Tips for Planning a Solo Road Trip

Wanderlust is a real thing, a beast even! A need that must be met and can only be done so on the open road or in the clouds. For the month of March, we are discussing all things travel from planning to enjoying the culture and sights around you. The first topic up is planning a road trip  when you are all by yourself!

Budget | Creating a budget for embarking on any trip is super important because you never want to overspend or worse, run out of money before making it home. Start saving up for your trip as soon as you decide that you are going, so that you know that money will be there when you need it.  Never depend on one paycheck or payout to fund your trip, trust me! Plan ahead!

Maps/GPS | This  may seem like common sense but mapping out your trip can save you lots of time and money. Set your GPS and plan your gas up/coffee stops, that way you aren't at the mercy of a town that you happen upon. Let's just say....its not the safest practice (Jeepers Creepers anyone!) There are lots a great apps as well that will let you know of any accidents or police sights for a smoother drive.

Transportation | Renting a car is not for the faint of heart or those under the age of 25. I was super excited to hit that milestone last year so I am finally taking advantage of it. But there are some things to keep in mind like:

  • Reserve your car ahead of time which ensures that they will have the type of car you want already on the lot.
  • Check for discounts from places like AAA, AARP, and even your employer.
  • Factor in the hold  (usually $200) that will be placed on your card into your budget so that you don't bank on spending that money, at least while you have the car.
  • If you are using a debit card for the purchase, you may need to provide proof of income or residency like a pay stub and bill with your name on it.
  • If you have car insurance (most people do) bring that information so that you don't have to pay out of pocket for their insurance.
  • Its a good practice to contact the rental company ahead of time because they may have different policies from other companies. 

An alternative to renting a car is driving your own! What! Unheard of! But really, its a great way to save money on your trip. But you want to be sure that you have completed all necessary maintenance and replaced any bad parts before taking your car on the road.

Packing | Most people think that because you are in a car and not restricted to one bag rules, you can bring everything and not really pack strategically. Well, thats not completely true! You don't want to bring a ton of stuff that you will never need, it just weights you down. Try packing the weekend before your trip to ensure that you have everything and there will be no last minute searching for things.

Lodging | As a kid, my family did a lot of road trip traveling during summer and winter vacation. Since internet wasn't a thing back then, we never made plans ahead of time. This made my little anxious planning heart sink. Thankfully, we are in a new day and age. PLAN YOUR LODGING AHEAD OF TIME! It can save you tons of money when you use online and membership discounts. Plus you know exactly where you are going and what type of place you are staying in!

Enjoy It | I believe it was Hannah Montana that said it best..."Its the Climb". Take your time (if you can) and enjoy the open road and the presence of you alone. It can be therapeutic to talk to yourself or listen to your favorite songs without judgement (I LOVE Justin Beiber!). Don't be afraid to hit the open road alone. You may even find that you love it!

Road tripping is one of my favorite ways to travel but it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to preparing for it, especially alone. Have you ever taken a road trip by yourself? What are some tips that you would suggest? Drop a comment below or follow me on Twitter @anajanetheblog.