Just pack your bags, set your navigation system and hit the road – for many people, a summer vacation by car is the ideal way to travel. No waiting times at the airport, no expensive train bookings and a lot of flexibility on the road: these are just some of the advantages of traveling by car. A survey conducted by vergolst in cooperation with the market research institute statista shows that 63% of car owners plan to travel by car in the summer of 2020. Here’s what vacationers should consider when planning their vacation and when they’re on the road.
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Summer vacation 2020: 63 percent will travel by car
Summer vacations by car will enjoy the greatest popularity in 2020, as a survey by vergolst in cooperation with the market research institute statista shows. According to the survey, almost two-thirds of german car owners want to go on vacation by car, 46 percent within germany. Whether it’s several weekend getaways (59 percent) or longer vacation trips (47 percent), 39 percent of respondents use videos or audio games to entertain themselves on the road. Almost as many sweeten their trip with food and drink. Just over a third play guessing games together as a distraction. In this guide, you’ll find more activity ideas and helpful tips on how to prepare for your summer vacation by car.
Transport and luggage: safety is a priority
Especially when traveling with children, a lot of luggage comes together. Keep the following rules in mind:
- Before traveling, it is important to make sure that suitcases and bags are securely fastened safely and securely stowed are. According to § 22 stvo, luggage must not slip even during emergency braking. Especially when the trunk is open to the inside, there is a risk that parts will be thrown forward. This often happens when braking abruptly at the end of a traffic jam. In a head-on collision at 50 km/h, such unsecured pieces fly forward with 30 to 50 times their own weight – the risk of injury is extremely high. Not securing your luggage properly can endanger your life and can also result in fines.
- Clear view to the rear for the driver: the suitcases may only be stacked high enough in the back of the trunk so that you, as the driver, can clearly see everything that is happening on the road behind you in the rearview mirror. Move heavy items of luggage to the bottom of the luggage compartment, lighter bags, blankets, cuddly toys and more can go on it. Provisions for the journey should also be stored on top, so that they are quickly at hand when the little hunger comes. The same applies to the travel pharmacy: travel sickness remedies and plasters must be readily available in case of emergency.
- Do you take a surfboard or a tent in a roof box or do you want to store your bicycles on the car roof transport? Then make sure that the cargo is properly secured with a suitable carrier system is secured. If this is not the case, you are not only endangering yourself, but also other road users.
- Any cargo with excess length may only protrude a maximum of three meters over the rear of your vehicle and only for journeys of a maximum of 100 kilometers. For longer trips, only 1.5 meters of excess length is allowed. it must be marked in any case – best with a red flag. If you are driving in the dark, you must wear a red flag instead of a red one warning light attach to indicate the excess length.
- Travel with your four-legged friends? There are no legal regulations for the transport of animals, for example in the form of compulsory seat belt use. In fact, a dog is legally considered to be a load that must be adequately secured – in case of violation, fines may be imposed. The right way to transport your furry nose is individual in each case. Some dogs feel well protected in a transport box, others need more freedom of movement in the trunk. However, you should separate it with a net or a grid. Another possibility are seat belts for dogs, which prevent him from being thrown forward. In combination with a seat belt, you can also find special crash-tested safety seats in the trade. Test which solution makes your dog feel most comfortable on longer journeys.
- To ensure safe driving at all times, even with a significantly higher weight, you should have your tire pressure checked before starting your journey. Because this could be too low for the increased weight load.
Have your tire pressure checked
If the tire pressure of your tires is too low for the weight load with luggage, some problems will arise when traveling by car. Rolling resistance increases, resulting in an increase in fuel consumption of up to ten percent. This is good for your budget and the environment.
In addition, the driving safety is reduced, because the braking distances are longer. the rubber of the tire has more contact with the asphalt, which increases rolling friction. This, coupled with very high summer air and ground temperatures, can cause the tire to overheat. Damage to the rubber can be the consequences.
So to be on the safe side, simply take your car to the workshop for a vehicle check before you start your journey. In many cases, the air pressure in the tires is increased a little as a precaution.
The correct tire pressure is important for all types of tires – whether summer tires, all-season tires or winter tires. However, do not drive with winter tires in summer. If you want to take your caravan with you, remember to check the tire pressure of the caravan and adjust it if necessary.
Plan your route – start well prepared with these tips
Before traveling by car, it is advisable to roughly divide up the route and to determine the different destinations determine. Make sure you don’t plan the stages too long, because you will get tired more quickly in the car, especially in midsummer. Plan enough breaks, take provisions with you and drink enough water on the way.
If possible, it is better to allow one or two extra days for the vacation, otherwise driving safety is no longer guaranteed. The decisive factor is also whether several people can take turns at the wheel – in this case, it is often even possible to drive at night.
If it goes to spain to the costa brava? If you want to go on vacation with children by the sea, it is best to choose an approach route along the coast – there is a lot to see there and you can plan numerous breaks. Most motorists nowadays have a navigation device. But it doesn’t hurt to be well-equipped in analog terms: for example, if you still have a map with road network from earlier, take it with you in any case. Another option is to research the route on the internet beforehand and print out the itinerary. In the event of a technical defect, play it safe and get to your destination for the day.
Travel insurance: all-round protection on vacation by car
If you are going on vacation by car, you should make sure you have the right insurance cover in advance. These policies are important:
Travel cancellation insurance: this insurance is available for singles, couples or families, depending on the provider. It usually takes effect if you – or, depending on the policy, a co-insured person – are unable to travel by car because you have suddenly fallen seriously ill or had an accident. Often, for example, the complete costs for the booked hotel are reimbursed. Some insurers also cover you if you are unable to travel because you are starting work after a long period of unemployment. Depending on the chosen tariff, the travel costs are partially or even 100 percent reimbursed.
travel health insurancethis insurance is worthwhile in any case. For singles, policies usually cost no more than ten euros a year, for families around 20 euros. You can even take out travel health insurance just one day before your trip. your statutory health insurance will generally cover part of the treatment costs within the EU as well as in liechtenstein, norway and iceland. In addition, there are some countries with which the Federal Republic of Germany has concluded a social insurance agreement. but the other part of the costs you may have to pay yourself. Depending on the type of treatment, this can be very expensive – especially if you have to be transported home from abroad by air ambulance. These costs are never covered by the statutory health insurance fund. In all of these cases, travel health insurance takes effect.
car insurance: not in every country the liability insurance covers damages. If your vacation takes you to an EU country or to a country within the geographical borders of Europe and you cause an accident there, your motor vehicle liability insurance will cover the damage up to the contractually agreed amount of coverage. in addition, insurance coverage applies if your destination is listed on the international insurance card for motor traffic – also known as the green card. You will receive the green insurance card free of charge from your insurance company. If your country of choice is crossed out on the green map? If so, you should have your insurance coverage extended in good time before you start your car vacation.
Foreign damage cover: to be on the safe side in the event of an accident caused by someone else, extra foreign damage protection is an option. Many insurers offer this as an additional option for vacationing by car. Depending on the provider, complete claims settlement within europe and all member states of the european union is often covered. If you are going on vacation with a rental car, it is advisable to book the so-called mallorca policy as an additional module. If your rental car is involved in an accident abroad and the local liability insurance does not pay the full amount, the mallorca clause will apply and you will not be stuck with the additional costs.
Repair cost insurance: with the "OPTIMAL" repair cost insurance in cooperation with REKOGA AG, we offer an insurance package that provides you with financial protection in the event of a wide range of damage and defects to your vehicle. For the vacation season it is good to know: the insurance cover does not only apply to germany: if the vehicle is temporarily outside germany, you are covered throughout europe.
Tolls: pay attention to tolls when vacationing by car
In germany, cars do not have to pay tolls on highways or in tunnels for the time being – but in some european countries this has already been the case for decades. The reason: to relieve congested stretches and cover maintenance costs. In addition, the environment is protected in the long term, because many people decide against driving the route by car and switch to public transport instead.
But what is the difference between tolls and vignettes?? The toll refers to the distance driven on a specific highway or expressway, often including a tunnel. A vignette, on the other hand, does not refer to the distance driven, but represents a temporary permit for road use. The vignette can be purchased for a specific period, such as two months or a whole year.
Examples of tolls and vignettes in europe
- Vacations in bordeaux on the atlantic coast or in spain, what could be better?? The way leads over the french highways – and for them costs are due. National roads and departmental roads are free of charge. city tolls are charged in the cities of paris, lille, lyon, strasbourg and grenoble. Tolls in france are calculated according to the distance driven. payment machines are located at individual toll stations.
- If you want to enjoy la dolce vita and go on vacation to italy by car, you have to factor in the toll charges. italy charges tolls on most highways, only the expressways are free to drive on. Several cross-border tunnels are subject to tolls, as are the restricted traffic zones in the city centers of palermo, bologna and milan.
- You want to drive into the mountains? note that toll and vignette are due in austria. Only certain sections of some freeways are free of vignettes. Tolls are charged for mountain passes and tunnels in austria.
Family vacation with the car: games against boredom
These anti-boredom games provide plenty of entertainment and feel like they shorten the car ride:
- I see what you don’t see
- Guessing license plate abbreviations
- I pack my suitcase ..
- Forming word chains: the next word must begin with the final letter of the last word
At the rest area, all passengers should stretch and move around thoroughly, especially the smaller ones. Jump rope, play catch, hide and seek – a quarter of an hour of exercise makes the next few hours of driving much more bearable.
Car breakdown – what to do?
A breakdown abroad can happen quickly. All the more annoying when this leads to delays in the travel process. If you have a car breakdown, here’s what to do:
- If possible, the car should be parked on a safe place parking, at best in a lay-by, in the parking lot, at the edge of the road or on the hard shoulder.
- Place the engine from.
- If the incident occurs at dusk or at night, be sure to turn off the parking light so that you can be easily seen by other motorists.
- Particularly on the highway, it is important that all passengers pass the rely on vehicle – on the side facing away from the road, i.e. the passenger side.
- Do not stop at the car, but look for a safe place to wait, for example behind the crash barrier.
- Adjust warning triangle at. This is just as much part of the basic equipment in the car as a first aid kit. According to § 53a stvzo the carrying of the warning triangle is even obligatory. First pull in your warning vest at. To set it up, walk towards the traffic and place the triangle at least 150 meters in front of your vehicle on freeways – this distance corresponds to four delineator posts. In city traffic, the distance is approx. 50 meters, on country roads approx. 100 meters. Take local conditions into account, for example curves that are difficult to see.
- If your vehicle, parts of your vehicle, or your cargo are on the roadway and interfering with the flow of traffic, never walk on the road yourself! Call the police call 110 to secure the scene and have the objects recovered professionally.
- Walk as far as possible away from the flow of traffic back to the vehicle and call a breakdown service. If you don’t have a cell phone, follow the black arrows on the delineator to the next one emergency call post.
- Anyone who is a member of an car club is the one who has the easiest time in such a case. Many even cover the costs of an overnight stay at the breakdown location or for a rental car.
- Don’t forget to repack the warning triangle before leaving the scene of the breakdown.
- Ibefore you start your vacation, find out on the internet what the exact rules and procedures are in the event of a breakdown in your destination country. So you’re on the safe side and don’t endanger yourself or local road users.
Use air conditioning properly and have it serviced beforehand
Air conditioning in the car is worth its weight in gold in the summer heat. But if the air conditioning is broken and only hot air blows in the middle of the highway in france in july, it will be unpleasant. To ensure that the system functions smoothly when it is needed, it must be serviced regularly. It’s best to have your air conditioning serviced regularly by a specialist before unpleasant odors develop or the system no longer cools properly when you’re away from home in warm climes. a good time for a climate check by professionals is in the spring, when you change from winter tires to summer tires. At the same time, have the air conditioning system checked and refilled if necessary.
It is also important to have the pollen filter in the ventilation system changed regularly. Moisture and dirt collect in the filter – the ideal breeding ground for mold in the filter. On the safe side you are with an air conditioning maintenance with disinfection.
When using the car, make sure the air conditioning is not set too cold. Scorching heat on the outside tempts you to cool down drastically inside the car. But this can cause damage to health. Tension in the neck and shoulders and colds are not uncommon. In bad cases, the temperature difference is so high that the body can no longer withstand the strain – a circulatory collapse is imminent. make sure the difference between the outside and inside temperatures is no more than six degrees celsius.
Vacation check on the car: what is in store?
Before you start your summer vacation by car, you should take the vehicle to your nearby vergolst workshop for a car check-up. It is best to do this well in advance of your trip, because if the car vacation check reveals that a repair or car service is necessary, you will need a few days’ leeway. Carry out a comprehensive tire check, for example. The lighting, a brake test, glazing and safety vest are also checked. It is best to book an air conditioning service with disinfection at the same time.
Among other things, a vacation check on your car will help you avoid costs that might otherwise be incurred in the event of a breakdown or accident abroad. The service is also designed to ensure your driving safety – so that you can enjoy your well-deserved vacation right from the start! contact your vergolst workshop or one of our partners in your area and make an appointment right away.
Read also our guide to summer tires and our survey on car trips in summer 2020 in cooperation with the market research institute statista.