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Road trips are a wonderful way to take in new places and scenery without breaking the bank. While traveling with family and friends is also enjoyable, solo road trips can offer a different level of freedom and self-discovery. However, solo travel, especially for first timers, usually poses some safety concerns. Mitigate some of your travel anxiety and stay safe on the road with these safety tips for solo road trippers.

Safety Tips for Your First Solo Road Trip

Plan Your Route Beforehand

Before hitting the road, choose your destinations and decide how long to stay at each. This can help you avoid getting lost or stranded in unfamiliar places. Make sure you have a clear idea of the roads and highways you’ll be using and note any areas with poor cell phone coverage.

Share Your Plans with Loved Ones

Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. This way, someone will know where you are and when to expect you. Shoot them a text when you leave and arrive at your destination and tell them if you deviate from your planned route or if any problems come up.

Stay Close to Home

For your first solo road trip, consider staying close(ish) to home while you’re still getting used to traveling alone. Instead of choosing a cross-country attraction, try visiting some smaller nearby destinations that you’ve always had your eye on. While they aren’t always as social-media worthy as the more famous ones, they may be the most memorable.

Leverage Navigational Tools

Make sure to bring a map, atlas, GPS, and even a mobile compass to keep you on the right path. Carrying physical maps can serve as a backup plan in case your phone battery dies, and you need to keep driving the old-fashioned way.

Pack Plenty of Food and Water

Always carry enough food and water to last the entire trip. Pack energizing snacks you can reach for when you’re feeling hungry and extra water in case of emergencies. In addition, don’t rely on fast food stores, as they may not be available when you’re driving in rural areas.

Have Emergency Supplies

In addition to food and water, pack emergency supplies like a first aid kit, flashlight, spare tire, and jumper cables. It’s also a clever idea to carry a blanket or warm clothing in case temperatures drop unexpectedly.

Maintain Your Car

A well-maintained car can reduce the likelihood of accidents and breakdowns on the road. We recommend visiting the mechanic a week before your departure to have the oil, brakes, tires, and other essential components tuned up before you leave.

Practice Safe Driving and Parking

Stay mindful and pay attention to your surroundings while you’re on your trip. Driving during the day is usually safer and less stress-induing, so try to leave early and arrive at your destination while it’s still light outside. In addition, drive with your doors locked and be mindful of where you park your car. Parking close to an entrance prevents you from having to walk to your vehicle in a vacant lot.

Take Breaks

Driving alone for extended periods can be exhausting, so make sure to take breaks and stretch your legs. Stop at rest areas or scenic spots to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Don’t Forget Car Insurance

Lastly, don’t leave your driveway without a quality car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage and roadside assistance are especially useful for solo road trippers who are worried about getting stranded or damaging their vehicle. If you’re looking for affordable coverage, get a car insurance quote from The General in under two minutes and find your perfect policy.