Whether you are scouting for barn venues for weddings in the countryside or just having an adventure on your own, taking a solo road trip can be scary just as it is exciting. It’s no secret that traveling alone can be dangerous, especially as a woman, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking the road trip of your dreams. Nevertheless, you must take some safety precautions even if you are going to the most harmless place on Earth.
Before going on a solo road trip, here are essential safety advice that every female traveler should know:
1. Tell loved ones where you are going
Send a copy of your itinerary to your best friend or family member. Send a text from time to time to update them on your location. If something happens, they will know to contact the authorities if you fail to update for too long, which can be a literal lifesaver in worst-case scenarios.
2. Never pick up a stranger
Not even a child or a fellow woman. Just don’t do it. It’s not worth risking your safety to give a stranger a lift. If they appear to be distressed or injured, call the hospital or the police, but do not stop driving until you’ve reached a gas station or any other nearby establishment.
3. Don’t tell people you are traveling alone
Doing this can make you seem like an easy target for people with bad intentions. If someone asks if you are alone, say that you are waiting for friends and remove yourself from the situation as soon as you feel uncomfortable.
4. Get plenty of rest
One of the dangers of taking a solo road trip is not having someone to talk to, thus increasing your chances of feeling sleepy while driving. To combat this, get plenty of rest during every night of your road trip.
5. Stay alert
Play upbeat music, listen to a podcast, or play a road trip game with yourself to help your wits stay alert. If you can, have a hands-free phone call with a loved one so that you have someone to talk to.
6. Get your car checked
Take your car to the mechanic before going on a road trip. Ensure that everything is to decrease the chances of breaking down in the middle of the road. Alternatively, you can rent a car if yours is no longer capable of taking long road trips.
7. Bring less cash
Don’t bring lots of cash. It will only attract more attention to yourself. If you want emergency cash, put it in a place where people can’t easily see, such as deep in your glove box or under the seat.
8. Alert your credit card company
Tell your credit card company that you are taking a road trip so that they don’t block your card for suspicious activity.
9. Don’t bring valuables
Leave your expensive jewelry and designer bags at home. You don’t want to spend the whole trip worrying that someone might steal it.
10. Keep your cellphone charged
Charge your cellphone to full battery before leaving your accommodation. It also helps to bring a portable charger just in case.
11. Be aware of your surroundings
Stay mindful of your surroundings. It’s easy to look like a lost tourist when you’re in an unfamiliar place, which can make you a target for criminals.
12. Watch where you’re stopping
If you have to stop, do so in well-lit and populated areas.
13. Avoid asking for directions
Download offline maps of all the places you plan to pass through to avoid getting lost. But if you have to ask for directions, choose a woman.
14. Gas up during the day
As much as possible, limit your gas station stopovers when there is still light outside and people milling about.
15. Pack light
Stick to the essentials when packing. In this way, you don’t have to haul a suitcase every time you have to check-in. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting stolen from your car.
16. Bring extra hygiene necessities
Bring wet wipes, sanitary pads or tampons, pantyliner, tissues, and other hygiene essentials to keep yourself as comfortable as possible during the trip.
Road trips are lots of fun, even when you do them alone. If you want to take a road trip as a solo female traveler, keep these things in mind to ensure that there are no bumps in the road. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any way, find an exit as soon as possible or alert the surrounding people.