Ladies, when I first started getting in touch with my adventurous side, I was just starting to date again. It wasn’t until a few adventures in that I met my partner now. I went on some crazy cool adventures that helped shape me into the person I am now before we met! I will admit that looking back at those trips, it was much harder to plan solo travels than as a couple. Though it took more planning, there was a great learning opportunity in each of those plans.
What I learned about staying somewhere on my own is that it is worth doing the research every time– I do a TON of searching when it comes to staying somewhere I was not familiar with. Truthfully, I am not usually comfortable leaving my own apartment but have made the effort in the last year or so to go outside my comfort boundaries so I can explore more of the world like I see other adults my age doing on TV and social media. I learned that there are a few steps I follow in my process that keeps me calm and collected when I’m stressed before or during the trip.
Research the crap out of what you’re booking
- Local Attraction such as a lake or mountain
- Rating and reviews of park or hotel
- Price of admittance or rental
- Cleanliness of Amenities such as the shared spaces (i.e. bathroom)
Be careful and especially if you are traveling alone, understand your surroundings at all times. Be aware of how much money you have on you, how much gas is in your tank, and what your cell battery and service levels are.
Stay Powered Up
- Cell phone battery pack and cord
- Phone Numbers in my wallet, pocket, or glove compartment
Keeps Multiple Forms of ID on you
It seems silly, but considering how small an ID is and how slick it is, it’s easy to fall out of your bag or pocket. The last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere out of state because you couldn’t board the train or airplane without an ID. Or, even locally, you wouldn’t want to be driving somewhere you’re not familiar with without an ID. I’ve kept a few of my old IDs on me in my glove compartment or wallet so that if I lost one, even if it’s not valid, I’d look a little more legitimate.
All trails, All the Time
I say this all the time, but All Trails really is the REAL reason I became comfortable traveling independently without a companion (human or doggo). This subscription app allows you to follow your map in real-time either online or out of network, as you have the ability to download the 4 different kinds of maps with the paid version. This saved me from going off-trail so many times and kept me confident that I’d always reach my destination by sundown. What I found even better was the ability to pace myself so that if I started lagging behind, I’d be able to see if I’d need to pick up the pace to make it to my car before the park legally closed.
Keep Cash in Multiple Locations
I’ve been on trips before where they didn’t accept Visa, but accepted American Express or vice versa, or they didn’t accept cash and I only had a card. The list goes on when it comes to what places take which payment types. Rule of thumb is to always carry enough cash to fill a half tank of gas and grab a snack. Carry about $30 in cash at all times. In addition, keep a balance on your credit card that would allow you to get help for a new set of tires in case something happened. Too many trips I went on and prayed the entire way in and out of the road thinking, “I don’t have enough to cover new tires if one of these popped”. While I made it each time, out safely, with no popped tires, it wasn’t very responsible.