Tips for Traveling Around Spain by Car

If you really want to immerse yourself in a travel experience, there's no better way than to tour a foreign country by car. While you could certainly see the landscape in minute detail from the air or zip by in a train, you won't get the true feel of a country in just a few hours of travel. By taking a road trip you can find tiny towns that are nowhere near train tracks or flight paths. You can stop and talk to people, discover hidden gems for shopping and food, and slowly form a relationship with your surroundings. There's a lot to love about car travel if you have the time to spend and an adventurous spirit. But there is an amount of planning involved, even if your plan is to wing it. So here are just a few tips to ensure you have a great time when to travel around Spain by car.

Travel, Spain, Travel Tips, Travel 101, Car Travel

1. Get your license and insurance in order. You may not realize that many countries do not accept foreign driver's licenses as valid within their borders. Spain is one such country. However, you can easily apply for an international license through either the State Department or AAA (the latter actually provides these permits). It won't cost much (about 15 bucks) but it could take up to six months to process. So if you plan to drive you'd better get on the ball. And don't forget to speak to your automobile insurance provider to find out what you need to do to ensure you're covered during your time in Spain.

2. Opt for a fuel-efficient vehicle. In case you hadn't heard, fuel prices in Europe are quite high at the moment. Okay, they're high pretty much everywhere, but even urban Americans may be shocked by the prices they see at the pump. Hey, there's a reason Smart cars are so popular there! A long road trip may demand that you
forego electric vehicles, but that doesn't mean you can't at least seek fuel-efficient options. And if there are just one or two people in your party you shouldn't suffer from any discomfort along the way.

3. Bring a map. Navigational systems are a real boon when you're traveling in unfamiliar locales, but you really need to bring a backup plan if you're going to spend a lot of time on the road. Batteries die, service goes out, and other setbacks can occur. So adopt the "better safe than sorry" mentality and tuck a paper map in your backpack (P.S. AAA members can get them for free!).

4. Bring a basic tool kit. If you're taking an extended road trip it's always a good idea to keep some basic tools on hand just in case you have to change a tire or pump the brake bleeder to address spongy stopping power. Most people can handle these simple car troubles in a pinch, and if you find yourself miles from the nearest town or short on cash, you may need to. In such cases you'll be glad to have the necessary tools on hand.

5. Pack an emergency kit. This is a must if you're going to travel through sparsely inhabited areas. Your kit should include non-perishable food, water, and basic medical supplies. You might also want to throw in some batteries, a flashlight, matches, flares, a compass, a small utility tool (Leatherman), and a thermal blanket just in case you have to camp for the night or hike to find help.

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