Q – My friend and I have decided to take our three weeks off each year and do some traveling together within the United States. We are both in our forties – my friend is divorced and I am single. Unfortunately, we’re both OK looking so there are some concerns about traveling independently. Having spent some time on this site, we think you’re the right folks to ask although we understand this is out of your wheelhouse. 

As we start our long-range planning, we are wondering if there is any research that might indicate which State in the country, or area, is going to be the safest for two women traveling together?  For our first trip or two we would like to head to an area of the country where we feel secure and then we’ll ease into other trips as we gain confidence.

A –  There is some research that measures the major factors you would want to consider. But we think that any conclusion is really stretching it. For the record, Vermont is considered the safest state for women traveling on their own. We would put little faith in that conclusion but we do think that New England generally may be a good place to start your journeys. We would offer one caution – in your situation, there might be a tendency to avoid big cities and to consider rural drives and sightseeing well off the beaten path. That is fine, but do also look for places that have a well-educated demographic, higher income, and a well-regarded police force. You might also want to be unusually cautious about your accommodations.  As you have concerns, we would suggest going up a “star” and try to stay in hotels that have evening security. The vast majority of hotels in the United States have absolutely no on-duty security during evening hours. In fact, the vast majority of hotels in the United States operate with only one staff member on the late-night shift. 

We do want to end by suggesting that you not read our comments as serious concern. Doing a driving trip within the United States with a friend is a relatively safe pursuit by any standard.