How to Survive a Long-Distance Road Trip Solo
Road trips are one of the best—and often the cheapest—ways to get away. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find someone to road trip right along with you. So what do you do when you’re traveling a long distance solo? You have the time of your life, of course.
If you’re taking the plunge and venturing out alone (i.e. without a single other passenger with you, not even your dog), then it’s best to be prepared. To help you plan your long-distance solo road trip, I have some tips that might help. Here is how you can survive a road trip all alone-y on your own-y.
Pack an emergency kit
Accidents happen all the time. Spending more time on the road means that you’re more likely to get stranded on the side of the road with a flat or some other mechanical problem. If this is the case, it’s always best to have an emergency kit with you. This kit should have some jumper cables, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and reflective warning triangles. You should also have a spare tire, a jack, and a wrench in case you get a flat. Even having the number of AAA or another roadside assistance program will be a big help if something bad were to happen.
Here are some more items to consider putting in your emergency kit:
- A warm blanket
- A list of emergency contact numbers
- An extra charged cell phone
- Non-perishable food and bottled water
- A flashlight
Stop for a healthy meal
When on a road trip, stopping at a fast food chain is always tempting. Who doesn’t love disgustingly greasy, salty French fries? It’s important that you stay alert on a long road trip, though, and heavy foods can make you feel lethargic while you’re out on the road. Instead, stop for a long lunch or dinner somewhere and grab a healthy meal to eat. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel after being out of the car for even just 30 minutes. Consider getting a salad or a fresh wrap to keep your energy up and your stomach feeling full.
Drink your water
Staying hydrated helps you stay focused, which is why it’s important to drink water as you drive. Road trips are one of the times we consume the most caffeine, so balancing these typically dehydrating drinks with bottled water is a great idea. Yes, you might have to stop at the restroom more often, but that’s a better alternative than driving without being alert.
Understand the rules of the road
I came across the above signs* when I was driving in Central New Jersey, and I couldn’t help but think—this has to be the most Jersey thing ever. It’s practically yelling at you to get off at the exit or get the heck out of this lane. Before driving in Jersey, I’d never experienced this type of signage before and it was everywhere in the Garden State. This, along with what I came to call the “Jersey Left Turn,” which requires you to exit on the right in order to turn left, were just a few of the experiences that surprised me when I entered a new state.
If you know where you’re going, research the rules of the road in that state before heading out. It’s best to not be caught unawares—or you’ll end up lost like I did!
*Don’t worry, I had a passenger with me at the time to take this picture. No phone was in my hand while driving!
Always keep some cash in your car
For those that come from states that don’t typically have tolls out on the road, it can be easy to forget that you will need cash for these. Before you even head out, I suggest putting $20 in your glove box or another reachable place to cut down on the amount of fumbling you have to do with your wallet when you unexpectedly come across a toll.