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Gentlemen Start Your Engines: Vacationing Via (Your Own) Vehicle

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

If you’re anything like me and my husband than you can be inducted into the hall of fame for “roadies” since we can claim to frequently take drives to another country and have driven from New York To California and back.

That’s right, flying to your dream destinations isn’t for everyone. In fact, hitting the open road offers lots of perks such as control of your own vehicle (yes, I AM a bit of a “control freak), have privacy and can pretty much control how long it takes to get there. Not to mention that you can stop along the way and squeeze in some shopping, site seeing, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

But, before taking it to the streets you need to apply some street smarts for safe and sound journey.

When You Find Yourself In Times Of Trouble: Just in case of “emergency” you’ll need:

· jumper cables.

· a cell phone

· an inflated spare

· a jack

· flashlight with extra batteries

· a minimum of three reflector triangles in case you run into “problems” at night.

Take On A Minimalist Attitude: Keep in mind that while you DO want to have all your essentials, when it comes to traveling, less is more.

· Refrain from overpacking. We tend to be more careless when traveling by car rather than bus, train, or plane.

· Don’t hand clothes on a winder, it can obstruct your sight and be dangerous.

· Avoid rushing the adventure, it can lead to many exciting discoveries and pleasant surprises.

Pack Like A Pro: Don’t forget those essential extras.

Take into account unexpected outcomes especially if you don’t have a set schedule and haven’t booked in advance. Make sure you’re prepared with some on the road essentials such as instant coffee, tea bags, a small electric pot to heat water and a bag of digestive cookies and/or some (healthy) munchies.

Pace Yourself: Set and be aware of time limits

· Don’t drive too long on any given day and don’t cover too many miles, it’s not a race, take your time and enjoy the ride.

· Make stops when necessary, to eat, use the washroom, take a nap, or to call it a night.

Buyer Beware: Take head when renting a vehicle

· Read the rental (car) agreement carefully

· Look for hidden charges that can turn out to be quite costly, up to $100/day

· Check for speed monitors that allow for charging fast drivers an additional fee

· Look over the vehicle for any dents or minor “damage” (such as scratches) and make sure they are noted and recorded on the rental agreement so that you aren’t charged for them.

Driving Abroad: Familiarize yourself with the laws and pace of the land:

· Note that Europeans tend to drive faster than we do and you may even be ticketed for moving too slow.

· You can drive abroad with your own license, but experts suggest getting an internationally recognized driver’s permit in case you get pulled over by an officer who doesn’t speak English.

Long Island Travel & Leisure Articles > Gentlemen Start Your Engines: Vacationing Via (Your Own) Vehicle

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