Planning for a road trip can be an overwhelming and daunting task, especially if you want to do it on your own. Here are a few tips to plan your solo road trip abroad in a hassle-free way.
1. Know the highlights you want to hit
Choose a theme of your trip. Like in France, it can be history, scenic view or experience the culture. In Arizona, it can be the monument valley that looks straight out of the old Hollywood movies. Know what you want to experience during the trip and identify the places you want to visit. Use this information as you plan your route.
2. Set your schedule
Getting the pace right is a big part of a trip’s success. Divide your trip into smaller chunks and set a landmark that you will reach in a day. Set a limit to how many hours you will drive in a day and stick to it. Ten to 12 hours drive in a day during winters and 12-14 hours during summers is ideal.
Try leaving early for the trip to beat the traffic and arrive in daylight with time to find your accommodation if you haven’t booked it already.
3. Hire a dependable car
You won’t want to go anywhere in a car that may breakdown in the middle of a deserted road! Make sure the car you hire is in proper condition.
4. Get your car thoroughly inspected before the trip
Have your the car tuned up and conduct a thorough inspection at least a week before you leave for the trip. This will give you plenty of time for any repairs that are required. Get the oil changed frequently. While you are getting the inspection done, mention the type of ground over which you’ll be driving, like driving in a dessert will be much different than tackling Alaska and thus the car needs to be checked differently.
Oh, and yes, wearing your seat belt is mandatory in a foreign land. Also, be mindful of where you park your car. Try to park near an entrance to a mall or hotel for getting out easily and quickly. If your trip takes you along roads with lesser traffic, you can consider getting full-size spare tires for better speed.
5. Buy good international travel insurance
Make sure you buy a good international travel insurance to enjoy a safe and hassle-free travel on your road trip abroad.
For great service, try the Matrix International Travel Insurance. It covers you from cashless claims, medical assistance, medical evacuation and repatriation, loss of baggage and passport, and more when you are abroad.
6. Stay in touch
Since you’re alone on your road trip, it’s important that you keep everyone updated about your plan. Nowadays it is so easy to keep in touch with the great network coverage offered by International SIM cards or Global SIM cards, which gives you no excuse not to keep in touch with people back home. We recommend the International SIM card plans from Matrix Cellular. They have great pocket-friendly plans suitable for all your traveling needs.
7. Use multiple tools to map your trip
When you’re traveling solo, it can be difficult to keep track of directions. This is why it’s important to rely on more than one way of keeping track of your current location as well as your final destination. If your vehicle has an integrated navigation system, then you’re already one step ahead. If not, your smartphone’s GPS applications should help you deal with the situation. Just make sure you get an International SIM card that offers a good data plan. Also, keep a map on hand as well as a compass just to be on the safer side.
8. Stretch every time you stop
Riding in the car for hours isn’t comfortable, so stop every few hours to stretch your legs and to relax a bit.
9. Halt at truck stops
It’s better to stop at the truck stops because the truck stops offer the basic facilities like gas, bathrooms, medicine, restaurant, auto supplies at better rates than the rest areas. Also, you will find more fellow travelers or locals to interact with at a truck stop than the rest stops that are usually isolated with fewer travelers stopping by and makes you feel a bit unsafe if you are a solo traveler.
10. Enjoy the trip!
The most important part of any trip.
Tips to Remember:
- Pack light.
- Learn how to change a tire.
- Maintain a full tank of gas and bottled water in the front of the vehicle.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Drive with comfortable, hard-soled shoes or boots on.
- Find lodging before dark.
- Keep your cell phone charged all the time.
- Try to avoid driving during peak hours to avoid the traffic.
- Stop driving when you feel tired. Driving drowsy is a major cause of accidents in all parts of the world.