Taking a road trip is something we all do and usually enjoy, however sometimes the circumstances prevent us from taking company along and we’re faced with traveling alone. So what are the most important things to know about traveling alone?
Communication is key. Before you ever leave make sure friends and family know where you are going and give them a map of your exact route. They need to be able to track you down if something happens. Think of the stories of families getting stranded in freezing temperatures while on a road trip. If you are meeting people at your destination, give them this information too. They should know your approximate schedule and stops as well.
Take a cell phone with service you can depend on. Don’t risk having sketchy service when it matters most and take a car charger. The phone is no good to you if it is dead. A hands free device or system that works through your car may also be handy since you need to concentrate o n the road. Use the phone to check in frequently letting everyone know if you are on schedule and where you are.
Stick to the route. Don’t try to cut time off your trip by taking a back road. We have all seen movies about this that are probably far fetched, but it still isn’t a good idea to take a less populated route with less traffic and less gas stations and other stops.
Invest in a GPS device or borrow one. This is great technology that I don’t know how we lived without. If you need a hotel, gas station or restaurant, you can locate the closest one with GPS. It will keep you on track as well.
Don’t push it with the gas tank. Top it off every time you stop. You don’t want to risk running out and being stranded alone.
Purchase a road service membership such as AAA or one provided by your insurance company. If something happens with the car or you get a flat, you will be able to call for service, easily. Make sure you have the contact information handy.
Be certain that registration, license and insurance information is current and accessible. This way if you get pulled over or have an accident, you will have the documents you need.
Include an emergency kit in the vehicle. Put a heavy duty flashlight, extra batteries, tire gage, common tools, a gallon jug of water and some first aid supplies in a box in the trunk.
Be sure you have a spare tire and tire changing tools in the vehicle and either know how to change one or be ready to call a service. You don’t want to depend on a stranger for help.
Make sure you have food just in case. A water supply and some dry foods like, chips and granola bars are good to have on hand.
Plan hotel stops along the route if needed. Make the reservation ahead of time so that you know you have a room and don’t have to search for one.
Do not push yourself to drive when you are tired. Pull off at a rest stop and rest if needed.
Take a personal protection device such as pepper spray and carry it with you on bathroom breaks. Park in well lit areas and try to stop where there are people and lights or security.
Have you vehicle inspected, tires checked and oil changed before you leave.
Use common sense and maintain contact.