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 tips for female solo travellers.
Safety-first solo travel
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.
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 safety. 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 female travellers.
Safe solo travel in the city
Did you know, if you live in a major Australian city you’re more likely to be a solo driver? 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 ridesharing.
With 31% of female drivers surveyed telling us they sometimes feel unsafe in their car, it’s a major concern.
So, here are some things to think about when travelling solo in the city.
Keep your doors locked
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.
Whether the government reports stating carjacking is still rare in Australia are accurate or not.
And 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 focussed 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!
There’s no denying road rage is on the increase.
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 is triggering their anger – stress, illness, pain or something else. While it’s not an excuse for bad behaviour, these tips can help you deal with aggressive drivers.
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. Check out these simple tips for preventing theft.
Solo road trip essentials
At PD Insurance HQ, we love a good road trip. After all, a road trip is a great way to help boost Aussie tourism or support bushfire affected areas.
If you plan to road trip alone, especially as a woman, 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 there’s a few more things we want to share.
Make sure your car is 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.
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
Is your car insurance up to date?
If you break down, 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) contact us for a quote and we can sort that out for you.
Plan your trip… and let someone else know
Plan ahead of time. This is super quick and easy with all the travel apps available online.
One of the most important tips for solo female 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.
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. Cautiousness is key.
Solo road trips are 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.
Over to you – Tips for solo female travellers
Do you love hitting the tarmac alone? What safety tips for solo female travellers and travelling hacks can you share? Let us know below.