''roadtrip'' seattle, vancouver, LA? HEPL please :)
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 28, 2013 6:07 PM Last Post By: trekker502
Feb 26, 2013 12:59 PM
''roadtrip'' seattle, vancouver, LA? HEPL please :)Hi there. 21 year girl from Denmark. My two friends are au pari's in Atlanta and Vancouver. I wanna visit both of them this summer. I will be gone for around one month. Im planning to fly to Seattle and take the bus to Vanocuver. Be there for around 1 week and then my friend would go with me traveling. We would like to se LA, Miami, NY and Atlanta (and the areas around this citys) We would be using bus, train and fligth. would it be possible? And what should we do first? And where would it be best to end? I would like to be at the beach some days but also see a lot of things :-)
Hope you can help me. I would couchsurfe, use hostels and hotels. I will bring around 2000 dollars. would that make it?
Hope you can help me, I really need advices!! :D
Feb 26, 2013 1:08 PM
Your flights alone will likely eat half of that budget, if not more.
Feb 26, 2013 2:26 PM
2Oh really?? The flight to and from Denmark are not included in the 2000.
Feb 26, 2013 3:27 PM
3So you have one month and will spend one week of that in Vancouver British Columbia with your friend. I will assume that you are staying with your friend in Vancouver and not renting a hotel room. You also want to visit your friend in Atlanta Georgia. I'll assume you will also stay with that friend for a week and not need to rent a hotel room there either That leaves you two weeks for travelling between Vancouver and Atlanta with a total budget of $2,000 usd.
Another assumption: you will spend $35/day while with your friends for food and entertainment which is about $500. You could spend your two-weeks driving from Vancouver to Atlanta, but it might cost more than flying one-way. So, I'll assume you fly on a domestic airline which will cost about $250 (based on Orbitz search for one-way Los Angeles to Atlanta on Frontier Airlines).
With your time and budget constraints, forget Miami and especially New York. Also, a rental car is out of the question which is too bad since most of the National Parks, the coastal route along the California coastline and many other sights require you have a car to get to them. With your time and budget, I'd recommend you just visit your friend in Vancouver, travel down the west coast from city to city, then fly out of Los Angeles to Atlanta to finish your trip with your other friend there (assuming you will then fly home from Atlanta which is a large, international hub airport).
After visiting your frinds in Vancouver and Atlanta (and assuming you spend only the #35/day) you have about $1,250 left of your original $2,000 for the remaining two-weeks which is about $90 per day. That is extremely low for travelling between Vancouver and Los Angeles. Train, plane or bus tickets alone will eat up a third of that leaving you about $60 per day and even staying in hostels will cost $25 to $30 per day leaving you only $30 per day to eat and play. It could be done if you limit your travelling, stay in hostels or couchsurf every night, buy food in grocery stores (no restaurants) and limit all alcoholic beverages and partying. It would be far better if you could bring at least another $500 and better yet, $1,000.
Travel along the west coast: Seattle has a lot to do and there is the Green Tortoise Hostel in the middle of downtown for about $30/night usd. You could easily spend two to three days in and around Seattle There isn't a metro system in Seattle, but the downtwon area is pretty compact and city busses get you around just fine. Portland Oregon is a fun place with a definite gothic vibe to it, and it has a good trolly system, but just couple days would be plenty there. San Francisco is a huge, world-class city with a good metro system to get around on and lots to keep you busy. Four days would be fine there. Los Angeles has lots to do as well, but geting around it is more difficult without a car. Plan on three to four days there. That pretty much eats up your two-weeks.
NOTE: Getting from Seattle to Vancouver: Besides busses, there is also a train from Seattle to Vancouver, the AMTRAK train. Also, there is an elevated train-shuttle from the Seattle airport to the train station in downtown Seattle, so getting between the AMTRAK train and airport is easy. But, check the AMTRAK train schedule to be sure the train departures coincides with your arrival flight and the shuttle train stops running around 11 or 12 p.m.
Feb 26, 2013 3:35 PM
4Random date in "summer:"
Flight, Seattle to Los Angeles - $120.
Flight, LA to Miami - $259.
Flight, Miami to Atlanta - $159.
Flight, Atlanta to NYC - $127.
Flights for these segments alone: $665.
Haven't bothered with the bus to Vancouver, or any other side trips you may have considered, but I'm already nearing half your budget.
So after flights, you have roughly $44.50 to live on per day. Minus bus to/from Vancouver ($28).
Hostel beds are roughly $20-45, depending on city, plus tax (and assuming lodging is covered in Vancouver and Atlanta). Eating, drinking and sightseeing are extra.
You really should increase your budget.
Note, all these prices are based on current prices I quickly looked up. Actual prices may vary depending on your exact dates and routes, and expect the prices to go up if you wait.
Feb 26, 2013 4:27 PM
- Yes, your budget is low, so I would try to avoid flying so much. For example, you can easily cut Miami. It's not a must-see or that different from some parts of LA and the weather there in the summer is pretty awful and humid. It's really not worth flying all the way there. Atlanta is also not a must-see, but I understand you want to see your friend. If your friend can meet you elsewhere on your trip, it might be a better idea (especially if you're not staying in Atlanta with your friend for free and have to pay for accommodations).
- Hostel dorm beds in the US cost $25-40 per night. You will need another $30-40 per day on food even if you eat pretty cheaply most of the time. $10 on transportation. If you drink out at bars, add another $20-30 for each day out. Things are adding up as you can see. I would plan on bringing around $100/day not including internal flights if you want to be relatively comfortable and do touristy things, some attractions, and a theme park.
- Instead of Miami, I would recommend to go to SF. It's a great city and very walkable. And you'll already be nearby.
Here's an alternative itinerary you can consider
Seattle - 3 days (Stay at American Hotel/Hostel)
Vancouver - 7 days
Fly to SF (around $150)
SF - 4 days (stay at Green Tortoise or Fort Mason hostel)
Bus to LA (around $30-60 depending on the day. Check Megabus and Greyhound. You can also fly for around $100-140)
LA 4 days (Stay at HI Hostel Santa Monica)
Fly to Atlanta (around $150)
Atlanta 3 days
Fly to NYC (around $150)
NYC 5 days (Stay at HI Hostel on Upper West Side)
Costs: Flights/buses around $550. Hostels for all nights around $650 (dorm beds at hostels). So, this only leaves you $900 to spend in 30 days on food, attractions, transportation in cities, bars, etc, i.e. about $30/day. Not a lot.
- Do you need to pay for a flight to return to Seattle to fly back home? Then you need to add that to the budget.
Feb 27, 2013 5:56 AM
1) Book hostels as soon as you can--maybe even NOW. The U.S. is not Europe. We are undersupplied with hostels. Also, you can't just jump on a train or bus to get a hostel bed in an adjacent town. You can always cancel a hostel reservation without cost if you follow the hostel guidelines on cancellations.
2) The U.S. is not Europe and we don't have service charges included in bills. Every time you eat at a restaurant or drink at a bar/club, you will be charged a tax as well as the cost of the food or drink AND you need to add a tip to the cost of the food or drink. Tips of 15% of the cost of the food and $1 U.S. for each drink are reasonable. (Folks, let's try to avoid a flame war here.) On the low budget you have, don't even try to eat at a restaurant unless someone else is paying for the meal. "Fast food" like McDonald's is OK because you don't need to tip at fast food "restaurants." Limit yourself to a daily quota of one paid drink so you have more money for sight-seeing. (Or get used to eating a lot of ramen noodles.)
Feb 28, 2013 6:07 PM
7Check out the tours throughout the USA given by Green Tortoise: http://www.greentortoise.com They have hostels in Seattle and in San Francisco and Yosemite NP. On their tours, riders have a choice of tent-camping, hostels, or hotels/motels for nightly accommodations. I don't know if they can also have the option of sleeping on the bus. Newish motorcoaches -- comfortable.
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