Happy National Women’s History Month!
In March of 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month. Since then the extraordinary achievements of American women throughout history have been recognized and celebrated; which brings me to today’s post.
Women have worked together with men from the very beginning to build this nation, yet, women rarely set off to explore this nation that has been built. Do you agree or disagree?
Well, according to the many articles I read and researched, I will assume, we all agree.
There were several articles covering pregnant women and the Zika virus, women traveling afar for abortion services, and an increase in international women traveling. However, it was extremely difficult to find leisure travel articles about women in the United States. Do we not do much solo travel, especially with our children? I am guessing not. There was nothing there to research.
Although, I understand their findings, I still believe this to be somewhat untrue because I personally know several women who do take solo “action and adventure” travels and have also included their children. I have seen women out camping and hiking with their young boys and even solo. Is it less common? Yes, it is. But, it is there.
So, for the handful of us women who travel solo and with our children, I want to share –Road Trips: 10 Single Mama Safety Tips. While, this is not a complete list of safety tips, these are tried and true safety tips that I use solo and with my boys while traveling.
1. CPR Be certified in CPR, or at least know how to perform CPR should an emergency situation arise. I can’t imagine some random accident happening where my child(ren) need CPR and medical attention can’t get there soon enough. My CPR card has recently expired, but in the event of an emergency, I can perform the job. Can you?
Always carry a travel car kit and first aid kit. Travel car kits like the Justin Case or AAA car kit include jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries, an orange signal cone, a 12-foot tow strap, a window mount warning triangle, gloves, an SOS banner, and a first aid kit. This Justin Case emergency car kit even includes a complimentary year of Roadside Assistance.In addition to what comes in the car kit, remember that if you are road tripping in winter months, be sure you are winter ready with extra water, blankets, snacks, ice scraper, shovel, de-icer, etc.
3. Roadside Assistance Plan
Make sure you are equipped with roadside assistance – whether it is from a car case kit such as Justin Case, or even if it’s just including in your car insurance or phone plan. But, have it. If you lock your keys inside of your car, have a blow-out, or run out of gas, roadside assistance is there. Some plans are definitely better than the other, so make sure you research what services are provided.
4. ICE (In Case of Emergency)
Most cell phones allow you to lock in who you want to contact in case of an emergency, but here’s the thing. Sometimes, we have our phones so pass-coded down that N.O.O.N.E. can get in them. So, if this is how your phone is, I would recommend writing down or typing up a list of emergency contacts to keep in your wallet and glove compartment with your registration and insurance.
P.S. Don’t forget to let someone know where you are going…just in case!
5. Travel + Car Insurance
It should be a no-brainer to have car insurance. So, if you don’t have car insurance, you probably shouldn’t be taking a road trip. Also, depending on how long you plan to travel consider the type of insurance that you need. I keep car insurance and don’t feel that we need travel insurance right away. However, later on this year, we will be taking some plane trips and traveling longer, so I will definitely be purchasing travel insurance prior to those extended (adventure) trips.
6. Have extra money or access to a credit card.
I can’t stress how important it is to have extra money or access to a credit card. On our adventures, I usually always have a budget. However, I make sure I carry extra money just in case. There have been times, I have checked into a room with cash, but they still needed to keep a credit card on file with a deposit for incidentals. I hate when they do that.
That’s right! I know you are thinking, “a map?” Yes. Technology sometimes fails, so have an atlas or map (just in case). Plus, the above experiences made me reconsider how I was traveling and challenged my prior knowledge. So, do as much research as you can on the area before you travel there. If you are uncertain how to research the area online, just call up a few hotels or businesses in the area or attractions you plan to visit and ask them about the area and things you should know. One phone call makes a HUGE difference.
But, I will be honest. I wish I would have had my mace and taser when I traveled solo to Los Angeles. I did a lot of walking and bus riding. And, from that, I can tell you that some of the people were pretty creepy and aggressive. On television, we get a glamorous picture, but many parts of Los Angeles and Hollywood are not glamorous. At one corner there will be an outdoor movie shoot, on another corner a premiere of something, and all in between are homeless people lying on the sidewalks and people walking aimlessly around. It made me sad and question humanity. But, hey, that’s a whole ‘nother story.
I will be honest here. I love me a good, ol’ cold Blue Moon with a fresh-cut slice of orange! But, when I am traveling alone with the boys, I won’t drink because there is just too much risk involved.Drinking alcohol dulls your senses and makes you vulnerable. This is something you want to avoid, especially having your little ones with you. You have to be their protection, too; not just your own.10. Discuss the trip with your children including safety measures. This is so important. Before a road trip, or any trip, my boys always ask, “So, what’s the plan? Let’s lay this out.” They need to know because they need to be just as prepared as I am. So, before we head out, I always give them the “run-down”. I let them know where we are going, how long we plan to stay, and any tips that we all need to know.
I explain to them that the car has to be completely off before they open their doors. I explain that they can’t just run out of the car or building, no matter how excited they are. And, we have a rule that we must always stick together; absolutely NO wandering off.
Oh, and I also don’t let them drink out of public water foundations. When my oldest was about four, I let him drink out of an airport fountain and he let his lips touch the metal. He was downhill and sick the remainder of the trip. So, be careful with the food and drinks you choose to consume.
Well, well. I know this was a lengthy post, but I am hopeful that you will find it informational, educational, and inspiring. If you are interested in reading the full article by Chu-Yin & Jogaratnam, you can find that reference below.
And, if I left off anything that you want to add or if you would like to share your solo travel story here, on Just Brennon Blog, drop me a comment below or shoot me an email. Let’s work it out together!
Happy travels! I’ll see you all on Friday where I will share our adventures from our 5th state this year!
Chu-Yin, C., & Jogaratnam, G. (2006). Why do women travel solo for purposes of leisure?. Journal Of Vacation Marketing, 12(1), 59-70.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to safety travel products that I hope you enjoy just as much as I do.