expat network

Road Tripping Around Europe As An Expat: The Essentials

road tripping


Road tripping anywhere at all, especially if they are very long ones can be either interesting or very boring. It actually depends on how you plan it. Most of what may come up as problems during the journey can be planned against. You can also prepare yourself to ensure you get the best out of the journey.




As an expat doing road trips around European cities, you may not know how things work on the continent, or maybe you have a faint knowledge. You will have to know about some essentials to make your journey a successful one and one you will want to do again. Here are some essentials for any expat road-tripping around Europe.


Go with a good mobile phone

Having a good mobile phone is necessary when doing a road trip as an expat. You also need to have good call and internet tariff plans. For example, if you are visiting the United Kingdom, you will need to get a sim card that you can use in the U.K. but since you won’t be staying there for long, it will be good if you got one of the sim-only deals in the UK. This is because it would be more economical to pay for your services as you go. A good mobile phone with call and internet networks is very essential because you can use it to make inquiries if you run into any problem or need guidance during the road trip.


Avoid ZTL zones by all means

You may not have come by one before but it is good to know about it so that you do not drive into it ignorantly. ZTL stands for Zona a Traffico Limitato. It is a limited traffic zone mostly near a historic town center. If you so much as drive through it or worse even, park within the zone, you will be hit with steep fines. Sometimes, your car could get towed in addition to the fines. You may see some cars driving through but it would mean that they have special permits to do so. Pretty much all historic cities that are worth seeing in Italy for example have these zones. There are usually parking spaces in the city limits for you to leave your car and then walk the rest of the distance. If you are passing through, then boycott the area.


Rent an affordable car and obtain an international driving license

There are usually many rental services at the airport that you can choose from. Let your budget guide your decision. Driving a rented car around will give you the freedom you need especially if you are road tripping within England. However car rentals in some countries may require you to have an international driving license. Find out if the car will be available before you set out. A compact car is advisable if you intend to drive in cities and the countryside.


Get a comfort kit

If it is your first time in Europe as an expat, then you want to know how the weather is around where you will be road-tripping. Make this inquiry before you set out so you can know exactly what you should pack in preparation. You may not need everything you will be packing but it is better that you have no need for an item you took along than needing an item and discovering that you didn’t come with it. Go with things like a flashlight, a few large water bottles, your identity card,  a few rolls of toilet paper, winter jackets if during the winter, a travel mug, a travel dictionary, hand sanitizers, a can of insect spray, and travel medications especially if you suffer from motion-sickness.


Choose a good time to travel

Choosing the best time to do your road trip in Europe as an expat is very important. For example, if you were road tripping through Italy, you need to consider how the weather could look and also how busy the roads would be. School breaks which span between June and August will ensure that there is a crowd. It is also on the hottest days that things can get busiest.  So planning your trip during the spring and autumn can be th ebest time to travel.


Final word

An expat can enjoy his or her road trips around Europe just like every other person who has taken such journeys. There has to be detailed planning though to make the journey a smooth one. Whether you are renting a car, taking a bus, or getting on a train, you still need to prepare. Things to take along, measures to be taken, and all other essentials for the journey need to be seen to. Failure to take care of these essentials could make the road trip very discomforting, energy-wasting, and most of all, costly.