Are there women here who have traveled alone ona road trip? Any advice on what to avoid, etc???
Women Traveling Alone
Over the years I have taken quite a few road trips with another female (either my mother, friend or daughter). If you are a timid person to begin with and afraid of everything then I would suggest you not travel on a road trip. If you are adventurous (sp?), then there is nothing like it. I would suggest prior planning, i.e., how many days you will have, a realistic destination (none of this 50 states in 2 weeks), what places of interest are in the states you will be traveling through, amount of traveling time per day, etc. I'm an early riser so I like to be on the road by 6:00 a.m. I drive a couple of hours then take a break (time varies for breaks depending if it's for a meal or just a stretch or gas stop). I like to stop before it gets dark (just a safe thing to do in this day and age). I usually average 400 - 450 miles a day on those days that I'm not stopping to sightsee. The other days it just depends on the sightseeing. You have to be flexible and factor in stops. I usually factor more time when I'm stopping somewhere just so I won't have to rush. I'm not a camping type person, so I always stay at motels. I have found that Econolodge, Comfort Inn, and even Motel 6 usually have decent, clean accomodations and they don't cost an arm and a leg. I usually pack a picnic lunch for the first day out and then always like to try local cafes when buying meals. In the mid-west you can find some really outstanding food at very reasonable prices. As far as expenses go I usually figure high - these figures are for two people per day: $50 food; $70 lodging; $40 gas. Now, you probably won't spend that much, but again, it's better to be safe than sorry. I always carry snackies, beverages, first aid kit, and always carry a cell phone with you. Make sure you have a car charger for it (also be aware that in some areas you won't be able to pick up a signal). I recommend joining AAA or any reputable travel club. At AAA you can get maps, travel books for all the states that lists AAA recommended lodging and restaurants, tells of places of interest, etc. If you break down you can be towed to the nearest facility (I have the plus card -this covers a lot more than the regular card - although to be honest have only used it for the basics. Sorry if this came out disjointed, but hey, with a little planning, and using common sense and safety precautions, you should have a wonderful road trip.
I went on a road trip last summer with my best friend for 3 weeks--starting from Michigan and going down the southeast coast to Florida, then back up again through Tennessee & Missouri...it was awesome. My advice would be to definitely decide where you want to go & what you have to see--we had scoped out sights on the net--and do NOT try to do too much. We had our tentative plan, but left ourselves enough leeway to allow us time to do & see cool things we came upon along the way. It's great traveling with your girlfriends, and we felt pretty safe the whole time, including when we drove late at night...just stick to main roads, though, very easy to get lost otherwise. Road tripping is a fun way to go with female friends. Great way to meet a lot of different people from around the country.
one female travelling totally alone!
I understand that travelling with your girlfriends can be fun (and what with the safety in numbers and such...) but I should very much like to travel from British Columbia, across the northern States, and back through Canada over a 4-6 month excursion -- completely by myself. How realistic is it for me to think I will be safe with a little caution, a cell phone, and some handy pepper spray?? I don't leave for 8 months, so I have loads of time to receive suggestions... :)
i drive from ny to seattle by myself once a year. it is totally safe it you use common sense. Plan your route first. write or type your itinerary along with your personal id information, cell number, car description and liscense plate number etc. leave a copy of your health insurance card or info. (mail a copy to any friend/relative you will be staying with on your trip) check in with people once a day. rest stops are safe during the day but i only use gas stations, restaurants to go to the bathroom at night. if you make any spontaneous changes to your route that differ greatly from your plan let someone know. never pick up hitchhikers. listen to your instincts. if someone gives you an odd vibe while you are out of your car dont ignore it. if someone is following you stop at the nearest town and find the police station or firehouse and honk your horn continually or at least find a well lit public place. i recommend AAA or a similar road club incase of emergencies. I have never had any problems of any kind on my travels. It can be lonely though so i recommend good tunes to sing to while you drive. i also keep a journal of my trips. i have a mini tape recorder for anything i see or think that i want to right down later. this can also be entertaining if you record yourself singing on 1/2 speed while you drive and play it back full speed (sounds like the chipmunks). books on tape are great too if you like to read. as far as where to sleep, mmotels are inexspensive. also if you are on a budget rv parks have tent sites wehre you can sleep in your car or a tent. truck stops are much safer than rest areas but a bit noisy. just use your insticts and common sense. in any place big city or small town always be aware of your surroundings. most importantly have fun!!! good luck
I, too, have traveled alone a lot, and will be doing even more of it. My strongest advice is every morning before you start driving again, look at your mao and know your route for that day. If it helps, bring large post it notes, and write any changes ( i.e. 15 to 70), in large dark letters and stick it to your dash. That way, you wont be pulling over and looking at your map, which is a beacon for predators. Looking lost is not good. :) Also, good music is essential, and so is singing really loud along with it. I have a small truck, and I made sure to have the things I needed for virtually all of the trip in the cab, not the bed (same goes for the trunk). That way your reasons to stop are limited to picture taking, site seeing and eating, not fishing random things out of your luggage with your head stuffed in the trunk. Enjoy yourself, dont be paranoid, but stay aware. Absolutely have a cell phone with netional service (preferably satellite, not atenna, atennas will loose service in a whole lot of places) and a car charger for it. Also, take some time if you dont know how already, to have someone teach you basic vehicle maintanence (tire changes, checking fluids) or get a book. Pepper spray is good, also a car alarm with keyless activation is good if someone is confronting you, because you can push the button and usually the sound is enough to scare them away (as you are usually in the vicinity of your car on a road trip). Also, keyless entry to your car is very valuable because if you do drive at night, which I prefer to do, you are not pausing to unlock at night gas stops and poddy breaks. This can save your life. Hope its a great trip, I drove from Vegas, through Oregon, BC, then through the midwest over to Chicago and all around that area, and BC and its all so beautiful.
I did a two-week road trip this summer alone in my convertible. I visited friends along the route so it wasn't like I was a hermit the entire time. Do keep a journal because there's no one next to you to make flip comments too and believe it or not you will forget stuff. I read mine a few months after I came back and I barely remembered seeing some of the stuff I wrote about! A fun book to read before you go is called "The Bad Girls Guide to the Open Road." It lists road tunes, reasons you really need to hit the road and some other funny lists that are a bit naughty! Go Road Sister!
Thanks for the book title
Thanks for the posting about the "Bad Girl's Guide" We will probably do a review -- It looks like a kick.
Thanks for the tips
Thanks for the posted tips -- All great suggestions. How many road trips do you undertake in a year?
There are a few more tips on our single's page -- at http://www.roadtripamerica.com/tips/solo.htm plus some resources used by other solitary women roadtrippers.
Just in the past few weeks Ive been on three, and leaving again this weekend (this time cross country). I spent two months on the road tour with the Lippizan Stallion Show, traveling across North America and Canada. Also, my line of work requires travel all over the states - mostly around Florida and the East Coast - for the horse show circuits. I only wish I had more time to make them more scenic; usually I am on a tight time scheduale.