Planning a 6 week trip to USA
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Aug 8, 2013 12:05 PM Last Post By: qaanaaq
Aug 5, 2013 7:37 PM
Planning a 6 week trip to USAHi there,
A friend and I (both 22) are looking to book a trip to the US sometime in July/August/September next year (2014).
Ideally we would like to vist - Miami, California, LA, Las Vegas, NY and San Francisco.
1. Is 6 weeks long enough to do these with enough time to do and see most things?
2. What sort of budget would you allow for the 6 weeks to do the above places?
3. Are there other must see places we should add to the itinerary?
Any advice and help are greatly appreciated!!!
Aug 5, 2013 7:51 PM
1You will get better answers if you can add some details
How do you plan to travel? Rent a car? (There may be a significant surcharge for being under age 25) Can you drive? Are you willing to pay that surcharge for part of the trip?
Flying? Bus? Tain?
What do you want to see and do? Nature &wildlife? Big city museums and art galleries? Early to bed or dance until dawn? Hiking & camping? Shopping? Wineries? Topless bars? The opera? Please don't say you are interested in "everything." Do you really want a recommendation for a tour of a sewage treatment plant?
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Aug 5, 2013 8:11 PM
2Nutrax is correct - more information from you means better answers here - no-one minds how long your posts are.
In general though - six weeks is a good amount of time: 10 days in the Northeast (New York, Washington etc), seven days Miami and area, and 25 days in a triangle between LA, Las Vegas, and San Francisco ... to cover the best that Southern California and the near Southwest has to offer (including both cities and outstanding national parks).
I suggest you fly between these three areas, and look at around $US100 per day per person to have a comfortable time - it includes rental car (a premium as you're under 25 will apply), fuel, food, and budget accomm. Then you need to budget for your international flights (arrive and leave from NYC or LA, or search for an open-jaw option), plus maybe two or three domestic flights (up to $250, but highly variable).
With six weeks I wouldn't try to cross the country by land - you can use your time better elsewhere. I also suggest that starting late August is probably best - by September most Americans have finished their holidays.
Aug 5, 2013 8:30 PM
3OK, rough budget - you need to split it up into accommodation, food, travel, entertainment.
Accommodation will run from $60 per night for cheap motels in small towns up to $150 or $200 and beyond for expensive places like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Hostels I don't know about, you'll have to google them.
Food - we manage comfortably on $50 per day per person, $10 breakfast, $15 lunch, $25 dinner. Obviously you can do cheaper or more expensive, but that seems to be an average. Allow for extra bottles of water or coffee, if you drink a lot of either.
Travel - this is the unknown. If you are going to fly between those places, and most of them are well separated, you will have to research the cheapest fares. On the west coast, look at Southwest Airlines, they often have good web specials. Greyhound bus or Amtrak train you can look up, but going cross-country with them is probably not ideal.
Entertainment - this covers a few drinks at the end of the day, entry fees to museums, local train or bus trips to and from your hotel - hard to quantify but probably a minimum of $10 or $20 per day.
Add it all up and see what the total is, then decide if you are still going to stay for 6 weeks, or whether your trip should be shorter, or can be longer.
Aug 5, 2013 8:40 PM
4You can see a lot in 6 weeks... Driving on Interstates is fast and gets you around fast... Flying is even faster but you miss the countryside...
American Travel by car is on the Interstate system which is convenient but not really the place to see America...often its just a tunnel of green away from towns...so you have to get off the highway on to the "Blue Highways" to see the Real America...at least for a while...
Your choice of destination is exactly what I would do if I'd never been to the US...and only had 6 weeks to spend traveling...do these places well and it will pay off big time...In Vegas there is Death Valley and the Mojave Desert as day trips...LA SF and NYC are self contained destinations with plenty to keep you busy...
Aug 6, 2013 1:18 AM
Aug 7, 2013 1:50 PM
Aug 8, 2013 12:05 PM
7Like the others say, you would definitely need to provide some more information. However, I understand that that can be tiresome, and that you may also travel as I do, i.e., "on the fly". But I have been to (or lived in) all of these places, so I can offer you a bit of perspective.
First of all, the United States is enormous, and it would literally take years to see it all. However, six weeks for what you appear to be looking for is plenty reasonable, depending on if you're a fast traveler, and if you're flying.
New York (Northeast)
Los Angeles (West)
San Francisco (West)
Las Vegas (West)
You have five cities here, in roughly three regions. Your itinerary really depends how much you like each of them. Miami is easily doable in under a week (I live there - you will definitely need a car in Miami, by the way). I was finished with Las Vegas after just a couple of days. NY/San Francisco/LA are larger and have more things to do, but for me (personally), I believe you could do each in under a week.
Hope you have fun, and let me know if you have any more questions (especially about Miami).
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