If you are a single female, it’s understandable that you might hesitate to jump in the car and head out on an extended solo trip. You have safety and cost concerns, at the very least. But when road tripping there are a couple of things you can do to guarantee that you’ll have a great time even as a solo traveler.
You may joke that your idea of camping is a four/five star hotel, but your budget, like most people these days, might be more in the “sleeping bag in the backyard” category. The solution? For a couple of your overnight stays, try checking into small motels with a family-run vibe. Most still have AAA endorsements, but not the big time amenities. They are clean, safe, have friendly staff and can cost you less than $100 a night mid-week.
A great example of one of these places on the Central Coast is the Bluebird Inn in Cambria. The staff is incredibly helpful and the location is perfect—walking distance to some great restaurants and less than 20 minutes from Hearst Castle. It’s not glamorous, but it comfortably covers everything that you need (and if your budget allows, you can upgrade for things like fireplaces and balconies, etc).
Also, if you are a solo traveler you might be hesitant to strike up conversations with strangers mid-trip, but there is tremendous value in chatting with the locals. If you are bouncing from tasting room to tasting room in places like Monterey, try chatting with the tasting room hosts. They have terrific “off the beaten wharf” dining advice, as well as great inside stories about the city and some not-so-crowded (and often cheaper) ideas for the day.
Going farther afield? Try checking out the video featuring Seth Kugel’s advice from MarloThomas.com about assessing the danger for Americans traveling abroad. Kugel is the Frugal Traveler columnist for The New York Times, and he makes some excellent suggestions about weighing your options before you set off on your next adventure.