travelling usa on a budget
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 6, 2012 4:39 PM Last Post By: ifyalucky
Apr 6, 2012 2:18 AM
travelling usa on a budgethey all
my name is josh and me and my partner are about to travel to usa ( in 2 days) .. we are spending 54 days in the us and would really like some advice ..
im 28 and my partner is 23. we are not really drinkers or into the party scene too much , more into the tastes and sights of the different cultures .. our trip will start in la with 3 night acc booked in santa monica . then from there we are free to make the trip happen ..
i would like to do the typical hollywood sights and disney land ,, maybe even a day or 2 in santa barbera . maybe a few days in san diego .. maybe then fly to new orleans .. from here how would we get to miami (seeing places on the way ) then work our way up the coast ...
we hear that greyhound isnt real flash for transport. is the best way buy amtrak?
i would like to spend stay in cheap motels or cabins and the occasional hostel..
eats would be too cook or cheap take aways
would love to seethe small towns and the ways that people live ...
any information would be fantastic..
oh and the budget we would like to have is app $13000 us.. is this plausable?
Apr 6, 2012 2:20 AM
Apr 6, 2012 3:41 AM
213000/(54 x 2) = $120/person-day. Should work, but do watch your burn rate as you go. Outside the Boston-NY-DC corridor some individual cities elsewhere (NewOrleans being one of them), the US is better equipped for car travel than bus or rail, and one of you is over 25, so there are parts of this trip where you'd be well advised to rent ("hire" in non-US idioms) a car. That's how I'd get from NewOrleans to Miam.i. Figure $50/day plus fuel for that. Especially if you'll want to list the 23-year-old as a valid driver, you may want to make that arrangement from abroad before you depart -- read the FAQs and search this branch for prior posts.
Advisable stops between NewOrleans and Mia.mi depend on transport mode, so please let the forum know whether auto rental is an option. Amtrak would basically restrict you to Pen sacola and Tam pa. Greyhound has more options and is not to be feared, but you'll need to check their website to see exactly where they go. Unless driving, stopping in those small towns you want to see will mean a 24-hour stop and (absent some all-you-can-eat special fare) more $. If driving, I'd suggest Appalachicol.a, Fl.orida Panhandle beaches, by reputation some of the northwest-Fla.-coast springs, Tamp a(Ybor City), Everg lades, then on to M.iami. Coming back up the AtlanticFlorida coast you could stop at KennedySpaceCenter, middle of the peninsula for O.rlando (bigger Disney and other theme parks than Cal.ifornia's, drop them if you do this), then St.Augustine. But it would likely be cheaper and better to detour east to those (and later south to the Keys) before Mi.ami, then drop the rental car in M.iami and fly onward to D.C , no need for a car from there to other northeast cities, Bolt Megabus Greyound Amtrak all work there.
You're here for long enough to make a camping cookset worth having. Easiest fuel to find and fit with flying is an alcohol stove and yellow-bottle HEET fuel line de-icer.
Edited by: tiltedflipcurves
Apr 6, 2012 4:42 AM
Apr 6, 2012 5:49 AM
4I suggest you first rent a vehicle in LA... Southern California(a child of the automobile) is better visited using one...AMTRAK would be a option to Flagstaff AZ.(Grand Canyon) & in to Albuquerque...One can tale a low cost commuter train to Santa Fe...There then is FREE public transport (weekdays) to Taos and several Northern New Mexico villages...FLY ALB to New Orleans...And FLY from there to Florida(I suggest Oralado)Renting again, to visit Florida's scattered attractions would probably be a better plan...carracar
Apr 6, 2012 5:54 AM
5One-way drop-off fees can be stiff. So here's another optioni: fly from out west to Or.lando. You could substitute another Fla or southeastern city, but with Orlan.do, you can look for a package deal for flight, hotel, and theme park admissions. Look for a hotel with shuttle options from airport and to theme parks. After a couple days of that, rent a car and drive a big twisty loop that includes NewOrleans, Mi.ami, and any other SE destinations. Drop car in Orl.ando and fly to .DC from there.
Or, yes, you could keep the car and drive to .DC. Savanna.h, Charles ton GreatSMokey Ashe.ville Blue Ridge Parkway Charlotte.sville Staunt.on and Shenandoah wd be good stops more or less en route. There is some possibilty that you could get a great one-way auto rate from Fla. to the north, since this time of year rental agencies are shifting their inventory north.
Apr 6, 2012 7:55 AM
6So, you are arriving tomorrow (April 7th) or Saturday (April 8th) according to your post. You are interested in budget travel. Although you don't say a lot about your interests, you sound like you are interested in cities rather than outdoorsy things and mention inexepnsive hotels and such for accomodations.
First the season: You are arriving in early spring which means there will still be quite a bit of snow in the western mountains and a few highways crossing mountain passes and some National Park areas will still be closed for winter. On the other hand, you will beat the heat (and the crowds) for the western deserts and the first wildflowers will be starting to bloom. The western deserts are outstanding when they aren't helllishly hot.
Accomodations: Cheap hotel chains like Clarion, Super 8, Motel 6, Sleep Inn, etc cost between $50 - $75/ night double occupancy. America doesn't have the network of hostels that Europe has, but there are some and they are pretty good - check the web for the cities you visit. Also, couchsurfing.com would be perfect (I know a couchsurfing host and she highly recommends it). You don't sound like campers which would be the most inexpensive choice at least for the western U.S. You can camp for free, or for a minimal fee, in public lands all across the western U.S. (National Forest lands, Bureau of Land Management lands and National Parks (but the Park Service will charge to enter and to camp). Then there are state and local campgrounds all acorss the U.S. where you could camp for a minimal fee with many of these campgrounds including showers.
Travel: Greyhound/Trailways is the cheapset choice, but they eat up a lot of time and arent' the most pleasent way to travel (although you'd get a taste of American culture, or sub-culture). DO NOT HITCHIKE - too many weirdos these days. AMTRAK can be OK, but more costly and the food on-board is extremely expensive and absolutely horrible to boot (pack your own food AND water). Then there are the regional airlines which oftentimes run specials (just saw L.A. to Washington D.C. on Cheapo Air for $233 and San Francisco to L.A. for something like $50). If your schedule is flexible, you may be able to take advantage of some of these deals. Check the search engines, but also the airlines themselves (Allegiance, Southwest, Horizon, Pioneer, Alaska, JetBlue, etc). Renting a car will be necessary to visit National Parks. As for rental cars; I usually recommend that visitors consider flying between major cities and then renting a car locally once there to avoid high rental car fees. Renting a car and driving one-way across the U.S. is probably the most expensive option for travel (gas is over $4/gallon now).
Apr 6, 2012 9:26 AM
Apr 6, 2012 9:56 AM
8I would recommend spending a bit more time in the West since you arrive in LA. Lots to see out here. Look over all the "West Coast road trip" threads for ideas.
For budget accomodations, you can camp for less than you'd pay at motels/hostels, especially if you have a car. Google "dispersed camping" to learn how/where to camp for free on public lands, especially in National Forests. Easy to pick up cheap camping supplies at Target, Walmart, etc., and get cooking gear from a thrift store (Salvation Army, Goodwill).
Apr 6, 2012 3:20 PM
9A thrift store has good prices, but you will not know if they have anything you want untill you go there a look. They don't exactly inventory items like other stores, they have what is donated to them. If you can try to call and see if they have what you want, they may not help you on the phone, but at least is it may save you time and money going there to find if there is anything you can use. You might also try CraigsList.
Apr 6, 2012 4:39 PM
10WOW all this information is amazing and we thank you sooo much .. i never thought to rent a car for a round trip from orlando .... thats the plan now lol .. ive heard and read so many places to visit by doin this ,
once again guys thanks heaps ,, this trip should be fantastic ..if any1 ever travells to australia hit me up and can let u in on alot of information and ideas for this country ...
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