A road trip in Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In many ways, Europe is the best place to start your road trip because you can visit so many countries and experience so many cultures within a relatively short distance.
But while you’re road tripping through Europe, it’s important to take the right safety precautions. It Is also important to ensure the car you are traveling is well equipped, well-serviced, and all of the maintenance has been done beforehand. You don’t want to be traveling in a foreign country when your car breaks down.
The very thing that attracted you to a European road trip is also the thing that could leave you exposed to danger if you’re not careful.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe while road tripping in Europe.
Learn a few important words
If you’re traveling through a country that speaks a language that’s foreign to you, learn a few keywords. You’ll naturally want to learn the words for bathroom, water, and beach. But there are a few more words you’ll need in your arsenal. Try to learn the following words in the native language of each country you’ll visit:
- Car accident
It’s also a good idea to write these words down in a notebook, so you can refer to it in an emergency. And even if you don’t actually commit them to memory, learn the pronunciation. This will help ensure people understand you.
When you’re traveling through Europe, especially in rural areas, it’s a good idea to blend in as much as possible. Wherever you are in the world, you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. As much as you might treasure your individuality, this can make you more of a target.
But while you’re blending in, try not to get too comfortable.
It’s a delicate balance. Whenever you’re out and about, walk with your head held high and make eye contact with others whenever appropriate. Avoid walking around with headphones in, even if you’re just trying to learn the language. This makes you instantly less aware of your surroundings and could leave you susceptible to criminals looking for an easy target.
Keep in touch with someone back home
It’s a good idea to designate one person to be your point of contact back home.
They won’t necessarily be able to help immediately in the event of a problem, but if you ever go missing, someone will have a recent location. To be safe, give this person your itinerary before you leave and talk to them as you go from city to city.
Avoid drinking and driving
The rules for drinking and driving can vary greatly from country to country. And you should know that some countries have a zero tolerance policy.
So if you’re going to be drinking, consider getting an Uber. At the very least, learn the legal limits. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re getting locked up in a foreign country for a few sips of the local wine.
And even when you’re not driving, it’s a good idea to limit your alcohol consumption. Especially when you’re traveling alone, you’ll want to have your wits about you when you’re in a foreign country.
Know the emergency number
If you have trouble in the US, you can always call 911 (or 311 in non-emergency situations).
But when you’re in Europe, those numbers will do you no good. Instead, call 112 from your mobile device or nearest phone. This will connect you with an emergency service that’s akin to 911 in the United States. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, and whether it’s a robbery or a motorcycle accident, you can call 112 from anywhere in the European Union.
Your road trip in Europe is sure to be an epic adventure. Just be sure to follow the tips outlined here, and it’ll also be a safe one.