Help me decide the best traveling route! - yep, i'm new here
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Nov 26, 2012 4:07 PM Last Post By: LucasBD
Nov 22, 2012 10:22 AM
Help me decide the best traveling route! - yep, i'm new hereHi there! I'm a young brazilian journalist and writter, looking for advices on the best travelling route - for me - throughout the States. Here's my case: I'm going to visit a close friend in LA in July and I'm planning to get to know the city and area a bit, and then get the traveling bug on the right track. I'm willing to dedicate about a entire six months gap to this and want to make the most out of it - i've just been able to publish some of my writtings, so i have a little time to spent and get re-inspired.
I have some background in backpacking through the wilderness (camping, trekking, kayaking) and road trippin’; most within my home country, in which I have been able to travel a lot. Also have been through Chile and Mexico.
Here's my interests (might help): I've been a musician for about eleven years now, and of course, I`m extremely interested in maximize my musical and artistic knowledge. I`m also very interested in beautiful architecture and remarkable cities; not talking about great twenty-first skyscrapers cities, but those with indubious attitude and a particular culture; those that gush culture on it's streets. That brings my mind straight to the southern portion of the US, specially the Gulf of Mexico area, all the way to the western portion, but i'm sure there are a bunch of other places that fits in my description with perfection.
I`m also very, very into beautiful landscapes. I'm pretty sure that just by traveling around the US you can get sight of great landscapes all the way through, and as I`m not looking for expansive tours (it's exactly the opposite!), maybe a naturally beautiful route would be the way to go. That brings my attention to the central and western portion of the country - maybe because I'm such a fan of Kerouac, Ginsberg and their travels.
Thats about it - I would be extremely grateful if you could help me choose the best route for me, as also as tips and advices - I'm 22 years old, hoping to save the most of my money (i'm just a broke ass really), willing to take some laybour in hands and work my way to the next stop, easy going person that freakin' loves to travel. Also, how is the hitchhiking in US this days? Save to go or not so? Ah! Also willing to meet other travelers that want or are going to do something similar!
Nov 22, 2012 10:51 AM
How do you plan to get around? Many of the most beautiful landscapes can only be visited by car--there is no transit. Since you are under age 25, renting a car can get expensive as there is often underage charge of $10-25 per day. Many of those smaller towns that you might find interesting are not served by long-distance transport.
Where do you plan to sleep? Hostels? Couchsurfing? Camping (hard to do without a car)?
How much money do you think you will have for the whole trip?
Nov 22, 2012 12:20 PM
2Thanks for the reply! I am still gathering information about the laws and tourist regulations in the US since i've never been to this country, thanks a lot for the information. I already have a B2 tourist visa, which covers the amount of time that I'm willing to spend there.
Obviously, I'm only in the initial stages of planning this, I don't even decided on which path to take - the main reason I`ve asked for help - but i'm thinking about using train lines, buses, and of course a lot of couchsurfing and accessible hostels for any given thing, maybe camping if necessary. If hitchhiking there is not a good option, it really decreases my options I think. There's a possibility of my friend coming along, so renting a car would be a option since he's 25.
I am planning to have $500 with me for this, maybe more, but I'm not sure if thats enough or too much yet - depends on what I decide to do or what kind of travel this will be - Once again I'm not aiming for anything extravagant or too expensive; just a good simple honest trip without much excess.
But what do you suggest? Any particular places and ways of getting there that you might suggest? Or a travel around the US nowdays turns too a headache when don't have a car or much money?
Edited by: LucasBD
Nov 22, 2012 12:21 PM
Nov 22, 2012 12:25 PM
4Well thaks for the reply, but i`ve already did get the visa. If you have any, you know, suggestions, it will be appreciated - and i think i`ve misplaced myself, i am not thinking about travelling there for six months, i have this windown of time that can be used - also, i can take till $1000, i wasnt planing to spend thath much since i still have to pay for the ticket and i was kind of hoping i could travel cheap
Nov 22, 2012 12:33 PM
5Having the visa is great. However, they're probably going to ask you for proof that you have the necessary funds to travel around the US when you arrive. As a general rule, the Immigration folks are quite suspicious people, especially of those that look young and not very rich. It's totally illegal for someone on a B2 visa to take "gainful employment". Not having evidence of enough money means that they're going to take you to the little white room for further questioning before they send you home. Good luck, I hope you make it but there's some problems with your approach.
Nov 22, 2012 12:37 PM
Nov 22, 2012 12:44 PM
7I wish I could tell you something that would make it easier for you but after 9-11, US Immigration officials turned into some real hard-asses. And remember, they see hundreds of people every day and know all the tricks. My best advice would be to gather up a LOT more money. We're an expensive country. And whatever you do, don't breathe a word about wanting to work while you're here.
Nov 22, 2012 1:05 PM
8Read the FAQ here and also the LP guide. Even "budget" travel in USA costs about $100 PER DAY. What did you claim as your funds available when you got your visa?
If you had sufficient funds, I'd recommend:
1) a 30-day circle-tour of Western USA from LA for scenic views - Death Valley National Park, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Arches NP, Grand Canyon NP, Las Vegas (2 nights,just to laugh at the architecture on the Strip), Yosemite National Park, San Francisco (a place with a sense of place/architecture), scenic coastal highway back to LA.
2) Chicago - interesting architecture, great museums - 1 week
3) Austin,TX Memphis, TN Nashville, TN, New Orleans, LA - music scenes
4) Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia - sense of place
5) Asheville, North Carolina, Newport, Rhode Island - historic mansions / grand homes tours
Nov 22, 2012 1:08 PM
9I think you may need to sort the money thing out first, before deciding on destinations. Some places may simply be too expensive for youy.
Having a visa does not guarantee you admission. It give you permission to show up at a US immigration desk and ask to be admitted. It demonstrates to the immigration official that the US Embassy is pretty sure you'll return to Brazil and not overstay your visa and that you are not on some list of undesirables.
However, admission is always up to the immigration official. If they feel that you do not appear to have sufficient funds for your trip, they will deny entry. I've seen two reports of it here on Thorntree.
For openers, a credit card. You'll need one anyway to book a hotel or hostel or rental car. You can pay in cash, but they will want a credit card as a cover in case of damage. A bank statement showing that you have money that you can access with a debit card (the best way to get cash in the US).
$500 is about 1 week's worth of money. Maybe longer if you can stay somewhere for free, so not buy alcohol, walk instead of ride transit, and don't go into any museums.
A dorm bed in a hostel runs about $20-$35. Do not expect to find many hostels outside of large cities.
Admission to a National Park can be $10-25.
A one-way train ticket from LA to San Francisco is $58, although you might find a deal for a few dollars less. A 15-day rail pass is $439.
A one-way bus ticket LA to SF is $39 with advance purchase. The only long distance bus company has discontinued passes. They sometimes have deals.
Nov 22, 2012 2:51 PM
10Budget $100 per day.
You won't be able to work legally, and if you are thinking of working illegally, you won't make enough to live on, far less travel.
Hitchiking is not legal in most places and you won't be able to see much of what you want
$500 is a ludicrously low amount of money for 6 months, but as a troll, you already know that.
Nov 22, 2012 8:47 PM
11July is a good month to go trekking along one of the long-distance trails through California, such as the 211 miles John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada. That would take about one month to hike and camp and you would carry your food with you -- Rice-a-Roni or Noodles-Roni or Lipton Rice Mixes are cheap and filling for dinners. Cereal for breakfast. No refugios/huts, but camping in the wilderness is free. The John Muir Trail starts in Yosemite Valley and follows the Sierra Nevada south to Mt. Whitney. There can be rain and snow in the summer.
I use http://www.hostelbookers.com or http://www.hostelworld.com to find accommodations worldwide. The USA does not have as many hostels as does South America. At the hostels, you have a good chance of finding travel buddies with whom you may share a car and cost of gasoline to travel. In Yosemite is the Yosemite Bug Hostel and there are campgrounds -- you need to make reservations in advance for either because the summer is a very popular time for everyone to visit Yosemite National Park. Check http://www.greentortoise.com for bus tours of the USA and some national parks.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, has lots of culture and beautiful Indian pueblo-style architecture. There is a hostel here. Santa Fe is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with many hiking trails. Lots of beautiful scenery. 300 art galleries and a dozen museums. Indian villages nearby and in August there is an Indian Market at which Indians from throughout North America, including Alaska and Canada, gather to sell their crafts and jewelry. Albuquerque also has an Indian Pow Wow in July, I think.
Nov 22, 2012 8:48 PM
12Hitchhiking is perfectly legal in most places, contrary to what lots of folks think. You do need to know the rules about where you can or cannot stand. I'd suggest reading up on this if you're thinking of hitching--fortunately, you've got the internet and Google at your disposal.
In my area I still see quite a few hitchhikers, and I give rides to plenty. Most are either young (like you), from other countries (like you), or Native American (don't suppose you qualify). A few are truly destitute and/or thoroughly messed up. Don't mention anything about hitchhiking at the point of entry, and have some way of showing financial capability--credit and debit cards work fine unless they're already suspicious of you.
Your budget is comical. Think about traveling all over Brazil, except bigger, more expensive, and not as friendly to outsiders or poor people.
If you're just trolling, remember that growing up is always an option.
Nov 23, 2012 3:06 AM
13Well just want to clarify that I am not trolling this ok? I do not need to be this idiotic to get attention from people I don't even know and would very much apreciate to be recognized as new to this forum and a young traveler whom never been to US and usually has been able to see very good locations with small budget, some times very small.
Althoug I had traveled some, especially in my profession, I do not know someone who had travel to US under this specificities, I didn`t quite realize how it seems to be quite difficult to travel there in low cash. It's ok though, I am not as poor as you guys seems to have figured me out...
Also - I'm not considering to spend six months there, it's just the time windown that I have in present moment and I'm not considering to work my way there, you've reminded me that it is illegal with enough warmth.
I appreciated the suggestions of MidWesterner and trekker502, seems pretty doable for me and lots of fun. Also thanks Mark for puting the hitchhiking possibility back on the map, and yes I believe that I've grown up enough for this.
Would very much appreciate other routes, trekks, tips and suggestions! Maybe something that follows a more straight path so it's easier to track?
Nov 23, 2012 4:43 AM
14Lucas - because USA is so huge, circle-tours work better than straight-path. Using those you avoid one-way drop-off fees for rental cars and if you string a few together you also can use round-trip airline fares between them.
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