Hello beautiful people! It’s been a little while since I have made a blog post. As most everybody knows I currently made a move across the country by myself. I’m a single 23 year old female and I did it alone. I made it too! I’d be lying if I said it was a complete breeze but I think I was prepared for most everything.
I’ve had a few questions how it was, if it was hard, if I was scared, etc. I thought I would write a blog on tips about traveling by yourself or even with anyone else that helped me.
Don’t have a plan.
This was difficult for me because I’m a plan person. I’m a true Virgo if that helps you know my perfectionist personality. I didn’t have a deadline of where I was going which was really helpful because I could stop whenever I needed to. I stopped by 5:30 each day so I had time to get a room and dinner before the sun went down.
Expect delays and save for them.
Save money for extra hotel nights. I was SO thankful that I had enough saved because I spend 4 extra nights in hotels then I thought I would have. One night was in Indiana due to storms and I ended up staying in a hotel in Denver over the weekend instead of at a friend’s house.
Do anything you can to sleep well, especially if you are traveling alone.
Sleep is not something that I had the greatest time with during my travels and sometimes it was very difficult. I was either worried about my car, the weather, my next stop, and just being alone in a hotel was difficult for me for a little while. If you have to stop early, stop early. This is where not having a plan comes in handy. If you don’t have anyone to switch the driving wheel with, you have to keep your mind sharp at all times. Don’t take this lightly, fatigue driving is a REAL thing.
Feel comfortable where you stay.
If you are looking for really cheap motels but don’t feel comfortable for how sketchy it looks, please don’t stay there. Spend an extra $20 on the next place so you can feel safe. I don’t really enjoy motels as much as hotels because there’s nothing between me and the door. Most of my worry with hotels was that my car was not right there with me close though. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles so I ended up staying at hotels because the first night I was at a motel, I did not feel the safest. If you’re worried about the stuff in your car just make sure to park it close to the entrance and under a light, I never had any problems. Usually cars are pretty safe at hotels because people know it’s under cameras.
Keeping your belongings safe in your car.
This is something that was a constant worry for me because I don’t have a U-Haul and nothing is really hidden. My tip to you is don’t worry about it as much as I did, just follow these little steps. Do as I say not as I do. Before I left I got personal property insurance…that way if my things were stolen everything was covered. If you are also a photographer, GET THIS. I know many people who have had their things stolen and it doesn’t sound like a fun time.
I read an article from a man who used to actually be a criminal and would steal from cars. He wrote and article on how to avoid that from happening to you and what criminals look for. I wish I could find the article but cannot anymore for the life of me. A few things that helped me were to always park it under a street light and to know that cars full of stuff rarely get robbed. They have about 20 seconds to bash your window and get whatever and run. If you have your car loaded with many things, they can’t tell what’s worth money and find it a waste of time. It made me feel really comfortable with his pointers and tips actually! It all makes sense too. So thank you…. kind criminal.
Keep yourself SAFE.
I think it’s very important that women have some sort of self defense protection, I used to brush off this idea and walk around Portland and Denver city by myself at night with NOTHING. I just don’t get scared by people but in all honestly…you never know! I now carry pepper spray with me in my jacket pocket when I’m walking around alone and keep it next to my bed, it helps me sleep a little better at night. I also purchased what’s called a The Cat. It’s a self defense keychain that looks like a cat and you slide your fingers through the holes, this makes the ears into a self defense weapon. You can purchase it from Amazon for $7. (Purchase yours here) It makes me feel really comfortable walking to and from my car. Also just walking around a place I don’t feel really safe in.
I would always let the front desk know that I’m alone and moving across the country. I would tell them my concern about my car and just to give them the heads up. Be friends with the hotel staff! When you are getting in and out of your hotel room just peak around the hallway to see if someone is watching and keep your noise level down when talking about your hotel room to the front desk. Don’t tell strangers your name and room number in hotels either. There’s also extra locks on the door for a reason, use them. All of these things made me feel safer.
Have an actual map.
I purchased a US road atlas and happy I did. It gives you a great visual as to what main interstates and highways to take. Sometimes our smartphones are not always the smartest. It’s kind of fun too, it makes everything so official.
Try to eat healthy…just a little bit
Eating healthy just doesn’t happen on road trips. I’m sure I’ve gained a solid 5 pounds. I was stuck in trucker towns for 3 days with NOTHING but fast food around me. When you have the chance to eats some veggies or a big salad, your body will thank you. Before you go on your trip try to pickup some healthy snacks for the road. I went to Trader Joes and picked up quite a bag full of healthier goodies. My favorites were seaweed snacks, snap pea crisps, dried apricots. This avoided bad for you snacks at gas stations. I also got a bag of gummy bears for my sweet treat!
Always let at least one person know where you are, address, and everything.
If you can try to find out where you will lose cellular service. This is something I did NOT do and wish I did! I was going through Kansas to Denver and had NO phone service for 3-4 hours. Oh, I was also in a rain and snow storm. I was so scared that nobody would know where I was. I ended up pulling over and asking a worker at a gas station if I could just borrow their phone to let a family member know where I was. If you do run out of service, know that there are actually kind people in this world that would be more than happy to let you borrow their phone. Always try to keep in contact with somewhere you are. Whenever I would stop I would usually send the address to my parents.
There’s an app on iPhones that’s called Find Friends. One of my best friends actually added me on there so she could track where I was at all times, motels, gas stations, along the road. It’s almost board line stalker status BUT if you have someone you trust it’s really nice to have someone watching you at all times.
Stop, breathe, and gas up your car double what you think you should.
I tried stopping every hour. Even if it was to just pull over, stretch, drink some water, and breathe some fresh air. It keeps your mind awake! I also never let my gas tank go below half. I’ve heard it’s better for your gas mileage and you will never feel nervous about running out! Also, do not forget to take water with you. Drink a lot of it, yes you will have to stop and take extra potty breaks but it will reduce headaches, this is something I should have done more of. I got too many headaches.
Good music and audio books
Of course, you need some entertainment. A plus side to traveling alone is you can listen to the music you want, sing all you want, and listen to it as loudly as you want. Oh, I mean uhhh… keep it down…. 🙂 I recently found an app called Audible, which is by Amazon. Audiobooks are actually not that cheap, which was a little surprise to me…however, this gives you great deals! It’s $14 a month for any audiobook you wish to have that month (They usually range from $20-$30!) and 30% off additional audio books you purchase that month. Your first month you get a free audiobook! I’ve been listening to Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. Humor is my favorite so this was golden for my trip.
I hope this helped many of you for your future travels! Safe traveling!
xoxo, The Wonder Seeker!