressive braking makes for safer driving, and reduces wear on braking systems and tyres. As it enables you to keep better control of the car.

CHANGING LANES

40% of all road accidents are due to drivers failing to look properly. A typical example of why these accidents occur is a lack of appropriate observations before changing lanes. Most of us look into the mirrors before making a lane change but can forget to check the blind spot. A car can easily be obscured by either the left or right blind spot plus smaller vehicles such as motorcycles and in towns and villages cyclists.

Safe driving
Before changing lanes in any situation whether on motorways / dual carriageways, multi-lane carriageways in cities and even at busy roundabouts, check the mirrors followed by the applicable blind spot side. See the car blind spot for further information.

SPEEDING

Speeding related accidents result in around a quarter of all fatalities. Speeding is not only dangerous but significantly increases fuel consumption and the time gained by speeding is often much less than you might think. For instance, driving at 80 mph instead of the legal limit of 70 mph on motorways can increase fuel consumption by up to 25% and over a 60 mile trip will save just 6 minutes.

Safe driving
It’s much safer and cheaper to plan your journey and to allow plenty of time to complete it. If you are late, think, does it really matter? Is what I am late for really worth the potential risks of speeding? Remember the next time you are speeding it will:

  • increase the possibility of an accident that will affect others and not just you
  • increased fuel consumption
  • high risk of speeding tickets by static cameras or mobile patrols

LOSS OF CAR CONTROL

A loss of car control is often due to a driver traveling too fast for the road or weather conditions. A massive one third of all road accidents are due to this.

Safe driving
We are all aware of how perilous the roads can be in winter, but many lose control during the warmer months. A road that has been dry for a long period will produce a build-up of oil and grease which when dry is not an issue. As soon as the road surface comes in contact with water, the oil and grease will rise to the surface of the water making the road hazardous until it is washed away. During such conditions, significantly reduce your speed, especially on bends and increase the stopping distance from yourself and the vehicle in front.

AQUAPLANING

Another issue associated with wet weather is aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is when a layer of water forms between the road surface and the tyres and depending on certain factors, can lead to a complete loss of car control. If ever experienced, aquaplaning is perhaps one of the most terrifying moments. Read the guide on minimising the effects of aquaplaning and how to regain control.

How to adjust seating to the proper position while driving

Many drivers do not position themselves correctly in their cars and therefore seriously lack control and comfort while driving. A good driving position can actually help preventing accidents, improve safety should an accident occur, and improve driving comfort. To adjust to the proper seating position, use the following tips.

Steps


1. Wear proper clothing. Driving should be done with clothing that doesn’t limit the driver. In the winter, coats can interfere with proper steering as well as with proper adjustment of the seat and the operation of seat belts. Choose light and comfortable clothes.

  • Footwear is obligatory. The shoes have to be placed snugly on the feet (unlike slippers) and fit nicely on the pedals (unlike boots, muddy soles, or high heels). A shoe with a thin but slightly dense sole is ideal.
  • The driver is also advised to wear a set of pants that run all the way down to the knee, even if it means wearing a set of pants over shorts or a swim-suit.


2. Position yourself correctly in the seat itself. Make sure you sit straight and that your buttocks and back are square and completely squeezed into the seat. This helps to avoid backaches, possible back injuries and maintains awareness during long drives.

 3. Adjust the seat distance. The seat should always be positioned with regard to the pedals. Press the brake pedal fully with your right foot and fully depress the clutch (in a manual transmission car) or dead pedal (in an automatic). The distance should be adjusted so that with fully depressed pedals, your knees remain slightly bent (about 120 degrees).

  • To make sure your check is accurate, start the engine and press on the brakes a few times before performing the check to build up pressure.
  • If the knee straightens, you are too far back. If it's bent close to 90 degrees, it's too close.
  • A fully extended leg results in the knee locking-up. This reduces the leverage and feel of the pedals, increases effort, and puts you in risk of severe injuries to the feet in a collision;the straight knee will be fractured whereas the bent knee would fold down. Furthermore, the bone would project the shock up to the pelvic and lower spine.
  • A knee excessively bent (when the driver sits too close) at an angle of about 100 degrees, does not support the body effectively and results in bad blood circulation. It can also hit the under-dash in a collision.
  • The thighs should be placed as far apart as is comfortable. In small cars, most people can create a wide enough base as to lean their knees against the center console on one side and the door on the other.
  • The feet should be placed with the heels on the floor and the balls of the feet pressing against the pedals. The right foot in particular should be able to pivot between the throttle and brake pedal while the heel is placed roughly in front of the brakes. This might mean that you don't cover the brake pedal fully when pressing it and that pressing the throttle is done with the foot at an angle, contacting the pedal close to its lower edge. This is the correct way to utilize the feet.
  • The left foot should be resting over the dead-pedal whenever not working on the clutch (or, in an automatic, at all times). This increases support to the pelvis and allows the driver to brace the body by applying pressure against the footrest in corners or in events of strong braking instead of hanging onto the pedals or steering.


 4. Adjust the rake of the seat. This should be as parallel as possible to the steering. It is impossible to reach a perfect adjustment (and it's also not really necessary), but by adjusting the rake of the seat to an upright angle of about 110-95 degrees, we can reach a suitable adjustment.

  • We cannot reach a perfect adjustment because placing the seat too upright will put pressure on the lower vertebrae, place our head too high, and because the steering itself is placed in an angle. We can adjust the seat back to a relatively upright position and then use the adjustment of the steering itself to place it as parallel to the back as possible.
  • After adjusting the seat, including the height and the adjustments to the steering itself (below), we check the adjustment in the following manner: We place the wrist of our hand just over the topmost portion of the wheel. We should be able to place the wrist flat over the wheel and even bend it somewhat over the rim, while still keeping the shoulders (shoulder-blades) against the seat's back. This should be done with the arm straight but without putting in excessive effort.
  • If our wrist only touches the face of the wheel (rather than be placed flat over it), or it we can only put the heel of the palm on the wheel, or if we need to lean our scapulae (shoulder-blades) forward -- we are too far back. This will make us lean forward somewhat when we steer.
  • If we can touch the top of the wheel with our forearm or touch the top of the wheel with the wrist with the hand bent, we are too close to the wheel.
  • In vehicles with large, horizontal steering rims (mainly trucks), we cannot reach such a posture and we just need to check that we can grip the topmost portion of the wheel without locking the elbow fully and without bouncing the scapulae forward.


 5. Adjust the steering height. Where adjustable, the steering height should be adjusted to as parallel to back angle, and to a clear view of the dashboard through the rim. The ideal adjustment should also allow us to grip the wheel properly (at 9 and 3, see below), with our palms just lower than our shoulders.


 6. Adjust the steering distance. Where adjustable, this should be adjusted with the steering wheel height, to as parallel to the back as possible. While gripping the wheel properly, our elbows should be bent at about 120 degrees. There should be a minimal clearance of 10" (and preferably 30cm) between the center of the steering hub and the base of the breastbone (sternum). It should also not be further away that 45 centimeter (17.7 in).

7. Adjust the seat height. This should allow us to see forward clearly, while still having a clear view of the dashboard, and proper height relative to the wheel and pedals. In most cars, the proper height for forward vision should allow us to place five fingers (a hand width) between our head and the ceiling.

  • In cars with open or high ceiling, adjust so that you eyes are placed just above the center of the glass, without the visor obstructing your forward vision when open.
  • After readjusting the height, recheck the feet to make sure the height adjust had not compromised it.


8. Adjust the head restraints. Place the headrest to a height just above your eyelids, and (more importantly) -- as close to the head as possible (2-3cm). A head-restraint further than 7 centimeter (2.8 in) increases the risk of whiplash. Keep in mind that while driving our head bends forward a bit more. If you cannot adjust the head-restraint to the proper distance, you need to compensate by increasing the backrest tilt.

 9. Make additional adjustments as necessary.

  • Lumbar support: Should provide equal pressure across the whole length of the back. For drivers with lumbar problems without such an adjustment, you can use one or two rolled towels.
  • Side Bolsters: Should be adjusted for the maximum possible hip support without limiting the ability to depress all pedals fully.
  • Seat base reclining: Should keep the thigh in full contact with the seat. Avoid too much reclining which will create pressure behind your knees, or interfere with strong braking (you should not apply pressure against the seat).
  • Pedal adjustments: Should allow operation of the pedals as described above as comfortably as possible. You should be able to place your heel roughly in front of the brakes, place your foot on the brakes with the slightest possible offset to the right, and pivot as easily as possible towards the throttle pedal on the right, while keeping your knee bent at about 100 degrees.


 10. Position your hands properly. Your hands should both be on the wheel, at the 9 and 3 position. This increases the leverage on the wheel to a maximum. Your palms should be placed against the outer diameter of the wheel and the thumbs should be lightly hooked on the cross-brace of the wheel.

  • Grip and stabilize the wheel not only with the thumbs and/or palms, but mainly with your fingers and fingertips. In general, keep the grip of the wheel as light as possible without losing your control over the wheel. This results in better control and less fatigue.
  • Keep both hands on the wheel. Steering with one hand makes the weight of the hand work on the wheel, for which the shoulder muscles must be used to keep the wheel steady, resulting in a twist of the spine, especially if you get into the (bad) habit of holding the wheel from its top.


 11. Wear your seat belt properly. Adjust the lap-belt as snugly as possible over the waist. The belt should be physically tightened and placed as low as possible, on the pelvic bones, rather than the soft belly.

  • The shoulder strap should be adjusted to the height, so that the mounting is higher than the shoulder, and that the strap itself is placed over the acromion (middle of the shoulder), which is felt as a socket midway between the arm and neck.
  • If the shoulder strap is placed on the neck or even on the collar bone (clavicle), it is too high and will cause fractures to the clavicle and cuts the neck.
  • If the strap is placed too low on the shoulder itself or on the arm/under the armpit, it will not support the body and cause severe cuts to the arm.
  • All passengers should be strapped, and little children need to be harnessed in the suitable child seats and boosters. There are also special straps for pets. There are also other points that are worthwhile for the passengers:
  • Head restraint adjustment
  • Window adjustment
  • Proper placing of limbs relative to airbags: Avoid placing feet over the passenger's airbag or placing hands in the way of the lateral or curtain airbags, etc...
  • Proper distance from the dashboard
  • Full and erected seating: Full contact of the back and the seat, and an erected rake angle for the front passenger, to avoid "submarining under the lap belt.
  • Awareness: Falling asleep is dangerous for passengers. The front passenger should be awake to monitor and assist the driver, and to avoid acute abdominal injuries in a collision, which are intensified when the person is asleep.
  • Not all seats of the car are equally safe. The middle-rear seat is considered safest, followed by the seat behind front passenger seat, then the seat behind the driver, the front passenger seat and the driver being in the greatest threat. This division changes in cars with additional seats (minivans) or when the middle-back lacks a diagonal or adjustable belt or a head-restraint.


 12. Check your visibility. With this position, your eyes will be placed in front of the center or upper half of the glass for improved visibility. Keep your eyes relaxed rather than trying and focus, and keep the eyes up rather than down. You will see more and further away, while still being aware of your surrounding with your peripheral vision.
Adjust your mirrors to give you a broad field of vision to the rear and sides (see in links below) at the glance of an eye or a slight tilt of the head (if you have a narrow field of vision due to illness or age). In some cars, you might also need to be ready to lean slightly forward or take a slight peek to the side ("Shoulder check") to make sure you see everything around while driving.

 13. Keep objects in the car low, on the floor, preferably at the front seat. Do not keep anything around the driver's seat, because it might slip under the pedals.

  • In general, anything not stock is not wanted: A convex mirror mounted on the center mirror, a padded cover of the steering wheel, things dangling about on your rear-view mirror -- these are all bad things that can also prove hazardous in an accident.
  • Windows, in this respect, are best either completely closed, slightly opened or almost fully opened, rather than half-way down, in which case the head of the driver or one of the passengers might hit it. Always keep one of your front windows slightly opened for fresh air.
  • Open windows on highways can create drag that impairs fuel consumption and even the stability of the car, so it's best to only keep one or two windows slightly opened at most.
  • On rugged terrain, the windows should be fully closed or fully opened to avoid rocking the window's bushings.
  • Windows, lights and spectacles should be kept clean.


 14. Adjust your rear-view mirrors to a minimal overlap and maximal visibility.

  • While it is possible to fit a quality, vacuum-adhesive interior mirror to view the back seat, in long drives with the whole family, it's best for the front passenger to be the one in charge of the inside of the car, and for the driver to focus himself on the road. Do not adjust your stock interior mirror to see the back seat and do not use wide-angle convex mirrors as well.
  • Likewise, avoid placing a child in the front seat, regardless of child restraints or airbags.


 15. Use the air-conditioning to demist fumes on the windshields, and to provide a comfortable environment. It's better to use the car heat in the winter instead of driving with heavy clothing that interferes with steering and with the function of the seat belt. Keep one window slightly open for fresh air both in the summer (for oxygen) and winter (for fresh cold air).

  • The air conditioning is there to be used -- open the A/C periodically, even in the winter, and open the heating periodically -- even in the summer -- to ensure proper mechanical function of the two over time.
  • A/C air recirculation is very efficient because is blows large amounts of air. However, you need some fresh air through the driver's window. Likewise, if the windscreen is very heavily misted, opening the A/C for fresh air (along with an open window) can do better. Using external circulation is also efficient when you try to cool down a very hot cabin before entering it.
  • The A/C can also clear out bad smells. A few minutes before you turn off the car, close the air conditioner and air circulation, but keep the fan blowing air. This will channel out waste in the air ducts via a little hose inside it. Likewise, in a hot summer day, it's worthwhile to keep the heating blowing full time with all windows and doors open, to refresh the cabin.
  • The heating is also a good choice for when the engine starts to overheat. In highways, stopping on the hard-shoulder is so perilous that it is better to keep on driving towards a safe stopping place, even in the price of causing damage to the car (like overheating the engine). Using the heating to disperse engine heat can help reaching a safe stopping place without the engine reaching critical levels of heat.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Top 25 Ways to Save on Europe Travel


Europe is one of the world's most expensive travel destinations. Hotel rates are sky-high in major capitals like London, Paris, and Moscow, and the hefty cost of living (particularly in Scandinavian countries) makes everyday purchases such as meals and public transportation tickets a pricey proposition for travelers.


But that doesn't mean you can't see Europe on a budget. We've gathered 25 tips to help you save your pennies (or pounds!) on your next trip to Europe.

Europe Trip Planning

1. Get rate quotes in your home currency. Long before you travel, when you are booking your hotel, car rental, and other non-flight essentials, try to get quotes in U.S. dollars (or your home currency) and pay in that currency whenever possible. This way there are no surprises when your credit card statement arrives and you find out you paid a lot more than your quick back-of-the-envelope estimate when calculating the exchange rate.

2. Find your focus. When planning your European itinerary, consider exploring one region or country in depth rather than bouncing around from place to place. For example, spend a week sightseeing in Florence and taking day trips to nearby towns in Tuscany rather than trying to squeeze Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome into seven or eight days. You'll not only spare yourself hours of sitting in transit, but you'll also save big on transportation expenses such as airfare or pricey train tickets. Learn more about slow travel.

3. Save on museum entrance fees. Many museums offer free admission on certain days or nights of the week or at certain times of the month. (For example, the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month between October and March.) Check ahead of time for free admission at the museums you're interested in, and schedule your visit accordingly.

4. Find free entertainment. Similarly, keep an eye out for free concerts or performances going on in local parks, churches, and other public venues. The best place to find these is in the local newspapers or entertainment listings, by asking at your hotel -- or simply by stumbling upon them.

5. Purchase a pass. Most major cities offer special cards that include discounts or free admission to museums, attractions, tours and public transportation. These can be a great value if the card covers many of the attractions you were already planning to visit, but be sure to evaluate whether it's really worth it. If the card costs $40 and you're only going to use it at one or two museums, it may be better to pay a la carte.

Money Management

6. Get cash from ATMs -- at a bank. An ATM is your best option for a combination of a fair exchange rate and low surcharges and fees. At an ATM, you'll likely pay a transaction fee from your bank (typically 1 - 2 percent or a few dollars), but you'll also get the favorable interbank exchange rate rather than the higher rates you'll find at typical exchange bureaus. To avoid excessive fees, take out large amounts of cash at a time and store the excess in a money belt or hotel safe. For more tips, see our feature on money safety.

You'll do well to avoid stand-alone, off-brand ATMs of the kind you often find in the back of convenience stores. These typically have the highest transaction fees; use an ATM from a reputable bank instead. (If possible, use your own bank to avoid fees from other institutions. Check your bank's website for ATM and branch locations.)

7. Use your credit card. Many of the benefits of using an ATM card also apply to your credit card, particularly the strong exchange rates. However, keep in mind that many credit card companies charge fees for purchases made in foreign currencies, usually 1 - 3 percent. Choose the right card and you can avoid these fees. Capital One, for example, is a major credit card company that levies no surcharges on foreign transactions for its U.S. card holders. Check with your credit card companies to figure out which of your cards has the lowest fees for foreign purchases, and then use that one for your overseas purchases.

Out on the road, also check the fine print to make sure that your hotel, restaurant or other outfit does not tack on a percentage fee on all credit card transactions to cover authorization fees.


8. Choose your counter wisely. If you absolutely must use a currency exchange counter, skip the airport or train station kiosks where you are almost guaranteed to get the worst rate available. Instead, choose a bank if you can find one. Wherever you are, exchange only enough money to get the job of the moment done (whether it be a cab ride, emergency rations or the purchase of a souvenir), and then get thee to an ATM as soon as you can.

9. Fly cash (and coin) light. Wait until you reach your destination before exchanging currency, and spend the bulk of your foreign currency at your destination before you go home. This way, you won't have to pick up and then dump a lot of money at an exchange booth while taking losses both coming and going.

This is especially applicable to the piles of rattling coins you accumulate while traveling. Good luck finding a place back home that accepts a bucket of euro tin and Queen Elizabeth heads in your neighborhood. Spend all your change on the way out, or at least stop at a bank and convert it to bills; you might actually get your money back someday if you do. For more tips, see Foreign Currency.

10. Don't be afraid to haggle. We wouldn't recommend trying this at Harrods or other department stores, but there are still plenty of places in Europe where bargaining is acceptable. Outdoor markets and street vendor stalls offer prime opportunities to try your haggling skills.

Save Money on Europe Transportation

11. Cut out the car... Most of us know that a rental car isn't really necessary (and in fact can be a hindrance) when visiting a major city. But many European nations have such comprehensive networks of trains and local buses that you may not even need a car to visit the countryside. Public transportation is available to many small towns and rural tourist attractions, which will save you not only the price of your rental but also the cost of gas (Europeans pay significantly more than Americans do). If you truly are headed out into the middle of nowhere for a day or two, plan to keep your rental for only as long as you need it rather than for your entire stay.

12. ...and the cab. Most European airports are served by trains, buses, shuttles and ridesharing services that will take you downtown and back for a fraction of the cost of a cab. (Make it easier on yourself by packing light since you may have to schlep your own luggage.) Similarly, it's much cheaper to get around town via public transportation, Uber/Lift or, better yet, by walking from place to place. If you think you'll be relying heavily on a subway or bus system, a single- or multi-day pass could be a good buy.

13. Consider a rail pass. Whether you're concentrating on a single country or traveling all over the Continent, there may be a Eurail pass that will save you money. Before purchasing a pass, carefully plan out how many train trips you will take and calculate the total cost of point-to-point tickets at RailEurope.com. Keep in mind that short trips are relatively inexpensive -- so if you're going to be sticking to a very small area, a pass may not be worth the cost.

14. Overnight it. If you're planning a lengthy train journey, consider traveling on an overnight train. This way you won't waste valuable daylight hours in transit, and you'll save on the cost of a night's lodging as well. See our Europe train tips. Or take a quick flight with one of Europe's many low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet. Learn more about international discount airlines.

Save on Meals in Europe

15. Go grocery shopping. Stock up on bottled water, fruit and snacks at grocery stores rather than tourist shops. You'll pay what the locals pay and often get a wider selection too.

16. Learn to love lunch. Instead of eating a pricey multi-course dinner, make lunch your big meal of the day. Often you can enjoy similar dishes for half the price.

17. Don't overtip. Americans are used to tipping 18 - 20 percent in restaurants, but in most European nations, 10 percent is the norm unless the service was truly extraordinary. Check first to see whether a service charge has already been added to your bill; if so, you usually don't need to leave anything additional. For country-specific tipping information, refer to a good guidebook, do a Google search or ask at the local tourist office. And don't miss our Tips for Tipping Abroad.

18. Save on breakfast. If breakfast is included in your hotel's nightly rate, then be sure to take advantage of it. But if it's not, skip the overpriced room service. You can almost certainly find a much cheaper croissant and the cup of coffee at the cafe down the street. Ask your hotel's concierge or front desk about what's nearby.

19. Be wise about wine. If you're dining out, order the house wine; you'll save money, and in places like France and Italy, you may be surprised at how good it is. Want a drink out on your hotel balcony? Pick up a bottle at the local liquor store and bring it back to your room for an affordable taste of luxury.

20. Choose wisely. To find authentic and affordable food, skip the restaurants with the tourist-friendly English-language menus out front and seek out places where you see plenty of locals. (The Google Translate app can help you make sense of the menu.) Don't hesitate to ask your hotel concierge to recommend affordable restaurants in the area.

21. Follow the locals' lead for cheap eats. Eat the plentiful pizza in Italy, grab a quick baguette sandwich in France or nosh on takeaway curry in London.

Save on Europe Lodging

22. Consider a rental. Choosing a vacation rental instead of a standard hotel has several cost advantages. Renting an apartment or house often gives you more space for less money (so it's a particularly economical option if you're traveling with a group or family), and having kitchen facilities means you can cook for yourself rather than spending a lot on overpriced restaurant meals.

23. Don't count out hostels. Many travelers steer clear of hostels, thinking that they're just for 20-something backpackers who don't mind sleeping 10 to a room. However, you may not know that many hostels also offer private rooms, some with ensuite bathrooms as well. They may not be luxurious, but if you're looking for a clean, basic room at a low price, it's worth checking out the hostel scene.

24. Look at a location. To get a lower hotel rate, consider staying outside the city center. As long as you're located somewhere near a public transit line, it will still be pretty convenient -- and you could save big bucks.

25. Get creative. Discover other affordable possibilities.

Top 10 Reasons to Travel by Train


Taking the train has long been popular in Europe -- it's almost considered a rite of passage for young backpackers. But while trains have been under-appreciated in the U.S., they're gaining popularity here as well. Amtrak ferried 31.6 million passengers around the country in its last fiscal year, an all-time record for the railroad. With the economy still slumping, train travel is looking increasingly attractive to budget-conscious travelers. Plus, a scenic train ride can even be a vacation in itself. Need more reasons to take the train? You've come to the right place.


1. Money Savings

Trains are an increasingly cost-effective alternative to planes, particularly if you're going a relatively short distance or if you're traveling in the busy Northeast Corridor, where train service is fast and frequent.

While some rates are quite competitive ($104 on the train vs. $108 by plane between New York and Boston in a recent search), you'll sometimes see dramatic fare differences. For instance, we found a $134 roundtrip fare on Amtrak between New York and Montreal, as compared to $294 for the cheapest roundtrip airfare. The train ride will be longer than the corresponding flight, but for travelers looking to cut costs, the train often wins out -- and you'll get to see some scenery along the way.

Unlike airlines, Amtrak and other rail operators often give discounts to children, seniors, students, AAA members, military personnel and other key demographics. See our list of train travel deals for more opportunities to save.

2. Stable Fares

Anyone who's agonized over when to purchase airfare knows how arcane and frustrating the airlines' pricing structures can be. (We're still waiting for a logical explanation of why a one-way ticket often costs so much more than a round trip. Anyone? Anyone?) Train fares tend to be the same day after day on any particular route, whether it's Monday or Saturday, April or August, two months in advance or two days before departure. While some increases may occur (particularly at peak times or over the holidays) and occasional sales may be available, you can usually count on the stability of train fares, even at the last minute.

3. Flexibility

While many long-haul trains require reservations, many short trips don't, so you can simply show up at the station the day of your trip and grab a ticket for the next train -- without paying an exorbitant last-minute fare.

4. More Baggage...

These days, nearly all the major airlines charge travelers a fee to check a bag or two -- and a few (Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier) now charge for carry-on bags as well. Compare these stingy policies to Amtrak's baggage allowance: two carry-on items up to 50 pounds each (as well as personal items such as purses, strollers, and diaper bags) and up to four checked bags up to 50 pounds each, the first two of which are free. Third and fourth checked bags cost $20 each.

In short, Amtrak allows you to bring 200 pounds of luggage -- plus personal items -- for free. Try bringing that on a plane!

5. ...Less Hassle

Imagine taking a trip and not having to arrive two hours early, wait in a long security line, take off your shoes for inspection, or ration out your liquids and gels. Welcome to the world of train travel. In most cases, you can arrive 30 minutes ahead of time and walk straight to your platform.

6. Door-to-Door Convenience

Unlike airports, most major train stations are located right downtown in the heart of the cities they serve. Instead of taking an expensive airport cab ride from miles outside of town, you can step off your train and be just moments from your hotel.

7. Eco-Friendliness

Trains are more energy-efficient per passenger mile than planes or cars, making them one of the most eco-friendly transportation options around (short of walking or riding your bike!). Carbon emissions from trains are less damaging to the environment than those of airplanes because train emissions are not released directly into the upper atmosphere. As a bonus, the relative energy-efficiency of trains means that the industry is less vulnerable to increases in fuel prices -- making train fares more stable in an unstable economy.

8. Old-Fashioned Charm

There's something refreshingly traditional about taking a train, particularly if you're traveling over a long, multi-night route. The days of silverware and fine china in coach class may be long gone in the airline industry, but on overnight trains, you'll still find dining cars with full-service meals and uniformed wait staff. During the day, many train travelers choose to read books, play cards or simply enjoy the scenery rushing by.

9. Comfort and Relaxation

Rather than cramming yourself into an ever-shrinking airplane seat or squinting at road signs trying to figure out where to make your next turn, why not relax on a train? It's one of the least stressful forms of transportation out there: someone else does the driving, you'll have more legroom than you would on an airplane and you'll be able to move around at will -- not just when the captain turns the seatbelt sign off.

10. Beyond Just Transportation

Unlike airplanes, which whisk you from point A to point B with barely a glimpse of what's in between, a train ride can be a destination in and of itself. Consider the California Zephyr, a dramatic route that wends its way through the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains from Chicago to San Francisco. A ride on this popular Amtrak service offers spectacular scenery. During fall foliage season, try a ride on the Ethan Allen Express from New York to Vermont and enjoy the autumn colors.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Driving Tips

Take a driving tip from us: learning to drive isn't as straightforward as you may think
An unfortunate statistic with learning how to drive is that young drivers have more than 3 times the risk of a serious crash. To avoid being a statistic yourself, take a look at the good driving tips below. With practice, they'll really help you reduce the risks.


Attentiveness - Remaining alert at all times to what's going on around you is important for drivers of all experience levels, not just those who are learning how to drive. Your split second reactions could mean the difference between being in a crash, or avoiding one.
Scanning the road - Many crashes happen because people only watch the car in front of them. Always scan ahead and around the car, in order to anticipate crashes before they happen.
Buffer zones - It can take up to 13 metres to stop a regular car doing just 48 km/h; even more if your tyres are under inflated, it's wet or the road is slippery. Keep ample space between you and the car in front and increase that space at higher speeds.
Driving to conditions - Rain, wind, glare, gravel and night driving all pose their own unexpected threats. Slow down, always drive within your comfort zone and observe advisory signs on the road; they're there for a purpose.
Blind spots -To avoid blind spots when changing lanes, always check over your shoulder first. Also, you can help to reduce blind spots by ensuring your side mirrors are turned out far enough to see the entire width of the lanes beside you.
Driving tired, intoxicated, drugged or distracted - A standard drink, some prescription drugs, doziness or having your mind elsewhere can reduce attentiveness and make reflexes slow. It's that split second reaction that counts.
Plan your route - If you're confused about where you're going there's more scope for making mistakes in traffic. Slowing right down will help you absorb an unfamiliar environment and drive with more confidence.
Night driving - Lack of visibility makes night driving hazardous. Slow down if you're having trouble seeing and in rain. Also, try shifting your gaze slightly away from oncoming headlights and adjust your rear vision mirror to reduce glare from behind.
Country roads - Country roads can be narrow, winding, rough and full of surprises - such as kangaroos, large trucks and holes. Adhere to advisory signs, don't be tempted to speed, avoid the edges of roads (but be ready to slow down and move over for passing vehicles), and always remain alert, even if the road looks quiet.
Seat belts - Seat belts will limit your contact with the car's interior on impact and spread the forces over more of your body to protect against neck injury. Without a seatbelt and airbag, you can be killed in a head on collision at just 29km/h.

Decisions... Decisions!

When you are learning to drive there will be times when you have to start making decisions but don't know what to do.

"Do I go or stop?"

The driver in the picture on the right has made a late decision to stop for the cyclist - this is possible because he wasn't paying attention or he might have been indecisive. If it was indecision, there is a simple remedy that you can start to apply next time you go out in the car...


The three choices

There are three distinct choices that you can make in any situation ...


  • Stop
  • Go
  • Don't know

If it's obvious that the road is clear ... You go. If it's obvious that it's not clear... You stop.

Don't know ...

What might not be so obvious is that it's also perfectly OK to 'don't know'. When you are learning to do something new, like driving, it is natural to want to get stuff right - but sometimes you will not know what to do for the best. Well the good news is that 'Don't know' is what expert drivers do all the time. It's what keeps them alive!

Don't know means don't go, but you must make sure you take action as soon as you are uncertain, not at the last moment!

You will know when you feel uncomfortable; this is the start of your 'don't know' situation - as soon as any uncomfortable feeling starts, take action - slow down. By slowing down you will give yourself more time to think and give other drivers more time to react. If find that you go too slow or stop, you can easily start again. If you go too fast you might get a ride home in an ambulance (if you're lucky).

As a general guide, as you approach any situation, ask yourself "Is it safe to carry on". If the answer is "Don't know", slow down, and keep slowing down as you approach. If you still don't know when you are about eight car lengths away from the situation (by which time you will be going very slow!) the decision is easy ... Don't go!

You will find much more information about decisions and routines in different situations in the DriverActive Online Course.

This information is not only essential for safety while you are learning to drive - it is absolutely essential for safe driving after you pass the driving test.

Stay safe...

Next time you don't know ... remember, that being unsure is an automatic safety warning designed to keep you safe.


As you gain more experience you will find the decisions become easier to make ...

But 'don't know' will be keeping you safe when you are out with your instructor on driving lessons, when you pass the driving test and for the rest of your driving life!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Driving & road safety

Driving a car safety tips to avoid accidents


When you’re behind the wheel of a car - whether together or with passengers - traveling safely should be your top concern. We’re more distracted than ever, so it’s crucial to know the fundamentals of safe generating and practice them whenever you’re on the road. Below are a few safe generating tips:

Top 4 traveling safety tips

1. Concentrate on driving

  • Keep 100% of your attention on driving all the time - no multi-tasking. 
  • Don’t use your mobile or any other digital camera while driving. 
  • Slow down. Speeding provides you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident. 
2. Drive “defensively”

  • Be familiar with how many other drivers around you do, and expect the surprising. 
  • Expect other motorists will do something crazy, and continually be ready to avoid it. 
  • Keep a 2-second cushioning between you and the automobile in front of you.
  • Make that 4 seconds if the elements are bad. 
3. Plan ahead

  • Build time into the trip schedule to avoid for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business. 
  • Fine-tune your seat, mirrors and climate adjustments before putting the automobile in gear.
  • Pull over to drink or eat. It takes just a few minutes.
4. Practice safety

  • Secure cargo which may move around as the vehicle is motion. 
  • Don’t attempt to retrieve items which fall to the ground. 
  • Have items needed within easy reaches - such as toll fees, toll credit cards, and garage moves. 
  • Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.
More driving safeness tips from Nationwide

  • Don't allow children to struggle or climb around in your car - they must be buckled in their seats all the time. Too many noises can simply distract you from giving attention to the road. 
  • Avoid driving when you're tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a car very dangerous. Find out about drowsy driving.
  • Always use extreme caution when changing lanes. Reducing in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not making use of your signals could cause a major accident or annoyed other drivers.
  • Be extra careful while driving during deer season. 

Good sense about safe driving

How to proceed after an accident
If you're in a mishap, first make sure no person in the automobile is injured. Next, check up on the people in the other vehicle, pedestrians and other people nearby to make certain they’re OK. Then do these five things:

  1. Stay at the field. Leaving can cause legal outcomes, like fines or additional violations.
  2. Call 911 or the neighborhood law enforcement officials immediately. They'll dispatch an officer and medical personnel to the world of the mishap. After the cops arrive, wait for those to complete an accident report.
  3. If you're over a busy highway, stay inside the automobile and await the authorities or an ambulance. It's dangerous if people stand along a freeway or other road with tons of traffic.
  4. Don't get into an argument or a battle with the other driver. Simply exchange contact and insurance information. If possible, also get the name and telephone numbers of witnesses.
  5. Call your insurance provider to survey the promise. Your agent will ask you for any paperwork you obtain about the crash and will offer you important info on getting the car fixed.
Find out more about how to proceed after an accident or a hit-and-run.

How to proceed when stopped

If you observe that a police car is following you with the lights flashing, pull over to the medial side of the street safely and quickly. Wait around within your car for the officer to approach, and be ready to:

  • Start your interior light during the night and keep the hands where the official can see them, preferably on the tire.
  • Don't reach under your seat or into your glove box. This might cause the official to believe you're getting for a weapon or hiding something.
  • Give your license and proof insurance to the officer if asked. If the official asks you to definitely come out of your vehicle, accomplish that without rapid or threatening actions.
  • Stay quiet − don't become argumentative, disorderly or abusive − rather than try to bribe the officer.
  • In case a citation is issued, present your account in traffic court in the event that you feel you’ve been unfairly treated. You might be represented by a lawyer and, if possible, you'll be listened to with a judge or magistrate. 
Things to know about speeding & traffic laws

Some roadways are designated as low-speed areas. These include areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as university zones and streets a lot of intersections close collectively. Driving on the acceleration limit can put you as well as others vulnerable to harm.

  • Never pass a stopped bus displaying an end sign to its still left. Which means children are crossing the road.
  • In the event that you hear a siren approaching behind you, yank to the side when you can, stop and delay until the authorities car or open fire truck goes on. 
  • Completely visit stop signs to check out other drivers and pedestrians before you proceed.
  • Obey the submitted speed limit all the time. Speeding seat tickets are costly, and penalties for speeding can include fines, court looks and damage or suspension of your traveling privileges. Also, depending on your insurance coverage, speeding tickets can boost your rates. 
  • When parking your vehicle, continually be mindful of handicapped symptoms, fire hydrants, bus stop areas, parking restrictions for several times of day, and auto parking spots that want permits. Just remember to heed all of the signs. Even though you have to group the block a couple of times, it sure beats getting fined or having your car towed.
All about DUI & DWI

Driving after drinking too much alcohol is recognized as Driving while impaired (DUI) or Generating While Intoxicated (DWI). Liquor slows your reflexing, temporarily decreases your mental acuity and can thus compromise your ability to control a car and drive it securely. And yes, even "buzzed generating" continues to be dui and can be as dangerous.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE arrest can result in expensive results, including spending time in prison, a suspended driver's license and fines. In the event that you struck and/or wipe out someone while you are traveling impaired, the consequences are a whole lot worse.

It's also illegal with a start container of alcohol in your vehicle. If you are transporting alcoholic beverages, they must be closed and in the trunk.

All 50 state governments have now set in place .08% Blood Alcohol Amount (BAC) as the legal limit for Driving while impaired, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For commercial individuals, it’s .04%. If you’re under 21, it’s zero tolerance - any amount of alcohol is grounds for driving under the influence arrest.

In some cities, police set up sobriety checkpoints along the road to identify and deter impaired drivers. They are typically set up during getaway weekends or on schedules when there could be more taking in and driving.

If you are stopped at a checkpoint, you will be asked several questions and may be asked to execute a sobriety test (like aphorism the ABC's backward, performing some physical activities or respiration into a liquor sensor). If these exams show which you have high alcohol levels, the police may arrest you.

Winter driving tips

Winter brings a variety of traveling headaches: snow, freezing rain, and slush, which all make the streets more hazardous. To take care of the trouble of winter generating:

  • First of all, buckle up. Basic car safeness encourages the utilization of seating belts and child car seats at all times. They're one of your very best defenses in an accident. And it's the law.
  • Use extra caution in areas that glaciers up quickly, especially intersections, shaded areas, bridges, and overpasses.
  • Enter the habit of regularly checking weather reviews on Television set or online and that means you can plan bad weather. On severe weather days, institutions and workplaces might close or wait to open. Consider residing at home if you don't have to be on the highway.
  • Keep a crisis package in the trunk of your vehicle - including blankets, an initial aid kit and jumper cables. Check out our full set of items for your emergency car system.   
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully recharged which your vehicle always has a complete fish tank of gas.

Things to do in Paris


Paris, metropolis of equipment and lighting. Paris, metropolis of love. Regularly voted one of the very most popular cities on the globe, it is adored by lovers, individuals and students similarly.

In celebration of the great Capital, RAC Western european Malfunction Cover has come up with a thorough ‘Things to do in Paris’ guide, detailing among the better attractions, museums and restaurants metropolis provides.

So whether you’re planning for a intimate getaway, a city rest or simply a weekend away in Paris, our travel guide will make sure you don’t pass up a thing.

Paris history


The annals of Paris started out with the settlement of any Gallic tribe, the Parisii, on Ile de la Cité in 300 BC. The region was later used by Julius Caesar’s soldiers in 52 BC and was called Lutetia, and then be re-baptised ‘Paris’ by Julian the Apostate in the entire year 360.

Through the Merovingian period, King Clovis made Paris the administrative centre of his kingdom in the entire year 508 CE. Over another eight century, the town found the start of the structure of a few of its most well-known landmarks, from the Notre Dame Cathedral in 1163, the Louvre in 1190 and the Bastille in 1357.

Beneath the reign of Francis I, Paris embraced the Renaissance as the Louvre, the Hôtel de Ville and the creation of the Collège de France all became things for analysts and artists.

The town swiftly became a melting pot for imagination and political thought. The 1700s observed age Enlightenment in Paris, with great philosophers such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot approaching to the fore. On July 14th 1789 this politics fever culminated in the taking of the Bastille, marking the beginning of the France Revolution, nov the monarchy and the change of France into a Republic.

From completion of the Louvre in 1793, the crowning of Napoleon in 1804 and the completion of the Arch of Triumph in 1836, the 1900s found metropolis transform further still. Making it through the great overflow in 1910 and two World Wars, Paris is continuing to grow from a tiny settlement deal to the exceptional city it is today, well-known for its art, structures and history.

Top 10 Paris attractions




notre dame in Paris

In 2014 there have been 77.1 million people to the museums and monuments of Paris, a rise of 4.7% on the prior season. The RAC has put together a set of ten of the very most popular destinations below.


1. Notre Dame                                                              14,300,000
2. The Basilica of the Sacred Center of Paris               11,000,000
3. The Louvre                                                               9,134,612
4. Eiffel Tower                                                             7,097,302
5. Muséum countrywide d'Histoire naturelle               3,618,936
6. Musee d'Orsay                                                         3,480,609
7. Centre Pompidou                                                     3,450,000
8. Universcience                                                          2,327,450
9. Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Medaille Miraculeuse 2,000,000
10. Grand Palais                                                          1,855,346

How to proceed in Paris?

Louvre in Paris

It’s no surprise Paris is one of the world’s best holiday destinations. Parisians are warm, inviting and can’t do enough to make your stay a memorable one - not forgetting the service being first rate.

In the event that you speak just a little French, be certain to provide it a go. In the event that you don’t, at least lengthen the French people you meet up with the thanks to apologising for not speaking their words. This small gesture goes quite a distance in securing friendly relationships.

Bearing that at heart, the RAC has provided some basic holiday information below for five of Paris’s best places of interest.

1. Notre Dame de Paris

Over 800 yrs . old, this gothic cathedral was initially commissioned in 1160 by Maurice de Sully, using its building encouraged by Ruler Louis VII. Building started out in 1163, and Notre Dame would be completed some a century later, in 1272.

Notre Dame de Paris starting hours:
•Open up every day of the entire year from 8:00 am to 6:45 pm (7:15 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
•Entrance is cost-free during the starting hours

2. Basilica of the Sacred Center of Paris

Built-in honour of Saint Denis, first Bishop and Martyr of Paris, in the 5th century the initial chapel dropped into spoil in the 9th century. It had been eventually rebuilt, on the hill of Montmartre, making it through fire and warfare, and is a popular vacation spot for pilgrims since.

Basilica of the Sacred Center of Paris starting hours:
•Open up every day from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm
•Entry is free

3. Louvre

Building on the Louvre was started soon after 1190 by Ruler Philippe Auguste, formerly as a defensive fortress. From the 14th century the Palais du Louvre was sometimes used as a royal home, until Francis I thought we would transform it into a Renaissance “palace”. In 1793, the Louvre became a museum, which is famous for cover such works as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

Louvre opening time:
•Open every Mon, Thursday, Sunday and Weekend from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
•Open every Thursday and Fri from 9:00 am to 9:45 pm
•Closed down on Tuesdays

4. Eiffel Tower

In 1889, to symbol the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the Journal Officiel announced a fantastic competition, to "analysis the likelihood of erecting an flat iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars with a rectangular base, 125 metres across and 300 metres high".

It had been the breath-taking proposal of Gustave Eiffel, a business owner; Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, both engineers; and Stephen Sauvestre, who earned. Work started out on 28th January 1887 and was completed in record time on 31st March 1889, and was hailed as a veritable specialized marvel.

Eiffel Tower starting hours:
•Open up every day of the entire year
•From 9:00 am to midnight from mid-June to early September
•From 9:30 am to 11:00 pm through the remaining year
•At Easter weekend and through the spring holiday seasons: extended beginning time to midnight

5. Centre Pompidou

First conceived by President Georges Pompidou in 1969 and completed in 1978 by the architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Centre Pompidou is a visually impressive arts centre found in the Beaubourg district of Paris.

Its unmistakable design involves an enormous "exo-skeleton" and caused a great deal of controversy as critics said it stood in violent contrast to the encompassing properties in the old portion of Paris.

Centre Pompidou beginning hours:
•Start every day from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm (exhibition areas close at 9 p.m.)
•Thursdays until 11 p.m. (only exhibitions on level 6)
•Closes Tuesdays and 1st of May

Paris restaurants


Looking to discover the best restaurants in Paris? For many years, 1st February has been the most predicted day of the entire year for chefs and culinary top notch across France. Using the latest model of Michelin Guide now out, the RAC has shortlisted three of the greatest restaurants in the town.

1. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée

Guide MICHELIN 2016 - 3 Stars

Address: 25 av. Montaigne 75008 Paris 08

“Respect for substances is total, and techie virtuosity appears to cave in to the seek out flavours. A proven way to provide the epitome of haute dishes; a cook’s grail, an infinite pursuit ...”

MICHELIN Guide Inspector

2. Arpège

Guide MICHELIN 2016 - 3 Stars

Address: 84 r. de Varenne 75007 Paris 07

“Very mindful of the times of year, it (Alain Passard’s Arpège) even has 3 gardens in the western of France. Illustration, if needed, of the authenticity of the man.”

MICHELIN Guide Inspector

3. Pierre Gagnaire

Guide MICHELIN 2016 - 3 Stars

Address: 6 Rue Balzac 75008 Paris 08

"I make an effort to purify, to avoid false guidelines," Pierre Gagnaire says. He never writes dishes of meals, but carries a map that appears like a poem, investing in action the thoughts and tastebuds even prior to the start of meal. Incomparable a happening of flavours!"

MICHELIN Guide Inspector

Shopping in Paris


Not only well-known for its fine cuisine and antique art work, Paris is also called one of the world’s fashion capitals. With Paris Fashion Week a frequent in the Parisian calendar, RAC has put together a set of among the better shopping hotspots in the town of Fashion.

1. Avenue des Champs Elysées

Located between your Arc de Triomphe and the area de La Concorde is the world-famous Champs Elysées. Stunning during the night, the impressive avenue has an assortment of "fashionable" stores and familiar traditional stores. With a bunch of cinemas, cafés and restaurants across the avenue, it’s essential for buyers.

2. Avenue Montaigne

Trying to find the most elite brands in Paris? Avenue Montaigne houses a few of the world’s most sought-after creator outlet stores, including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci. Located near to the Seine in Paris’s exclusive 8th region, there is little or nothing cheap about Avenue Montaigne.

3. Boulevard Haussmann

Situated in the 9th district, behind the Paris Opera, Boulevard Haussmann houses the famous shops Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes. Property numerous plastic, fashion and home accessories outlets, buyers will also find traditional favourites such as C&A, H&M, Zara, Benetton and Uniqlo.

Romantic things you can do in Paris




River Seine in Paris


Thanks to it is beautiful structures and background of romanticism, could it be any think about that Paris is recognized as the town of Love? If you’re a few looking for passionate destinations, but desire to go beyond the most common locales, the RAC has come up with an alternative set of some the most passionate hotspots in Paris.

1. Tango on the Seine

What better method for lovers to forge those intimate remembrances than by performing the party of enthusiasm in the town of Love? Right from the start of June before end of August, a huge selection of dancers get at the Jardin Tino Rossi, on the bankers of Dock Saint-Bernard, and boogie the salsa, tango and so many more.

Plus it's free!

2. Moulin Rouge

Carrying on with the dance theme, what better destination to like a romantic evening that at Paris’ world-famous Moulin Rouge? Immortalized by the musician Toulouse-Lautrec, is has dazzled audiences since it first exposed in 1889, and is a draw for a few of the world’s top performers - from Edith Piaf and Liza Minnelli to Frank Sinatra and Elton John - since.

The Moulin Rouge isn't only an excellent destination to see shows, it’s also an excellent spot to excite your tastebuds. In rooms magnificently embellished in belle époque style and red velvet, site visitors can enjoy premium French food by the Maison Dalloyau, offered with champagne - the state drink of the cabaret.

3. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Situated in the north-east of Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the primary & most beautiful renewable spaces in the administrative centre. People to the recreation area can enjoy stunning views of the town, especially the Montmartre area, and the park’s caves, waterfalls, animals and lake give a unique attraction never to be found somewhere else.

Things you can do in Paris with your children



Disneyland Paris


If you’re reluctant all the annals, culture and classical skill is insufficient to keep your kids entertained, the RAC has come up with lots of attractions which should help keep your loved ones amused.

1. Muséum Country wide d'Histoire Naturelle

The Natural Background Museum in Paris provides an abundance of educational distractions for youngsters. Different structures house different life sciences with an extraordinary collection of assortment of modern and prehistoric creature skeletons, including a gigantic skeleton of the blue whale.

Muséum Country wide d'Histoire Naturelle starting hours:
•Open up every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
•Special openings: Easter, Easter Monday, 8 May, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, 14 July, 15 August, 1 November, 11 November, 24 December and 31 December
•Shut down on Tuesdays, 1 May, 25 December and 1 January

2. Disneyland Paris

First opened up in 1992, Disneyland Paris is a wonderful destination for children and parents alike. From Disneyland Park, using its trips, restaurants and shows, to the Walt Disney Studios Area where you can find the secrets in back of the most enchanting views of Disney film, this is among the finest family areas in France.

Disneyland Paris beginning hours:
•Disneyland Area 10:00 am to 7:00 pm /10:00 pm•08:00 am to 10:00 pm - Extra Magic Hours

•Walt Disney Studios Area 10:00 to 18:00

3. Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is Europe’s biggest science museum. Situated in Parc de la Villette, the museum gets the Cite des Enfants, which was created specifically for kids. Lay out in two areas, 2-7 yr olds and 5-12 yr olds, the museum is filled with games, tests and discoveries that will teach and amuse in equal solution.

Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie starting hours:
•Open Wednesday to Sunday
•Cité des enfants lessons are 1hr 30 mins long
•A 20 min demo is scheduled every session

Through the most intimate places for couples, typically the most popular places of interest for families to the best shopping locales and restaurants in city, we've explored a few of the best attractions.

Hopefully you have appreciated our thorough ‘Things to do in Paris’ guide which it'll inspire you to go to one of the best possible cities on the globe.

Top 10 techniques for driving a car through France



If you’re off on christmas to the continent come early july, then you’ll probably have to operate a vehicle through France to attain your destination.

But with differing traffic laws and regulations over the English Route, which are the restrictions and what you ought to legally hold for a jaunt to France? Listed below are our top 10 techniques for generating in France.

(For a far more intensive guide offering an indepth consider from what documents you may want to guidelines of the street to traffic reports and embassy information our full traveling in France country advice webpage has you covered.)

UPDATE: Reacall those of you traveling through larger metropolitan areas will now need to get a french climate sticker because they are now necessary using areas.

1. High visibility jacket

A higher visibility vest (one per traveler) must be carried inside the traveler compartment of your automobile in case there is a car malfunction.

Don’t dismiss this as a silly guideline - the France police will minimize British-registered vehicles to check on they have the right equipment for traveling in France.

If you malfunction on the motorway or need to correct a puncture, be sure to use it if you come out of the automobile or you could risk a hefty fine.

2. Warning triangle

Plus a high-vis vest for every one of the car’s occupants, a alert triangle is a legal requirement in France.

Most modern autos now include one fitted as standard, but don’t rely after the manufacturer providing you one.

Check if there’s one within your vehicle - besides, it is an outstanding way of alert traffic of your stranded vehicle in advance in the event you experience difficulty.

3. Spare bulbs

For legal reasons you’re also mandated to transport an extra bulb set up for your automobile in case you have failing - some motorists in the united kingdom would get a broken bulb predetermined at the earliest opportunity, the French police deem it essential to replace it there and then due to safety.

For several pounds to buy a set up, you might avoid unwanted attention and an excellent.

4. Headlight beam adjusters

Modern car’s headlights are create to point on the nearside - or kerbside - of the automobile.

A right-hand drive car on the right-hand part of the carriage way means this may blind oncoming traffic during the night.

Either modify the position of your headlights, or fit headlight beam adjusters to pay and assist in improving safety by increasing visibility on the nearside.

5. Breathalyser kit

All motorists and motorcyclists must carry an individual breathalyser package, with at least two disposable screening units.

The kits are relatively cheap and can be found for about five pounds or less - don’t get a cheap internet item though, or if you undertake, make sure it matches NF standards (much like BSI within the united kingdom). Upgrade - by January 2013 the French government released that the advantages of an €11 fine has been postponed indefinitely.

6. Lower drink-drive limit

Following on out of this, beware of the low blood-alcohol limit in France.

In Great britain, Wales and North Ireland the blood-alcohol limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood, however, in France it is (exactly like in Scotland) it is 50mg per 100ml of blood.

Although it’s no exact science - you’re affective legal alcohol consumption is practically halved. Will that extra drink seem to be worthwhile now?

7. Speed limits

Similar to the UK, there are place speed restrictions for rural and cities that not necessarily feature repeated signage.

Keep an eye on your surroundings and modify your traveling accordingly.

As an over-all guideline, developed areas are usually 50kph, but can be reduced to 30 in residential areas.

Trunk highways are 90kph (unless in any other case directed) in the dry and 80kph in the damp, while motorways are 130kph (unless in any other case directed) in the dry and 110kph in the damp.

LEARNING MUCH MORE: Where do I want an International Traveling Permit?

8. Child passengers

One to notice, children under 10 aren’t permitted to trip in the traveler seat, so sadly small children must drive in the trunk even if they’re sense just a little queasy. Newborns up to nine a few months in a rear-facing child couch are an exception to the guideline, however.

9. Radar detectors

Radar detectors used to hunt out mobile acceleration guns are against the law in France in case you’re caught carrying one - even in the boot - you’ll be met by very strict punishment. That is one transgression the French authorities don’t take kindly to so you leave yourself available to the very least €2,000 fine if you rest it.

10. Odd driving a car practices

Keep an eye on old French traveling traditions, such as supplying way to traffic making its way onto a roundabout. Inside the most part, this traditions has become extinct, however, many French motorists still follow the former rules, interpretation they’ll dart out onto the traffic island unexpectedly.

The main thing to keep in mind is usually to be vigilant when traveling in Europe if you’re moving out there come early july. The traffic laws and regulations and conventions will vary to that within the united kingdom so heightened focus and careful planning should go quite a distance. Finally, it could audio simple but it often gets forgotten: ensure you drive on the right.

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