Traveling Solo as a Woman
There is nothing like hitting the open road in an RV, which arguably makes traveling more convenient and fun. Each year, more people than ever are purchasing or renting RVs to travel full time, part time, or on vacation, and these people often include couples, families, and solo travelers. In fact, about eleven percent of the RV market is made up of single people, with about half of these solo travelers being women. However, there are even more women who may have considered traveling solo but are concerned with potential safety issues and other problems that could crop up while traveling. Below, we have compiled a list of eight tips for women to adhere to while solo traveling, in hopes that even more women will set out on adventures while maintaining their safety.
1. Share your location with a friend
This is safety rule number one for women who are traveling alone. Letting a friend or family member know where you are going to be is crucial, as this would allow you to be easily found in case of a storm, medical emergency, or any other unforeseen event. It’s easy enough to let someone know where you plan to be and for how long, but location sharing options on different mapping apps have made it easier than ever to share your exact location in real time with someone you trust. Google maps, Waze, and Apple maps all offer this feature, allowing solo travelers to stay safer than ever on a consistent basis.
2. Don’t travel on empty (gas or phone)
Unfortunately, you never know when a sticky or unsafe situation could arise. Car accidents, zones without cell signal, and other dangerous circumstances could happen, and being without cell phone battery to make an important phone call or without gas to get to the nearest safe location could prove life-threatening. Stay safe, and always travel with at least a half tank of gas and a half-full phone battery, in case the worst should happen. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Travel with a dog or pet
Animals make such great companions, and dogs in particular are great for use as additional security. Most dogs bark when they hear someone at the door or any unexpected noises, so this can help to serve as an additional security barrier. Even cats can help solo travelers to feel less lonely and to have a companion to share their experiences with.
4. Stay in populated areas
Although statistics show that the majority of crime happens in densely populated areas, it is still not always considered wise to travel into the wilderness alone. Even solo female travelers who enjoy boondocking tend to choose sites with at least a few other RVers around. For quick overnight stops, many women also select Walmarts or other business parking lots over rest stops or travel centers. Business parking lots tend to have better security, brighter lights, and less people coming and going. However, the safest overnight choice is always going to be a Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome location.
5. Have backup overnight options
Another safety tip is to always have a backup option for overnight stays. Perhaps you are planning to camp in a first come first-served campground, but you arrive only to find that the campground is full. Having a safe overnight backup option is your next best bet. Harvest Hosts can be a great backup option if you are able to contact a host and sort out the details. This can keep you from having to spend the night in a shady rest area or a secluded location because your plans fell through. Just be sure to always let the host know if you are unable to make it or if you are coming by with a day-of reservation. Member-host respect is one of the primary tenets of Harvest Hosts success.
6. Learn to perform or stay on top of your own maintenance
Routine maintenance is a requirement for all RVs, and neglecting maintenance can cause mechanical issues and unnecessary wear and tear. Learning how to keep maintenance logs and perform routine maintenance on your home can help you to save money and can keep your RV running in better shape. Even those who are not handy should know how to keep a maintenance log and take their rig to the mechanic whenever it is due for work. This can make a big difference in keeping your travel safe and efficient.
7. Carry personal protection of some sort
Carrying personal protection on the road is a hot-button topic, but it is never illegal to carry a knife, baseball bat, pepper spray, or other low-level-harm form of protection. Chances are that you would never need to use any of these items to defend yourself, but it is certainly better to be safe rather than sorry. That being said, it is typically easiest and/or best to drive away and get to safety rather than fighting off a threat.
8. Don’t advertise that you are alone.
Last but not least, try not to advertise that you are alone amongst strangers. There is never any need to directly tell strangers that you are completely alone, but in certain situations, some solo female travelers have gone out of their way so as to make it appear that they are traveling with a partner. This includes tactics such as leaving additional pairs of shoes by the door, hanging up an extra coat, and even pretending to talk to another person “in the back” if you are feeling particularly threatened. Hopefully this never becomes a necessity, but this tip could be lifesaving in certain situations.
We sincerely hope that this article encouraged, rather than dissuaded, women from traveling alone. Hitting the open road solo or with just a pet can be such a liberating and freeing experience. Unfortunately, the world we live in is often somewhat unsafe for women who are alone, but the right precautions will have you traveling in safety and style in no time.
Are you a woman who solo travels? Would you ever consider traveling alone? What other tips do you recommend? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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I travel alone and deeply enjoy the experience. I do fear danger, harm, and mishaps, however, I make sure I have the above tips in place (I don’t have a travelling pet, though). Extra steps I take is to have a local RV repair shop inspect my trailer every spring. This gives me great peace of mind and covers the mechanical situations I am not sure of. I also invest in roadside emergency assistance for added protection. A last safety feature I do is contact 2 family members throughout my travels – my version of safety in numbers!
The rest of the time is fun, adventure, and renewal. 😀