Vacation by car: 11 tips

In addition, we explain which special features you need to be aware of abroad and give you a checklist with the most important documents for your car trip.

  1. Stowing luggage correctly
  2. Pack the right provisions
  3. avoid time pressure
  4. Pack entertainment
  5. Breaks& plan for overnight accommodations
  6. Use apps for assistance
  7. plan alternative routes
  8. Refuel before departure
  9. Avoid rush hour
  10. Avoid traffic jams
  11. Program the navigation system correctly
  • special features abroad
  • Toll and vignette
  • European countries with tolls for freeways
  • European countries with vignette obligation

1. Stow luggage properly

  • Heavy luggage down: stow heavy suitcases in the trunk first. So they can’t fly forward and lighter luggage won’t be crushed.
  • Adjusting tire pressure: your car will be heavier than usual with all the luggage and the tires will be more stressed. The optimum tire pressure is specified by the car manufacturer. You can find the information in the owner’s manual and on the driver’s door, the inside of the gas cap, in the glove compartment or in the tire manufacturer’s tire pressure chart.
  • Observe the permitted vehicle weight: if you want to take a lot of luggage with you, make sure your car is not too heavy. How heavy it may be in total, is written in the vehicle registration document. This also applies if you also mount a roof box on the car or take sports equipment with you.
  • Secure luggage if it overhangs the back of the seat: if you stack your luggage higher than the backrest of the rear seat, you must secure your suitcases and bags. So they can not fly forward. This can be done, for example, with a luggage net. You can get this online or at a car accessory store.

Tip: stow large or bulky luggage in a roof box. There you are safe and won’t hurt anyone during the ride.

Important: if the weight of the car changes, so does its handling. For example, if your car is heavier, your braking distance will be longer, the vehicle will accelerate slower, and it will swerve more easily on curves.

2. Pack the right provisions

Avoid fatty foods and pack only light provisions a. It is not heavy in the stomach and you do not feel uncomfortable during the drive. Eat for the reason also rather several small meals as a great.

  • Vegetable snacks (sliced peppers, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cocktail tomatoes)
  • Fruit snacks (apple, banana, grapes)
  • Whole-grain rolls with salad, low-fat cheese or sausage and cucumber slices
  • Nuts to snack on

Also think about enough drinks! They should be sufficient even during long traffic jams.

Tip: to keep your provisions fresh even on hot summer days, it’s best to store them in a cooler bag at.

3. avoid time pressure

Plan the Generous driving time. This is especially true if you have a fixed arrival time, for example, if you have booked a ferry. This way, you won’t get stressed if you have to take a long break or get stuck in a traffic jam.

4. pack entertainment

long car rides can get boring. Especially as a passenger you can take entertainment with you into the car.

  • books (if you don’t get sick on the drive)
  • Puzzle books
  • audio books
  • Music
  • Games for your smartphone that you can play offline
  • games for adults (true or false, guessing movies or music titles)

But not only adults need entertainment. Children in particular want to be kept busy on long car journeys. You can find out how to do this in our guide "Car journeys with children: 6 tips".

5. take breaks& plan for overnight accommodations

If you have a very long route ahead of you, plan to stop where to stay overnight a. Find out in advance where there are hotels along the route. A spontaneous search can be stressful.

Even short rest stops at the rest area often offer little recreation. Check in advance whether there are any traffic jams on the route, for example sights or swimming lakes check. There you can recover from the journey extensively.

6. Use apps for support

  • "aroundme": the app shows gas stations, restaurants or bank branches in your neighborhood. This will save you a time-consuming and stressful search.
  • "ADAC fuel prices": gas stations directly on the highway are often more expensive. In the ADAC app, you can see whether there is a gas station near the highway, for example cheap gas station gives. In addition, the app will notify you of traffic jams on your route.
  • "flush": the app points you to the nearest public toilet. This is not only helpful while driving, but also during excursions.

7. Plan alternative routes

Plan before departure alternative routes. because many traffic jams can be predicted. Especially at rush hour or during road works you should expect a high traffic volume. The probability that you get lost or have to look for the way is then smaller.

8. Fill up before departure

fill up your car before departure full. It saves time, because you do not have to leave the highway, wait for a long time or look for a gas station. Gas stations off the highway are also usually cheaper.

9. Avoid rush hour

  • vacation start and end
  • weekends
  • Rush hour traffic
  • Events such as marathons in cities

When vacationing by car, also note the following vacation periods in other federal states and in your vacation country.

10. avoid traffic jams

  • use navigation system: it shows you traffic jams and alternative routes in time.
  • adjust the start of your trip: travel outside vacation periods or start during the week if possible. Good days to travel by car are tuesday and wednesday.
  • Plan your route: bypass current congestion junctions. You can find these under the ADAC traffic situation.

11. Correctly program the navigator

"the shortest route is also the fastest route": this is not always true. Often routes run with few kilometers off the highway and take much longer.

In your navigation system, you can also set if you want to use toll roads or want to avoid. If you don’t have time stress, you can save your vacation money in this way. But remember that you are not allowed to drive on the freeway and plan more time.

A navigation system helps avoid traffic jams. © gettyimages.Com/querbeet

Special features abroad

Other countries have different traffic rules that you should follow when traveling by car: in addition to clear differences such as the left-hand driving rule in Great Britain, there are many other guidelines. ADAC has summarized the most important differences in the countries of austria, belgium, france, italy, poland, switzerland and spain. The information ranges from the correct number of warning vests to the right of way at traffic circles.

toll and vignette

In some countries there are costs for road use. Here is distinguished between toll and vignette.

The toll is a fee for the use of certain traffic structures, mostly freeways. At joining the freeway do you have to buy a ticket from a vending machine?. You pay the ticket at a counter when leaving the freeway.

Costs: they depend on the number of kilometers and your vehicle class. For a car you pay on average about 0,07 euro toll per kilometer. High-maintenance routes, such as mountain highways with many tunnels and bridges, can be more expensive.

Notice: it can also special toll are required for bridges, tunnels or passes. This is the case in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Denmark and Sweden.

In countries with vignette you pay the toll for a specific time period. as a proof you get a sticker, which you have to stick on the inside of your windshield. With an electronic vignette, your license plate number is stored in the system. Depending on the country, you can buy weekly, monthly or annual vignettes.

European countries with tolls for freeways

  • bosnia-herzegovina
  • France
  • Greece
  • Great Britain
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Belarus

European countries with compulsory vignettes

  • Bulgaria
  • Austria
  • Romania
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary

Checklist: you must not forget

  • Vehicle registration document (registration confirmation part 1)
  • european accident report
  • documents for the trip abroad (identity card, passport, international driver’s license)
  • Spare key (best kept in the accommodation)
  • Telephone number of the breakdown service or the insurance company of your cover letter (caution: don’t forget the country code)!)
  • road map of the respective country (in case your smartphone has no reception or battery left)

Relax on vacation without a car breakdown

We hope, with our tips for your vacation with the car you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

To make sure that nothing gets in the way of a relaxing trip, we recommend that you have a vacation check carried out on your car before you go on vacation. Various car parts are checked so that you don’t have an unexpected breakdown and your car gets you safely to your vacation destination.

Your allianz direct team wishes you a relaxing vacation!

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