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Road trips are fun when shared with friends, but every once in a while, people dream of getting away from everything alone, even if it means that you have no one to rely on. Then again, it gives the person a sense of independence, and with no other people around, you basically have the freedom to make your own decisions. So if you have your heart and mind set on taking a solo road trip, you’ll need to do a lot of preparation first.

Here are top ten tips to consider when staying safe and making the most out of your trip:

See video at the end

1. Plan a schedule

The spontaneity of a solo trip does not mean leaving without a plan at all as this may result to wasted time. So set a schedule on your organizer to be able to manage your time properly. Going state to state? Then plan how long you are going to stay in each state. It could be for a weekend or even a day, just as long as you have enough time to soak in the place. Do consider other factors like traffic and your own rest period. Be practical when setting your schedule, though. Make sure you have enough time to do all the fun activities in the place during your visit.

2. Study the area and list the places you want to visit

You can choose a theme per location, depending on your taste. If you want to learn about the history of the place, then research on the historical sites and museums to give you a heads-up on the entrance fees and what time they are open. For those who are into nature parks, then do the same so you won’t waste time asking around or heading to the area only to find it closed for the day. List all of these information down in your travel plan, and it is sure to be handy later on.

3. Check the Internet for places of interest

Google Maps is an essential tool when searching for places of interest and is great for saving time by allowing users to see shorter routes for their destinations. In addition to that, Google Maps states how long a certain travel from one point to another will take.

Take advantage of multiple travel applications that are available for smartphones as well. These specifically give users popular places in the area and group them by category.

4. Be covered by insurance

The main mistake that travelers make is that they underestimate the importance of travel insurance. While no two travel insurances have the same coverage, a legitimate one involves a legal contract signed by lawyers. So before purchasing a travel insurance, you’ll need to know what it covers. Here is a short outline that will apply to those going on a road trip:

Medical emergencies

This is the major reason travel insurance is important. Accidents are bound to happen anytime, so read the travel insurance policy on what areas it covers in case of medical and dental emergencies. Do note what are the exclusions as well.

Loss of personal belongings

Many people purchase travel insurance to keep their luggage and personal belongings safe. See if the travel insurance you purchase covers the loss of valuables and the examples that fall under this criteria (laptop, jewelry, sporting equipment, etc.).

Trip cancellation benefits

If you have a prepaid trip, then you might want to consider an insurance plan that includes this benefit. You never know when an emergency situation may happen forcing you to cancel your whole trip.

Garage to garage coverage

This covers the minute you leave to the time you return home.

Travel refund

If you purchase an insurance that covers more than the duration of your actual trip, you usually don’t get a refund for the time that was unused. However, some insurance policies allow travelers to resume its use for another scheduled trip under the condition that the time spent at home won’t be counted.

Always read your travel insurance policies well! Look for specific benefits that will apply to you and familiarize the exclusions as well. These may vary on the location you are visiting and even your itinerary plan. If you have questions, you may always gain insight from the insurance agents.

5. Pack sufficiently and reasonably

It is common knowledge for every traveler to pack light. The reason behind this is that you are going on a road trip, which means you’ll have to load and unload your baggage every now and then.Think about the hassle of having to account for too many things every time you leave the place you have rented for the night.

You will also need to pack essential tools and store them in your car in case of an emergency. Duct tape, screwdrivers, pliers, and basically everything you need in case your vehicle breaks in the middle of the trip. For emergency situations, flares can come in handy as well as first aid kits and blankets. You may bring canned goods and water containers, but make sure that they are stored properly.

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Amanda Thomas