Tomorrow I’ll be on the StarMegaDo with a bunch of other frequent flyer junkies. I’ve been on several MegaDo trips in the past, and they’ve always been so much fun, so I’m really looking forward! This year, the trip ends in Athens, so I thought it would be fun to plan a family trip to Greece using a 5-night Marriott certificate from a Flight & Hotel package redemption.
My family and kids will be meeting Dad and I in Athens at the tail-end of the MegaDo, and we’ll be spending a few days in Athens, and then 5-nights in Crete at the luxurious Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection Resort, with day trips to other islands in between.
Since we plan to explore much of Crete while we are there, it made sense for us to rent a car. I’ve rented a car previously abroad on a recent trip to Sardinia, Italy, and did not have to provide proof of an International Drivers Permit, but the car rental agency we’re using in Crete states that it’s necessary for those who live outside the EU.
More research on my end supported the fact that Greek rental agencies require an IDP, and I didn’t want to be denied a car, especially since we’re a party of 6 with lots of luggage and strollers!
Other than the potential for fines, driving in Greece without an IDP most likely will invalidate any insurance coverage if an accident should occur. We all know that insurance companies generally like to make things difficult and will find reasons to not pay out claims if they don’t have to. If you are driving without the required documentation and have to file a claim, they can deny you under the condition that you have broken the law.
Even if you’re paying by credit card that offers amazing car rental insurance such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or United Mileage Plus Explorer, they still follow the procedure and can reject claims based on those driving illegally abroad. And if the police are involved, I can only imagine that a foreigner would immediately be found at fault for failing to show an IDP (with a possible detainment in a Murphy’s Law scenario).With that being said, I headed straight to AAA and paid the $20 fee to get an International Drivers Permit that’s valid in many countries for 1-year. You don’t need to have a membership and the whole process took less than 15-minutes. You can save yourself an extra $15 if you come prepared with your own passport photos.The fee is well-worth the peace of mind and the avoidance of a headache in the case of an unfortunate situation abroad.