October 14, 2016

Solo Road Trips // Tips and Tricks

 There's just something extremely thrilling when you're driving down the highway, windows rolled down, and your favorite songs playing on the radio. Ahh, just thinking about it makes me excited! I took my first road trip alone a month after my 18th birthday to visit Caleb 6 hours away. From that day I was travelling to Ohio and back to Indiana about once a month, more during the summer! Each trip I gained more experience and began to perfect my road trip plan. The biggest trip I took alone was this August; 350 miles from Ohio to Indiana followed by almost 1000 to Texas. It can be a little daunting to go on a trip alone, that's why I thought I'd share my 5 tips for conquering any solo road trips!
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1. Keep Your Car Organized
In general I love when everything has a place. This is especially good for when your on the road. When loading up your car, make sure you place things where they're most convenient for you while also ensuring that you have everything you need. For example, I always put my bag in backseat, carry-on type backpack in the passenger floorboard, snacks in the passenger seat, insurance cards/registration in the glove box, and basic car maintenance in the trunk(jumper cables, jack, coolant, etc) This way when I'm stopping at a rest stop, checking into a hotel, or even just wanting a quick snack while driving I don't have to worry about trying to find something.

2. Check Your Car Before you Go
This is kinda obvious, but very important. Be sure to check your fluids, tire pressure, fill up the gas tank, and make sure you have all important documents for your vehicle handy. If you're unsure how to do a few of these things as someone you know for help. When I first started I'd always ask my dad or husband. Eventually you'll learn and can do it yourself! If anything needs fixed make sure you do it before you leave. This will keep you safe while also avoiding a headache down the road.

3.Bring Snacks and Music
At times, road trips are going to get boring. That's why I like to bring snacks to keep me full and help keep be focused. (*Cue Mini-Wheats Guy*) Music will also help to pass the time and keep you from falling asleep. Road trips are perfect times for karaoke sessions!

4. Stay Safe
Safety is one of the most important things on a road trip. Let someone know before you leave and where you'll be going. Be sure to also call someone when you arrive. For extra precautions I always like to shoot my dad or husband a quick text when I stop somewhere for a break. This way he knows where I am at and the time just in case something horrible were to happen.  Having something to protect yourself if something were to go wrong, such as pepper spray or a tazer, is also a good idea. Lastly, don't stop somewhere that's not very busy. When stopping for gas or a rest stop I like make sure there are plenty of people around. 

5. Don't Push Yourself
Make sure you get a good nights sleep before you leave. If at any point during the trip you start to feel sleepy, don't be afraid to stop somewhere and take a break. Splash some cool water on your face, do some jumping jacks, or even take a quick nap. Whatever it takes to keep you awake on the road. On the other hand, don't keep forcing yourself to stay away just so you can try to get to your destination quicker. Sometimes it's a good idea to stop at a hotel for the night, especially if it's a long trip. Both your body and the other travellers with thank you.

6. Start with a Plan
Always have  printable version of your route. Just as you'd look up directions on your phone, you can do the same on your computer and print them out. Sometimes you'll be in an area without a cell phone signal so you want to make sure you have a backup in case your GPS goes out. Pay attention to traffic signs to avoid taking the wrong exit. If you did get lost, don't worry. Most GPS will reroute your trip, or you could take the exit into a nearby city and recreate your plan. You'll be back on the road in no time.

7. Trust Your Instincts
If something feels concerning, don't just ignore it. Creepy feelings about a place or person can be right, and it's better to be safe than sorry. I've never had any negative experiences, but they do happen to lots of people. Just keep your head straight and pay attention. 
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There's a few more tips I wish I could share, but I think these are the most important. I've been on 10+ solo trips and they really aren't as scary as they might seem. Just follow driving laws, stay focused, be responsible, and don't forget to have f


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