Keytours Vacations Blog

6 Things to Know Before Taking a Self-Drive Vacation

Posted by Sveta Pyntikova on Mar 13, 2020 10:03:00 AM

Leave the crowds and complications behind, take the wheel, and prepare for a uniquely unforgettable adventure. Whether your dream is drive a convertible along the sun-kissed coastlines of Portugal, explore the remote beauty of Iceland in utter privacy, or sit back and relax as your private driver guides you through the colorful oases of Morocco, Keytours Vacations can make it happen.

Read on for tips on taking a self-drive vacation. For more Private Journey ideas, check us out at

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1. Self drive vacations are perfect for flexibility and customization

With a self-drive vacation, your schedule is completely up to you. You can follow the route in the itinerary precisely if you'd like, going straight from city to city to maximize your time in those places while still enjoying the incredible views along the way. Or, you can take the scenic route, traveling the back roads and visiting smaller towns that are off the regular route. Feel like stretching your legs? Pick up some snacks and stop for a picnic at a local park or a stroll around the village square. The possibilities are endless! 

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2. Prepare before you go

It's a good idea to get an International Driving Permit before you go. This is essentially a translation of your US driver's license into multiple foreign languages and verifies that you're a licensed driver in your home country. It also serves as a legal form of identification in more than 175 countries. Not all countries legally require one, but many do, so it makes sense to have one just in case (and the fee is nominal). 

Other things you may want to do to prepare include reading up on the traffic rules in your destination country, learning the words for common road signs like "left", "right", and "stop" in the language of your destination, getting a paper map of the area (again, just in case!), and asking your travel agent if there are any specific things about driving in that country that you should know about. 


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3. Venture off the beaten path

The best part of a self-drive vacation is that you never know what you'll discover. Wander into a cozy pub in that little village and make some new friends. Maybe you'll stumble across a local festival and get to participate in a special holiday you didn't even know existed.  "One of my favorite travel memories is accidentally discovering a wine festival in a tiny French village," says Mary, our marketing manager. "We got to wander around, tasting incredible wines, fresh local cheese, and more, and we had never even heard of this town an hour earlier. Hardly anyone spoke English, but everyone was friendly and we all spoke the universal language of food!" 


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4. Stay stocked up

Not all self-drive vacations include extras like GPS, gas, tolls, and charging cords. Make sure to budget for or pack anything you might need in your car (you can often rent a GPS instead of bringing or buying one). Don't forget to include snacks, drinks, and a trash bag to maximize your time and comfort on the road. It's also a good idea to have some emergency supplies like a first aid kit and jumper cables, as well as car insurance! 


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5. Enjoy greater comfort and privacy

With self-drive vacations, you'll save time and enjoy convenience when you don't have to worry about large crowds, wait in lines or for transfers, or follow a strict schedule. Stretch out on your seat, store everything you need within reach, put your feet up on the dashboard...the possibilities are endless! And the private car is all yours, so turn your favorite playlist up, blast the A/C, and snack as loudly as you want without worrying about the other tourists. This is the way travel was meant to be: fun, flexible, and fuss-free.


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6. You don't have to drive!

Feel a little overwhelmed at the idea of driving in another country, but still want the flexibility and freedom that a self-drive vacation offers? We've got the solution. Our private driver option lets you enjoy all the benefits of a self-drive vacation without you actually having to do the driving. As a bonus, your knowledgable driver can even give you tips and advice on don't-miss local spots.  



For more Private Journey tips and ideas, check us out at!


Topics: family travel, kids, family, self drive, private journeys, private driver, travel tips

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With decades of expertise in tailor-made independent trips, small group journeys, and customized group travel, Keytours Vacations’ seasoned travel consultants create unforgettable travel experiences designed to perfectly fit each client’s unique interests and needs. Arranging a private behind-the-scenes tour, recommending hidden gems, or finding the perfect hotel: we’re here with expert support from beginning to end. 

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