There’s something incredibly liberating and satisfying about traveling solo. Whether you’re jumping on a plane to explore a new destination or hitting the open road in your RV, doing things by yourself is empowering. But for female solo travelers, there can be a few added concerns about staying safe.
If you haven’t been on the road yet, but are excited to give it a try, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now! Many times I see posts on social media, most people worry about a woman traveling alone, but in reality, any solo RVers should take the same safety precautions.
I travel solo all the time. For people that want to make sure their RVing is more fun than frightening, here are five of my helpful tips to keep in mind before hitting the road.
1. RV Security Measures
This is probably my biggest tip, and it goes beyond any tips I share with friends about traveling solo. Make sure your RV is secure at the campsite! You want to make sure that your RV has certain safety measures in place and that you do the following:
- Lock windows and doors, especially in the evening. Investing in a good lock for your door and a chain to secure the windows is incredibly helpful.
- Secure anything valuable outside, like bikes or portable generators, by using heavy-duty frames.
- Keep the driver’s seat clear in case you need to quickly get in to drive away.
- Have a good cell phone provider and keep your phone charged.
- It is also beneficial to set up RV security systems to protect yourself as well as your belongings.
- There are locking systems you can purchase as well as motion sensors that can alert you if someone is near your RV. Some even emit audible alerts to scare potential threats away.
- Have security cameras and alarms set up, deter people with stickers on doors.
- Don’t keep spare keys in the RV.
2. Personal Protection
In addition to RV security, you will want to have personal security. Most will recommend that you carry pepper or bear spray with you when exploring. You can also invest in a personal alarm to alert others that you need help. There is no such thing as too safe or too secure.
Investing in a self-defense class is also common among women that will be on the road alone. May it be a martial arts class or something else, being able to defend yourself is always the best option!
Some women may choose to have a firearm. If you have decided to go this route, make sure that you are fully educated on the laws and how to use your weapon. Take classes, read books, and practice at a shooting range.
If you are someone that doesn’t want to carry a firearm, you can use other defense tools such as baseball bats or hiking pools. These work just as well! Just remember to keep them easily accessible and out of view from others.
A few other safety measures to keep in mind:
- Stay away from secluded areas or places that are not well-lit.
- Be mindful of your surroundings.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry or leave items in full view.
- Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
- Do not get so drunk you become vulnerable.
- Stay aware, and more importantly, stay alive.
When at your campsite or traveling down the open road, be aware of your surroundings and keep yourself out of harm’s way. Always take the safest route if you feel uncomfortable and wait in a safe zone until you feel comfortable. Most importantly, trust your instincts and try to avoid any panic or distressful situations by thinking ahead.
When it comes to your RV, you are your best security. Use technology to protect your vehicle, but rely on yourself to defend it too!
3. Take Your Dog
If you have a dog, take it with you. If not, consider getting one to accompany you. Even a small dog will increase your safety because barking not only detours criminals, but it alerts you to danger. Moreover, most people are less likely to mess with someone who has a dog.
A larger dog will be physically intimidating, but in reality, small dogs are more likely to react negatively than a big dog. Dogs also make great companions, so they are an excellent choice for solo RV living. This makes your traveling even safer, and more fun.
While all kinds of dogs make a perfect companion while on the road, there are a few breeds that will be more protective and helpful. Some of the best dogs for solo RV living include:
Jack Russell Terrier – These little dogs are very protective and make great companions. They also tend to be more active when out with their owners, so they will need an owner that is active enough to keep up with them.
Doberman Pinscher – A strong breed with a keen sense of awareness, these dogs have been known to protect their owners from danger. They are fearless and highly intelligent, making them a top choice for RVing.
Labrador Retriever – Labs are always famous for being loving companions. They are intelligent, loyal, and easy to train. They are fantastic family dogs but are just as loving when just with one owner.
Maltese – These small dogs are very protective and also great companions. They are very social, loving dogs that love to be part of the action. They may not be as good as a guard dog like others on this list but will definitely do their best to keep you safe.
Pit Bulls – This breed is really great at staying aware of their surroundings, keeping an eye out for danger. They are very intelligent dogs that bond closely with their owners making them perfect RVers.
German Shepherds – These dogs are smart, alert, and they love to protect their owners. They are also very loyal to them, making them an ideal choice for solo RV living.
Rottweilers – This breed is very protective of its owners and loves to be with them. Rottweilers are also very obedient, making them the perfect companion for solo RV living.
Border Collies – A highly intelligent breed of dog that is easy to train with a strong work ethic. They are fearless and can be very protective.
When looking for a companion, make sure to check your local animal shelter instead of buying. These lovable dogs are in need of homes, and they can be wonderful companions that will protect you when on the road.
4. Watch Where You Park
Relying on technology alone can be a dangerous thing. While alarm systems and locks can be an added security, never rely on them to keep you safe. Always watch where you park and try to avoid darker or secluded areas that might be risky or unsafe.
When traveling alone, you want to be cautious about where you park your RV, especially overnight. Take advantage of helpful RV websites that can recommend safe places to park. These websites will also tell you the amenities and prices of nearby campgrounds. Keep in mind the more amenities, the pricier the campground.
Always choose well-lit, populated locations if possible. If not, then drive around the block a few times so you can get a good feel for the area before settling in for the night.
You can always choose to stay in a Walmart parking lot, but these are not always the best option, and you may end up on edge rather than getting a good night’s sleep. Remember, if you don’t feel safe in a particular parking lot, then choose another one! You don’t want to risk one night of uneasy sleep when you have a whole week of travel ahead.
Don’t leave your windows open while parked in a public area, especially overnight. If you must, make sure they are locked before leaving your RV unattended. Even when locked, many bad guys can break into a vehicle through a window so keep this in mind. Use some security measures and alarms.
When you’re in campgrounds, make sure to park in a spot that is lit up and visible from the road. If there’s a security guard on duty, it’s even better! Never leave your vehicle running while unattended, or leave any valuables in sight.
5. Find a Community
You may be choosing to travel alone for a reason, but there is still a benefit to having some community. In general, the RV community is one of the most welcoming and helpful communities so it is good to keep some ties. People are always willing to pitch in to help guide you into your parking spot, help with maintenance or heavy lifting, and can be a good source of recommendations.
There are a number of groups of fellow solo RVers that you can join for support and advice. Joining a group that has the same RV as you is a great way to get answers about your RV maintenance and issues. These groups are also a great place to share your stories and get to know others on the same journey. Joining RV groups is an opportunity to network with other solo travelers that are willing to help you out when needed.
Never underestimate the power of community. When you’re new to RV life, it can be extremely helpful to have some mentors and friends that are more experienced than you. The more friendly faces you meet on your journey, the better off you will be!
In addition to communities, you should keep a lookout for other solo female travelers. Women are often going to feel more comfortable with other women, so if you see one needing help, lend a hand. You should also keep watch for other women that may be in danger. You can stay with them until the danger has passed. There is always safety in numbers.
Being a female solo RV traveler is not something that should deter you from exploring the world. Traveling solo can be a great opportunity to see and do things outside your comfort zone. You’ll never truly know the world until you explore beyond your boundaries.
While it is always helpful to have someone else with you, don’t let that stop you from living your dreams. It definitely shouldn’t prevent you from having a great time, but it does warrant some caution in order to stay safe during your journey. Instead of letting fear keep you back, use these tips to feel more safe and secure on the road so you can continue forward with your adventure.
Being prepared with the right security measures in place is key to staying safe. Remember, it is okay to feel a little nervous from time to time, but being too scared usually stops people from truly experiencing life. You’ll also learn a great deal about yourself, including the things that you can do and a whole lot more than you ever thought you were capable of. With some careful planning, preparation, and getting to know your surroundings, you’ll be able to have the best RVing experience possible.