Friday, August 25, 2017

Summer Driving Tips

Before You Go

Get your car serviced

Customary support, for example, tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire revolutions go far toward avoiding breakdowns. In the event that your vehicle has been adjusted by the producer's proposals, it ought to be in great condition to travel. If not—or you don't have the foggiest idea about the administrative history of the vehicle you intend to drive—plan a preventive support check up with your technician immediately.

Check for recalls

Proprietors may not generally realize that their vehicle has been reviewed and should be repaired. NHTSA's VIN look-into device gives you a chance to enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to rapidly learn if a particular vehicle has not been repaired as a feature of a well-being review over the most recent 15 years.

Go over your vehicle safety checklist

Notwithstanding how well you deal with your ride, it's imperative to play out the accompanying fundamental well-being checks before you go on a street trip.

Air pressure, tread wear, spare
Headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and trailer lights
Cooling System
Coolant level and servicing
Fluid Levels
Oil, brake, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluids
Belts and Hoses
Condition and fittings
Wiper Blades
Wear and tear on both sides
Air Conditioning
A/C check
Floor Mats
Proper size and correct installation

Safety First

Protect yourself and your loved ones

Buckle Up—Every Trip, Every Time. All passengers must agree to wear their seat belts every time they are riding in your vehicle. Set the example by always wearing your seat belt.

Protect the children

When traveling with children, take every precaution to keep them safe.
  • All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.
  • Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the correct car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that is appropriate for their size. All passengers in your vehicle should be buckled up on every trip, every time.
  • Never leave your child unattended in or around your vehicle.
  • Always remember to lock your vehicle when exiting so children do not play or get trapped inside.

Summer Safety 

Protect kids in and around the car

You should realize that there are different threats to kids in and around autos. One of those threats is hyperthermia or heat stroke. Heatstroke can happen when a youngster is left unattended in a stopped vehicle or additions unsupervised access. Never allow kids to sit unbothered in the auto—not notwithstanding for a couple of minutes or with the motor running. Vehicles warm up rapidly; if the outside temperature is in the low 80s°, the temperature inside the vehicle can achieve destructive levels in only a couple of minutes—even with a window moved down. A kid's body temperature rises three to five times quicker than that of a grown-up. 

Before you pull out of a garage or parking space, avert backovers by strolling around your vehicle to check for youngsters running and playing. When utilizing a reinforcement camera, recollect that children, pets, and protests may even now be out of view however in the way of your vehicle. At the point when kids play, they are regularly unaware of autos and trucks around them. They may trust that drivers will keep an eye out for them. Moreover, every vehicle has a visually impaired zone. As the size and tallness of vehicle expand, so does the "visually impaired zone" range. Huge vehicles, trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vans, are more probable than autos to be associated with backovers. 

Make sure to bolt your vehicle's entryways constantly when it's not being used. Put the keys some place that youngsters can't get to them. Kids who enter vehicles all alone with no grown-up supervision can be murdered or harmed by control windows, safety belt snare, vehicle rollaway, warm stroke or trunk entanglement.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

DIY Top 10 Driving and Travel Tips

Driving is an unavoidable truth for the vast majority of us, yet it doesn't need to be simply one more errand. Benefit as much as possible from your driving time with these ten hints for streamlining your opportunity in the auto.

10. De-ice your windshield with home-made arrangements 

We truly burrowed the Dollar Stretcher blog's formula for DIY de-icer—just 3 sections vinegar to 1 section water in a splash bottle, connected before a chilly and wet night. Be that as it may, our analysts have their very own couple answers for frosty climate autos. Among their recommendations: some cool water and a decent scrubber; essentially covering your windshield with cardboard; and notwithstanding utilizing the A/C and warmth at the same time. While you're gathering your hostile to ice weapons, keep a little without water hand sanitizer helpful—it can de-ice a bolt. 

9. Show signs of improvement sound from your iPod 

Those whose processing plant stereo decks do not have a frontal contribution for an iPod or other MP3 player realize that FM transmitters are no substitution for a basic wire. Yet, you can confine the quantity of sound break-ins from radio stations and other autos' gadgets with Sirius' FM Channel Finder, which finds the most discharge radio spots in your ZIP code. Then again, in case you're not hesitant to yank the stereo out of the dash and include your own particular stereo information sources, it's in reality truly straightforward; we've beforehand indicated two arrangements, one with fastening, the other without (look down to "Wire Your Car Stereo for an iPod"). In the event that none of that takes, you've generally got the "atomic alternative," at any rate on the off chance that you have an effortlessly removable outside radio wire—simply yank it out and start up the recently enabled FM transmitter. 

8. Set up together a quality crisis auto pack 

You'll ideally never need to haul out your first aid pack in a genuine or-passing circumstance. Whenever you're in your auto and not going anyplace, however, you'll be happy you're readied. has a broad, constantly arranged pack list, which appears a little OCD until you've at any point endeavored to call a tow truck organization in the obscure nation, at long last finding a solution of "later this evening" (genuinely). Our educated, street prepared perusers additionally have a considerable measure of incredible proposals for explorers with a wide range of requirements. 

7. Keep a level head, reconsider your driving system 

You can't control activity and street conditions over your whole drive, however, you can control the way your mind takes it in and manages it. We're not discussing an unclear, everything's-going to be-okay sense, either—there are some basic, thought-by-thought changes you can make, as clarified by driving master Tom Vanderbilt. One of the key changes is discharging your outrage at "late mergers," and curtailing your own quick path evolving: 

Furthermore, switching to another lane is counter-beneficial. It builds the danger of a mishap, makes a driver more pushed and doesn't have much effect. At the point when tried in Canada, the driver that switched to another lane at each open door just made four minutes in an 80-minute drive. 

6. Try not to get compelled into 3,000-mile oil changes 

Hurray Autos/ composed it in the first place, and we concur—you most likely needn't bother with an oil change each 3,000 miles. Air out your the proprietor's manual for your vehicle—no, truly, venture into the glove box for it—and you'll regularly discover inside a suggestion for changes each 5,000, 7,000, or, at times, each 10,000 miles. Giving into social/corporate weight just pulls money from your pocket, and gives the earth more administered oil to manage. Be overcome rather and drive directly past the 15-minute fast lube joints with your little "mystery." Photo by Vanlaar. 

5. Remain alerted on lengthy drives 

For those long, multi-state pulls or the (calm) commute home following a late night, you may think a brisk snooze in a parking garage or rest stop may be the best thing for saggy eyelids. Not really, as indicated by French specialists, as caffeine wins out finished snoozes for each age gathering, however particularly among those 30 and more seasoned. Obviously, there's a center ground for rest darlings and French meal consumers—the shrewd caffeine snooze, which requires drinking a measure of java just before a rest no longer than 15 minutes. You'll wake up with the double advantages of an energizing rest and sharpness boosting caffeine, and you're prepared to gaze past another arrangement of mile markers. 

4. Utilize your fuel productively 

It's constantly extraordinary when one of our in an unexpected way fixated in web journals makes a trip to drop some science, and Jalopnik's visit amid the times of super-costly gas demonstrated the same, presenting five approaches to utilize less fuel and still get where you're going. Here's the most straightforward, no-apparatuses required tip: 

Top off your vehicle amid the coolest piece of the day. With more seasoned pumps that don't have a temperature-remunerating stream meter, fuel is denser when it's cool, so you really get more for your cash when you direct gas in the early AM as opposed to topping off at 5:30 PM on your route home from work. 

Gas may not cost more per gallon than an esteem feast nowadays—well, contingent upon your chain of decision—yet it's as yet not shoddy, so utilize it admirably. 

3. Take in the privileged insights of parallel stopping 

On the off chance that you secured your permit without getting the hang of the wheel-wrenching parallel stopping schedule, Ann's Driving School has some particular parallel stopping tips for getting more alright with stopping between autos. Nothing beats certifiable practice, obviously, however, Ann's offers a deliberate approach—and, as a few perusers called attention to, is situated in San Francisco, where expedient road stopping is somewhat of an existing need. 

2. Get a genuine workman (or possibly maintain a strategic distance from shams) 

Dental practitioner, handyman, and workman—everyone needs one of every they can trust (however bookkeeper wouldn't do any harm, as well). On the auto front, ask your companions, associates, and neighbors for proposals, and utilize an examination site like the already said RepairPal to perceive how near the stamp your appraisals are. Can't develop the fearlessness to talk about what your auto truly needs? Attempt basically conveying your upkeep manual to the shop and demanding what's essential. At last, look at VideoJug's exhibition of five repairs a somewhat shady shop may attempt to weight you.

1. Handle an activity stop, potentially skirt a ticket 

Nothing, besides a time machine, can get you out of an activity ticket unfailingly, however, there are approaches to enhance your treatment of the entire circumstance. Amid the stop, for example, don't attempt to inspire by rapidly getting your permit, enrollment, and protection printed material—simply sit with your hands on the wheel. It's one of five do's and five don'ts assembled via Car and Driver with the assistance of state troopers. Once you have the ticket, don't snatch the checkbook and stamps immediately. Consider, for instance, that we said, even a trooper's chaotic penmanship can beat that movement ticket.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Top 10 tips for driving through France

In case you're off on vacation to the mainland this late spring, at that point, you'll more than likely need to drive through France to achieve your goal. 

Be that as it may, with contrasting activity laws over the Channel, it's vital to know the controls and what you have to legitimately convey for a hike to France. 

Here are our best 10 hints for driving in France 

(For a more broad manual for what archives you require, refreshed principles of the street, activity news, and consulate data visit our full driving in France exhortation page.) 

Refreshed: Remember those of you driving through bigger urban communities should buy a French clean air sticker as they are currently compulsory in specific zones. 

On the off chance that you don't have one you may get a fine or not have the capacity to enter certain urban areas at specific circumstances. 

These perfect air stickers, known as Crit'air stickers, mean the level of discharges your vehicle creates and depends on your auto's Euro emanations rating. There's a possibility on the off chance that you drive a marginally more established auto, it won't be permitted into specific urban areas at specific circumstances in view of air quality levels on that day. 

1. High permeability vest(s) 

A high permeability vest (one for each traveler) must be conveyed inside the traveler compartment of your vehicle if there should be an occurrence of an auto breakdown. 

Try not to reject this as a senseless run – the French police will stop British-enlisted vehicles to check they have the right hardware for driving in France. 

On the off chance that you break down on the motorway or need to repair a cut, ensure you wear it when you venture out of the vehicle or you could hazard a heavy fine. 

2. Cautioning triangle 

Alongside a high-vis vest for the greater part of the auto's inhabitants, a notice triangle is a legitimate prerequisite in France. 

Most present day autos now accompany one fitted as standard, however, don't depend upon the maker giving you one. 

Continuously check if there's one present in your auto before you leave – it is an incredible method for notice activity of your stranded vehicle ahead should you encounter trouble which will come approach to protecting you. 

3. Save globules 

By law you're additionally commanded to convey an extra knob pack for your vehicle, should you have a disappointment. 

While most drivers in the UK would get a broken globule settled at the earliest opportunity, the French police esteem it important to supplant it there and after that on the grounds of well-being. 

For a couple of pounds to purchase a pack, you could keep away from undesirable consideration and a fine. 

4. Fog light shaft agents 

Present day auto's headlights are set up to point towards the near side – or curb side – of the vehicle. 

A right-hand drive auto on the right-hand side of the carriage way implies this could daze approaching movement around evening time. 

Either alter the edge of your headlights or fit front lamp bar agents to remunerate and help enhance security by expanding permeability on the near side. 

5. Breathalyzer unit 

All drivers and motorcyclists should convey an individual breathalyzer pack, with no less than two dispensable testing units. 

The units are generally shabby and can be grabbed for around five pounds or less – don't go for a modest web thing, however, or on the off chance that you do, ensure it meets NF principles (like BSI here in the UK). 

Refresh - as of January 2013 the French government declared that the presentation of a €11 fine has been delayed inconclusively. 

The greater part of the above things can be bought in a European Driving Kit from £20. 

European breakdown cover 

European breakdown cover 

Wherever you wind up on vacation, we have you secured 

Get a quote 

6. Lower drink-drive constraint 

Following on from this, be careful with the lower blood-liquor confined in France. 

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the blood-liquor confine is 80mg for each 100ml of blood, in any case, in France it is (the same as in Scotland) it is 50mg for every 100ml of blood. 

Likewise for drivers with under three years' experience as far as possible has been brought down from 0.5 grams for each liter to 0.2 grams for each liter. 

Despite the fact that it's not a correct science – you're full of feeling legitimate liquor utilization is almost divided. Does that additional drink appear to be justified, despite all the trouble now? 

7. Speed limits 

Much the same as the UK, there are set speed limits for rustic and urban territories that don't generally highlight rehashed signage. 

Be aware of your environment and modify your driving as needs are. 

As a general rule, developed zones are typically 50kph, yet can be lessened to 30 in local locations. 

Trunk streets are 90kph (unless generally coordinated) in the dry and 80kph in the wet, while motorways are 130kph (unless generally coordinated) in the dry and 110kph in the wet. 

For additional on speed limits click here. 

8. Tyke travelers 

One to note, youngsters less than 10 years old are not permitted to go on the front seats of vehicles without exercise an uncommon tyke self-control, unless there is no back seat in the vehicle or the back seat is as of now possessed with kids under 10, or there are no safety belts. 

Children up to nine months in a back confronting youngster situate are an exemption to the administer moreover. 

9. Radar finders 

Radar finders used to chase out portable speed firearms are unlawful in France and in case you're discovered conveying one – even in the boot – you'll be met by extremely strict discipline. 

This is one transgression the French police don't warmly embrace and you abandon yourself open to a base €2,000 fine in the event that you break it. 

10. Odd driving practices 

Be aware of old French driving traditions, for example, offering an approach to activity advancing onto a circuitous. 

In the most part, this convention has ceased to exist, however, some French drivers still maintain the previous law, which means they'll shoot out onto the movement island all of a sudden. 

The vital thing to recollect is to be careful when driving in Europe in case you're taking off there this late spring.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Most Helpful Tips for Visitors Driving in the USA

The United States is a right-hand driving country! You probably know what right-hand traffic or left-hand traffic means. Two-way traffic must keep either on the left or right side of the road unless otherwise directed. Sometimes this is called The Rule of the Road. It helps improve traffic flow (your ability to get where you're going quickly) and cuts down on traffic fatalities.

Essential tips for driving in the United States

Roadway signs in the USA commonly use symbols instead of words to communicate with drivers, regardless of language barriers. The color and shape of each sign usually indicate the type of information the sign conveys. Familiarize yourself with traffic sign symbols to maximize your safety when driving in the United States. Visit United States Road Symbol Signs at the Federal Highway Administration website for a full list of signs!

Here's what you need to know if you are planning an American road trip for your next vacation

If you're driving slowly - perhaps just getting used to the traffic - the best lane for you to drive in is the far right lane, if there is more than one lane going in the same direction as you, of course!

When traveling on a freeway or highway, your car should stay in the right lane, unless you're passing another vehicle. There are often signs to remind you of this. However, be aware that on Interstate highways, the right lane within an urban area is sometimes only for existing (leaving) the Interstate at the next opportunity. 

  • If you're driving slowly - perhaps just getting used to the traffic - the best lane for you to drive in is the far right lane, if there is more than one lane going in the same direction as you, of course!
  • When traveling on a freeway or highway, your car should stay in the right lane, unless you're passing another vehicle. There are often signs to remind you of this. However, be aware that on Interstate highways, the right lane within an urban area is sometimes only for existing (leaving) the Interstate at the next opportunity. 
  • If you're at an intersection, American drivers usually defer to the vehicle who arrived at the intersection first. If two vehicles get there at the same time, the driver on the right proceeds, unless stopped by a red STOP or YIELD sign.
  • Don't honk your horn, unless you're in a situation where you need to get the attention of another driver or pedestrian. For example, it's okay to honk when another car is about to hit you, but you may find that honking in the USA is less common than in other nations.
  • The speed limit in a residential area is often 35 miles per hour (60kph) but is as low as 25 or 30 miles per hour in many areas. On Interstate highways and roads with very little traffic and intersections, the speed limit is commonly 55 miles per hour or greater.
  • Based on the information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about “Traffic Safety Facts 2015: Alcohol-Impaired Driving,” it revealed that 10,265 people have died in drunk driving crashes - one every 51 minutes - and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes. Remember to always make allowances when driving, And never ever exceed the legal blood alcohol limit which is 0.08.

Know the rules for each rental car company for foreign visitors

Keep in mind that each company's terms and conditions will tell you everything you need to know about the company's requirements regarding car rental insurance, driver's license requirements, and whether or not you are allowed to drive the rental car out of the U.S. (to Canada or Mexico).

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Cheapest Way to Travel Europe

Without a doubt, Europe is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and traveling across Europe fills the dreams of those planning their next getaway. However, Europe also has the well-founded reputation of being an expensive travel destination, and the high cost of traveling in Europe deters many would-be wanderers and sojourners. 

You don't need to let a fear of spending too much stop you from taking the trip of a lifetime; there are many ways to travel Europe without breaking the bank. With our expert tips and comprehensive advice as your guide, finding the cheapest way to travel Europe couldn't be easier!

What Is the Cheapest Way to Travel Around Europe?

One of the best things you can do to save money is to avoid tourist traps and restaurants aimed at tourists because the prices are inevitably going to be higher in establishments that cater to vacationers. When it comes to dining, look for menus only in the local language, and seek out restaurants that are filled with locals. This will require a sense of adventure, of course, because you may not know what will be brought to your table, but in restaurants popular with the locals, asking the server for recommendations, eating the set menu of the day, or going with the current specials are reliable ways to get a delicious meal. When it comes to seeing the sites, avoid large, flashy businesses with lots of signs in English. If you want to take a boat tour in the Mediterranean, for example, go with the small, family-run business over the corporation that organizes tours at a dozen harbors along the coast. The trip will not only save you money, but the more intimate, authentic experience will be much more rewarding. Step outside the tourist bubble, and you'll be amazed at just how much you can learn through hand gestures and a jumble of broken phrases in two languages. 

Cheapest Way to Travel Around Europe - Croatia BeachTo find more of the cheapest ways to travel Europe, hit up the lesser-known travel destinations. Eastern Europe, despite its rich history, old-world charm, and welcoming nature are still much less frequented by tourists than hotspots in Western Europe like France, Italy, and Spain. Croatia's coast boasts miles of white sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear waters, but you'll spend less money and have more room to spread out your towel in Watermelons or Paradise Beach, Croatia, than you will in the French Riviera. The town of Poiana Brasov in Romania has miles of downhill runs and cross country ski trails, but you'll save more than you would ski in Austria or Switzerland, in part because the country is much cheaper than Western Europe, in part because you'll come out on top when exchanging US dollars for Romanian leu. When traveling Western Europe, venture outside the popular cities and into the countryside to get closer to a local experience and save money on food, drinks, and lodging. 

In economic terms, one of the best ways to travel Europe is to avoid hotels. Instead, stay in a hostel, a cheap alternative to hotels that generally allows you to meet and socialize with a lot more people. Alternatively, use Couch Surfing, Airbnb, or Wimdu to pay nothing or next-to-nothing to stay in people's apartments all over Europe. If you're more comfortable staying in a hotel, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend an exorbitant amount. Book well in advance to get the best prices, or if you're willing to arrive in a city without a set plan, find a hotel that is trying to fill empty rooms at the last minute. Hotels sometimes slash prices when traffic is slow, particularly in cities that cater to business travelers such as Brussels and the Scandinavian capitals.

Finding Discounts on European Travel

Hands down, the cheapest way to travel around Europe is to travel in the off season. The off season varies slightly from place to place, but it is generally from November to March, with the exception of the Christmas holidays. Fewer people are traveling at this time, so many airlines and hotels drop their prices dramatically. You could save hundreds of dollars, for example, by booking a flight to Italy in January instead of July, and once you're there, you could save even more on the hotel. In addition, traveling during the off season is one of the best times to visit Europe because you get to see how the locals live their daily lives when they and the majority of tourists aren't on vacation. Be aware that museums, shops, and restaurants might have more limited hours, but if you're willing to work around this, off season travel is a great way to save money in Europe. 

Cheapest Ways to Travel Europe - DiscountsAnother way to find discounts in Europe is, quite simply, to ask. Are you a student or senior citizen? Many European institutions, from railway companies to museums, offer discounts to students and seniors even if they are from another country. Are you a history teacher visiting a history museum or a musician attending a classical music concert? Don't be afraid to ask if you get some kind of discount. In Europe, many organizations look out for their own so you might save a pretty penny--or even get in for free. 

We all know there's no better discount than paying absolutely nothing, so seek out the free events that are offered all across Europe. The examples are nearly endless. The city of Rome puts on many free concerts and festivals during the month of August as a way to attract people to the city during a time that, traditionally, most Romans take vacations on the coast. The Louvre, whose entrance fee is usually 12-16 Euros, is free on the first Sunday of each month from October to March for all visitors and always free to art teachers. If you're in Germany's capital, check out the free lunchtime concerts given by the Berlin Philharmonic. To find free events where you're staying, consult newspaper listings, check online, or talk to the locals.

Other Considerations When Traveling Europe on a Budget

There are just a few final considerations you should keep in mind when traveling to Europe on a budget. Make sure you eat and drink like the locals. What does this mean? It means you should drink ouzo in Greece, beer in Germany, and red wine in France; you should eat seafood along the Mediterranean and meatballs and potatoes in Scandinavia. Save even more by skipping restaurants for some meals and heading to the local market; you'll spend much less by eating food that's grown locally and in the season. 

Just a bit of planning can save you a lot in the long run, so before you leave, you should decide where you want to spend your money by determining what's important to you. What do you want to get out of your trip? Foodies, for example, should sleep cheap and splurge on unique restaurants, but if sleeping in a secure, quiet place is important, save money by snacking on grocery store food in parks and spend more on your nightly accommodations. If you're traveling with kids, look into a family car rental to get the best value on transportation while still having plenty of room to be comfortable. Any time you're on vacation, you're going to have to spend money on things you don't normally spend money, so start your trip right by setting your priorities straight. Spend money on things that will make your vacation perfect for you and spend less elsewhere. 

Best Way to Travel Through Europe - LocalsLast but certainly not least: Remember to talk to the locals. Locals live in their city day in and day out, and unless you're chatting with the Queen, which is unlikely, you're probably going to strike up conversations with folks that do their best to live frugally and save money, just like you. Ask questions, and don't be afraid to botch a few words in Portuguese or Albanian. Be polite and kind, never pushy, and be open to receiving kindness. Particularly in smaller towns or less tourist-heavy sites, locals are happy to tell you about their hometown or even give you a (free!) tour. More than all the maps or travel guides in the world, locals are a wealth of information that can help you find the cheapest way to travel around Europe.

Final Thoughts: What Is the Best Way to Travel Through Europe?

Our travel experts at Auto Europe are always working hard to help you find the best way to travel Europe, and nothing could be better than touring Europe with the freedom and convenience of a rental car. Contrary to what you might believe, renting a car in Europe doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. With Auto Europe, you'll always get the best deal because, in addition to the countless resources, from travel tips to road trip planners, that we put together for our amazing customers, we guarantee the best rates on car rentals in Europe. If you find a car rental rate that's lower with one of our competitors, we'll simply match that price or get you a better deal! It's the guaranteed cheapest way to travel Europe by rental car. 

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Friday, July 21, 2017

9 Tips for Long Drives

Planning on doing some long distance driving? These long road trips tips can help you get there safely and comfortably.

If you’re taking a long road trip, you need to plan in advance. And we’re not just talking about packing. “Highway hypnosis” is quite common when travelers haven’t prepared for the endurance demands of an extended haul. In fact, more than 60 percent of drivers say they’ve gotten behind the wheel while drowsy, according to a survey by mattress retailer Sleepy’s.

With that statistic in mind, you should take steps to prepare for long drives before you get behind the wheel—and to stay alerted and energized throughout your trip. These tips for long drives will help you down the road.

1. Stock your sleep time

Think about exhaustion before you begin your journey, not after. Get at least seven hours of sleep for two consecutive nights before the road trip to build up your energy reserves. “Also, try to avoid driving between 1 and 3 p.m., when the body’s temperature is lower and people are naturally drowsy,” says Dr. Michael Breus, “The Sleep Doctor.”

2. Fuel up

This time, we mean fuel for you, not your car. Carrying a variety of vitamin-packed, healthy foods will allow you to get by on smaller snacks throughout the long drive while skipping the fast-food stops. “To stay alerted, carrots and almonds are my favorites,” says blogger and travel expert Gretchen Breuner from

3. Stay hydrated

Keep the water supply well-stocked for maximum energy. “A possible downside of this, of course, is that you’ll need to make more bathroom stops,” says Breuner, who traveled to 19 states with her family in an RV in three months. To learn more about items to stock your car with, check out this list of 5 must-have emergency items.

4. Plan your stops

One of the most crucial tips for long road trips is to get out of your car and stretch your legs every two hours or so, our experts suggest. Plan these stops into your long distance drive, whether they fall at meal times or can be timed to let you view interesting places.

5. Chew gum

The repetitive process increases circulation and alertness. “You don’t need the sugary kind to get the desired effect,” says Breus, who is a fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.

6. Use good scents

During long distance driving, Breus also recommends keeping a source of peppermint scent nearby. When you feel you need a boost, take a sniff. “It’s a pleasant, all-natural pick-me-up that has been shown to reduce fatigue and increase alertness,” he says.

7. Sit up straight

Make sure your seat is adjusted properly for your body, tilted for maximum blood flow. If you feel a driving “trance” coming on, sit up. “Take a deep breath and scan your body for tension,” says yoga teacher and wellness specialist Elaine Masters, of “If your right hip is feeling sore, for example, lean to the other side.”

8. Keep passengers entertained

Long drives—especially with kids—can often lead to bickering. That kind of aggravation leads to driver fatigue. So make sure children are entertained with books, puzzles, and other time-killing diversions. On the flip side, games such as “find the license plate” are great for keeping everyone engaged with one another.

9. Treat yourself to some sounds

Books on tape help keep the brain active, without creating a dangerous distraction. Breus recommends listening to humorous books or even comedy CDs. “Laughing,” he says, “will keep you awake.”

These tips for long drives can help keep you and your car protected on the road. For more defensive driving tips, check out these 9 safe driving habits you should know.

In addition to safe driving habits, your insurance policy is key to protecting you while driving. Learn more about Nationwide’s auto insurance coverage, including our 24/7 Roadside Assistance option.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

10 Tips For Your First Time Driving Abroad

Getting behind the wheel for the first time in a foreign country can be a daunting experience — from being on the opposite side of the road (and car) to the different rules and regulations, there’s a lot to contend with.
But driving abroad needn’t be scary: simply follow our 10 handy tips and you’ll be driving confidently in no time. 

Take time to get used to the car

Driving on the opposite side to what you’re used to can be stressful, so before setting off, get used to the feel of being sat on the ‘wrong’ side and changing gears with the ‘wrong’ hand. To build up your confidence, spend some time driving around a quiet car park — this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the car and practice using the auxiliary controls (like wipers, indicators, and headlights). 

Consider hiring an automatic car

Automatic cars are great for nervous drivers since they are almost impossible to stall. With no clutch or gear-changing to worry about, you can relax and focus on the road ahead. Not only that, but your left leg can rest at all times.

If you’ve not driven an automatic before, you could always hire one for a couple of days in your own country before you travel. Taking a ‘test drive’ and getting used to the different transmission on home turf will help you adjust quickly when you arrive at your destination. 

Know the speed limits and driving laws in the country you’re visiting

Laws differ from country to country, so it’s worth doing your research before you go.

Make sure you check which side of your road you need to drive on if there’s any essential equipment or documents you need to carry in the car, child seat regulations and the drink-drive limit (although it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether when driving). Our useful round-up of driving laws from some of our most popular destinations will help you get clued up.

Stay in the slow lane until you feel confident

It’s natural to feel anxious when driving on foreign motorways and dual carriageways for the first time, but going at your own pace is a good way to help you feel relaxed behind the wheel.

Simply stay in the slow lane until you feel ready to move into one of the faster lanes; and if you’re really nervous, wait for a big gap in the traffic before changing lanes. 

Don’t be put off by other motorists and their driving habits

Depending on where you’re visiting, you might find the locals’ driving style is more aggressive than back home. Try not to let other drivers intimidate you, and don’t respond to any gestures (no matter how tempting it may be!).

If you feel flustered, take a deep breath and move back over to the slow lane (or pull over altogether if it’s safe to do so) until you regain your composure. Just remember to stay focused at all times.

Request a GPS

Getting lost is a common cause for concern when driving abroad — a survey we conducted last year with 548 Tots100 bloggers revealed 29% worried about losing their way.

Why not request a GPS from the rental company (or bring your own) to help you get around? Not only will a GPS help you find all those must-see attractions, it should hopefully prevent arguments over directions! 

Don’t be over-ambitious with your schedule

If possible, try not to plan long drives for your first time behind the wheel abroad: instead, drive for shorter distances until you feel confident enough to take on lengthier road trips. You might also want to avoid city driving, as busy areas require lots of extra concentration — and can be overwhelming for novice drivers.

If you do want to venture into a city, consider driving to the suburbs (or a quieter town in the area) and using public transport to get into the center instead. 

Avoid driving when tired

Staying alert while driving is crucial at any time, but it’s even more important when you’re driving an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar country.

Avoid driving straight after a long flight, and always take a break if you feel your concentration lapsing — even if you're only making a short journey. A cup of coffee and a quick nap at a roadside service station will help you feel more awake. 

Choose a small car

If you don’t need a lot of space for your luggage or other passengers, book a ‘mini’ or ‘economy’ car: these cars are easy to drive, park and maneuver. If you do require more space, try and select the smallest vehicle for your needs.

Consider taking an Advanced Driving Course

An Advanced Driving Course is designed to help you improve your control, speed and position based on the road conditions and the amount of traffic — helping you to be a confident, defensive driver. If you have plenty of time before for your trip, one of these courses could help you feel better prepared for driving abroad. 

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