Travel, USA

Traveling Alone as a Woman: My Solo New England Road Trip Experience

If you’ve been following my Instagram and Twitter posts, you already knew when and where I was taking my solo New England road trip. If you didn’t know, back in October 2021, I planned a 9 day solo New England road trip. I planned to visit Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Although, I accidentally stumbled into Maine, so that state was included as well.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cut my road trip short. On the 7th day, I left Vermont. It was a sad thing to do but I had other things to attend to. Still, since I’m relatively new to solo traveling, traveling through 4 states alone for 7 days is quite an accomplishment.

I was very excited to do this solo road trip, I’ve never done one before. I have solo traveled to Utah before, and drove to national parks, but that was a short trip. It wasn’t necessarily a road trip, because I basically drove to and from a national park. Driving through New England was my first solo road trip.

Related Post: 3 Day Solo Trip Itinerary in Utah

Salem, Massachusetts

This is my second time traveling solo, mostly new states. I opted to leave a couple New England states out due to time and geographical restraints. The only state I traveled to again was Massachusetts. Besides that, I created my own itinerary to new and hidden places. Now that it’s over and done with, I’m taking this time to reflect on my experience traveling alone, as a woman, through New England.

I Felt Relatively Safe

Overall, I felt very safe driving through multiple states. Even when I accidentally walked into Maine, and walked along the side of the road, I didn’t have any fears. I didn’t feel as if I was in danger or anything like that.

Especially when I was in Salem, MA, I felt very safe. I actually loved the crowds! But I’m a city girl, so I’m used to the hustle and bustle of places. Nevertheless, people were enjoying themselves and tending to their own business. No one, throughout my whole trip, really bothered me or made me feel unsafe.

Did I get a few stares from time to time, yes. I think because a lot of people were in New England, traveling in groups or with friends and family, they didn’t really see a lot of solo travelers. So, I got some stares from time to time but it wasn’t that bad.

So, I’d say this was a pretty good and safe experience!

Fall River, Massachusetts

People Were Friendly

I met a few people along my road trip. When you’re traveling solo, even on a road trip, it’s bound to happen. The people I met along the way were all very polite and friendly. Some of them were very happy to offer any advice, tips, or recommendations.

The most memorable experience with friendly people was when I first arrived in Woburn, MA. I was eating dinner by myself in this Italian restaurant called, “Tremonte Restaurant & Bar”. Soon after I got my meal, this woman asked if I’d like to join them, because they saw I was by myself.

I joined them, had a lovely conversation with them, and told them about my solo road trip. They admired my bravery to travel alone as a woman. They were so lovely and kind, I didn’t expect total strangers to ask me to join their table.

Then, the waitress who waited on me started talking to me about Salem, Massachusetts, and her visit to Pennsylvania. She also gave me a few recommendations for places to visit in Salem. When I was done with my meal, she wished me luck on my road trip and praised me for doing a big road trip on my own.

I couldn’t believe the friendliness and kindness of strangers. It reminds me of how there are people out there that are very sweet and open to helping others.

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire

Different Places Were Fine To Travel To

I traveled through different areas. From small towns to some cities, even trails, let’s say it was somewhat of a diverse road trip. Despite how much I traveled to different areas and types of environments, I found that it was relatively fine.

I felt safe, calm, and fine when traveling on my road trip. This means a lot, as a woman, to know that the area(s) you visit will make you feel safe and calm. Whether I was alone on a trail or mixed in the crowds in Salem, I always felt this sense of calmness and safety.

Related Post: Reflection: My First Solo Trip Experience

Rocky Gorge

I Enjoyed Driving Alone For Hours

Some people can’t stand being alone in a car, driving for hours. Me, I LOVED it! There’s something so calming, so tranquil, and therapeutic about driving alone in a car. I’m not sure what it is but I enjoy it. I especially enjoyed it when I was traveling through New England!

One of the many reasons why I loved driving alone is that there are no other distractions. No one or nothing is distracting me from my thoughts and actions. This gave me the chance to truly appreciate everything I saw and did while driving.

There’s also something very empowering, as a woman, when you drive alone. I believe it’s that element of freedom and control over what you want to do that makes it very empowering. I felt very empowered and brave by driving alone to different locations everyday.

Franconia Notch State Park – The Flume Gorge Trail

The Scenery Was Stunning

Of course, when you’re in New England during the fall, chances are you’re there for the epic fall foliage. That’s why people flock to the area every year. I’m no different; I flocked to several New England states to look at the fall foliage at different stages.

The state with the least fall foliage, when I went in mid October, was Massachusetts. Most of the leaves were still green with a few colors here and there. New Hampshire was better, as there was more color on the leaves. But you still saw a bit of green trees, depending on the area you drove through. However, Vermont was the best with fall foliage. I believe Vermont was at its peak, because everywhere I went, the fall foliage was gorgeous and in full swing!

No matter what, I enjoyed see the different stages of the foliage. It still makes for a very pretty and scenic experience.

Franconia Notch State Park

Hiking Solo Was Awesome

When in New England, you have to go on several hikes into the mountains to get stunning views of the fall foliage! I went on a lot of hikes during my time in New England; some trails were more populated and others didn’t have anyone on them at all.

Whether I was with hundreds of people (like in Franconia Notch State Park), or on a local trail (like the Gonic Trail), no one bothered me as a solo female traveler. It was quite peaceful to know that, as a woman, I could hike on any trail and not be bothered by others.

The only time people talked to me was when they asked if I could take their picture(s). A lot of people, both locals and tourists, were so nice and friendly on these trails. They knew everyone was there to peak at the fall foliage. So when I was vlogging myself, or being asked to take pictures for others, it didn’t strike anyone as weird. This made me more comfortable when hiking solo, as well as vlogging.

Franconia Notch State Park

My Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on traveling solo as a woman through New England are all positive. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have any hiccups along the way, that’s expected when traveling. But just road tripping solo, as a woman, was a very pleasant experience.

The mannerisms, attitudes, and actions of the people in New England were awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed traveling solo. I usually felt safe and wasn’t met with bothersome or horrible people. I was able to safely and collectively get out of my comfort zone without any negative or dangerous consequences.

Now, my personal experience may vary from other female solo travelers. I know, and you should too, that not everyone will experience positive things as a woman traveling solo. But I will tell you to ALWAYS exercise caution when traveling solo, especially when you’re a woman.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to travel throughout New England during the fall for some leaf peeping, you should be good to go! Especially if you’re a woman who is looking to go on a solo road trip through New England, you should be relatively safe and good to travel.