Traveling Wisely: A Few Tips for Staying Safe When Traveling Alone
Recent studies in the travel and hospitality sectors have shown that only around one in six Americans have ever traveled long-distance alone. In other projections for vacation travel, it’s been found that only around 10 percent of vacationers took or will take a solo vacation.
While most travelers prefer to stay in groups or to travel with a companion, those who are the more adventurous among us enjoy the peace and independence of solo travel.
Going to a place that you’ve never been to is always an exciting experience. And, when you’re able to venture out on your own to a new place, this can be more rewarding than most people realize.
Solo road trips give an experience that’s difficult to replicate. When traveling alone on the open road, this is where you not only learn of other people and places, but you become intimately acquainted with yourself as well.
Here, we’ll explore a few key safety tips when taking a solo road trip.
Car Safety Checklist
When traveling anywhere, you want to be as prepared as possible. Though you may prefer to travel light so that you have less to keep up with (or carry), it’s always good to keep a few extra items for safety purposes.
In addition, you’ll also want to ensure that you have adequate car insurance. If your policy doesn’t contain any roadside assistance or towing packages, you’ll want to obtain a quote for a new policy. Remember, anything can happen when you’re on the road, and being stranded without help is not a fun experience.
The following is a basic checklist for items you’ll want to bring in case issues arise:
- Backpack: If your car breaks down and you have to walk many miles, you’ll want a means for taking along water and valuables.
- Water and Food: This is especially crucial if you’ll be traveling in the summer months, or in arid regions where water sources are scarce.
- Blankets: A blanket is a great item to have especially if you’ll be traveling during winter months, where breaking down in sub-freezing temperatures can be deadly.
- Map and Compass: Even if you have GPS, there are some regions where service is limited for these devices. You’ll want a secondary means of navigating if you find yourself stranded.
- Self-Defense: Whether you choose to travel with pepper spray, tasers, conventional firearms, or by other means, you’ll want a way to defend yourself just as a precaution. As always, consult local laws and ordinances concerning keeping weapons in your vehicle or on your person when traveling.
Just as you would if exploring a major city on foot, you’ll need to employ some common sense when traveling cross-country. And, while taking the lesser traveled path might be filled with adventure and excitement, there are a few tips to consider just to keep it safe.
- Avoid dirt roads or roads that look unkempt.
- Not only could this cause significant wear on your car, but you might also end up stuck on a remote stretch of road, far from any services whatsoever.
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers.
- This should be a rule of thumb, but many people still pick up hitchhikers. And, while many hitchhikers are simply trying to get somewhere, this is still an illegal practice in 44 of 50 states.
- Share your itinerary.
- Today we have many tools such as location sharing and the like to let our friends and family know of our whereabouts. And, this is a good practice. Whether you use these services or not, let several people know where you’re going, the route you’re taking, and how long you’ll be gone.
A solo road trip is a great travel experience. You’ll not only be subjecting yourself to the enchantment that other places have to offer, but you’ll also have plenty of time to reflect on what is most important in your life.
The open road has its way of making you think about life, all while you enjoy the unfolding of scenery. Use it wisely, as getting to know yourself will be one of the greatest adventures you’ll ever embark upon.