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Traveling “What If’s”

Road trips are becoming increasingly popular, especially as air travel is becoming more expensive and seemingly more difficult to navigate. But what are considerations or traveling “what if’s” to think about when you are traveling cross country, either by yourself or with family and friends? For me, safety is always at the forefront of my mind. I am a worrier.

So, thousands of traveling “what ifs” run through my head whenever I begin to plan a trip.

One of my biggest worries has always been “What if I get a flat in the middle of nowhere?” If I do get a flat, would I feel comfortable accepting someone’s help? If I did accept the help, would I be able to protect myself if this person turned out to be a bad guy? For this situation, let’s start with the fact that you need to learn how to change your own tire. I know, I know, “But I have roadside assistance!” Do you know that the average response time for help to arrive is 30-60 minutes? That’s a really long time! If you learned how to change your own tire, you could swap out the flat tire for your spare and be back on your way.

Another safety factor to consider, do not wait until the last                  minute to get gas.

This is a bad idea for so many reasons. You could be on a long stretch of highway that doesn’t have another gas station for 60+ miles. There are numerous places in the US this is the case. Like getting a flat, you also don’t want to have to rely on roadside assistance to come bring you gas if you were to run completely out (This becomes even more critical since you would no longer have heat/AC either). And lastly, you don’t want to HAVE to stop at the non-well-lit gas station that is in an area that makes you uncomfortable in order to get gas.

Like the “running out of gas” situation above, don’t wait until the last minute to use the restroom. You don’t want to have to stop at a rest stop that isn’t well lit or has shady characters hanging out at it because you waited until the last possible second to find a restroom. (And to the people who shame others for using the bathroom too much, stop it!!! “Holding it” is actually bad for your health and can lead to infections). As soon as you start thinking you might need to find a restroom, keep an eye out for safe places to stop.

There are navigation apps which tell you locations of restrooms on your route and how far they are (including customer reviews!).

And this wouldn’t be one of my articles if we didn’t cover personal protection. Always carry some sort of personal protection with you! Whether it is a firearm, pepper spray, a knife, etc., You should always be able to defend yourself should you find yourself in a less than ideal situation.

If you choose to travel with a firearm, the greatest advice I can give you is to make sure you review the firearm laws in all states you are traveling to and through.

The USCCA Reciprocity App is a great “free” tool. The last thing you want is to be pulled over for speeding (and let’s be honest we all do it.) and find out that you are illegally carrying in that state. You can also read more about traveling with a firearm in last months article, “Traveling With A Firearm”.

I hope these few tips are helpful with your traveling “what if’s” and that you have a wonderful trip, wherever you decide to go this year!

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