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Midlife Women Solo Road Trip Safety Tips

Women Solo Road Trip Safety Tips

Blueprint Breaker: Amy Palmer

As a digital nomad who has been taking more road trips over the past few years than I probably ever have in my life, I made the mistake of thinking that just because I have a decent, well running car, a cell phone, and roadside assistance options, I am good to go.

I have a lot of work to do to become better prepared, but I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve learned along the way.

“There were a few times when I traveled 45 minutes or more to a destination and did not have any cell service the entire time.”

When The Unexpected Happens:

Last summer, I rented a small farmhouse in the Catskills for an extended work retreat. I loved the surroundings, the nearby small towns, the farmers’ markets, and the access to lower priced and delicious food. What I didn’t love was the lack of cell signals in many areas. There were a few times when I traveled 45 minutes or more to a destination and did not have any cell service the entire time. It made for a stressful drive, and I started to limit my adventures out of fear that I would be stranded on a remote country road somewhere.

Last month I was making what should have been a simple five hour drive to visit my parents in Myrtle Beach. I experienced an unexpected flat tire. For many complicated reasons, I ended up stranded in a small hotel for a weekend while I waited to get my tire replaced. I was very fortunate that my car gave me a “warning” about the tire, and I was able to drive to a gas station, which also happened to be next to a hotel. But there were precautions I could have taken that would have helped my situation. This unpleasant situation inspired me to share with our Kuel Life Community these women solo road trip safety tips.

7 Road Trip Safety Tips For Midlife Women:

Here is some of what I already knew, have since learned, and / or am in process of implementing in order to continue this free flow life of a nomad:

1. Be Road Trip Ready:

Get your car serviced before you leave. Check tire pressure, fluids, and lights. Have a roadside assistance service (or two!). I had two, and one was more helpful than the other. Make sure you have a functional spare. (I did not have a spare, and didn’t even know that I did not have a spare). I learned the hard way that a “standard” tire center would not replace a tire for my Mercedes as it has some complicated functions (something called “never flat” tires?)

“Download offline maps on your phone’s navigation app in case you lose signal.”

2. Pack Smart:

I typically travel with clothing to keep warm in case of breakdown and usually have snacks and water. According to the AAA website, here is a very comprehensive list of additional items to keep in your emergency kit:

  • Cell phone and car charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets
  • Flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic set of tools, along with duct tape, and car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel

To be honest, I’m not sure what I would do with the tools or the shovel as I likely would just be dependent on getting help. But it may be time to become more handy in this regard!

3. Don’t Trust Your Tech:

Download offline maps on your phone’s navigation app in case you lose signal. I never thought of doing this before, but it makes perfect sense. I always travel with portable chargers and a power bank. My brother has a solar powered battery charger which also seems like a great safety option.

4. Upgrade Your Communication:

As I research options to be proactive for driving through areas without cell service, I’ve read that you can do research ahead of time to find out where the dead zones may be. You can try the FCC National Broadband Map or the Cellmapper app. While I have read that 911 will sometimes work even if you do not have cell service, I have decided it is time for me to invest in either a satellite phone or a satellite messenger.

5. Daylight Driving:

Whenever possible, I drive during daylight hours. This allows for better visibility and makes finding assistance easier if needed.

“Park close to entrances and avoid isolated spots.”

6. Park Smart:

Choose well-lit, populated areas for gas stations and rest stops. Park close to entrances and avoid isolated spots.

7. Lock and Secure:

Always lock your car doors while driving, even at stoplights. Keep valuables out of sight and avoid leaving belongings unattended in the car. I do my best to keep my back seat clear, but that is not always possible. If I have to leave something visible, no matter how low cost or disposable the item is, I cover it up with an old sheet or tarp. Not high tech and not foolproof of course, but anything to minimize the visual temptation for a breakin.

7. Listen to Your Gut:

If a situation feels unsafe, trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to detour or politely decline help if something feels off.

There are a lot of beautiful cities, states, small towns, and countryside to explore! By proactively prepping your women solo road trip safety tips and exercising reasonable caution, you are clearing the way for a joyful experience!

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About the Author:

As host and facilitator for the Blueprint Breaker podcast, Amy A. Palmer is dedicated to expanding and amplifying the voices of women over 45 who are living a “non-traditional” lifestyle.

After a lifelong struggle with feeling “outside” the societal norm and longing to live up to perceived expectations, Amy has found peace, acceptance, and joy as she embarks on the next era of her life. Amy was formerly a senior corporate executive, a nationally recognized sales and operations expert, an award-winning actress, a resident of 13 different US cities, and a prize-winning DC blogger.

Amy has a vast network of friends and colleagues with whom she enjoys travel and adventures and a close family including six niblings (nieces & nephews), the loves of her life!

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