Driving in a foreign country isn't without its fair share of challenges. From having to manoeuvre on the opposite side of the road to understanding new rules and regulations, it can feel overwhelming and daunting. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can feel more at ease while driving abroad! Our 10 tips below will help you handle any road conditions without fail. 

1. Get Acquainted With Your Car 

As you'll undoubtedly need to drive on the “wrong” side of the road and get used to doing things opposite of your normal routine, getting used to your rental car is the best way to get started. Take some time to understand how the different auxiliary controls work on your new vehicle and practice turn signals as well as driving on the “wrong” side. You'll feel more confident when you get some practice in and familiarize yourself with your rental car. 

2. Rent An Automatic Transmission Car 

If you find that you get anxious about driving, consider renting an automatic transmission car. They're not only easier to drive, but they require virtually no input from you, the driver! Since you don't have to fiddle around with changing gears or the clutch, you have more freedom of movement and your legs will feel more rested. 

If you're not used to operating the wheel of an automatic vehicle, consider renting one at home before going abroad. Taking a rental car for a test drive on your home turf will make it easier for you to learn the ropes in your own country first. Just don’t forget to take out direct car excess insurance. 

3. Read Up On Driving Laws 

When travelling abroad, it's important to make yourself aware of the different laws and regulations pertaining to driving. This includes understanding the different speed limits, knowing which side of the road to drive on, the types of documentation necessary, and how much alcohol is okay to drink. Reading up on the laws before you go will ensure that you feel more confident in a foreign country. 

4. Drive In The Slow Lane 

Until you feel confident enough to drive the required speed limit on foreign soil, consider staying in the slow lane. Doing so yields the added benefit of providing a relaxing environment where you can get more accustomed to driving abroad. Just make sure to stay in the slow lane until you have plenty of confidence. When switching lanes, wait for a large gap before switching as it eliminates anxiety and pressure. 

5. Ignore Road Rage 

Some countries are notorious for having aggressive drivers and road rage is a common scare tactic employed by many. It's easy to feel flustered and anxious when seemingly angry drivers are honking and waving their fists. It may seem tempting to answer back or somehow defend yourself, but try to stay in your own zone and ignore angry drivers. It's crucial that you stay focused on your driving at all times.

6. Have A GPS Handy 

It's important to have GPS on hand when driving on foreign roads. You can choose to request a GPS from your car rental company, or simply make sure that your smartphone comes with an app you can connect to. A recent survey has revealed that up to 29% of tourists fear getting lost, which is why having data for Google helps you to navigate your way around. 

7. Don't Overbook Your Itinerary 

When you're first learning the ropes of driving abroad, don't get too ambitious with your itinerary. Avoid booking yourself for too many excursions as doing so will only add to your anxiety levels. Try planning shorter drives until you feel more confident in your abilities on the road! It's also advisable to get acquainted with driving in more low-key areas away from bustling cities as it helps you feel more relaxed. 

Try exploring a larger nearby town or the suburbs instead of an urban setting. What's more, you can also find public transportation in most areas if you prefer to stay off the road altogether. 

8. Always Stay Alert 

Never get behind the wheel when you're tired. This may seem like common sense, but driving when you're drained can especially make things difficult for you in a foreign place. Though it may make sense financially to rent a car straight from the airport, consider hiring a taxi instead. It's stressful and exhausting to drive to your accommodations straight from the airport, especially when you have no prior driving experience in the country. Of course, if you prefer to drive, take a quick nap or enjoy a cup of coffee before setting off on your trip! 

9. Go Small! 

By nature, it's easier to park and manoeuvre smaller vehicles. Make it a point to choose an economy or mini vehicle for your first rental abroad. This helps you become a better and safer driver while also keeping costs fairly low. Consider the amount of space your luggage requires and simply go from there! 

10. Book An Advanced Driving Course 

Advanced Driving Courses are great at helping you learn the skills necessary to get more comfortable with foreign roads. You will feel confident while honing your defensive driving skills. And be ready to tackle any country that you hire a car in!