Do you ever wonder how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone? Well, the secret is you plan it. WHAT?!?! The last thing that comes to mind when you envision a spontaneous solo road trip is planning.
When you think spontaneous, you think of getting in the car, blasting the music, and just seeing where the road takes you. This sounds great in theory, and you definitely can do that, though it may not result in the best solo adventure.
Do I really need to plan how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone?
Hear me out and just imagine . . it’s a couple of hours later and you realize you’re hungry, you have no clothes packed, your phone is running low on battery – because you didn’t bring your charger with you– and you have no idea where you are or where you’re staying for the night.
Sure, you can figure it out on the fly, but why deal with the stress? Your time and energy can be put to much better use. You can spend that time enjoying the experience and living in the moment, instead of having to plan your next move. With just a little bit of planning, you will have the spontaneous road trip of your dreams.
But wait, aren’t solo road trips dangerous and boring?
Some of the main protests/concerns against solo road trips that you will hear time and time again are “Is it really safe to travel alone, especially as a woman?” Or “Isn’t traveling alone boring?” And “There is no difference between traveling alone or with others. The more the merrier!“
These are definitely valid concerns. Safety is always important, especially if you are a solo female traveler, but there are still ways to travel safely and have the road trip of your dreams.
What about getting bored? Well, chances are you are a lot more exciting than you think you are. You just haven’t had the chance to spend that time getting to know yourself.
Lastly, traveling alone really is a unique adventure that you just can’t get when you are with others. None of these concerns should stop you from this truly amazing and special experience that only a spontaneous solo road trip can provide.
How to Go On a Roadtrip By Yourself
Knowing about these concerns ahead of time will help you make a plan to combat them. Now, this may seem like too much and like it goes against the very nature and purpose of a spontaneous road trip, but it really doesn’t. Just because you plan some parts of your trip doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have exciting and spontaneous moments.
With that said, it is also important to be flexible with your plan. For example, you may decide to stay a few extra days to explore different Miami, Florida parks you just found out about. Or you may decide to add a whole new destination to your trip. Being prepared but flexible will help to alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety.
Have a general idea of steps but keep it flexible enough for adventures.
Road Trip Itinerary Must-Haves
Having a road trip itinerary is just a loose plan to help ensure you have all your bases covered. The main things that you really want to have planned out, or at least have a vague idea of, are what cities you want to visit and what major sights you want to see. Knowing this information will help you know what you need to pack.
So, for example, if you are planning a cross-country road trip, then you know you will need to pack a variety of different weather-appropriate clothes depending on the time of year. This is especially true if you are traveling within the USA because the weather can vary significantly from state to state.
Another reason it is important to know vaguely where you plan to visit is so that you can make some loose plans for where you want to stay at night. This could be a hotel, a campsite, an Airbnb, or even on a friend’s couch if you know you’re going to be passing through their city. Knowing this info will help with budgeting and making a casual timeline and route that you want to follow.
Also, knowing a general idea of what locations you want to visit can make it easier to plan for other things you may want to explore nearby. This could mean checking out the local cuisine or signing up for a day tour. Overall, a loose road trip itinerary will ensure you have an amazing solo trip adventure.
Here Are Some Resources to Help You Plan Your Solo Trip
One of the most useful resources to have in case of an emergency on your solo road trip is a MAP. Yes, even though we live in the modern age, you never know when you’ll have shitty cell service or when Google Maps decides to suddenly freak out on you. You can rest assured that by having a paper map, you can find your way back to civilization.
The next resources on our list are a bit more modern. As a solo traveler, you are definitely going to want to bookmark or download these apps and websites that are made specifically for travelers:
- An all-time favorite of mine! This website and app help you not only plan out your route, but they offer suggestions on possible spots you would be interested in exploring based on your preferences. So it’s definitely a must when you are planning your solo journey and trying to figure out what you would like to explore nearby.
- Similar to Roadtrippers, this website and app also help you plan out your route and offer suggestions on places to visit. But where it differs is that you can have your itinerary and map all in one place. Talk about efficiency.
- Google Maps
- Though I’m sure you know what this app does, just in case you have been living under a rock, this app’s main function is to provide directions. It also has other features that allow you to see what is nearby, such as restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores.
- This website/app is a service where people can rent out their property for any duration of time. It allows travelers to book these properties giving them a place to stay.
- This website/app helps travelers find deals on hotels.
- This website/app is a service that allows its members to share their homes with travelers looking for a place to stay. This is a great way to meet new locals and connect with fellow travelers.
- Get Your Guide
- This website helps you find local attractions, activities, and tours.
- This is another website that also helps you find local attractions, activities, and tours.
Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s important to have your loose itinerary written down somewhere you won’t lose it. This could either be on your phone in an app, a Google Doc, or even on a simple piece of paper. Having this will always allow you to refer back to it so you can travel with confidence.
Freebie Alert: Check out my free Solo Road Trip Planner Printout. Coming Soon . .
Top Tips and Essentials On How To Take a Spontaneous Roadtrip
Traveling alone means that you only have yourself to rely on. A one-person road trip means you will be the only one doing all the driving. So it’s best to prepare for any long travel days where you will be stuck in the car driving solo. This means figuring out how long you will realistically be able to drive, how many rests stops you will need, and how to entertain yourself. Here are the top tips you need when solo traveling.
How to Pass the Time on a Road Trip Alone
Some might say that when figuring out how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone, the biggest hurdle they face is how to pass the time. Many people think of companionless travel as boring or lonely. Newsflash, it doesn’t have to be and there are definitely things you can do ahead of time to make sure you are thoroughly entertained.
Have an Awesome Solo Trip Playlist
Let’s talk about how to plan for boredom. Because no matter how amusing you are, there is likely going to come a time where that is just not enough. When that time comes, you are going to be glad you came prepared for battle.
Remember that whatever you decide to entertain yourself with, it has to be something that you can do while driving. This condition definitely limits some activities, like scrolling through IG on your phone or watching a movie or TV show, but other options can be just as entertaining.
The number one option and most people’s go-to is to listen to music. The simplest way to do this would be through the radio. Just keep in mind that radio stations are determined by location and tend to play the same thing over and over. So if you’re somewhere unfamiliar, you’re gonna have to scan a few different channels before you find one you like. If you want a more curated playlist, then you could always use apps like:
If listening to music gets boring for you, then there are always audiobooks or podcasts that you can listen to that can keep you entertained for hours while on the road. All the apps listed above have podcast options you can listen to. Though some may also have options for audiobooks, the best app for this has to be Audible.
So whether you only do 1 or all of these options while road tripping, it’s best to have some prepared ahead of time. This way, you are not fumbling with your phone while driving. Remember SAFETY FIRST!
A Solo Road Trip Needs Snacks
When I think of how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone, my mind immediately goes to snacks. This is for everyone, right? This is definitely a part of the planning process where I do not skimp out!
Every spontaneous solo road trip needs snacks. No matter where you are going, you are going to get hungry. When hunger sets in, you will be so thankful that you are fully stocked with your go-to goodies.
Another reason that it is a good idea to bring your own snacks instead of just eating whatever fast food or convenience store junk food you happen to come across is that you can completely control what you pack. So if you have specific dietary needs that you know are difficult to find on the road, then you don’t have to worry. You’ve got yourself covered.
You can pack treats that are IBS-friendly, lactose-free, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, or even keto. The sky’s the limit and you are in control. Also, when packing, consider getting a cooler that you can fill with all your goodies. This helps not only store them but also preserve them.
Need some non-food-related ideas on what to pack for your solo journey? Here is my list of 7 Travel Must-Have’s to Travel Like a Pro.
Plan Your Rest Stops
Another great way to prepare for your unaccompanied road trip is to know where the rest stops are. Since you will be the only one doing all the driving, you are going to want to make periodic stops. This could be to either fuel up, eat a meal, rehydrate, or you might just need to stretch your legs on those long travel days.
One of the best ways to know where these rest stops are if you are traveling in the USA is to use the app USA Rest Stop Locator. This app is super useful and definitely worth checking out.
Is It More Dangerous for Female Solo Travelers?
As a fellow female traveler, I definitely make sure I know how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone. As a female, you are often told never to travel alone because you can get robbed, assaulted, kidnapped, and the list goes on. But are these fears truly valid or are they really just misconceptions and myths we have been told over and over again until we believe they are true.
The REAL DANGERS of Tripping Alone For Women
So let’s discuss the REAL DANGERS that solo female travelers are most likely to face and how to protect yourself on a road trip. Believe it or not, the most common dangers that a female or a person in general actually faces are transportation accidents or car troubles.
Yup, it’s not getting robbed or assaulted. It’s the chance of getting into a car accident or getting a flat tire. This totally makes sense if you really think about it. You are more likely to spend a greater amount of time driving vs actually exploring or sightseeing.
So make sure your car is in good shape and that you have car or travel insurance in case you need any roadside assistance. Doing just these two things should help to lessen any trouble that may arise.
Are Single Female Travel Concerns Valid?
Though the common list of fears women face, like getting robbed, assaulted, or even kidnapped, are less likely to happen, it doesn’t mean that they are not valid concerns. It is still possible for these things to happen.
Should you let these concerns stop you from traveling alone as a female? I vote no.
Life isn’t without risk, and the benefits that you can gain from this type of experience are enormous. With that said, you should definitely still take some precautions to help greatly mitigate the chances of something like this happening. Knowing how to go on a spontaneous road trip alone as a female traveler is half the battle.
Advice to Help Keep Solo Travel Females Safe
Some advice and precautions you can take are being aware of your surroundings and staying alert. Often, people will try to spot and take advantage of easy targets. By being vigilant, you can help avoid being their next victim. Now, this doesn’t mean being so hyper-focused that it takes away from the experience. Instead, aim for a healthy balance.
Also, make sure that you let others know where you are. You can call or use an app to check in with them often or at designated times. Or you can just drop a pin at your location. This way your friends and family know where you are in case of an emergency. This gives you an extra layer of protection.
You can also use safety apps like:
Stop Being Too Nice
One of the best pieces of advice you can receive as a solo female traveler is to – STOP BEING TOO NICE! This can not be stressed enough. If your gut is telling you something is off, it’s okay to be rude.
So if you feel you need permission to be an asshole, here it is! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE ASSERTIVE AND SAY NO!
Often, people will try to take advantage of niceness and politeness. It’s essential to learn to say NO to anything that makes you uncomfortable. You should never sacrifice your comfort and safety for fear of being impolite or upsetting someone you don’t even know.
Final Thoughts . .
You might say that planning a spontaneous solo road trip may seem counterproductive. But planning really is the best way to make sure that you have the best experience possible. You don’t have to go overboard with planning, just make sure that you have your basics covered. It’s time to hit the road and have the spontaneous road trip of your dreams.