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Traveling Solo as a Woman

Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
January 14, 2022

TL;DR: Solo female RVers can enjoy the freedom and adventure of the open road with confidence by following these 8 essential safety tips: Share your real-time location with a trusted friend, ensure your gas tank and phone battery are always half full, travel with a pet for companionship and added security, stay in populated areas or secure overnight options like Harvest Hosts locations, have backup plans for overnight stays, learn basic RV maintenance, carry personal protection, and avoid advertising that you're traveling alone. With preparation and awareness, solo travel can be an enriching and safe experience.

Traveling Solo as a Woman

There is nothing like hitting the open road in an RV, which arguably makes traveling more convenient and fun. Each year, more people than ever are purchasing or renting RVs to travel full time, part time, or on vacation, and these people often include couples, families, and solo travelers. In fact, about eleven percent of the RV market is made up of single people, with about half of these solo travelers being women. However, there are even more women who may have considered traveling solo but are concerned with potential safety issues and other problems that could crop up while traveling. Below, we have compiled a list of eight tips for women to adhere to while solo traveling, in hopes that even more women will set out on adventures while maintaining their safety.

  • Share Your Location With a Friend
  • Don't Travel on Empty
  • Travel with a Pet
  • Stay in Populated Areas
  • Have Backup Overnight Options
  • Learn How to Perform Your Own Maintenance
  • Carry Personal Protection
  • Don't Advertise That You're Alone

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1. Share your location with a friend

This is safety rule number one for women who are traveling alone. Letting a friend or family member know where you are going to be is crucial, as this would allow you to be easily found in case of a storm, medical emergency, or any other unforeseen event. It’s easy enough to let someone know where you plan to be and for how long, but location sharing options on different mapping apps have made it easier than ever to share your exact location in real time with someone you trust. Google maps, Waze, and Apple maps all offer this feature, allowing solo travelers to stay safer than ever on a consistent basis.

2. Don’t travel on empty (gas or phone)

Unfortunately, you never know when a sticky or unsafe situation could arise. Car accidents, zones without cell signal, and other dangerous circumstances could happen, and being without cell phone battery to make an important phone call or without gas to get to the nearest safe location could prove life-threatening. Stay safe, and always travel with at least a half tank of gas and a half-full phone battery, in case the worst should happen. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Travel with a dog or pet

Animals make such great companions, and dogs in particular are great for use as additional security. Most dogs bark when they hear someone at the door or any unexpected noises, so this can help to serve as an additional security barrier. Even cats can help solo travelers to feel less lonely and to have a companion to share their experiences with.

4. Stay in populated areas

Although statistics show that the majority of crime happens in densely populated areas, it is still not always considered wise to travel into the wilderness alone. Even solo female travelers who enjoy boondocking tend to choose sites with at least a few other RVers around. For quick overnight stops, many women also select Walmarts or other business parking lots over rest stops or travel centers. Business parking lots tend to have better security, brighter lights, and less people coming and going. However, the safest overnight choice is always going to be a Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome location.

5. Have backup overnight options

Another safety tip is to always have a backup option for overnight stays. Perhaps you are planning to camp in a first come first-served campground, but you arrive only to find that the campground is full. Having a safe overnight backup option is your next best bet. Harvest Hosts can be a great backup option if you are able to contact a host and sort out the details. This can keep you from having to spend the night in a shady rest area or a secluded location because your plans fell through. Just be sure to always let the host know if you are unable to make it or if you are coming by with a day-of reservation. Member-host respect is one of the primary tenets of Harvest Hosts success.

6. Learn to perform or stay on top of your own maintenance

Routine maintenance is a requirement for all RVs, and neglecting maintenance can cause mechanical issues and unnecessary wear and tear. Learning how to keep maintenance logs and perform routine maintenance on your home can help you to save money and can keep your RV running in better shape. Even those who are not handy should know how to keep a maintenance log and take their rig to the mechanic whenever it is due for work. This can make a big difference in keeping your travel safe and efficient.

7. Carry personal protection of some sort

Carrying personal protection on the road is a hot-button topic, but it is never illegal to carry a knife, baseball bat, pepper spray, or other low-level-harm form of protection. Chances are that you would never need to use any of these items to defend yourself, but it is certainly better to be safe rather than sorry. That being said, it is typically easiest and/or best to drive away and get to safety rather than fighting off a threat.

8. Don’t advertise that you are alone.

Last but not least, try not to advertise that you are alone amongst strangers. There is never any need to directly tell strangers that you are completely alone, but in certain situations, some solo female travelers have gone out of their way so as to make it appear that they are traveling with a partner. This includes tactics such as leaving additional pairs of shoes by the door, hanging up an extra coat, and even pretending to talk to another person “in the back” if you are feeling particularly threatened. Hopefully this never becomes a necessity, but this tip could be lifesaving in certain situations.

Copy of St. Louis Photographer Nichole Kolb Willow _ Mohr Harvest Hosts 2 - Large.jpg We sincerely hope that this article encouraged, rather than dissuaded, women from traveling alone. Hitting the open road solo or with just a pet can be such a liberating and freeing experience. Unfortunately, the world we live in is often somewhat unsafe for women who are alone, but the right precautions will have you traveling in safety and style in no time.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
Sam is a seasoned traveler and RVer of 4+ years. She loves adventures of all kinds and spends as much time on the road as she can. When not exploring in her RV or writing about her travels, you can find her reading a good book, cooking a delicious meal, caring for her plants, or hiking with her dogs.