Going on a SOLO Road Trip? Here are 15 Essential Hacks

6 shares Setting out on a solo road trip is an exciting way to discover new places, but it also calls for careful planning to…

Setting out on a solo road trip is an exciting way to discover new places, but it also calls for careful planning to ensure your safety. When you’re traveling alone, blending the excitement of adventure with the necessities of solo travel is key.

No matter if you’re an experienced traveler or just starting your first solo journey, it’s important to continually refine your approach to make your trip as enjoyable and seamless as possible. Here are 15 hacks you won’t want to miss if you’re trying out a solo road trip.

1. Keep Your Doors Locked

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According to Reddit, one of the most important things to do when solo road-tripping is to keep your doors locked. When discussing this safety tip, one Redditor wrote, “Ensure you manually lock the doors. It may sound like paranoia but why risk someone testing their luck on your unlocked door when you’re stopped at the lights?”

Other Redditors added to this tip, advising travelers to keep their doors locked at drive-throughs and parking lots. For obvious reasons, you should always lock your doors at night!

2. Stay In Secure Hotels

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This next safety tip took us by surprise but it makes perfect sense. One of the top comments was from a woman who likes to stay in hotels where the rooms are accessed from inside hallways. 

The reasoning is the reduced risk of break-ins. The Redditor who left this tip said, “There is less of a chance of a random person trying to get into my room and any disturbance might be heard by others easier.”

This goes to show that even the smallest details can help keep you safe!

3. Don’t Broadcast Your Situation

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Most solo road-trippers believe the worst thing you can do when traveling alone is tell others. Unfortunately, not everyone has good intentions, so it’s best to keep your circumstances to yourself, even if someone seems innocently inquisitive about your plans.

Here’s what one of the community members had to say about this tip:

“Listen to your spidey sense/gut. If a situation or person seems weird or creepy, or you just get a bad feeling, get out of there. Be prepared to walk away from accommodation if the check-in staff are making you uneasy.”

4. Be Prepared

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Without the appropriate preparation, there’s an increased chance you might run into trouble during your road trip. 

Luckily, Redditors from the r/SoloTravel community shared some top tips for being prepared. One of the top tips was to ensure your car is well-maintained.

One community member told solo travelers to “make sure your tires are filled with air and get an oil change.” Or in other words, “if there’s something your car needs and you’ve been putting it off, now is the time to fix it.”

Other simple things you can do to prepare include packing food, drinks, a blanket, and a first-aid kit.

5. “Carry A Personal Locator Beacon”

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To some travelers, it may seem excessive, but many Redditors believe there’s no harm in carrying a locator beacon. We agree!

Carrying a personal locator beacon allows your friends and family to keep tabs on you. They work outside cell coverage and leave bread crumbs every 5 to 10 minutes. They can be a valuable tool if you’ve never done a road trip alone. 

When talking about why he carries a locator beacon, one solo road-tripper said, “For me, the peace of mind is more for my family than myself as they seem to worry more than I do.”

6. Use Your Common Sense 

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To avoid trouble when traveling, you need to use common sense. A helpful Redditor told solo road-trippers to “just use a bit of common sense when camping. If the place looks sketchy then move on.” 

Other readers shared their thoughts too, providing different useful ways to stay safe. These included things like avoiding dangerous neighborhoods, staying inside late at night, and taking breaks on long journeys to avoid fatigue. 

Sometimes, it’s as simple as that!

7. Don’t Show Off Your Valuables

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According to Reddit, one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a solo traveler is leaving your valuables where others can see them. The reasoning is simple. You’ll be seen as someone worth stealing from.

In other words, you’ll make yourself an easy target!

Some of the things Redditors told road-trippers to keep out of sight included large sums of cash, iPods, iPhones, and laptops. 

8. Follow The Speed Limit

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We’d like to think everyone already follows this safety tip, but unfortunately, not everyone does. Not only is speeding dangerous, but it can also land you in trouble with the law. 

Most Redditors take speeding super seriously. One comment even read, “By far the biggest risk you’d be taking on this trip, is driving at high speeds.”

With that in mind, make sure you stay under the speed limit if you want to steer clear of avoidable accidents and police attention. 

9. Sleep In The Driver’s Seat

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One of the most upvoted recommendations on Reddit is to sleep in the driver’s seat. While we would agree that this isn’t too comfortable, a lot of people do it because it offers more security. 

This might seem strange, so let’s look at what one Redditor said for an explanation. The most upvoted comment said, “I always feel safer sleeping in my driver’s seat than I would in an apartment… In my car, if someone tries to get in, I’ll hear it because I’m right there and I can run them over.”

While we don’t condone running over anyone, this safety tip could help you make a quick getaway. However, it’s worth noting that sleeping in a vehicle in some places in the US is illegal. You could even be fined.

Therefore, check the local laws before parking for the night!

10. Don’t Sleep In Remote Locations

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Redditors quickly admitted that the chances of anything happening to you are slim should you need to sleep in a remote location. However, choosing not to sleep in remote locations does minimize risks. 

One community member wrote, “Don’t sleep in rest stops or in the middle of nowhere,” before advising solo travelers where to stay instead. They recommended 24-hour Walmart parking lots and truck stops. 

If you spend the night at a truck stop, you can use the facilities too, which always comes in handy.

However, once again, you should check the local ordinances regarding sleeping in personal vehicles at night. Some counties/cities don’t allow car camping.

11. Don’t Pack A Weapon

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There are travelers out there who’ll tell you to pack a weapon in case you need to act in self-defense. However, doing so could land you in big trouble, especially if you have to cross any borders.

One Redditor told us to “Ignore the idiots that are recommending guns, pepper spray, and tasers.” He then added, “You can’t bring those over the border. Any solution that involves you using one of these will land you in a police department and ruin your trip.”

Having said that, it might be worth carrying bear spray if you’re heading into bear territory. 

12. Don’t Drive At Night

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While it can be tempting to beat the traffic by driving at night, experienced solo road-trippers don’t recommend it. Driving at night isn’t always a bad thing, but you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you break down.

According to Reddit, there’s a greater chance of strange characters and criminals being out at night too. If you decide to travel at night, a few Reddit users recommend driving through well-lit areas and avoiding off-road routes. 

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