Help!! North America 2 month travels!!
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Jul 18, 2012 4:53 AM Last Post By: bzookaj
Jul 15, 2012 9:50 AM
Help!! North America 2 month travels!!Hi all,
This is our first time travelling and we need ideas and help big time please!! We would like to use greyhound to get around and have a rough itinerary but we don't know if this will get the best out of the trip?! Our itinerary is:
Toronto to Ottawa
El paso ??
Flagstaff (grand canyon)
We Think we may be visiting too many cities but we don't really know much off the beaten track
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thank you :)
Jul 15, 2012 9:56 AM
Jul 15, 2012 10:48 AM
21. What time of year would you be traveling?
2. Why did you chose those cities?
3. What do you want to see or do?
4. What do you NOT want to see or do?
5. What sort of accomodations do you expect to stay in?
6. What sort of daily budget you do have?
Get a copy of the Lonely Planet USA guide. It will have suggested itineraries and far more information than you will get from a couple of random posters.
I hope you understand Greyhound is not highly thought of as a means to travel and often the bus stations are in gritty inner city or dodgy parts of town without good accomodations. The USA does not have many hostels.
Jul 15, 2012 11:08 AM
Jul 15, 2012 12:23 PM
Jul 15, 2012 1:46 PM
5Hi, thank you all for your replies so far. There is two of us both over 25 years old and looking to travel in April and may 2013. We want to experience the American culture and visit some national parks and tried to pick a variety of different cities so we could get a taste of different places. I have researched and I know there aren't many hostels at all so we will be looking to stay in cheap hotels and motels. As for hiring a car we would be willing to do this as it seems the greyhound buses may be a bit dodgy! May be we should consider cutting down how many cities we visit and concentrate on the south and west?
Jul 15, 2012 5:54 PM
6Look for Motel 6's across the US. Usually clean, cheapest motel chain, no charm, but a place to crash after all day exploring/driving.
Shop for food in supermarket deli's.
Personally I'd skip Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, Memphis and El Paso. I'd do a little research on the rest of the cities to see if anything there would interest you.
Examples: Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston etc. for American history, older architecture etc. Chicago, BIG American city with lots of skyscrapers. Las Vegas, flash, HUGE crowds from all over the world, mind blowing hotels/casinos. Can get cheapish hotel rooms, but the rest (food, drink) is not cheap.
Except for San Francisco, the west coast is best done in a car.
Jul 16, 2012 1:57 AM
7Can't skip Memphis, home of the "King" especially as there's cheap accommodation a short walk from the bus station + it's a cool town!
Jul 16, 2012 3:28 AM
8if you havent been to nyc i would suggest it. you can go to the hamptons if the city life is too busy www.traveezy.com can help you plan your trip.
i wouldnt bother with greyhound - youll get the most out of your trip by renting a car, perhaps buying a used car would be cheaper. i have no idea (youlll have to look into insurance too) but i know thats a popular option in NZ and OZ and maybe worth looking into.
Jul 16, 2012 4:28 AM
9I would do the Northeast (Toronto to Washington DC) by bus and train, concentrating on the cities (3 weeks max). Then fly to the South and see Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans (one week - bus or car), and then fly to Las Vegas and rent a car and loop through Arizona, western Colorado, southern Utah, and parts of California (4 weeks). You can end in any of San Francisco, LA, or Las Vegas, without incurring one-way drop-off fees.
We have used carhire3000.com to rent cars in the US - they were competitive and good to deal with. We have caught buses in the US as well (including a couple of Greyhounds) and it is a chore over a lengthy trip - wherever you get to, you are then a pedestrian, and it is hard (or at least time-consuming and inconvenient) to do very much. Renting a car saves you money as well as time ... apart from immediate access to the wonderful parks, you can find the cheap motels and hostels (they do exist), plus you can carry food.
Jul 16, 2012 5:55 AM
10If you want to see the US culture (what ever is left) I would break this trip into east coast and west coast, the east coast you can use trains for the NYC/Philly/Boston areas, and also even Wash DC. Historically speaking, and as far as the arts are concerned, these areas possess the most on all levels.
Then fly to New Orleans.
Then fly to West Coast, and get a car in LA/Vegas and tour the Nationa Parks of interest and drop the car in San Fran.
There is no need to go by bus/train from east coast thru midwest/south of a few days in New Orleans, and Texas can be skipped IMO, as Austin is about the only worthy city to see but way out of the way.
You need 3 days per city minimum plus travel day for East, and for California/Southwest all depends on your interest.
Jul 16, 2012 7:21 AM
11First of all - your itinerary is way, way way too crowded for a two month trip. Also, although you feel that, "it seems the greyhound buses may be a bit dodgy" that also is a part of American culture (in fact the Greyhound crowd comprises a whole sub-culture of travellers) and, they aren't THAT dodgy. You will find American culture permeating everywhere you go - no worry about that, and many of my European friends enjoy shopping at American outlet stores or "big-box" stores like CostCo - there you will find American culture in full swing - fascinating even for an American sometimes.
Not knowing your interests, I'd focus on one or two regions of the U.S. Say, the west coast and then the east coast. Or, the deset southwest and the deep south. Texas is its own region, loosely and reluctantly allied with the rest of the U.S.
Given the time of your trip (spring 2013, April/May), bear in mind that many of the mountainous western areas will still be closed for winter (Rocky Mountain National Park, Crater Lake in Oregon, much of the Sierra Nevada), but that would be a good time to see the southwestern deserts and canyonlands (desert flowers blooming, weather not overbearingly hot). The Pacific Northwest (San Francisco and north to Seattle) will be rainy, windy and rather cool. The east coast will be cool with possibilities of good weather. The deep south will be blooming with flowers and expereincing fresh spring weather, although rainy periods can happen there too.
On the east coast, this being your first time to the U.S., I'd recommend Washington DC and New York if you can afford it. Philadelphia is worth a stop as well with its cololnial buidlings and liberty bell.
You will have the advantage of visiting during a low tourist time which would be nice.
Jul 16, 2012 7:23 AM
12To be honest, I think you would be wasting your time in places like California, Texas, Vegas. I would personally stick to New England or the east coast, maybe break the USA into 2 trips. You should definitely make it to NYC, Boston, Philly, Baltimore, and even the lesser-known New England states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) offer a beauty and grandness of their own! California is really overrated and nothing much to see. Same with Vegas. If you want to go to the Southwest, you should consider seeing places like: the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, White Sands New Mexico, 'the Wave' in Arizona, Antelope Canyon in Arizona, etc. A better use of time, in my opinion! :-)
Edited by: abby12490
Jul 16, 2012 2:48 PM
13Welcome to the forum, abby ... however you have some strong and unconventional views for a brand newbie. Perhaps you should be a little more circumspect - and learn a few things about this place - prior to giving very biased views. There is much to like about VT, NH, and Maine, of course, but they pale into insignificance, compared to what California offers.
Jul 16, 2012 2:59 PM
14Abby, While New England area is wonderful, California is far better on many levels, for you to say its a waste of time, and nothing to see, means you have hardly scratched the surface there.
Vegas is Vegas, no comment there, either you like it you dont, to me its the shithole of America..but I manage to enjoy it 4 times year on business.
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