There’s no reason why a woman can’t enjoy traveling on her own, whether for business or leisure. And not having a companion on a road trip shouldn’t be a deterrent. But with only herself to rely on, how can a woman traveling alone enjoy a solo trip while staying safe? By taking precautions and practicing car safety, a woman can travel on her own worry-free.
If you’re a woman preparing for your next road trip, you should avoid making the following mistakes:
1. Failing to get your vehicle serviced before your road trip
Always take your vehicle in for service before any road trip, especially one you want to take alone. First, check your vehicle’s fluids and change the oil. Service techs can also check the tires and engine and make sure everything is in good working order.
A simple service visit can prevent breakdowns in unfamiliar areas that might have no cell service, USA Today reports. Checking your tires for worn spots or the lug nuts for breakage can avoid a flat tire or other wheel damage. In addition, it can keep you from getting stranded, leaving you dependent on others.
2. Not plotting your route ahead of time
These days, there’s really no excuse for not researching your route before your road trip. Plenty of free and paid apps can help you map out how to get to your destination. In addition, they can help you determine where you can safely stop for gas and food along the way and how to avoid high-crime areas and spots with poor cell reception.
By planning, you can make sure you don’t run out of gas in a bad neighborhood and know where to get service if you need it. Plotting your route will also help you better manage your travel time.
And remember to share your route with trusted relatives and friends.
3. Paying little attention to your hotel arrangements
If you have to stop overnight during your road trip, select your lodging with care. For instance, paying a little more money is worth it to stay in a well-populated area in a hotel with good customer reviews. If a hotel or motel has problems, reviews will usually reveal them.
Try to arrive while the sun is still up so that you don’t have to walk through parking lots and deserted hotel grounds in the dark. Also, request a room that’s not on the first floor. That’s because higher floors are harder to access through windows or terrace doors.
Also, request a room near the elevator to avoid long walks down unoccupied hallways. Rubber wedges are inexpensive and easy to bring along to help reinforce the locks on your hotel room’s door. Finally, don’t advertise that you’re traveling alone. Making it seem as if someone is staying with you is a good idea.
4. Not bringing your own drinks and snacks
Think ahead and bring your own drinks and snacks on road trips. If you have dietary needs, it makes more sense to bring what you need to avoid scrambling to find these items on the road. And if you plan your route, you’ll know safe places to stop for snacks.
Plus, buying drinks and snacks on the road will likely be more expensive, especially if you stop at well-lit, safe highway rest stops.
5. Not being vigilant during your road trip
Remember to remain alert at all times, even when you’re not road tripping. Park under streetlights, don’t park next to vans or box trucks, and lock your vehicle when you’re not in it. In addition, before getting into your vehicle, check under it and in the backseat.
Further, avoid drinking alcohol in public, and don’t drink to the point that it impairs your judgment. Also, don’t hesitate to ask others for help if you find yourself in a threatening situation. For example, most people are happy to walk a woman to her car or hotel room to ensure her safety.
Overall, use common sense to avoid risk when road tripping alone. If your gut tells you a situation is dangerous, remove yourself from it.