7 Things to Do Before Going On an Overseas Road Trip
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With the Vaccinated Travel Lanes gradually opening up, it won’t be long before land travel to Malaysia and Thailand will be allowed again. And although you’ll want to jump into the car as soon as you can, it’s not really practical if you’re planning a road trip to another country.
You’ll need to plan every detail of your trip in advance so that your holiday remains hassle-free. This is important because any difficulties faced during your trip may lead to financial losses. No doubt, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your wallet is to insure your trip with a good car and travel insurance.
However, there are other precautions that you must take before embarking on your journey. Read on to know about the things you should do before going on an overseas road trip.
1. Check the validity of your driving license, car and travel documentations
If you’re planning an overseas road trip, either you or your travel buddy will be in charge of the wheel. So, it’s important to check the validity of your driving licenses in the country you are planning to drive to. If you have a Singaporean Driver’s License, you don’t have to worry as it is recognised as an international driving license in Malaysia and Thailand.
Besides that, ensure that the essential documentation of your car, such as the certificate of registration, road tax, and car insurance is in order before you leave. You should also have all your travel documentation on hand for easy reference.
2. Prepare your vehicle and do all the necessary performance checks
Another important element that is often left out of the planning process is preparing your vehicle. You don’t want to find yourself stranded on the highway, so it’s crucial to ensure car maintenance checks are done before setting out on your adventure.
Check your car tyres, the fluids (including the transmission, power steering and brake fluids), the engine oil, aircon coolant, as well as the air filters. No matter how far North you’re planning to drive to, you should be confident that your vehicle will get you there—and back.
3. Learn the best route or alternative routes towards your destination
Familiarise yourself with the route of your travel. Check the map before you hit the road and go over the route before you start your journey. Take note if there are landmarks that stand out along the way. By doing this, you can eliminate any element of surprise during your drive.
You should also pinpoint the petrol stations and food outlets where you can make a pitstop to eat or fill your vehicle with fuel. If you plan to stop over at any tourist spots along your drive, make sure to check the opening hours of the place in advance so that you can plan your drive accordingly.
4. Understand the traffic rules and regulations at your travel destination
Not every country has the same rules as Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA). So, look up the traffic rules and regulations of the country you’re planning to visit and understand the do’s and don’ts.
For example, the speed limit in Malaysian towns is always between 60 – 80kmph, but when you’re on the North-South highway the speed limit can range from 90 – 110kmph. Be aware that there are a number of strategically-placed speed cameras on the highways, so it’s best that you keep to the stipulated speed limits and refrain from speeding.
Besides speed limits, you should check on toll and parking charges, specific traffic lanes – such as bus and bicycle lanes – and if there’s other road signs that are unfamiliar to you.
5. Book your holiday accommodation(s) in advance
Are you planning to cover as many kilometers as possible during your road trip and drive across multiple cities and towns? Then you’ll probably need to think about staying over for a night or two at various locations. It certainly isn’t practical to drive all day long with no rest and the last thing you want is to put your family and other road users in danger by not being alert when driving due to lack of rest.
To avoid disappointments and unavailability, you should pre-book your accommodation(s) before you hit the road. Remember that finding the right accommodation along your travel route, during the holiday season and on long weekends can be difficult, so plan this at least 2 weeks in advance and check what facilities the room or suite offers, so you know what to pack.
6. Get covered with international car and travel insurance
Even the most well planned trips can fall apart if you fall ill or lose something valuable while travelling. Worst still, you could meet with an accident while on the road. Not only will it spoil your trip, but it can lead to significant loss of finances.
Let’s say you meet with a road accident while driving in Malaysia. While you might have your car insurance to cover the damages to your vehicle, you may also be forced to seek out emergency treatment in a local hospital. With DirectAsia’s travel insurance, your medical expenses and hospitalisation is covered. In fact, the cover limit also protects your personal belongings if lost, stolen or damaged.
It’s also worth noting that DirectAsia’s comprehensive car insurance provides coverage when you are driving in Singapore, West Malaysia and Southern Thailand (within 80 km from the border of West Malaysia).
7. Always have a Plan B
However prepared you think you are, you can never rule out things not going as planned. The weather, road and traffic conditions could force you to change route, or an emergency could cause you to change your itinerary altogether.
Go one step further and think of alternative plans in case you are faced with a dilemma while on the road. You should be ready to tackle any situation on the go without getting stranded.
Enjoy Your Cross-Country Drive!
Going on a road trip across a foreign country is exciting but full of uncertainties. It’s hard to predict what could go wrong or not exactly as planned. That’s why it’s important to do some pre-planning so you’re prepared in any circumstances. Keep these 7 things in mind and ensure you tick them all before you start your engine for a cross-country drive.