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Planning a Solo Road Trip

Whether you choose to pack up your husband and kids or hit the road with a group of girlfriends, road trips are sure to be grand adventures filled with memorable experiences. But a solo road trip, one where you take off on your own and let the events of each day dictate where you go and what you see, may be ideal. It might even be just what you need to relieve yourself from the stresses of everyday life.

According to Road Trip America, the majority of solo road trippers are women, making hitting the road on your own an "equal-opportunity adventure." Here are some advantages to hitting the road alone:

  • There won't be any arguments about which radio station to listen to or what kind of music to play.

  • You can rise and shine before the sun, or you can sleep until noon - whatever your heart desires.

  • You might make friends of other travelers whom you might not even notice if you were traveling with other people.

  • You can think out loud and say things without worrying how another person will react.

  • You have complete control over the planning of your trip. You can choose your own route and create your own itinerary, but you don't have to stick to it. Even if the end date is set in stone, you can enjoy the luxury of changing your plans along the way.

  • You can do whatever you want without feeling the need to justify your choices to anyone else. If you love buying cherries and oranges from every single roadside stand, do it!

Once you've decided you're ready to hit the road on your own, it's time to do some planning. The following tips can help you prepare for your grand adventure.

  1. Identify a purpose. Think about the reasons you're going on this road trip. Your purpose will determine how much planning you need to do. For example, if you want to hit the road going west and see where it takes you, all you need to get going is your car and a full tank of gas. If you want to drive from Austin to San Diego in a week's time and stop in specific places along the way, you'll have to do some planning in advance.

  2. Consider your style. Are you the type who likes to have hotel reservations in advance? Do you feel more comfortable being expected, or are you happy stopping at the nearest motel at dusk and calling it a night? If you're a spontaneous person, you won't need to have a detailed route plotted out in advance. If you feel more comfortable following a tight schedule, however, you'll want to make reservations at hotels along the route you're planning to take.

  3. Do your research. The more time and interest you put into planning your trip, the more you'll get out of it when you're on the road. Get information from several sources like maps, travel books, Web sites, and friends. The more tips and suggestions you get, the more prepared you'll be when you head out.

  4. Be prepared. Whether you're traveling by car, RV, truck, or motorcycle, your trip will run smoother if it's in good mechanical shape. Carry emergency supplies and a cell phone. You may also consider getting a CB radio installed, which can work in areas where cell phones don't. Check out weather and road conditions where you'll be traveling before you hit the road. Do you know how to drive in the snow, or on mountain roads? Will you need four-wheel drive? Make safety a priority in your planning.

  5. Keep an open mind. Most importantly, be open to wherever the road takes you and whatever it brings you. Be aware of your surroundings, but put yourself out there. Enjoy the pleasure of your own company, and welcome new experiences with open arms. Roll the windows down and breathe in the fresh air. An extraordinary adventure awaits you!



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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