Most people think that road trip should be a group adventure, but you can easily pull it off by yourself and enjoy the solitude and peace on the open road. In this article, we explained some of the things you should consider on a solo road trip, before you put your feet on the gas paddle and ride off to the sunset.
Solo Road Trip Travel Tips
Where to go?
There are many possible routes you can take. In United States, most people decide to go down the coast (East or West), or down Route 66, which offers a unique view on historic Americana. Your route should include big cities and natural preserves where you can relax and enjoy clean water and fresh air. Since a highway road trip can be a little bit boring, you should wander off to local roads from time to time and visit the sites that lie off the beaten path. You can use apps like TripAdvisor and Google Maps to plan your route.
How to prepare?
You shouldn’t over pack your car with clothes. Even if you forget something, you can always buy it on the road. Always carry a lot of good music and few books to read before you go to sleep. Small camping stove can also be very useful for preparing your meals on the roadside.
Before you start your trip, don’t forget to do a complete checkup of your car. Get its engine checked, replace the tires and its old exhaust parts. Before I went to a solo road trip, I added new mufflers to my Toyota Celica exhaust. Engine worked much better and the car became stronger and more fuel efficient.
And if you feel your current car might not be up to the task and don’t want to spend excessive sums for a brand new vehicle, you can always score excellent deals for quality used cars online. Check out this Melbourne-based site for car auctions to see what I’m talking about.
Where to sleep?
On a solo road trip you need to rest much more often. Although Hours of service regulations are governing commercial rides only, you shouldn’t drive more than 11 hours per day, no matter how many Red Bulls you’ve drunk. This means that you’ll need to sleep after each 600 miles-long highway ride.
If you’re going on a road trip through sparsely populated areas, you’ll probably need to carry a tent, mattress and a sleeping bag. This will also help you to save money on logging. If you can’t sleep in your car or next to the road, you will find plenty of roadside motels and inns. Couchsurfing and AirBnB are also great for lonesome travelers, because through these networks you can meet other adventurous people, who will share their homes and meals with you and enjoy your company.
Where to eat?
Eating in roadside diners for several days in a row is boring and unhealthy. That’s why, from time to time, you should wonder off to the city and visit some fancy restaurants, with friends you’ve just met on the road. Mobile apps like: Feastly, EatWith and CookApp connect people who’d like to share homemade meals. Most of these apps offer locally based listings of cooking events and potlucks, to whom you can apply. These events are hosted in private apartments and they require certain participation that usually covers necessary ingredients. On these dinners and potlucks, you can eat healthy and tasty food, meet new people and check out the local vibe.
How to have fun?
Some people don’t like to go out alone, but solo travelers usually don’t have a problem with this. If you’re not used to go clubbing by yourself, start your night out in a motel/hostel bar and try to meet other travelers there. Youth and travel clubs’ crowd is friendlier to solo-travelers than people you’d meet in regular bars, discotheques and nightclubs. In some cities, you can go on a pub or club crawl. These events gather dozens of tourists and it’s impossible to feel lonely, while visiting pubs with huge crowd of drunk and happy people. If you prefer a quieter night out, you should try apps like Tinder or Who’s Down.
During your solo road trip, you’ll have a lot of time to think about your life, career, relationship and other important issues. You’ll be able to draw conclusions that will help you later in life. That’s why everybody should take at least one solo road trip during their lifetime.