Women do not always live and travel with others. There is a growing number of females who not only vacation alone but even spend extended time living on the road in a van or other type of travel vehicle. In fact, there are actually some van-life YouTube channels and social media accounts already making waves.
This trend has attracted many young women who dream of venturing out on their own. But how safe are they without a traveling companion? Of course, there is always a personal risk whenever we are away from a permanent dwelling, but just how safe can a van be? Let’s take a look at some things you can do to stay safe when traveling and living alone on the road.
The Questions to Ask Yourself
If you mention wanting to live in a van or truck on the road, you’re likely to get hit with a list of questions from your friends and family. How will you shower? Where will you park at night? Have you made the time to compare truck insurance, personal health insurance, and other plans for personal protection? Most importantly, how will you stay safe?
Sadly, we still live in a society where single-women are more vulnerable, which begs the question, can you experience the freedom of van-life safely as a solo female traveler? The answer is yes, you can… if you take some basic precautions.
We’re lucky to have the internet at our fingertips, and with that comes a world of information about anything you desire to learn. Taking to the road for an extended period will require you to dig deeper for tips, resources, and information to make your trip safe, comfortable, and fulfilling.
There are thousands of single women traveling and living full-time out of their vans or trucks, and many of them have shared tips and tricks as to how they keep themselves safe. I’m sure you might even be able to ask questions if you can find someone who likes to chat. Know that even if these social media gals seem to have everything down to a science, I assure you that they have likely had challenges and hardships they may not publicize as much as the fun stuff. If you get the opportunity, ask about the hardships, emergencies, and dangers.
Sleep in Secure Places
One of the joys of van living is the ability to sleep in different places every night, but some areas are definitely more secure than others. For peace of mind and maximum security, consider sleeping in authorized camp-sites or if you are heading more off-grid, make sure that someone knows where you are.
Don’t Draw Attention to Yourself
Although you will likely be proud to be traveling alone, your solo status makes you more vulnerable to predators and thieves. Don’t actively advertise your adventure to others unnecessarily. Use blackout curtains for your windows and a curtain between the cab of your van and the living area to keep others from looking in on your living space. Be careful who you speak with and what you say, making sure you don’t reveal too much information about yourself and what you’re doing.
Have Access to the Cab
Some van builds completely separate the cab of the van from the living area, but this can be dangerous. If someone does bother you or tries to get in your van at night, by having the cab of the van open, you can easily get away from danger. If the cab was closed off, you would be basically trapped in your own vehicle.
Know How to Defend Yourself
For your own peace of mind, have something with which to defend yourself in an emergency. I’m not saying you need a firearm, but do have at least one weapon in the van and something in your purse or bag. This can be anything that you feel comfortable handling and using, such as a baseball bat, pepper spray, or a taser. Do educate yourself about how to use your weapon of choice, as well as practice. Also, make sure whatever it is that you can access it quickly and easily. Additionally, taking a few self-defense classes wouldn’t hurt either.