Travel Tips

While researching and preparing for Around The World 1999 we spent lots of time searching for advice and information. Subjects include tips on roads, driving, preparations, vehicle shipping, carnets, gear, fuel, staying healthy, web site hosting, travelogue writing. And such so I have put together these links. We are also here to help you with advice for your travels so contact us.

Cost Breakdown

Driving in a Foreign Country

Gear Selection

Developing a Travelogue web site

Connecting To The Internet While On The Road

Health and Medicine

Vehicle Maintenance

Book References

Before You Go

A Review of the Tour Companies We Hired

Cost breakdown

How much did it cost, you ask? That's a good question. It's a bit difficult to assess at this point but eventually we will provide an itemized list so the next traveler can run the loop cheaper.

 

Driving in a Foreign Country

No matter where you are, always always remember to drive defensively. For example, when youıre traveling through an intersection, check it out as you approach. Looking to the left and right as you approach might allow you to spot a vehicle, ignorantly blazing through the intersection, about to T-bone your vehicle. And remember the old advice from drivers training; Cover your horn. Be ready to go with the horn at any moment. If youıre vehicle has a wimpy sounding horn, replace it with something loud!

It takes concentration
Itıs crazy out there but if youıre like me and Todd youıll actually miss the craziness when you leave. The amount of weaving in and out of traffic becomes almost fluid. Cutting in front of someone to merge into traffic is generally accepted but be polite about it. And depending on where you are, driving on the shoulder (if one exists) might even be OK. One nice thing, unlike driving in the US and Europe, people donıt get mad unless you do something stupid. Slow, fluid movements are they key. Jerky, fast lane changes are not advised. No need to be offensive either. Defensive driving is the key. Accept that your vehicleıs personal space will frequently be invaded. That is, the space around your vehicle is available for anyone to inhabit. Sometimes the distance can be measured in centimeters so Iıll reiterate, no jerky movements. But donıt be in a rush to "do as the Romans." Remember, you are sharing the road with skilled experts whose instincts have developed over many years of offensive driving. When describing the truck drivers in Pakistan, Don Jones said, " They will pull out in front of you and run you off of the road." Then he put it in terms I could understand and said, "They are every bit as cunning as a Software Engineer." It took an incredible amount of concentration to drive in China, Nepal, India, and Pakistan. There are so many things on the road to avoid, just listen to the roads described in our October 21st journal report .

At first
Weıre not talking Interstate 80 where you set cruise control at 75

Most travel books contain driving tips. They vary from country to country. The Lonely Planet book for Pakistan had a section entitled, Driving in Pakistan that explained some invaluable norms of travel for this country. And speaking of norms of travel, realize that differently places have different conventions and gestures that you might want to follow. For example, in Mexico, a vehicle wishing to pass another will signal a left turn. The vehicle being passed then signals to the left if the road ahead is clear for the passing vehicle or to the right if it is not clear. Hereıs a really strange convention. Oncoming vehicles (trucks mostly) will signal a left-turn when they think it is safe for you to pass. Use your best judgment when trusting such conventions and donıt try them out unless driving conditions and weather are safe. I have been passed by a semi-truck at night, rounding an uphill corner, in the rain so donıt presume other drivers are good ones. Drive defensively.

When you put a vehicle in revers, try to back up only as far as you have to. Youıd be surprised how many accidents occur where a vehicle backs up into another vehicle (usually parked) or a pedestrian. It makes sense really. After all, we spend most of our time behind the wheel going forward. We donıtı drive backward very often and when we do, everything is backwards. This is unusual advice I know but a lot of fender benders occur when one vehicle is backing in reverse.

 

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