Tips for Safe Solo Travel in Australia

Did you know, if you live in a major Australian city you’re more likely to be a solo driver?

How do you enjoy safe solo travel in Australia, especially when you’re a woman venturing out alone? It’s definitely possible! We’ll show you how.

There’s nothing quite like the freedom of driving alone. The wind in your hair. The spirit of adventure coursing through your veins … So you can continue to enjoy that freedom, this article covers off all kinds of travelling alone safety tips.

Safe solo travel as a woman

Maybe you’re flinging that fab tote you hardly use into the backseat and hitting the open road. Or perhaps you’re girding your loins for the daily work commute. (Side note: Hopefully you’re not doing makeup while driving to work coz that’s a no-no.)

The latter is much less fun than solo road tripping, but still the only place you can belt out the entire The Greatest Showman soundtrack without fear of judgement. Unless you’re living on an acreage that drowns out your shower performances.

When you’re in your car, you’re the boss.

Not only that but with our recent survey showing 49% of comprehensive car insurance policy holders are the only drivers of their car, solo driving is très normal.

Yet for all the fun and adventure solo driving allows, people still worry about the dangers of travelling alone. Especially female solo drivers.

With that in mind, we’re putting Hugh, Michelle and The Greatest Showman gang into our desk drawer while we grab a coffee, pop on our specs and share our top tips for solo travellers. Here’s to safe solo travel in Australia being possible for females, males and non-binary alike!

Solo female travel statistics

Did you know if you live in a major Australian city you’re more likely to be a solo driver? Our survey found that 54% of Sydney drivers and 52% of those in Melbourne and Perth drive alone.

Yeah this surprised us as well given the massive public transport infrastructures in those cities. Not to mention the success of the likes of Uber, DiDi and co. (read our tips on ridesharing safety).

With 31% of female drivers we surveyed telling us they sometimes feel unsafe in their car, it’s a major concern. So, here are things to think about when travelling solo in the city.

this woman in a scarf is enjoying safe solo travel in Australia in her car

Keep your doors locked for safe solo travel in Australia

The moment your butt hits the seat, lock those doors. And while you’re not technically driving solo with kids in the car, it’s worth a reminder to make sure those child locks are firmly in the ‘on’ position.

With carjacking of increasing concern for Aussie drivers (it came up a ton of times when we asked why they felt unsafe), it’s just good sense to keep your doors locked when in the car.

Even when travelling with someone in the passenger seat. Because, we bet in this instance you’ve got your handbags and personal stuff on the back seat. Yes?

Speaking of handbags

We’ve all done it.

Tossed our handbag, purse or wallet carelessly onto the passenger seat without giving it a second thought.

Left exposed like this, with your attention focused on driving, parking or even just putting your seatbelt on, it’s a great incentive for a smash ‘n’ grab. After all, they contain all the things thieves want… cash, coin, credit and debit cards, phone… Even house keys or building passes.

Instead, use the tray under the passenger seat or cover your bag with a jacket or scarf. Keep it out of sight and reduce the likelihood of opportunistic theft.

Then keep the windows up and the doors locked!

Safe solo travel in Australia when you encounter road rage

There’s no denying road rage is a problem in Oz.

While you never know what’s going to trigger another driver, it’s important to practice kindness and try to be the bigger person. You never know if what’s triggering their anger – stress, illness, pain or something else. While it’s not an excuse for bad behaviour, we have tips to help you care-fully deal with road rage (see here).

After all, you can’t control the actions of others, but you can:

  • Be aware of your surroundings – stay alert and vigilant.
  • Drive with confidence and caution – don’t let everyone push ahead of you in traffic but if someone’s being a bit extra, does it hurt to allow them to go first? Be the bigger person.
  • Report road rage to the police – especially if you’ve been targeted as a solo female driver. If you don’t, it may happen again. Let’s look out for each other.

Avoid dodgy areas

Particularly after dark.

Easier said than done for some. But if you can manage it, try to avoid isolated areas, neighbourhoods known to be frequented by criminals or other dodgy types, or places that make you feel uneasy.

Trust your instincts and make your car look difficult to steal. How? By buying a good ol’ steering wheel lock, for example. Help prevent car theft with these tips.

Safe solo travel as a blonde woman on the beach requires planning

Solo road trip essentials

At PD Insurance HQ, we love a good road trip. Especially the ultimate Australian road trip. After all, a driving holiday is a great way to help boost Australian tourism or support bushfire affected areas.

If you plan to road trip alone, especially as a woman (sad but true), you should take extra precautions before you head off. Ditto while you’re on the road. All the things we wrote above for solo city driving apply to road trips.

But wait – there are a few more things we want to share.

Make sure your car’s well maintained

It goes without saying, if you’re heading out on a solo road trip it’s essential your car is in good nick. Get a good mechanic to give it a once over and check the oil, water, petrol, tyres, everything. Read our article to answer the ever-present query from drivers: Is my mechanic ripping me off?

Make sure the spare tyre is good to go too. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road for any amount of time without a mode of transport, even during the day.

Comprehensive car insurance for even safer of solo travel

Is your car insurance up to date? If you break down while you’re flying solo, does your insurance include a tow? Do you have roadside assistance? Even for taking care of you out in the middle of Woop Woop? When you’re travelling alone, you want to be sure you’re covered in case of emergency.

Not with PD Insurance yet? If you want to take advantage of our Early Shopper Discount (switching to us as your insurance provider before your existing insurance ends) get a quote and we can sort that out for you. Also know we give a discount to people who are the only drivers of their car – yep, you’re our type of people.

Plan your trip… and let someone else know

Plan ahead of time to be safe and avoid any hiccups. This is super quick and easy with all the travel apps available online.

Want to make sure you’re COVID safe while driving? You’ll find some great tips in these articles: How to avoid COVID when on the road and regional road trips for COVID cautious Australians

For more on Australian driving holidays in general, find a few of our faves in our blog article on grey nomad travel tips (also for the not so grey!). Or our guide to planning a girls weekend away. Or perhaps our destination ideas for the ultimate road trip.

One of the most important tips for solo travellers is that you tell someone where you’re going. Share your planned route – when you’re leaving and when you plan to arrive. If you make any major detours, like taking the scenic route (because why wouldn’t you?) make sure someone else knows.

this woman and her dog in the front seat are loving safe solo travel in Australia

Don’t stop for anyone; slow down instead

Unfortunately, in the world we live in, you can’t be too careful – so it goes without saying that you shouldn’t pick up any hitchhikers. And if you spot someone broken down, or someone flags you from the side of the road, call the local police rather than stopping.

Same story if someone indicates or flashes their lights for you to stop – keep driving. You can always check your car at the next service station or town.

Having said this, another road user may authentically be warning you of a hazard ahead. For example, a crash may have just happened up ahead or someone (or an animal) is injured on the road. Caution is key.

Safe solo travel in Australia can be the best fun

Solo road trips allow you to be yourself, follow your own itinerary and see the sights *you* want to see. You can leave after a sneaky sleep in, stop when it suits you, and take as long as you want. It’s as much about the journey, as the destination, right?

Download all the episodes of your favourite podcast, make yourself a road trip playlist or just belt out This is Me 50 times in a row. Then get to it.

Because that’s what freedom feels like.

Just like knowing you’re covered with awesome car insurance!

How would you, like to proceed?

How would you, like to proceed?