To make your road trip a success, I have collected the best links and advice on what to bring, and what to be aware of. It is more than annoying if the insurance does not cover – or you are presented with a huge fine because you drove across the border to some invisible Environmental Zone in Germany or a LTZ in Italy (Zona Traffico Limitato )…
Before we start kicking the tires and giving advice on ecofriendly driving, we will take a quick look at the insurance needed:
Insurances for your road trip
First of all, you need a travel insurance for your road trip. Second of all make sure you have the relevant health cards/insurances with you. Al lot of rules regarding health insurance covering have changed during the past years, and your local health card may not cover medical help or your transport back home if you get sick. Especially the home transport is a potential huge bill.
- Travel Insurance Health insurance card (some are available free at your municipality's website)
- The vehicle registration certificate
- Relevant papers on the caravan (if you have caravan …)
- The number of SOS International (should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident)
- The Vehicle liability insurance – required only outside the EU
Avoid fines on your road trip
Recently, several European countries have raised the fines for road traffic offenses, and note especially France and Italy. Here it is really expensive not to comply with local traffic laws. If you drive just 20 km / h too fast you will be fined approximately between 150-200 Euros. 50 km / h too much can give you a 500-1500 Euros fine in France … woops!
So – before driving off on your road trip holiday check the list of fines for traffic offenses in Europe.
And then there's those darn environmental zones in especially Germany and Italy. They are important to know, too many tourists are fined because they park the car at the wrong spot. Some places it is possible to buy city passes for your windshield at the local gas station or tourist office. If you are allowed to have the car with you inside the city at all. Some of these passes are priced after how environmental friendly your car is.
Before your road trip or at least before you plan to drive to certain cities, check out the rules and do not drive into the cities with environmental zones unless you have permission. Many Italian cities do not allow you to take your car into the city, and the fine for doing it anyway is noticeable.
Here's links regarding environmental zones:
Road trip with kids
If you have children, preparation is crucial for the road trip to be a success. We are pretty much used to equipping the backseat of the car as small home theater and the iPads are of course fully charged for the trip (for God's sake please remember the charger!). But it may also be important for the children to do something else than looking into a screen.
A good advice is to think of things to see along the way, so the trip is not only transport, but an experience in itself. And to have other games ready when they get bored looking at the screen. Have good active breaks and prepare lots of snacks, so you do not have to stop and buy food every time someone gets a little hungry. Audiobooks can also be a really nice thing for the whole family. And headphones are a must!
9 awesome road trip advice
• Remember to buy passes – For use in certain countries for certain roads or cities
• Check traffic and safety equipment rules in the countries you drive through
• Get the car checked before the road trip. You do not want to spend time on your holiday to have the car fixed
• Have documents, insurance and important phone numbers ready
• Remember entertainment, snacks (and vomit bags) for children
• Plan to see something on the trip to the destination, to make it an experience rather than transport
• Update maps on the GPS before departure
• Check the traffic rules to avoid fines
• Remember your electronic mileage log to restore the entire trip on a map when you get home. It’s a great way to remember the trip
Have a great road trip holiday!