- Morgan Matson | Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
HOW DID WE DECIDE ON A ROUTE?
WHY DID WE RENT A CAR?
When I started searching about this trip like - how the roads are, especially driving thru Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, appropriate visas, border crossings and checkpoints or other important parts of the road trip we wanted to know, there's only a few blogs that discusses it in detail how is it really like driving this region. Below is our Balkan road trip map, I deleted some of the stops we did, but only pinned the major cities of the countries we've had the pleasure of driving. We did the Balkans for at least 18 days and added Budapest and Krakow at the beginning and end of the trip (total of 25 days).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR RENTAL CAR?
As it turns out, we had no issues passing the borders in and out of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Despite the ease at the border, it was a little nerve racking to know you are driving without insurance. If you don't want to rely on chance, but still want to go to Montenegro from Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina (especially Mostar) from Croatia, you can always leave the car in Croatia, join a tour or catch a bus to take a day trip to Kotor/Perast or Mostar. A lot of tour companies we saw in Dubrovnik, offers day trips to these cities. With our case, it didn't work for us since we wanted to go to Serbia. There was no other detour or road for us to take. Thankfully, we got lucky!
Our advice is keep your plans flexible and be prepared on any changes when you actually get the car. You can never tell what will happen. Check your credit cards, maybe you are covered under them.
DON'T FORGET TO HAVE A GPS ON THIS TRIP! THE QUESTION IS: TO RENT A GPS OR BRING YOUR OWN GPS?
We suggest for you to do the same, if you are planning to see this region for quite a number of days. Of course, if you are only staying for a week, it will be much more economical for you to rent than buy your own GPS or buy a Euro Map card, unless you already own one. Also remember before leaving, to check if your map is updated with the newest road additions in Europe. The GPS that we bought worked perfectly and we are actually amazed by how accurate it is. Trust your GPS, even if you do not think that is the right way or it is a dirt road out of nowhere. The GPS successfully brought us to all the places we wanted to see, the hotels we stayed at and restaurants we want to eat at. We were really amazed on how good it worked than the GPS we use driving around the US. As a back up, we ordered a physical map of the Balkan region from Amazon, just in case, our GPS did not work out.
HOW ARE THE ROADS?
Driving around the city center of Belgrade can be challenging but not more than any other capital city. Parts of Sarajevo, the roads are steep and windy, so make sure you are very good with manual transmission. Driving the coastline of Croatia is a breeze. In Dubrovnik, make sure the hotel you are staying at has parking slots, since parking garages is very expensive. In Kotor and Split, parking can be a challenge and limited. If you find a spot, take it, if not you will circle again and again just to find a spot. Take note that Kotor Old Town is a one way road in and out, so if you drive or take a tour you will sit thru traffic especially during rush hour. It was easy to drive around Slovenia but Slovenian drivers drive fast, be prepared to get out of their way. When booking hotels, we also made sure that the hotel offers on-site parking. Overall don't fret, just have fun with it.
WHAT ABOUT BORDER CROSSINGS?
Please take note that driving along the Adriatic Coast Highway in Croatia, there is a small segment wherein you are actually passing by Bosnia and Herzegovina territory. You will know this spot because you will see border patrols.
HOW ABOUT VISAS?
- Older | Bands of Horses
As time passed by and so did we, 6 countries by car and we wouldn't have it any other way.
P.S. Dont hesitate to us ask any questions regarding this trip. Thanks!