Every person has at least one memorable trip they will never forget. Whether it’s visiting Disney World for the first time, flying to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower or going on a cruise to the Bahamas. These trips are oftentimes considered, “one of the best days of my life.”
Our goal is to allow you to continue to make amazing memories. We want you to travel stress free and not have to worry about anything. That is why our objective with this guide is to provide you with the necessary documentation and knowledge you need when traveling around the world.
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You Need a Passport and/or Visa
Before packing your favorite shirt, it’s important to make sure you have a passport. You cannot enter another country by land, sea or air without travel identification. On top of the passport, some countries also require for you to have a visa. For example, if you’re traveling to India, you need to have a passport and tourist visa. If you try to visit India without these items, you will not be able to enter the country.
In addition, many countries require your travel documentation to be valid for three-to-six months beyond your departure. This makes it important for you to check the date of your passport and what the countries you’re traveling to require. You don’t want to end up being stuck at the border of Vietnam or China just because your passport isn’t valid for the next six months.
Driving Rules in Other Countries
“Driving a car means using your feet to accelerate and break and your hands to steer, right?” While you are correct, you need to understand that there’s a lot more to driving than just that. Many countries have driving rules that you may have never heard of, but are extremely important to follow. For example, in Scandinavia it’s illegal to drive without headlights, even in the daylight. In the U.S. and many other countries, driving with your headlights on during the day isn’t a law. Instead, many people drive with their headlights off because you don’t need additional lighting to see during the day.
Travelers should also be aware of which side of the road they need drive on. It may seemodd, but not all countries drive on the same side of the road. For example, in South America and Canada drivers drive on the right side. In England and Australia, however, drivers use the left side of the road. Also, driving on the left side of the road means that the driver’s seat is on the right side of the vehicle and vice-versa.
Driving on the side you are not accustomed to will require for you to adjust. While this isn’t something you can practice, you can read about all the different traffic rules, traffic lights and traffic signals the country you are planning to visit has.
You Need an International Driver’s Permit
Many people are unaware of this, but an International Driving Permit (IDP) is what will allow you to legally operate a motor vehicle in many different countries. It’s important that you understand that an IDP does not replace your driver’s license. Instead, it acts as a language translation of your license. You need both forms of documentation with you at all times in order to drive. For example, if you live in the U.S. and are looking to travel to Thailand, you need a driver’s license and IDP.
In order to obtain an IDP, you will need to provide a valid driving credential. If your license is expired, you will need to apply for a new license before registering for an IDP.
It is also important to be aware that not all countries will let you drive with an IDP and/or valid license from your country. For example, China does not allow for you to operate a vehicle without a Chinese license. However, if you live in Hong-Kong or Belgium and provide China with your license and IDP, you will automatically be able to receive Chinese driving credentials.
If you do not live in Hong-Kong or Belgium, you will most likely be required to take a computerized theory test. China offers these tests in multiple languages, so you won’t need to learn a different language in order to take the exam. If you pass the computerized test and provide your IDP and driver’s license, you may be able to receive a Chinese license. However, depending on the country you live in, you may need to take an actual driving test. And once you pass the driving, you will be able to legally drive in China.