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Driving Across Borders

"Take time to adjust when driving abroad." —Doreen Loofburrow, AAA Travel

marker at Canada-U.S. international border, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Paul Souders/Worldfoto
Photo caption
When driving in Canada, you should ensure that your domestic insurance remains valid.

GET THE RIGHT INSURANCE "Your car insurance does not always follow you into the country you're visiting," notes Loofburrow. If you're driving in Canada, for example, you'll want to verify that your domestic insurance is valid in our northern neighbor's territory. If it is, you'll need to carry a proof-of- insurance card. Check with your AAA travel or insurance professional to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork.

TAKE IT SLOW Crossing a border means entering another culture in multiple senses. "Be mentally prepared," Loofburrow advises. "Driving abroad is not like driving in the United States. I once had a client spend 30 minutes trying to get out of a Paris roundabout." Her advice is to ease into your trip and not pack too much into day one: "Give yourself time to get used to things," she says.

KNOW THE SIGNS Since each country has different rules, Loofburrow recommends studying up on traffic signs and local laws online before hitting the road. She also advises getting an international driver's permit, which is required in many countries and available through AAA.

This article was first published in November 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.