Most road trips are taken by pairs or groups, but this type of vacation can also be fun when you get away by yourself. During a solo road trip, you are the driver, the navigator, and the entertainment, so it's best to prepare before you get on the road. Follow these ten tips for embarking on a solo road trip to keep you safe, on track, and enjoying the drive.
Talk to the World Around You
Talking only to drive-through window speakers and gas station clerks while you're on the road can take its toll on your mental psyche, so make sure you keep communicating with others—especially if you’re on the road alone for several days. Talking with others and speaking with someone at the destination-end of your trip can give you the mental pick-me-up to keep going. Limit your communication to off the road to avoid driving distractions.
Tell Someone Your Plans
You need someone to be looking out for you, and they can only do that if you tell someone your plans. Let someone like a parent, friend, or spouse know where you’re going when you expect to arrive there, and other pertinent information. Check in with your point-of-contact when you reach your destination, so they know you've made it safely.
Bring Your Four-Legged Friend
Traveling by yourself doesn’t mean you have to travel all by yourself. If you know you don’t need much to take care of yourself in the RV or on the road, consider bringing along your four-legged companion to share in the adventure. If you have the time and energy to make sure your animals get playtime, then a trip with your pet can be a memorable one. Always talk to your vet and get a clean bill of health before embarking on your road trip with your pet.
Carry Backup Electronics
Your cell phone doesn’t do much good if your battery goes dead in the middle of Kansas. Bring backups for your vital electronics like cell phone batteries and chargers. Charge and put an old cell phone in your glove box for emergencies. Even if the cell phone isn’t connected to a network, dialing 911 will activate the emergency mode and allow you to communicate with first responders. When you bring backups, you lessen your chances of getting stranded or having to go out of your way to purchase a necessity.
Make Sure Your Ride is Ready
The surest way to get yourself stranded or give yourself a headache is not having your RV or vehicle checked over before heading on your road trip. Take your ride to a licensed mechanic, and get it serviced for the road trip ahead. Get an oil change if necessary, top off fluids, and check the tires to cover all your bases for a road trip.
Stock Up On Food and Water
Keep plenty of non-perishable food and water on-hand in case you must go miles without a suitable stop. Some even pack coolers for long road trips. Stock up on healthy, nutritious snacks, and avoid salty snacks that will leave you dehydrated. Avoid soda but keep plenty of water on hand.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Even if you’re driving across sunny southern California on a beautiful weather day, accidents and emergencies can happen. If you’re going it alone, always pack an emergency kit that includes a first-aid kit, water, non-perishable, blankets, and roadside hazard assistance like flares and cones. If the worst happens, you’ll be prepared.
Don't Overdo It
You should never operate an RV or vehicle for more than 12 consecutive hours without an extended break, and eight hours of active driving is plenty for most. Trying to extend your drive time will result in sleepiness, loss of focus, and will leave you much more prone to accidents. Don’t risk it – take a break.
Load Up On Entertainment
You’re going to get bored and possibly sleepy if you plan on attacking a solo trip with nothing but the scenery to interest you. Talking on the phone while driving is not recommended, but keeping your mind partially engaged helps you stay alert and focus. Bring along plenty of CDs, podcasts, and audiobooks to avoid drowsy eyes.
Have a Little Fun
If you’re burning the miles by yourself, have some fun. This might mean getting your favorite guilty-pleasure dessert, stopping by a roadside attraction you wouldn’t usually see, or buying yourself a few funny trinkets at a roadside stand. Spoil yourself to make the trip a little more fun.
There’s plenty of planning and patience that goes along with a solo road trip, but you can use these ten tips to have a safe trip and make the journey a memorable one.