Stay Safe on The Road: A Few Ideas and Tips

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Many people plan a road trip with excitement and fill their car with everything they think they’ll need.

What if something unexpected comes up?

What do you do if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere?

If you are on the road, this is bound to happen.
Rest assured. There are always things you can do to prepare for the unexpected.

Such as making sure you have chargers for your phone or GPS. Also, bring a backup map (you can even get them for free if you have an AAA membership).

Looking from the drivers seat, a GPS navigation is the focus

Here is something that I haven’t seen anyone mention. Keep all the emergency numbers you are traveling to on your phone.

Do you have your local emergency numbers on your phone right now? It’s shocking how many people don’t have the non-emergency number of their local police department.

Then there is something so important (I’ll say it a few times in this post), always being aware of your surroundings.

You should also be parking where you can quickly escape (such as backing into spaces), which still surprises me how many people don’t.

Keep it out of plain sight.

As for inside your car, NEVER leave your belongings unattended. This is very important when hiking or away from your vehicle for an extended period.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen a laptop, purse, or backpack on a passenger set.

Side note: I was in law enforcement and took many reports on this sort of theft. I even made flyers to give away as I saw people.
Most bad people are looking for crimes of opportunity. Don’t make it easy for them to see what’s in your car.

If you want more topics like this, let me know in the comments below!

I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to get outdoors more recently. I have wanted to write about staying safe on the road for a while.

It’s funny how many articles are about “Staying safe on the road,” “Safety ideas for solo travelers,” “What to do when…” and the list goes on.

Remember to let me know, in the comments below, if you like this sort of content.
I’m happy to share what I know and maybe give you some different ideas.

Staying Safe on the Roadhands on a steering wheel

We covered this above, but it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and the people you are with. Always be aware of your surroundings.

If you are traveling, either solo or with loved ones, you need to have a plan.

I recently worked up enough courage to talk with a van lifer (I want to speak with all of them, but there is a time and place).

The super cool thing was they installed a security system on their van.

An easy option and one that is becoming more and more common every day

You can see if it’s something that would work for you, but if I had to choose, I would go with Simply Safe. Looking at their website, they have something for everyone, and if I traveled in my car longer than a few weeks at a time, this would be a no-brainer.

A word of caution when using weapons

Put simply, you better have some way(s) to protect yourself.

You should also know what is in your vehicle and around you. I think it’s important to have many options around your car.

This is because you never know when an unwanted person will be there. Most often, it will be when you least expect it!

Here’s something for you to consider, pretty much anything can be used as a weapon. Just keep in mind that a golf club is a great idea, but it could be an issue if you ever have to use it (but we aren’t going to talk about liability or the different state laws today).Amazon image of a red Maglite

  • A baseball bat (I would even keep a baseball glove and ball with you)
  • Frying pan or any cast iron pot
  • Your keys
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlights (such as the big Maglite)
  • A firearm (Note: as long as you are responsible and know how to use it!)

Quick Idea: Some people might not agree with

I am someone who believes in firearms. But understand that Wilde Escape is not political, and I know some people are against them.

If you’re licensed to carry a firearm and obey the laws, it can help you and your loved ones stay safe.

If you go this route, ensure you have somewhere safe to store the firearm in your vehicle, such as a safe.

For those traveling on the road, make sure you know the laws when you can and cannot carry—you can also check out the reciprocity map.

Star Wars blue lightsaber

The last piece of advice before we move on, you might want to update your first aid kit (you do have one in your vehicle, right?).

No matter what you choose to keep yourself safe, you must train and understand how to use everything.

One thing I do is come up with different scenarios and then solve them with what I have.

Scenarios could include a dreaded midnight knock, being approached in a bathroom, getting a flat tire, or breaking down on the side of the road.

The key here is to make sure you are prepared for what the road throws at you. Not to get you paranoid and keep you at home.

Knowledge is power, and if you have any specific questions, be sure you let me know! My goal here is to give you some ideas and, most of all, give you peace of mind.

Being Prepared

This is repeated many times because it’s essential. Any gear you have, you need to know how to use it.

For example, if you have jumper cables, you better know how to use them. So many people have them but don’t even know how to open their hood to access the battery!

Jumper cables attached to a vehicle battery

Here’s a fun question, how do you jumpstart your car if you have a hybrid or Prius?

With some practice or a quick jump to YouTube, all this will become second nature to you.

Let’s review some additional items you should have when you leave for a road trip.

  • We will start with an auto emergency kit.
    • Everything from basic first aid, jumper cables, first aid kit, and vehicle jack to more advanced recovery equipment.
  • Bear spray is not just for bears.
    • Always make sure you know how to use the one you purchase. Many have a safety on them.
    • It’s also important to know that these generally are fog dispersals (not a stream).
    • Remember not to spray them when you are inside your vehicle.
  • Having a bat, as we talked about above.
    • Here is an excellent way of storing it if you ever need to use it.
      I forgot where I heard this, but put a large sock on the bat. If your attacker grabs the bat, your reaction will be to pull it back. Well, guess what? The attacker will only have the sock, and you should be ready for a follow-through swing!
  • Some people will always suggest a knife. I wouldn’t recommend that as your primary defensive weapon.
    • A knife can be used against you. I’ve seen it many times. But if you do use a knife, as anything is better than nothing, do what you can to keep it protected.
  • Your vehicle.
    • Let’s keep it to keeping your vehicle in a position to escape.
    • This means you should back into wherever you are staying, stay in areas you feel safe and places with light (this is also why you have curtains to help block out the lights from parking lots or rest stops).
  • broken-windowYour keys!
    • As long as you keep your keys with you at all times.
    • They should be with you if you are not driving and not in the ignition.
    • You can use your vehicle’s alarm to scare away animals or other unwanted guests (I’ve used this many times).
    • Remember when we talked about crimes of opportunity? If someone walks by and sees keys in the ignition, chances are they will break the window. Not always, but we are doing everything possible to prevent the simple things.
  • Something everyone should do is take a self-defense class. You can find them at local community colleges and in any town you live in.
  • FORGET about posting on social media.
    • This is especially important for anyone who doesn’t want people to know where they are. When you post on social media, you can have bad people know where you are. They generally will see if you are a solo traveler too.
    • You don’t want the crazy people to come to you. Instead, post a few days after you have been in a location (or don’t share where you are).
  • Keep your important documents on you or in digital form.
    • I’ve been using Road ID for years and always have it on me. I swear by this thing, and since I do most of my traveling solo, it helps my Mum feel better too.
  • Don’t forget about any pets you are with. If you are lucky enough to travel with a pet, which is fantastic, make sure you have supplies for their needs too!

This list could go on and on, but these are the top nine things on my mind.

You can always share anything I left out or anything that has made your life easier while on the road.

looking into the vehicle side mirror
Use your side mirrors to be aware of your driving or parked surroundings.

Overall Safety

It’s funny how I plan what I want to write, and then it goes in a different direction.

Since we are discussing safety, I suggest you start doing it today. Using basic things will ensure you are safe, not just on the road.

Most of the topics I’ve seen around the internet lately are specifically for women. 

This is extremely important, but I also believe we must be and stay safe every day.

Then there are the people who say YOLO and assume everything will work out. Sometimes it does, but you only have one life. Let’s make the best of it.neon sight that says YOLO, You Only Live Once

If you only take a few things from this blog post, let them be the following.

  1. Always be aware of your surroundings,
  2. Have a plan if something happens.
  3. Let someone you trust know where you are.

Just because I feel like I need to mention a few more, always wear your seatbelt, avoid driving when tired, and watch out for careless drivers. I also do what I can to never drive at night (if you do, make sure you watch for wildlife).

If you’re prepared and stay vigilant, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable road trip.

It’s Important To Stay Safe While on the Road

This post was not to stress you out or cause any anxiety. I want to give some ideas and tips on staying safe in your daily life. It also works, for being on the road is a bonus!

Taking a few precautions while on a road trip can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Just remember always to be ready for whatever happens. 

If you are prepared for the basics, know how to protect yourself, and have a backup plan, you will be surprised that you are stronger than you think.

Again, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. It’s that feeling that is there for a reason. 

Don’t forget to have a trusted family member or friend with who you can check in. This trusted person will always know where you are.

Is there anything I missed or something that you would add?

Let me know in the comments below.

sweet VW van camping setup

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2 thoughts on “Stay Safe on The Road: A Few Ideas and Tips”

  1. Another great blog!

    Safety really should be the top priority for road trips.
    Planning ahead and being prepared gives me a sense of peace, and allows me to enjoy the adventure more.

    Weapons is a touchy subject for some, but it needed to be addressed. As you mentioned, there are so many choices, and everyone needs to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with. I did like the idea of putting a sock on a bat – brilliant!

    Thank you for having the Road ID!!!! Definitely makes your Mum less concerned.

    The idea of “checking in” with someone in your inner circle is paramount [in my opinion].
    There are several people in my life that give me an itinerary before leaving on a trip, and send text messages with updates. At the very least, and worse case, we would know where to start searching. Not a joke – people go missing all the time. One of my friends flies in a small airplane they built, and it is good to narrow a search incase it goes down.

    In closing, I would suggest to have a hard copy of important phone numbers. More than once, I was not able to access contacts on my cell phone. I actually have a list that is laminated and always with me.

    • Thanks, and I have more ideas for weapons, but you are right…it’s a pretty touchy subject (so I’ll sprinkle them around instead).

      Oh yeah, the RoadID has been a huge peace of mind for me. Glad you approve. Add that to my new Garmin Mini, which is a great combo!

      I remember your phone number, which really does help, and something I should put in my wallet. I don’t think I remember anyone’s phone number anymore. It’s not like the “old days” before cell phones.


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