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by Rob Smith,Curley Bowman

DRIVING IN EUROPE 101 is not another tourist book, but a 'how to' book featuring traffic laws and road sign translations for 22 European countries. It provides clear explanations of how easily a fledgling American tourist may drive the streets of Europe, get the best deals on rental cars, airfare, and find some of the most romantic destinations on the continent. All too often American tourists in airport restaurants and lounges say, "I'd love to drive across Europe at my own pace, but." DRIVING IN EUROPE 101 was written for the person who spoke those words openly or reticently. Very easy to read with a smattering of humor, this book is structured in three sections. It begins with an honest evaluation of whether this type of venture is suited for the reader. From the opening quote, "It's the journey, not the destination that is important" the reader compares many aspects of public transportation and group travel to going solo in a car. See a lonely little road going into the mountains that you would like to explore? In a train - no chance. See a charming sidewalk café (in a building built 500 years ago where you would like to eat or simply get a cup of coffee? With a group - take a vote. As the reader navigates the pages he discovers strategies to plan that driving vacation through Europe. Chapter 2 gets to the heart of the topic, "What is so different about Driving In Europe." Here the book addresses the common differences between driving in the U.S. and Europe such as rights of way, horns and flashing lights, turning right on red, and the all-time best/worst - roundabouts. Consider this to be your introduction, Roundabout 101.In the United Kingdom, Ireland or anywhere else they drive on the wrong (oops) left side of the road. This information is backed up with more information describing how to get the best air fair prices, what to buy in preparation for the trip, insurance issues abroad and more. Jump to the end of the book, Section III, where appendices include weights and measure conversion tables, worksheets for planning the vacation and pictures of most of the traffic signs one may encounter in Europe with a detailed explanation for each. The heart of the book is found in the middle section, which features 22 European countries. Beginning with a basic map of the country and brief narrative of driving opportunities, each chapter includes Fast Facts about the country, Driving Facts or specific laws pertaining to each country, Emergency Telephone Numbers, U.S. Embassy addresses and translations for 35 Terms or Words commonly seen along the roadways. Humorous dialog written in the host country's language close each translation section, which differ for every country. The author, Curley Bowman, is a lieutenant with the Orlando Police Department, assigned to the Orlando International Airport. He has lived on three continents, and in seven states; additionally, he served 9 years in the U.S. Army including a tour in Vietnam. He and his wife Jan are avid travelers of Western Europe and the United Kingdom. DRIVING IN EUROPE 101 is a must have book for the person considering a driving vacation in Europe. Starting from, "Honey, lets go somewhere different this year." and ending with the vacation's flight home, this is a soup-to-nuts treatise. It is the only single-source book of its kind. Packed with facts, information and translations confirmed through embassies, police departments and locals around the world, the pages are straightforward, providing information in a logical and easy to find format. It will be considered one of the top three items to be packed for a driving vacation: 1) passport, 2) driver's license, and 3) DRIVING IN EUROPE 101.
Download Driving in Europe 101 epub
ISBN: 1599754894
ISBN13: 978-1599754895
Category: Travel
Subcategory: Europe
Author: Rob Smith,Curley Bowman
Language: English
Publisher: Carter Bowman (May 1, 2006)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1339 kb
FB2 size: 1812 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 687
Other Formats: mobi lrf lrf docx

This book is divided into three sections: The Basics (20%), The Countries (75%) and Appendices (5%).

Section 1: The Basics is a compilation of information that can most readily be found online these days. The following are the pros and cons of this section. The deficiencies in this book are principally due to the fact that it is outdated, having been published in 2006.

The author recommends you purchase a pocket translator so you can communicate in various European languages. Frankly, you can do a better job by using your cell phone and Google Translator.

I would also suggest that if you are going to be travelling to one or two countries only, to study the basics of the language for free online (Duolingo, for example). This gives you a good foundation for basic grammar and simple vocabulary without referring to your cell phone every time you want to speak to someone.

Most tradesmen, hotel clerks and waiters speak some English but you can get by a lot better if you also speak a little of their language.

The author recommends investment in maps. You'd be better spending the money on a good GPS with a European map loaded on it. Not only does the GPS guide you through and between cities, but mine also gave me audible warnings when exceeding the speed limits (where there were speed limits). Sometimes signs aren't posted and not speeding will keep you from being stopped and asked to produce your license and safety equipment.

The author states that most rental cars have an onboard GPS which these days is true. However, if you purchase your own GPS, you can load it with all your destination information as you're planning your driving tour at home. When you get to Europe and rent the car, you're all set to go from place to place without losing any time looking for addresses and plugging them into the car GPS. Also your GPS will probably be equipped with locations of local fuel stations, restaurants, tourist attractions etc.

One huge issue that isn't addressed properly is the issue of automobile insurance. Some credit card companies have a program to provide your collision damage waiver when you use their card to rent the car. But you also need to consider liability coverage. If you're driving in the US with a rental car, obviously your personal automobile insurance will cover liability coverage for accidents within the US. However, your insurance liability coverage probably doesn't extend beyond the borders of the US. I emailed my car rental company in Europe and sought a clarification on this issue and found out that in Europe (at least in Germany) that everyone has liability coverage by law. That means the car rental company should have liability coverage on the car that you rent. But this is only anecdotal information and you should check with the specific car rental company and the countries you will be driving in.

The author really doesn't discuss money or transactions. The single most important item to have on your trip is a credit card. US credit card companies have recently been upgrading the old magnetic strip cards with chip and signature cards. Your chip and signature card will work in Europe where you can sign a receipt. If you're driving on a toll road and arrive at an unmanned toll both, you'll need a chip and PIN card for the gate machine. I believe the chip and pin cards are available from a few companies in the US and I highly recommend you get one.

So what's good about this book? I think the authors recommendations on choosing the right clothing to wear are good. I would add, however, that you might want to consider buying a light weight work vest to wear on your trip. A vest such as those offered by Duluth Trading have internal zippered pockets that you can use to secure passport, credit cards, wallets and cash. No need for money belts and no vulnerability to pick pockets. Plus you have a lot of other pockets for cameras, camera batteries, etc.

Another good recommendation by the author is to put together a first aid kit. There is always the chance of getting cuts and bruises. Having Band-Aids, anti-bacteria crème, aspirin, cough drops, throat lozenges etc. can save you from searching for a drug store looking for medication.

Section 2: The Countries is a listing of all the countries you might want to drive in with standard charts listing driving facts. There is a lot of repetition between countries and the author offers such tidbits of information as: for traffic lights GREEN means Go and RED means Stop.

Maybe this is another one of those instances where the book's information has not kept up to date. For instance, in France you are required to have a high visibility vest in the car. If you are stopped by a policeman, you may be asked to produce the vest. I don't know what happens if you don't have one. Perhaps its like in the US you can be fined for not wearing a seat belt. Another requirement in France is you must have a working breathalyzer in the car with you. You also need to have a standard warning triangle in the car to be used in the event of a breakdown. Depending upon what country you're renting your car in, you should check to see if the rental car company provides these things.

Section 3: The Appendix is not very useful. There are only two appendices that discuss information that you really need: telephone calls in Europe and traffic signs.

Each country has its own area codes, country codes and local telephone number systems containing digit strings of varying lengths. If you plan on doing any telephoning within a country or from country to country in Europe, this book isn't going to be much help. You should do some research online before you leave for your trip.

The various traffic signs shown in the appendix are presented in black and white. These six pages are marginally helpful but you can download European traffic signs in color from the internet and even download a PDF of them to your cell phone for future reference. Of course, once you're behind the wheel and moving through traffic, you're not going to have a lot of time to refer to what a particular sign means. So bone up on them. Everything is based on shapes, colors and images. From personal experience, I would suggest concentrating on the "Do Not Enter" signs and the "Yield to Oncoming Traffic."
While Curly displays most of the roadsigns, I discovered a great many he did cover in the Belgium section. Also, Curly doesn't mention that in Belgium (maybe other places as well) you may encounter a electric traffic sign which gives you the right of way for several city blocks where the streets are very narrow. Here in America, One sign controls one intersection. In the part of Belgium I drove in, one electric sign may cover several blocks. Curly mentioned nothing about this.
I'd have to give this book three out of five stars rating.
The biggest criticism is there are no color pictures of signs and such, which make it difficult to use. People go off to Europe and think it's just like driving in the U.S. It isn't. This book explained a bit, but only if you really study it.
This is an excellent introduction to driving in Europe. It covers 22 countries with driving rules and laws. There is a page of translations of common signs you see along the streets and roads. I would have given it 5 stars if it had included the translation for bei Näse posted on German roads indicating the speed limit when the road is wet. Another defect is that the road sign images are b/w and not color. Blue and red both come out as dark charcoal. You'll need to know the difference between a no stopping and a no parking sign.

Overall this book is recommended for those contemplating driving in Europe for the first time. It may save you a big traffic ticket or even your life.
It gave me just some general information, the kind of info you could easly find on internet, if you are looking for tips to how drive in Europe this is not your book, it seems to me as a touristic guide. I was not what I was expecting.
This book answers all your questions. Next month we will see if they are right. Well written and organized, easy to read.
Great book---I have not even left for Europe but feel confident I can now handle driving there.