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America in 18 days...advice?

Travel Forums North America America in 18 days...advice?

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1. Posted by han27 (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y

Hi, as it's my first time on these forums thought I'd introduce myself, I'm 22, been out of uni for nearly a year now and currently work in London. My boyfriend and I have a wedding to go tot the end of april 2009l in Miami, Florida, so we thought we might as well make use of being in America and have a look round seeing as it'll be our first time in America for both of us!

We think we'll have about 15 - 18 days (excluding a couple of days for the wedding) and we don't really know where to start! At first we thought about following some sort of route similar to route 66 but from reading these forums it seems it will be extremely rushed to do it all in that time. I'd really like to go to New York and maybe the grand canyon but apart from that we don't really know what to go for, there's so much! So does anyone have any advice? we were thinking either stick to the east or west coast, but say we went along the east coast, could it be a good idea to get a flight over to los angeles or something and stay there for a couple of days before heading back to he uk?

We're also trying to work out the best way to travel. I can drive, but as I'm under 21 it's looking quite expensive although we like the thought of the freedom. I've heard bad comments about the greyhound coaches and the amtrak on here although they seem to be cheaper. Would maybe a mix of all 3 be best do people think?

Apologies for the length, its all so exciting to plan!!!! Any help at all would be great :D Thanks!!

2. Posted by johnny1985 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Hey. Me and my g/f are in a similar position to you, we're going to america June 11th, but staying for 7 weeks. We're going to new york, then flying to florida for a few weeks, then over to Seattle and travelling down the west coast, then flying home from LA. The west has more places that we're interested in going to.. Seattle, San fran, LA, Vegas, San Diego etc.

I'd definately recommend looking at internal flights in America as they are really cheap. Our flight from new york to orlando cost £55 p/person for example. And I think a flight from Florida to the west coast was about £100, but still quite cheap!

We've bought amtrak rail passes for 30 days for the west coast, and i'd say that is something worth looking into. They do 15 day passes which aswell.

3. Posted by SuzyandJoe (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

I'd definitely recommend looking at internal flights in America as they are really cheap.

Hey Jonny, Who did you find those flights with? We are looking at the mo and they seem quite expensive.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Quoting SuzyandJoe

I'd definitely recommend looking at internal flights in America as they are really cheap.

Hey Jonny, Who did you find those flights with? We are looking at the mo and they seem quite expensive.

Many of the smaller (internal) airlines, such as Allegient, use the regional airports rather than the major internationals and are much cheaper. When doing a search for flights - put in the destination and if asked, select "all airports" for that area. It will give you more airlines and more selections from which to chose.

I suggest checking United Airlines for their "Ted" flights. United introduced "Ted" to compete with the smaller airlines for cheap "no frills (whatsoever) flights. You won't get service but you will get there relatively cheaply.

5. Posted by vikas m (Budding Member 34 posts) 8y

Hi!
It also depends what u wanna see more..the cities or the landscape and the parks.
I would have done it this way in 15 days
3 days in NY
1 day washington dc tour (bus back and worth)
Fly to new orleans 2 days..(if u a music or jazz lover strongly recommended..NO is the most differnt american city)
fly to las vegas.2 days
rent a car and drive to la via grand canyon 3 days (there are some scenic routes in arizona ..look up at their official tourism website..google search it).
Take the pacific coastliner (amtrak) to SFO ...but if u could rent a car that would be great..the route is very pretty goes parallal to the coast ..2 days
3-4 days in san francisco.

BUT if u a nature/landscape lover ,,,include death valley and/or redwood national park..both in California.. instead of new orleans

cheers
Vikas

6. Posted by Azton (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Don't forget the music capital of America: Austin, TX. I was there for 4 days and saw 7 concerts. If you like music that is

Azton

7. Posted by han27 (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y

thanks everyone for your help! The internal flights do seem affordable, vikas m thanks for the suggested route, it sounds a good place to start researching :) all greatly appreciated!

8. Posted by BlueCuzco (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Here's a route idea: Miami-Savannah-Chattanooga-Great Smoky Mountains-Blue Ridge Parkway-Washington D.C.-New York City. That gives you a very wide variety of things to see and do in both natural and cultural areas. Plus, you can do this as a roadtrip without going all over creation. Even still, the route about is a little too much for just eighteen days.

Here's another way I'd do it: Do some research about different areas of the United States and choose one that seems to be to your liking. Then research all the major towns and cities in that area and see which of those strikes your interest. Plan on staying in three or four places and sit back and enjoy them. A whirlwind itinerary is tempting, but I know from my Europe travel planning that concentrating it is a much better idea.

Kristian

9. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 8y

Looking at the above I think Kristian's route for the east sounds great and like a lot of fun. You could also take a a quicker route straight up/down the east coast between Miami and New York. If you're doing this Virginia Beach might be a fun stop. You could also do all of your trip except for the wedding solely on the west coast. In my mind the itinerary that vikas m set up isn't bad, but it doesn't get you a lot of bang for your buck. If you really want to got all over I'd try something like this:

Fly into New York City (3-4 days)

Take a Chinatown bus to Philadelphia (2-3 days)

Take a Chinatown bus to Washington D.C. (2-3 days)

Fly to Miami (3-4 days)

Fly to Las Vegas and rent a car to go to the Grand Canyon (4-5 days between all of that)

Fly home from Vegas

That's just my thought based on what you said you'd like to see. As far as plane tickets go I'm a big fan of www.kayak.com as they are a pretty good search engine with lots of options as far as changing details to get the best price. Cheers!

10. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 8y

Bluecuzco's got the right idea - go with one or more regional areas of interest instead of trying to see it all, and not really seeing much of anything. These particular areas have always interested me:

New England (Maine to Connecticut good for seafood, camping, small town America fairs)

Southeast (Georgia to Virginia good for Southern food/BBQ, beaches, Civil War history)

Northwest (Oregon, Washington & Idaho good for fishing, wildlife, camping, whitewater rafting, waterfalls)

Mississippi Delta (E. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama good for all outdoor activities, fairs, Cajun food)

Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico & W. Texas good for Native American life, dude ranches, BBQ, golf and Grand Canyon)