You’ve probably been on tons of road trips with family and friends, but the time has come for you to take on the open road alone.
While you are comfortable behind the wheel and genuinely enjoy driving, some thoughtless co-worker had to go and tell you about the time his car broke down in the middle of nowhere and he had to sleep in the vehicle overnight with no food or water.
No worries, o intrepid road warrior—with some pre-planning and common sense, you will have a safe and stress-free trip and arrive at your destination safe and sound. With this in mind, please consider the following tips, which you are welcome to share with that goofy co-worker of yours:
Decide on a Decent Driving Schedule
You may be committed to putting 12 hours in on your first day, but a more flexible mindset may be a better route. Solo Traveler World suggests creating a driving schedule that fits your limits and personality. You should also consider the unexpected, such as if inclement weather is forecasted for the trip. Rather than tell yourself that you will drive a certain amount of hours a day, allow for some flexibility and give yourself permission to call it a day at 7 p.m. if you’re feeling worn.
Consider using travel apps to help you in your preparation. Tom’s Guide recently published a review of some of the best road trip apps like the iExit Interstate Exit Guide for Android and iOS. It will help you plan your pit stops along the way based on photos of businesses and other amenities that are located at upcoming exits. You can also search for the type of restaurant, gas station or other business that you would like. In addition, RoadTrippers allows you to plan out your whole journey in the app or on the web portal, saving your desired stops and locations into a trip plan that will then sync onto all of your devices.
Get Your Car Ready
Before leaving for your road trip, you definitely want to bring in your car for a thorough checkup. Be sure that everything like the oil, all other fluids and all tires are checked, topped off and/or in great condition. In addition, you might also want to look into an extended warranty plan from a company like Protect My Car. It offers three car service contracts that provide you with extended car warranty coverage for things that may no longer be covered. If your car is on the older side and is well past its warranty, investing in this type of car service contract will ensure that if you do encounter an issue in the middle of nowhere, you and your vehicle will be well taken care of and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
Tell Your Plans to a Trusted Friend
Chances are quite good that you will have an uneventful trip to and from your destination. But to be safe, by all means tell at least one trusted friend about your plans. This will ensure that someone is looking out for you from afar, and he or she can send help if need be. Set up a schedule of times that you’ll check in; at the very least, you should text or call the person when you arrive where you are going. It provides peace of mind for all involved — and helps you avoid ending up like your unlucky co-worker.
Pack a Battery Charger and Backup Electronics
If your smartphone’s battery conks out in the middle of nowhere, you be up the proverbial creek without a paddle if something happens. To prevent this from happening, consider charging up an older cell phone and keeping it in the car as a backup. Even if the phone is no longer connected to a network, if you dial 911 it will activate the emergency mode and you can call for help. You can also buy a portable wireless charger that you can use to keep your electronics juiced up along the way. For instance, the HALO Bolt portable charger and car jump starter can not only restart a dead battery with the help of the included jumper cables, it also features two USB outputs that you can use to charge multiple devices either in your car or hotel room.
Have a Safe and Fun Time
While you are definitely smart to take extra precautions and do special planning prior to a solo road trip, you don’t have to worry that your trip will be like your co-worker’s. By using apps to help plan your trip, letting people know your schedule, preparing your car and taking extra electronics, you will be able to regale your co-worker about your amazing and successful solo road trip.