Before you decide to embark on a road trip, it’s a good idea to consider the potential difficulties associated with travelling with a vehicle. In particular, if you plan to pass through several cities, you might have problems finding parking, and the costs associated with this may also build up quickly – especially on unfamiliar territory. Here are a few tips to help take the stress away from road tripping in big urban cities.
Although driving in new places can be stressful, the key is to be prepared. The more you know about your destination the less likely it is you will find yourself lost, unable to find a place to park or incurring a fine for misinterpreting the local rules. Read up on each country’s highway code, make sure you know where you’re going and stay level headed when things don’t go quite to plan.
Thanks to recent advances in technology, anybody can find a car hire agency using an app or website. These allow you to compare car hire services to find the most affordable and flexible options as per your requirement. Especially when there’s a group of you, it can be much cheaper and easier than booking multiple seats for each leg of the journey.
PLAN PARKING IN ADVANCE
The worst thing you can do is head into a busy metropolis with no idea of your final destination. Research parking spaces and book ahead if possible. Have a plan B, and perhaps a plan C, in case your first choice is full. Make a note of the postal codes of your chosen spots so you can programme them into your sat nav. Especially if you plan on sightseeing for a long period of time, it can really pay to research the options for long-stay discounts.
PARK OUTSIDE THE CITY CENTRE
To help reduce their carbon footprint, many cities have put in place a park and ride scheme. Parking with one of these is usually cheaper and sometimes free. It saves you having to navigate the busy city centre, avoids hefty congestion charges and gives you a more relaxed experience.
LOOK FOR FREE PARKING
Online forums are a great place to look for free parking. Most cities will have streets where you can park for free or certain times of day when charges don’t apply. Council websites are another great place to look for this kind of information.
VALUE YOUR TIME
When you’re putting in the time planning where to park, it’s also a good idea to do some research on what else you intend to do at your destination. You can never overestimate the time you’ll need, so factor in contingency for queues and delays and get a parking ticket for longer than you think you’ll need. You can always find an extra attraction to add to your itinerary, or stop off for a relaxing coffee, but rushing back to the car park to add another hour to your ticket is never fun.
USE APPS AND WEBSITES
There are plenty of apps and websites that can help take the stress out of your road trip. These enable you to plan and save routes, reserve and prepay for parking and check public transport options in the city centre. Make sure they’re saved to your device and check that you have sufficient data to access them. They’ll make your trip far easier.