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Trip to the states! Please help this confused young swede!

Travel Forums North America Trip to the states! Please help this confused young swede!

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11. Posted by vxmike (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Accodation will be your greatest challenge here in the US. For reasons I'm not sure quite sure of, the hostel concept has never taken off here, so you will simply not find very many. Hotels are rather expensive too.

With three of you I'd recommend getting a car somehow. Gas split three ways will be insignificant, and your own vehicle will make your trip immensely better than relying on Greyhound. I'd get a car, hit the Walmart for some basic camping gear, and camp when you can't find a hostel or affordable motel.

Meal and bar prices vary tremendously depending on the area and type of place you want to visit. More upscale bars/clubs in expensive cities charge upwards of $10/drink these days but in some places you can find drinks for under $3 still. Unless you want to live off the McD's/BK/Wendys dollar menu, eating out every day will be expensive, so I'd recommend stocking up on food for the car.

12. Posted by apples411 (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

Sweet! Atlantic City-Im from there and will be in New Jersey this summer after I return from Europe after july3rd so If you guys are there around then, let me know and Id be happy to help you get around there or show you the best ways to get to Philadelphia or New York.

I can offer some advice for traveling-Hostels are not big here and I've never heard of the greyhound bus thing-but public transportation is NOT what it is in europe-so dont think it's going to be super nice or anything. Ideally, you should rent a car but with gas prices these days and the fact that the US is SO spread out-youll bust your budget on transportation alone. If you do drive, however, there's one road that you can start taking up North and go all along the coast all the way to florida hitting all the major cities: NY, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Atlanta-and you can even go to Myrtle Beach South Carolina for some great beach weather and it's a great touristy spot. That road is called I-95 or Interstate 95. To go East to west, you'll want to take Route 40 It connects Wilmington, North Carolina to California. Just a little hint on roads in the US...USUALLY (not always tho) odd roads go North to South and Even roads go east to west with INTERstate roads (roads that connect states). roads WITHIN states tend to stray from this rule.

As for housing-this is KEY!- hotel prices are ALWAYS negotiable-remember that-my friend owns a few hotels. Also, if you travel by car or bus, usually at Rest Areas or gas stations along I-95, you can find these little green paper magazines outside. They are called Traveler's Coupons (i think that's their name) ANYWAYS they have coupons in there for SUPER cheap hotels-we're talking anywhere from $23-35 US dollars a night-depending on the city. And they are free so it doesnt hurt to pick one up. But stick to cheaper hotel chains like Red Roof Inn or Days Inn .

Sorry about the length but i hope that helps! Have a great time here!!

13. Posted by Biskopen (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Thanks guys!

I really appreciate all your help!
The trip is coming together now and I have a lot fo confidence that itl be alright!

I have a few more questions that I would love answers on ^^

  • If we go out drinking etc, is it 21 on ALL bars and pubs? Or does it change from state to state?
  • The route we have planned is ( im only naming bigger cities ) New York - Philadelphia - Washington - Orlando - Miami - New Orleans - Houston - LA - San Fransisco. IF any of you that read this live in those cities or nearby I was wondering if you could show us around since we dont have a clue what to see. give us the grand tour sort of speak ^^ We are 3 swedish guys, 21, 21 and 20 years old! That would be awsome!!

Thanks in advance!

/David

14. Posted by luisracast (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

The choice of cities looks great, the only problem is going from Miami to anywhere else in the country by greyhound is a bit of a pain. The drive from Jacksonvile to Miami takes approximately 5 hours of really boring road, so once you get there, imaging having to take that again just to get out of florida.

I am glad you are coming to DC, let me know when you get around here. You can find cheap accomodations at the hostels in Miami beach, Washington DC and San Francisco (I have been there a while back). None of the hostels are in great shape, but they are well located and are cheap. I heard the YMCA has some cheap accomodations in New York City. If you guys are not picky and are on a budget, those would be good choices.

15. Posted by adamsa (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y

All bars are 21+.. Tho the occasional bar in a bad neighborhood might hook you up.

I Live in LA... Hit me up if you want a little tour around

Quoting Biskopen

Thanks guys!

I really appreciate all your help!
The trip is coming together now and I have a lot fo confidence that itl be alright!

I have a few more questions that I would love answers on ^^

  • If we go out drinking etc, is it 21 on ALL bars and pubs? Or does it change from state to state?
  • The route we have planned is ( im only naming bigger cities ) New York - Philadelphia - Washington - Orlando - Miami - New Orleans - Houston - LA - San Fransisco. IF any of you that read this live in those cities or nearby I was wondering if you could show us around since we dont have a clue what to see. give us the grand tour sort of speak ^^ We are 3 swedish guys, 21, 21 and 20 years old! That would be awsome!!

Thanks in advance!

/David

Post 16 was removed by a moderator
17. Posted by samnason (Budding Member 14 posts) 9y

Congratulations on your upcoming trip.

I used to use greyhound a lot when I was in college because it's cheap, but for travelling cross country and making a trip of it, I don't recommend it for several reasons. The main concerns are:
1. The stops are usually in the worst part of town, and being foreign and from out of town it will be very difficult to find your way out of there using each town's public transportation system.
2. Public transit in each city is not always reliable and may cost more than you are expecting.
3. Accomodations are a lot cheaper when they don't have public transit access. You are also free to camp for dirt cheap.

I'll agree with everyone else that you'll have a blast if you rent a budget car and use that to get yourself cross country. In cities like DC, you will find yourself ditching the car at an outer metro stop for day trips into the city. You'll have a blast! In the long run it will be cheaper when you've accounted for your savings in accomodations and public transit.

Plus when you see something you like, you can just pull over and check it out. Being a city person in the USA, when I travel cross country (done a DC - Houston trip several times) I really enjoy stopping in little towns and seeing the people there. There is a lot to be said for the American culture in between cities.

Another thing I recommend is depositing your travel money in a US bank that either has branches all across the country or better yet, doesn't charge for ATM fees. You can find several of those. That way you can carry minimal cash and have access to your money via a "check card" and be able to use that cost free wherever VISA is accepted.

You will love Walmart. If you go the car/camping route, you can pickup camping supplies at Walmart for dirt cheap. Keep in mind that each area has different prices than the others. Things are a lot cheaper the farther you stray from big cities, even in Walmart.

Camping in the US with tents can cost anywhere from $5-10 per night, but be aware that the campgrounds here are not always as nice or well cared for as European campgrounds. But it's nothing to be worried or afraid of.

Drinking in bars and public places is 21+. Purchasing alchoholic beverages at stores is 21+, but only one person needs to buy there ;).

I live in the DC area so if I am in town when you come through, I'll be happy to show you around.

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