If you're thinking about traveling internationally this year, you may be considering renting a car at your destination. Car rental allows travelers to see more sites off the beaten path and enables them to do what they want, when they want, without regard to bus and train schedules. Still, auto rentals in foreign countries can be intimidating for inexperienced travelers.

These tips will help you to successfully rent a car in a foreign country:

Book Your Rental Ahead of Time

Once you arrive at your destination, language barriers and cultural differences can lead to miscommunications, which can make car rental more difficult. Book your car ahead of time to avoid stress and confusion at the rental depot. This will ensure that you can get the car you want at a price you can afford. 

Watch Out for Manual Transmission

Manual transmission cars are the standard in many countries. If you're more comfortable driving an automatic, or if you don't know how to drive a manual transmission, you'll need make a request for an automatic transmission at the time of booking. If you're booking online, it's easy to forget this detail. To avoid problems, pay special attention to the fine print before confirming your rental. 

Buy Maps Before You Leave

Your auto rental company may sell maps at the rental depot. Maps sold in the country of travel may be more up to date than maps you can buy in your own country, however, purchasing maps before you leave will ensure that the map keys are in your own language. To be safe, buy maps before you leave and plan to buy a map when you arrive at your destination. 

If you'll be relying on a GPS that you bring from your home, remember that GPS devices come with pre-loaded maps of the country where they are sold, but may not include maps of other countries. To ensure that your GPS device will cover the country where you'll be traveling, contact the company that manufactured your GPS to find out how you can download or purchase more maps. 

If you plan to rely on GPS apps on your phone, call your cell phone carrier before leaving your country to ensure that you'll have service at your destination. Remember that satellite coverage and cell phone towers can be spotty in some countries, so plan to bring paper maps as a backup.

Following these tips will help to ensure that your car rental experience is a positive one, and will also help ensure that transportation on your trip goes smoothly.