top of page
  • Writer's pictureStephen Carter

Traveling by Car Alone This Summer? Here are 7 Plus Tips to Help You Stay Safe

Photo by woman behind the wheel of a car by Victoria Regen on Pixabay:

As a former Chief of Police, one of my goals for supporting FREA website visitors is to provide useful, easily applied tips to keep everyone safe. I am also keenly interested in research and technology that can help support that goal.

Over the past few months automated intelligence / augmented intelligence (AI) sites such as ChatGPT are being applied for multiple purposes from research to computer coding. Google just released for public use their version of consumer available AI called Bard. Let's have a look at what Bard suggests to help you stay safe as a single person traveling by car on vacation. I did add information in the "Additional Tips" section related to pepper spray. I have also added more practical tips in the "Back to Steve" section.

7 Travel Tips

Here are 7 tips for vacation travel by car for a anyone traveling alone:

  1. Plan your route and stay informed about your surroundings. Before you leave, research your route and make sure you know where you're going. This will help you stay aware of your surroundings and avoid getting lost in unfamiliar areas.

  2. Let someone know your travel plans. Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member, and let them know when you expect to arrive at your destination. This way, if something happens, someone knows where to look for you.

  3. Drive during daylight hours. This is the safest time to drive, as there are more people around and it's easier to see. If you must drive at night, be extra cautious and avoid driving in unfamiliar areas.

  4. Stay in well-lit areas. When you're stopping for gas or food, choose places that are well-lit and have a lot of people around. This will make you feel safer and less likely to be targeted by criminals.

  5. Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don't be afraid to leave. It's better to be safe than sorry.

  6. Be prepared for emergencies. Pack a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a charged cell phone in case of an emergency. You should also have a spare tire and know how to change it.

  7. Have fun! Traveling alone can be a great way to explore new places and meet new people. Just be sure to take precautions to stay safe.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Consider getting a car alarm or other safety device.

  • Pack a personal alarm or pepper spray. Important Note: If you decide to carry pepper spray, check any legal restrictions for states / provinces, and local jurisdictions you will drive through or visit. Also, consider purchasing two canisters and SAFELY practice (outside, with the wind / breeze, away from others, eye protection) with one of those canisters so you know how to use pepper spray properly. Have it easily available, not buried in the bottom of a purse.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

  • If you feel unsafe, don't be afraid to ask for help.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation travel by car.

Back to Steve

As someone who worked in law enforcement and corporate security and safety for decades, all of the suggestions offered through Google's Bard AI are relevant and useful.

Here are a few more tips I've shared professionally and with family and friends:

  • Have your car properly serviced before travel to include checking the battery, lights, oil, windshield fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, windshield wipers / blades, fan belts, and tires. If the spare tire or any of the car's tires require air, ensure they're properly inflated.

  • Pack a blanket, food / snacks, and water in case you're stuck in long traffic delays.

  • Have paper maps in addition to GPS apps or in-car GPS service.

  • When stopping to gas your car, ensure the passenger doors are locked and your purse is out of sight. If you go inside, lock all doors to prevent criminals from quickly opening a car door and stealing your purse and / or other valuables.

  • DO NOT post any information about being away from home or your travel destinations on social media. If you post photos AFTER you're home, ensure your car and tag number are NEVER in any photos.

  • Ensure you engage door chains and / or other hotel / motel door security safety devices when inside your room. When leaving the room - even briefly to visit the front desk or go to your car - ensure the door is pulled closed and locked.

  • When at a hotel / motel, remove from your car all money / coins, EZ Pass device, cellphones, computers, medication, garage door opener, any documents containing your address, and all other items that might attract a thief.

While the focus of the Bard prompt request was vacation travel, these Bard AI suggestions and the ones I've shared immediately above apply whether you're traveling across country or across town.

Be safe and enjoy your travel...


Stephen Carter is a longtime FREA volunteer. He's a former Chief of Police, a former Security Director for one of the world's largest financial services company, and founder of Stress Solutions, LLC, now Stress Solutions USA. He hosts the "EFT Tapping Junction" and other stress releasing podcasts, all available at He can be reached by email at CarterMethod@,

33 views0 comments


bottom of page