I am often asked what do I like more – solo travel or group travel. I say I like both but love Solo Travel more. After all, solo travel means you can take their own decisions freely, and a road trip offers you more freedom than ever. However, one needs to be more alert and well prepared when traveling solo. A solo traveler should be hands-on and ever ready to face any challenge anytime. Here are the 10 Road trip tips for Solo Travelers
1. Light Packing
This is a point every long-term traveler swears by. Packing light is essential when traveling alone as any of those small inconveniences can amplify when you’re on your own. The last thing you want is your luggage becoming a blockage in your travel plans. I usually make a list of things and carry only those which are op priority. I pack and then take half of the stuff out of my luggage. Trust me you don’t need three change of clothes in a day. You can always repeat.
2. Tank up
Before hitting the road make sure your fuel for the vehicle and yourself is full. Keep a tab on your gas and refuel before it dries up. Also, carry light snacks, stay hydrated and rest so that you can concentrate on driving. While I love eating the highway food, I do carry munchies like chocolates, dry fruits, sandwiches, cookies etc.
3. Sturdy Vehicle
When driving alone, take a reliable vehicle. Whatever car you decide to take, get it professionally checked by a mechanic before getting behind the wheels. Get your vehicle inspected at least a week before you leave so that you get some time for any repairs. Get your car checked for the cooling system, steering and suspension, tranny and air conditioning system. Do not forget to change the oil. And make sure you carry all your car documents.
4. Winter Tyres
A road trip means you need to pack certain tools such as a multi-head screwdriver, duct tape, pair of pliers, vice grips and a couple of flares. Always carry a full-size spare tyre which is of good quality, on a road trip. Many travelers invest in winter tyres because of temperature fluctuations. The advantage of these tyres is that they will remain soft and offer a firm grip even in freezing temperatures.
Related: Travel Tips for Iceland Road Trip
5. Contingency Plan
In case you do find yourself with a flat tyre, there is no need to panic. Make sure you have the jack, lug wrench and a fully inflated spare tire. It is a good idea to keep vehicle owner’s manual handy.
a) Just find a safe location and turn on the hazard lights after applying the parking brake.
Now, apply wheel wedges and remove the hubcap.
b) Loosen the lug nuts and place the jack under the vehicle to raise it. Unfasten the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Mount the spare tire and tighten the lug nuts.
c) Lower the vehicle completely and replace the hubcap. Before driving away, stow all equipment and do not forget to check the pressure in the spare tyre.
6. Regular Pit stops
Although long-distance driving may be something you enjoy, you are sure to have your limits. Thus, take regular breaks in-between and relax. Some people can drive just for a couple of hours. If possible, avoid busy hours. Keep your eye on the clock and try to pass through major metropolitan areas in the early morning or late-night hours to avoid rush-hour congestion.
7. Safety first
When driving, ensure that you are wearing the seat belts and the car doors are locked. Always park your car in a parking lot or a safe place.
8. Stay Connected
Be in touch with your friends and family, and they should know where you are exactly. Share your full address and contact person details. You can always call your folks, or send a message.
9. Get off the car
A solo road trip doesn’t mean that you have to sit in the car all the time or be on the roads. Explore fun things to do on the way and get out of the car to enjoy unique experiences.
10. Travel Insurance
Do not travel anywhere without insurance. Depending on the coverage you get, you can take care of any costs of medical examinations and even hotel accommodations.
This article may not address all the Road trip tips for Solo Travelers but I am sure if you follow these, you would never get stranded on road. So, go TRAVEL SEE WRITE!