So you’re ready to “head out on the highway, looking for adventure” (showing my age there!) this summer? Independent women are more and more finding themselves traveling our country’s roads alone for pleasure. While it is wildly thrilling to be the only one in the car, singing along to your personal playlist, and stopping only when you want, where you want, I want to make sure you stay safe out there my friend! Below are my Top 10 Safety Tips for Single Women on Road Trips.
- Take your car to the auto shop first—Before starting out on any road trip, always take your car in for service. Make sure your car is “road ready,” and that your oil is changed, tires are in good shape, antifreeze and the heater all working and there is not a lot of junk in your trunk (stop snickering). Start out fresh and clean!
- Always let someone know where you are—Though you may enjoy the freedom of feeling “lost” on the highway, it’s always best to check in with a family member or friend so someone always knows where to find you. Texting is a quick and easy way to share your whereabouts, just not while you are driving. Sending a selfie of you in front of significant landmark signs can be fun, too.
- Notify credit card companies—Some credit card companies will block your card if they see “suspicious” activity like continuous gas charges. Inform companies that you will be traveling so they do not cut off your credit and leave you stranded without easy access to money. This happened to me!
- Keep cell phone charged—Before you start out on the road each day, charge your cell phone so it is ready for use in case of emergencies. You can also buy a portable battery to extend the phone’s life in case there is not a charger handy or use a car charger.
- Listen to weather reports—Be aware of the weather conditions where you are traveling and prepare accordingly. Many times, I have had to pull off to the side of a road and wait for a storm to pass. Be safe and be prepared.
- Always have maps and know how to read them—GPS systems may not always be reliable; carry current road atlases with you and know how to read them as a backup resource. Trace out alternative routes. Always have a Plan B route figured out in case your original highway choices are closed or backed up with traffic.
- Stop at places that are busy and well-lit—Look for locations that have other people around. Do not stop at deserted, dark places. It’s always a good idea to look like you know where you are and where you are going. If you have to ask for directions, casually ask employees at the establishment instead of random strangers. Be careful of walking and using your phone, these unaware moments can sometimes present opportunities for crime.
- Don’t stop for someone stranded on the side of the road—Though you may feel compelled to assist someone in trouble, if you’re alone, don’t stop unless you are sure it’s safe. It’s always a good idea to get to a safe place first and then call for help for the stranded driver, dialing 911 is helping out enough.
- Should your car break down, keep windows rolled up and do not open the door to strangers who stop to “assist” you. Make sure you have a current roadside assistance plan and contact them to come out to help you. Ask to see their ID for the service before getting out of the car when they arrive.
- And last, but certainly not least, do not pick up strangers—Do not offer rides or agree to share a room with anyone you don’t know. Though you may think the person you are helping is harmless, you can never fully know someone’s true intentions after just a few minutes of conversation. It’s hard to get rid of someone later, so don’t get into this situation by picking them up in the first place.
Hope this was helpful. Now, go hit the road and have some fun adventure time!