Helpful Travel Tips

SAVE YOUR EURO COINS!


Since so many events are cancelled in 2020, residents probably have saved way more Euro coins than they can ever use. However, under normal circumstances, you are likely to attend fairs, festivals, Christmas Markets, etc. that have public toilets that require Euro coins, as do all the gas stations/truck stops for the use of their toilets. Typically, either a €,20 or €,50 coin is needed. However, it's SO worth the cost since the cost is how they can afford to keep those facilities clean. I don't know anyone who wants to use a gas station toilet in the states! Here, most are spotless!


ADAC


This is like AAA in the states, but on steroids, and less expensive! They have more than 1600 yellow road patrols all over Germany, providing emergency service to get you back on the road! If you break down, they provide free labor and towing services. Like AAA, they also provide printouts of the best routes, and toll stickers (vignettes) for traveling to other countries. When you read their whole list of benefits, you will be amazed! So worth the expense!


Many military families complete their tour here without ever needing their ADAC membership but have been much more comfortable driving throughout Europe knowing they had it! When we lived in the Kaiserslautern area in 2010, we woke to a dead battery on a very cold snowy day. ADAC was at our house within 30 minutes, had brand new batteries in their van, and had it installed within another 30 minutes! Considering the inexpensive membership cost, that experience alone was well worth paying for ADAC for four years!

VIGNETTES

Vignette is a form of road pricing imposed on vehicles, usually in addition to the compulsory road tax based on a period of time the vehicle may use the road, instead of road tolls that are based on distance traveled. Vignettes are currently used in several European countries. The term originated in France in the 1950s, although vignettes there were not linked to motorway use and no longer exist; it is now used throughout Central Europe as well as in Italy (vignetta).

Vignettes are used in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. In most of these countries a small, colored sticker is affixed to a vehicle’s windshield.

Prices for an annual vignette for passenger cars range from €30 to €150, depending on country. In all countries except Switzerland, short-period vignettes are sold for visiting or transiting vehicles. In Switzerland, visiting foreign motorists must buy an annual vignette to use the country's motorways. You can get vignettes border crossings, gas stations, and ADAC…..and you can purchase them online for most countries.


If you plan on visiting any country more than once a year, it’s much more cost-effective to purchase the annual vignette, even if monthly vignettes are an option.

TRAVELING WITH A PET

Your pet must have a 15-digit international microchip. If traveling by train, you will have to purchase a ticket for the pet(s). An EU Pet Passport must be with you and your pet at all times, and your pet must be contained while traveling in vehicles (harness or carrier).

Pet passports are available from your veterinarian.