Travelling east and west coast in May
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Feb 6, 2013 3:33 AM Last Post By: Alexander96
Feb 5, 2013 5:09 AM
Travelling east and west coast in MayHi there, Im Charlie 25 year old from England. I am currently doing a round the world trip and am working in New Zealand until beginning of May when I fly to America.
I am travelling America on my own and have heard bad things about doing so. What is the best way for me to get around? And is there anybody travelling at roughly this time who would possibly be willing to car share with me whilst travelling around?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Feb 5, 2013 5:35 AM
What "bad things" have you heard about travelling alone in the U.S.?
As for your question, the best way to get around:
Well that depends on where you are going. For example, in May it will still be winter in the western mountains (Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada). But th esouthwestern deserts will be nice and not too hot yet (but getting there). To access National parks in the western U.S. you need a car as they are almost all in remote locations. Green Tortoise, REI and Sierra Club offer group trips to some of them (check their websites). The wetern cities along the Pacific coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle) are linked by the AMTRAK train service; however, regional airlines often run specials for reasonably inexpensive air fare between them too (Allegiant Air, Alaska, Horizon)
The cities of the eastern U.S. along the Atlantic coast (New York, Washington DC, Boston) are well linked by train service and busses, so public transport is more available to more locations there.
Coast to coast there is the AMTRAK train service, busses and sometimes reasonable airfare (Southwest Air, JetBlue).
Feb 5, 2013 7:50 AM
Feb 5, 2013 8:26 AM
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Feb 5, 2013 9:03 AM
Are you thinking of buses and trains? Are you willing to fly for some parts?
Where in the US are you planning to go? Some places are only accessible by car or on a tour (many National Parks, for example). Some can be done by train or bus, but it's cumbersome and time-consuming (getting around Los Angeles, for example). Some places are easy without a car (San Francisco., New York City)
Feb 5, 2013 12:52 PM
6The best way to get around will vary in different areas of the U.S. In some, having your own car is essential. In others, having a car is unnecessary and a liability. Some regions have good rail and bus service connecting nearby areas, and good public transit within each area. Some may have ok public transit between areas, but you really need a car to get around once there. Some routes have fairly inexpensive internal flights, others flight routes are ridiculously expensive (and looking at the distance won't necessarily give you the answer about whether it's cheap or pricey)
Since you won't do ALL of the U.S., think about what is important to you, your budget, then start putting together an itinerary that makes sense.
Feb 5, 2013 1:22 PM
Feb 5, 2013 2:55 PM
- What bad things have you heard?
- Are you a backpacker? Pretty easy to do this in the US in big major cities. Hostels in all of them and public transit is good on the east coast. The west coast is doable without a car too if you stick to mostly cities. Green Tortoise hostel also does backpacker tours.
- How long do you have in the US? What are your must-sees?
Feb 5, 2013 8:38 PM
9America is perfectly safe...sort of....most of the time...
Just don't hang around with the wrong people...stay out of "bad neighborhoods.... and DO NOT hitchhike...!
Renting a car is expensive ...especially for cross country travel...but great for doing local touring for a few days or a week....
I assume you want to "see the country" while you are here...?
The AMTRAK trains are fast and expensive...but dull... not really much fun...still lots of poor and older people who are "afraid to fly" or "self segregate" into a lesser form of travel...
Basically you see the "back side" of every city and town...the junk yards, the slums, the closed factories...
American railroads never were for passengers...at least not recently...they were to service industry...alas now mostly gone... You can't stop when you want to...and usually end up in a dismal old train station in a 'bad part" of town... And no...hotels and hostels do not congregate around train stations in America as in most of the world... However trains on the East Coast are more traveler friendly...
The Bus is a great way to meet people and see the country...but there are a lot of "strange people" on the bus...so be careful....
I would combine Train and Bus travel...and rent a car in places you want to stay for a while... Like Vegas or SF.... There are lots of trains and buses going in all directions...with a little research you can put them together for a great cross country trip...
In some cities there is public transportation...but public transport in America is often ..."low class"... Most Americans are expected to buy cars and drive on the crowded freeways... So be careful on American public transport....don't fear it...just be aware of your surroundings...
The Intermountain States from Denver west...are particularly scenic...but distances between cities are great.
Feb 5, 2013 9:45 PM
Feb 6, 2013 3:33 AM
I'm heading for the West coast of the USA this May. So it'd be great if I could find someone to travel and hang out with!:)
I'd like to see as many cities as it possible, of course - LA, SF and Las Vegas!
Looking forward to hearing from you!!!
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