Check out any campground and you’re bound to see at least one woman RV-er, enjoying the on-the-road experience on her own.
Solo-traveling has definitely ramped up, according to a variety of research statistics, and it’s not just a guy thing. A Bookings.com survey noted that 72 % of American women have opted for solo travel, while a 2017-2018 survey by Solo Travelers shows that women outnumber men when it comes to taking trips on their own (75% to 25% respectively).
Why do women go it alone? The reasons vary from wanting to travel at their own pace to being free from having to accommodate the wishes of their companions. And the results are worth it, according to the Bookings.com survey. Solo-traveling is a great confidence booster, with nearly two-thirds of women saying the experience made them feel more empowered, energized and refreshed. Other women take their first solo trip after a major life event—retirement, divorce, or death of a partner—as a way of finding their way through it to a new beginning.
So how do they do it? While the transportation options are varied, from air to train to cruise ships, there are also those women who hit the highway, traveling with RVs ranging in size from motorized Class A motorhomes to teardrop towables.
Think a woman can’t handle an RV? Just ask any of the more than 2,000 members of RVing Women or any of the other organizations that cater to women on the road who do it on a regular basis. With some pre-planning, basic understanding of camper maintenance and advice from other female RV-ers, you too can enjoy the wide-open road, and the freedom and independence that come with being a solo traveler!
Advance preparation can also make the solo adventure less stressful. In “12 tips for women traveling solo in an RV” writer Laura Robinson recommends researching campsites before you take off, reading reviews posted by other campers and calling ahead to make sure there is space available. (A camping-specific app such as AllStays Camp and sites such as Passport America make this fast and easy.)
Robinson also recommends keeping your doors locked at night and consider bringing a dog along for extra protection—a big one, she added, since the petite versions don’t scare anybody! (Read Camping with Fluffy and Fido for tips for taking a pet on the road.)
If it’s your first time with a camper, take a driving course so you know how to handle it—especially if the weather can be changeable: sunny one minute and pouring down rain the next!
While the desire to be unplugged can kick in big-time on vacation, a judicious use of social media and apps can actually make your solo-experience easier and safer. Sites like Roadtrippers can help you plan your trip as well as research off-the-beaten-track places to explore.
Use social media to let friends or family members know where you are and where you’re heading. (Solo Traveler recommends carrying a GPS tracker, which allows you to be tracked via Google maps.)