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Travel Essentials and Financial Services

 

  • GET AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS PERMIT

    Although it is not necessary to have this in all countries, it will really save on any headaches if the time arises when you do need one. These act in supplement to your own current U.S drivers license, they do not replace them. They function as an official translation of a U.S. driver's license into 10 foreign languages. Permits can be obtained at any AAA office in the U.S and only cost $15.00. You can print the application out online and bring it to an office before hand. Click on link belowhttp://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpapplc.html?association=undefined&clb_id=undefined&secure=N

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  • GET FAMILIAR WITH ROAD SIGNS

     

    A simple online search on road signs prior to departure can be helpful. If you know what countries you are visiting, print them out ahead of time and keep them in the vehicle. It may also be helpful to get some “how to” literature in hard copy book form to take along. This can be found at any travel section through large book retailers or purchased online.

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  • DETERMINE WHAT LENGTH OF TIME YOU WANT A VEHICLE

     

    Depending on the length of your stay, you can find whether to do traditional rental vs. short term leasing.  Traditional rentals are good for study abroad trips that involve using the vehicle for one to two weeks or less but they do come with their cons. These types of rentals are similar to that of the ones in the U.S in that you may need to supply supplemental insurance and certain age restrictions may apply. Another option that might be more suitable for someone staying for three weeks or more is that of the short term lease. These plans can offer you a brand new car of your choice that you can give back at the end of your studies. This option is generally more inclusive and allows for more flexibility in your stay without worrying about watching the clock or getting your own insurance coverage. However, if you are planning on doing a weekend warrior trip, the traditional rental may be the way to go.

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  • PLAN AHEAD

     

    The amount of planning also depends on the duration of your car needs. Although it is not necessary to get your vehicle booked before you go, it’s highly recommended.  Language barriers, exchange rates, and general unfamiliar surroundings offer good incentive to book with companies in the states that handle international auto renting/leasing abroad. If it’s a last minute (short) trip you want, you can probably skate by alright with getting it at the last minute while abroad. If you want something for a good portion of your stay, book your car a good few weeks (preferably more) before you go.

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  • TRAVEL IN SMALL GROUPS

     

    Although European cars are designed to be eco friendly and fuel efficient, fuel expenses in Europe are generally higher than those you might be used to in the states. If you are planning to spend a semester or two abroad, you are very likely to become friends with like minded people that want to explore the same way you do. Travelling in small groups can really save on fuel expenses and can always help in navigating with unfamiliar areas, not to mention they can take pictures if it’s your turn to drive.

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  • STAY CONNECTED

     

    Similarly to driving in the states, someone (if not everyone) in the group should have some sort of way to connect with the outside world. See “stay connected” section. (LINK)

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  • BE SAFE

    This is universal concept that translates in every language.  Follow the local rules of the road and be an attentive driver (i.e. no mobile phone while driving). Using the good judgment that you have learned at home you can enjoy the vast countryside of Europe at your own pace.

 



 

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