Traveller Tips on Right-Hand Driving – The Smart Traveller

There are but a few places in the world with left-hand traffic or LHT. Simply put, the steering wheel would be on the right side of the front seat of a vehicle. And as 72% of the world’s roads carry traffic on the right, some coil right-hand driving as driving on the “wrong side of the road”. More often than not, RHT countries use cars that are LHD or left-hand driven where the driver’s seat is on the left-hand side of the car. Conversely, LHT countries quintessentially utilize vehicles that are RHD or right-hand drive.Understanding guidelines in driving in LHT countries is essential for mobility stressing on countries where public transport is nil to impossible. Also, this information will be crucial for the pedestrian-slash-commuter who can save on a lot of viable humiliation and casualty by checking this page. With a bit of luck, this short number will encourage the readers and students in particular to conduct further research on the countries intended for visit. Road orientation is bizarre, etiquette is unusual, and all the while the car feels wrong while driven on the right. So if you’re a traveller or expat who has been accustomed to driving on the right side of the road, or simply some ignoramus looking for factoids, here are some sane LHT reminders and road advices.1. The obvious, the driver’s seat is on the right.2. Traffic is mainly kept left unless overtaking.3. Approaching traffic is seen also from the right.4. For the most part, the traffic signs are on the left side of the road facing the motorist.5. An overtaking vehicle passes the other vehicle/s on the right, with some exemptions.6. On a roundabout, the traffic direction is clockwise.7. Freeway exits are on the left.8. Public transport entrance and exit are on the left, save for some with additional doors.9. The pedestrian, upon crossing a two-way road, must look for traffic from their right.Renting a car is beneficial to mobility and comfort especially in hot countries, the Middle East, for instance, where gasoline is generally more expensive than water. Also, this is a more economic option when travelling in a crowd of 3 or so. Although the orientation and directions can perplex, there are quick and easy advices that can be taken on. Not so much to worry about besides switching orientations really. So, here are 4 no-brainer quick safeties the traveller can do to ease the new joy of right-hand driving.1. Go for AT (automatic transmission). As if driving in an entirely different universe isn’t hard enough, lessen the challenge at hand by not worrying how to switch gears with your left hand, particularly when entirely inexperienced with driving on the right.2. Know the car before you hit the road, like you were when you were learning to drive. Basically, this means feeling the car and familiarising yourself with the car’s controls and equipments, which are almost at the same place (just on the right), except for the handbrake and gear. A-B-C which stands for accelerator, brake, and clutch, is the same on the right.3. Do a dry-run. When you haven’t got a chance to practice back home, then drive some rounds or the basic forwards and backwards at the rental company’s car park. The emptier the lot, the better and safer!4. Once you hit the LHT roads, remember to always keep left. All the right-hand driving adjustments may confuse you so much as to divert you. It doesn’t take too long to get used to this with constant driving and practice. The main principle is to have the driver nearest to the center line. These road and transport choices go way back in history, mainly British and its flag-plunging history. There would have been more than 75 LHT-oriented countries, if not for most countries adapting to the road system of their colonizers, as Spain and France. Most parts of the world that has become a part of the British Empire remained to drive on LHT, as the former French colonies maintained RHT.Backpackers need to be made aware of the different road and traffic rules that apply in various countries throughout the world when considering your next backpacking adventure. Studies show that countries driving on LHT have lower collision rate just because humans utilize far better the dominant eye, which is more commonly the right. Nevertheless, driving on the left-side of the road is just as safe as on the right. Those that say otherwise are merely theorizing. Among countries or in any place, traffic laws may differ insofar as traffic lanes, licenses, insurance policies and highway etiquette – adjustments are always necessary even in Right-Hand Traffic (RHT) countries. Research of the traffic laws at the country of destination is not just a smart decision, it is intuitive.LHT countries include:1. Anguilla2. Antigua and Barbuda3. Australia4. Bahamas5. Bangladesh6. Barbados7. Bermuda8. Bhutan9. Botswana10. Brunei11. Cayman Islands12. Christmas Island (Australia)13. Cook Islands14. Cyprus15. Dominica16. East Timor17. Falkland Islands18. Fiji19. Grenada20. Guernsey (Channel Islands)21. Guyana22. Hong Kong23. India24. Indonesia25. Ireland26. Isle of Man27. Jamaica28. Japan29. Jersey (Channel Islands)30. Kenya31. Kiribati32. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)33. Lesotho34. Macau35. Malawi36. Malaysia37. Maldives38. Malta39. Mauritius40. Montserrat41. Mozambique42. Namibia43. Nauru44. Nepal45. New Zealand46. Niue47. Norfolk Island (Australia)48. Pakistan49. Papua New Guinea50. Pitcairn Islands (Britain)51. Saint Helena52. Saint Kitts and Nevis53. Saint Lucia54. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines55. Samoa56. Seychelles57. Singapore58. Solomon Islands59. South Africa60. Sri Lanka61. Suriname62. Swaziland63. Tanzania64. Thailand65. Tokelau (New Zealand)66. Tonga67. Trinidad and Tobago68. Turks and Caicos Islands69. Tuvalu70. Uganda71. United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)72. Virgin Islands (British)73. Virgin Islands (US)74. Zambia75. Zimbabwe

Flashpacking and Travel

It’s the latest in backpacker trends. But what is flashpacking, and how do you flashpack successfully? Flashpackers have been defined as those in their mid 20s to early 30s who still follow the backpacker route and travel like a backpacker. Where they differ from the traditional budget globetrotter, however, is in their budget and their desire for comfort and amenities while they are travelling. Flashpackers expect better accommodation and have more money to spend on food and other comforts while they move around the world.Flashpackers are still loyal to the basic backpacker philosophy, such as no fixed itineraries, experiencing the culture of a place and taking advantage of cheap flights and hostel accommodation, but there are a few things that set them apart from the conventional backpacker.What makes a flashpacker?- Extra money. Rather than saving the bare minimum to get by while travelling, flashpackers embark on their journeys with more money so that they can afford to splurge on drinks, meals out, partying and tours. Flashpackers on Bali holidays, for example, might stay in hostels but will spend their cash on nights out, nice meals and picking up souvenirs.- Technology. What really sets a flashpacker apart from a backpacker is the electronic goods with which they travel. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people travel with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and 86 percent travel with a digital camera. These ‘flash’ items make it easier for travellers to stay connected with home, be comfortable, capture their memories and be entertained.Many hostels now cater to the growing flashpacker market, who are willing to pay for slightly improved hostel facilities, such as private rooms and bathrooms. Student travel will always be about affordability, but this new wave of backpackers is changing the scene slightly and adding a bit of glamour and comfort to the conventional budget lifestyle and threadbare living of the traditional backpacker.