5 Things You Need to Know About Driving in Albania

5 Things You Need to Know About Driving in Albania
 
 Getting used to driving is of the most nerve-wracking aspects of traveling to a new country. This is true when visiting any new country, but there are some things tourists should be especially mindful of when traveling to Albania.

1. You’ll Need an IDP

An IDP, or International Driver’s Permit, is a driving permit issued to travelers that allows them to drive while traveling abroad.

Travelers will need to consult the local branch of their country’s automobile association before traveling in order to obtain their permit, as the Albanian Embassy is unable to grant or extend the duration of IDPs.

An IDP is valid for one year after issue. Travelers staying in Albania for longer than a year are no longer considered tourists and should apply for an Albanian license if they wish to continue driving.

2. Conditions May be Icy

Those visiting Albania during the winter months are advised that Northern and mountainous areas of the country are likely to experience snow. Drivers should be prepared for icy road conditions.

Tourists unused to driving in the ice should likely not attempt this for the first time in a foreign country and should instead get some practice in or utilize local transportation if possible.

If you are still determined to brave the icy conditions, be sure to drive slowly and cautiously. Black ice is nearly invisible to the naked eye, especially at night.

3. Road Conditions Are Improving, but Slowly

According to the Albanian U.S. Embassy website, the condition of many roads is not quite up to par with what many Americans are used to. Expect even major roads to be in a comparative state of disrepair, and take the necessary precautions.

Do not assume that driving on foreign roads will be the same as driving at home. Your rental vehicle may undergo more wear and tear than necessary if you insist on driving more recklessly than is advised.

The Embassy website does make a point to mention that road conditions are in fact improving, but they are improving slowly. Remember to remain vigilant while driving and avoid letting your guard down when it seems you’ve found a tract of road in better condition than others.

4. Don’t Rely On Your GPS

You likely won’t want to rely on your GPS when traveling much at all, as tempting as it can seem. Cell and data reception while traveling can be unreliable, and you won’t want to get stuck in a foreign country without knowing where to go.

Instead, be sure to pack a physical map and make a point of asking locals for more direct routes to get where you’re going.

Your GPS will likely recommend you take larger main highways to get from point A to point B, but these highways are likely to be more congested and may increase your driving anxiety.

Instead, there are often side streets much more preferable and direct for drivers in a foreign country.

5. Renting a Car is Advised Over All Other Means of Transportation

Although it may seem daunting to drive in a foreign country with conditions that may prove to be more challenging than those you are used to, it really is advised that tourists rent a car.

Bus systems are not reliable and are described as being largely uncomfortable. What’s more, buses are typically used for travel between major cities, and will likely not help tourists looking to get around town.

Vans usually make up for this lack of city-wide public transport. However, tourists are warned that many of these vans advertised for public transport are not actually sanctioned for such. Realistically, almost anyone could rent and van and pose as a legitimate public transportation vehicle.

Tourists are already vulnerable enough while traveling as it is, and it is not advised they risk their safety attempting to take unsanctioned public transport.

5 Things You Need to Know About Driving in Albania 5 Things You Need to Know About Driving in Albania Friday, November 15, 2019 Rating: 5
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