Ultimate Guide to Safe Solo Travel in the USA

Discover the comprehensive handbook for safe solo travel across the United States. Unlock valuable insights and essential advice from actual travelers.

Ultimate Guide to Safe Solo Travel in the USA

We’re going to give you all the tips you’ll need to have a safe journey across the US. They’ll work for you, whether you’re new to the travel-with-yourself game or have journeyed solo a couple of times.

P.S. don’t forget to check out our guide on safe countries to visit—Global Edition.

How to choose your perfect safe solo trip destination

What should you be looking for when picking a bucket list destination that is also safe-solo travel friendly? Here are the top three things to keep in mind for a safe solo trip.

  • Check out the crime stats for your destination-to-be here
  • Think accessibility (easy navigation and good transport)
  • Which activities you’d want to do—fall/winter trends in the US
  • Use apps like TripHobo to plan your itinerary

Advice from real travelers

Want to know the four big secrets of how to travel alone? It’s all about where you stay, how you travel/get around, what you bring, how you capture the memories you make, and finding the right deals.

Let’s check out each step so you can start planning your next solo trip:

1. Where you stay

When planning solo travel for women trips, start by checking out the price of the accommodation with preliminary searches on Google and Airbnb. This should give you an idea of the price. Note down what’s in your budget.

Then:

  • Make a list of the activities that interest you
  • Cross-reference your list with your budget-based accommodation list
  • Keep narrowing down until you have the perfect stay

Doing a tour of US National Parks? Use recreation.gov to see the upcoming events and choose a place to stay nearby.

Want even more pocket-friendlier and safe options? Try these:

2. Work exchanges

Worldpackers can make certain US locations the best places to travel solo female in US. Through it, you can choose to work for a few hours every week. In exchange, you get to stay for free—and sometimes, other perks like:

  • Meals
  • Tours
  • Classes

Since your host will be a local, they’ll also be able to tell you more about the place, such as the best places to eat, shop, etc.

3. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing can be another option for safe solo travel. Just remember to:

  • Check out hosts’ references and profiles
  • Determine if their place is close to transit
  • Ladies, pick female hosts only

4. Hostels

Staying at a hostel can be cheaper—most will have 4-10 beds and you can get one for budget dollars. Free breakfast, convenient locations, and social activities are some other perks you may enjoy.

Looking for hostels in the best places to travel solo female? Try HiHostels.

5. Airbnb

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Airbnb rentals are a better idea for those traveling in large groups or pairs rather than for the solo traveller. But check out what’s available; you may get lucky. That’s because sometimes, an Airbnb may be cheaper than a motel room.

6. Camping

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Traveling across the States in a car can be expensive, especially parking. We’d recommend balancing it out by finding campsites—you can usually get that space between $10 and $30. However, not all camping grounds will be safe for solo travelers. So, do your homework.

7. Motels

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Don’t just focus on competitive pricing if you don’t want to end up in an unpleasant motel room on a solo trip! Check reviews on Google reviews and TripAdvisor.

How you travel/get around

1. Driving

Often the cheapest option, absolutely go for it if you’re headed to a close destination. Try not to drive for more than 4-6 hours. Calculate what you’ll be spending on fuel and parking before you choose to drive.

2. Flying

Those who prioritize both safe solo travel and eco-travel may already know it can often be cheaper to fly than drive—that’s true if you’ll be visiting different parts of the US.

Start by:

  • Checking Google flights for approximately cheapest options
  • Checkout Going (previously Scotts Cheap Flights) for discounts from nearby airports to you. (It’s $50 for a year-long access and 110% worth it!)
  • See if arriving and departing using different airlines reduces cost

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The bus fare can be as low as $1—if you book in advance. Look up these popular US bus companies:

3. Taking the Train

The US rail, Amtrak, may not always be affordable or quick. That said, it offers two perks to solo travelers:

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Where to find the best solo travel for women deals

Looking for the best value and great customer service? Then use these traveler-favorite companies. You can also make them the starting point when searching for travel deals, even if you don’t end up using them:

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  • Skyscanner will go through various budget airline websites to find you deals other bigger flight search engines usually miss!
  • Hostelworld has one of the biggest accommodation inventories
  • Booking.com usually shows you the lowest rates when it comes to budget accommodation
  • Get Your Guide is where you go for tours? Cooking, walking, street art—they have the deets on all excursions
  • SafetyWing is specifically geared towards digital nomads and regular travelers. So, hit it for cheap and affordable plans

What to bring

Keep overpacking tendencies away and make sure you look your best in every picture by visualizing your outfit choices in light of:

  • Your destination’s vibe
  • Weather there
  • How long you intend to stay
  • The kind of activities you’ll be doing
  • Your mode of transport

Safe Solo Travel Packing List Essentials

Concerned about travel safety? Then don’t forget to pack these:

  • Small backpack/fanny pack for IDs, cash, and cards
  • Phone charger—try to get a portable one
  • Entertainment—headphones and books/ereader
  • Hotspot router—stay connected even when remote
  • Protection—luggage locks, safety alarm, and pepper spray—check local laws
  • Washing line
  • Medkit—plasters, safety pins, wipes, handwash, bandages, painkillers, etc.
  • Activity-based gear, such as bathing suit, flipflops, etc.
  • Toiletries—what you won’t find easily

Does your trip include a visit to a beach—or three? Here’s our guide on how to take awesome beach pics.

How to capture the memories you make

Solo travel is an exhilarating and eye-opening personal experience, but when you get home, it’s easy to forget some of the grandest moments or be stuck scrolling through hundreds of pics when it’s time for show and tell back home.

We’re biased, but DropEvent is the easiest way to collect and share memories you make along the way. Here are some reasons why:

  • Easy bulk on-the-go upload
  • Quick sorting with galleries and folders
  • Direct-sharing and on-your-album interaction
  • Unlimited storage
  • Uncompromised picture quality
  • Password protection
  • Easy grab for post-editing

Plus, if you do add a traveling buddy along the way, everyone can add pictures to the gallery in just a few clicks, no signups or share hassles. Register now!

The best places for safe solo travel in the USA

If you just need to get out of Dodge, here are the top 5 safe locations in the USA to travel to for a fantastic solo trip. Buckle up buttercup, and let’s get you on the road (or tarmac!).

Cities

If you’re thinking of safety while traveling on your own, try these locations within the US:

  • Washington DC
  • San Francisco
  • New Orleans
  • Seattle
  • Charleston
  • Houston
  • Portland
  • Chicago
  • Cambridge
  • Montreal
  • Boston
Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3
  • Minneapolis
  • Madison
  • Austin, Texas

San Diego

  • Northern Arizona
  • Denver
  • Hawaii
  • Baltimore
  • Philadelphia

Here’s the location-based list of those cities:

  • Hawaii (Hawaii)
  • Seattle (Washington)
  • San Francisco (California)
  • Portland (Oregon)
  • Northern Arizona (Arizona)
  • San Diego (California)
  • Denver (Colorado)
  • Austin, Texas (Texas)
  • Houston (Texas)
  • New Orleans (Louisiana)
  • Charleston (South Carolina)
  • Madison (Wisconsin)
  • Chicago (Illinois)
  • Cambridge (Massachusetts)
  • Boston (Massachusetts)
  • Montreal (Quebec)
  • Washington DC (District of Columbia)
  • Baltimore (Maryland)
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)
  • New York City (New York)

Looking for an international getaway? Check out our recommendations on solo vacations to visit around the world in fall/winter.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s no shortage of places for solo female travelers to visit in the US. The country has so much to offer and each state seems to have its own culture, resulting in unique sights and experiences. So, bookmark our guide and start planning your itinerary!

FAQs

1. How do I plan a solo trip to USA?

We’d recommend keeping the following things in mind:

  • Prepare to spend—solo tripping across the States is going to be expensive
  • Don’t expect to see the entire country on a single trip if you’re coming from out-of-country
  • Pack for weather—can vary drastically between states and seasons
  • Tip everywhere—restaurants, taxis, tour guides, maid service, etc.
  • Research demographics of cities before visiting, especially if you are a person of color

2. Where is the best place to travel in the US as a solo female?

While you’ll find a long list of places solo traveling women can safely visit, here are several good candidates:

  • Charleston
  • San Francisco
  • Washington DC
  • New York City

3. Is it safe to walk alone at night in USA?

Always follow the primary rules of safe solo travel , no matter where you are. Those include:

  • Sticking to busier and lighted areas at night
  • Stay away from out-of-the-way places
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Listen to your intuition

Double check safety ratings for your city and area prior to going and generally be back home by midnight-1am unless you are with a group you trust. Taking an Uber is much safer than walking back.

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