9 Tips for Solo Road Tripping
If you plan to travel alone by car soon, I hope these travel tips will be useful! I had a unique opportunity to travel from Los Angeles, CA to Grand Junction, CO in April 2018. A fantastic road trip visiting National Parks and seeing some incredible views. I stopped in Valley of Fire, NV, Moab UT, Grand Junction, CO, Bryce Canyon, UT, and Zion, UT.
Number of Days: 8
Number of States: 5
Total Miles: 1,461
I would love to hear about your experiences and what works well for you, and I know others will appreciate learning from you! Please leave a comment below!
- Car maintenance
- Make sure you have an overall tune up and check these off your list of things to do before you leave:
- Oil change
- Tire rotation
- All fluids filled
- Heating/air conditioning check
- Brake check
- Car supplies
- Water, water, water
- Paper towel, small cooler, utensils
- Downloaded maps to your phone or printed out and easily accessible
- First aid kit
- Windshield washer fluid
- Spare tire
- Emergency car tool kit
- Jumper Cables
- Accommodations I love sleep. And I’m a planner. I need to know that I have a place to sleep. I recommend this for a few reasons:
- Keeps you on track if you are on a time schedule
- You can let loved ones know where you are and check in with them. I used Google Maps on my journey and turned on the Location Sharing feature so that my friends and family could follow my journey. Also, I felt safer knowing others could see where my vehicle was.
- Typically there is wifi to upload your amazing pictures from your daily adventures!
- I used AirBnB for my entire trip. Make sure you do the research on the location and type of room you prefer. I had both great experiences and just OK experiences.
- *Tip - If you prefer hotels and are on a budget, you can try using the App, Hotel Tonight for discounted rooms the day of your stay.
- If you are more of the roughing it type, you can sleep in your car or camp each night, but just make sure you allocate time for rest and sleep! And always make sure you are in a safe place.
- Patience & flexibility
- Traffic delays may happen due to road construction or detours, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the trip itself.
- Take the wildlife signs seriously as well as slowing down for road construction crews. Safety first!
- I missed doing a hike I really wanted to do because of the tunnel to Zion being closed for what seemed like forever. Instead I did 3 smaller hikes and was able to spend more time at each one. Not what I had planned, but still a great day!
- Plan extra time in each day
- On day 1 I thought I would spend about 30 minutes to an hour at the Valley of Fire (about an hour outside of Las Vegas) and it was so amazing, I spent 4 hours there! Make sure you are not on such a tight schedule that you can’t take time to enjoy unexpected adventures, enjoy a long meal, or explore just one more new place. Here are a few photos from my unexpected hike:
While solo, go out of your way to meet people. I met some lovely people who were also traveling alone and many with their families. Many people were more than willing to take a photo or two of me with incredible landscapes and scenery. And when speaking to the locals, you can learn what’s not on the map or in the online reviews. A friendly smile will do wonders!
- Don’t run out of fuel
I traveled through some very remote places on my journey. I never let my tank get below ¼ tank. Look for signs that may indicate fuel won’t be available for the next ‘X’ miles.
You can always try searching for gas stations using your online map app like in Google Maps or use other Apps like Gas Guru and Gas Buddy.
- Scenic turnouts
I made it a point to stop at every scenic lookout possible. Many had restrooms, which are always a welcome sight and a great time to stretch your legs. I was able to appreciate the topography so much more when slowing down and taking the time to take in the views in between my destinations.
- Enjoy every minute
Make the most of the views of the different landscapes, small towns, weather, and always take the long way or scenic overlook.
Take the exit with a fun attraction or “world’s biggest, best, smallest’ something. It will make a great memory!
Take a deep breath, smile, relax and enjoy your journey!
Please share your suggestions and comments below :)