i am currently about to enter into my final year of university in the UK and i will be taking time out after i have completed my degree in order to do some travelling. I have two areas in which i wish to explore (europe and US). This is post is regarding the US which i am aiming to travel first of all. i plan to work for a short while in order to gather some cash for my travels, however, i am unaware of how much i would need? i am planning to go for around 3 months? Has anyone got any idea of my budget? Is 3 months plenty of time to cover the US?
Saving money wherever possible is my idea and staying in hostels is a definate. i have been thinking about how to travel around and bus seems cheap but time consuming, is it worth it compared to the time and money of the trains in the US. Hitching is also an idea but this is only a last resort if i am finding money tough to come by.
i would appreciate any comments from anyone who has travelled the US or is planning to do so. Also could consider going down to mexico for a short while, is this easily done? is it easy to pass borders?
Without additional information telling you how much to budget is not possible; 3 months can be enough time depending on where region in the US you would like to cover, however it's not possible to see all of the US in 3 months;
I would start out with deciding weather you want spend time in the east, west, north or southern part of the US first; and the best way to make that decision would be what you are interested in seeing or doing.
Hitchhiking in the US is not recommended for safety reasons
Getting across the boarder to Mexico is not hard, but again you will be traveling alone and the towns in Mexico closes to the border have high crime
The fact that the GBP is currently so high in relation to the USD will help you, but I still consider the USA to be a very expensive country in which to travel. Our hotels and even hostels are very expensive (I travel in SEA because I can't afford my own country). One area where you could save on is meals (American restaurants serve enough in one meal portion to last for more than one meal! - PORTIONS ARE HUGE!!!)
Inexpensive travel between cities is very poor here - only the unwashed and very young use the bus, train is rarely an option, and one-way air travel requires advance booking and careful planning.
As the other responder said, hitching is out of the question!
traveling by train in the US is only really possible in the north-east (and to some extent the southern east coast). the US does NOT have a well developed passenger rail system. buses are certainly an option, and you can find some super-cheap buses, but that will mean alot of travel time, especially if you're in city traffic.
i agree that your best bet might be to divide and conquer. pick an area of the US and then research it a little to find out what kind of travel best suits your time and money constraints.
3 months would be enough for your earnings, of course it depends on which state you're planning on staying. There're many states for you to visit and great places to enjoy. Am sure of that.
It's easy for you to work in the US because there are plenty of jobs required and easy to find.
It concerns me something but I would want you to plan yourself what exactly you're looking foward on visiting the US and have everything organized by the time you travel in order for you to avoid any struggles or problems. I recommend you to meet new people that would want help you, specially if it's ok with them for you to stay in their places as a guest beacuse paying hotels would definatly be expensive and you're actually wishing to save money for your travel in the future.
Try to get a rented car, GPS would help you to move around. Trains and buses, as you did say are a waste of time and money.
If you are sure of what you want and what you're going to do, I think hitching is not needed.
It's easy to pass borders to Mexico, I never visited Mexico bfeore but am sure and I've heard that it's a very nice place to visit.
Hope you get what you want, have fun!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
it's not expensive at all. I used to think it was but then I went to australia, yeah travelling there is cheap but everything else is double if not triple the price in america.
the biggest thing is...the US requires more preparation than other countries because everything is scattered about. you'll need to pick out a route and for the most part plan it out ahead of time.
Greyhound is cheap if you book your trips 2 weeks in advance. I've taken the bus from NY to Philly for about $15! If you drive yourself you will pay that in tolls alone! but if you wait till the last minute forget it, the price goes up.
Forget the trains in the northeast, Those are overpriced for businessmen who travel between NY-phila-D.C.
maybe buy a cheap car...gas is still cheap in the US compared to other countries.
accomodation will be a little harder to find but you'll definitely find hostels in the bigger cities.
food and drinks are ridiculously cheap as well... that's where you'll really save your money.
One thing you need to know about going across the border to Mexico:
If you are a UK citizen (which appears to be the case), then you will need to have a US visa that allows you to leave the country and then return--and that is still valid when you are returning. Going into Mexico also will require a passport, though not a visa. Keep in mind that many visas the US grants are for only 30 or 60 days--so if you then leave at the 50 day mark and don't come back by day 60, then you'll have a massive problem getting back into the US. If the visa is up-to-date, though, then it will be fairly easy.
Also, there are rules about what you can bring back--and what you have to declare. In particular, you are only allowed to bring a certain amount of liquor back into the states. I remember coming back with my wife once and having to dump two bottles of stuff at the border (and we had only bought four bottles total).
Hope you enjoy your trip here--and good luck with your last year in college.
May I suggest when travelling the West Coast to travel with AMTRAK, it will take you from Portland(oregon) to San Fransisco to Los Angelas down to San Diego(california). (Tijuana, Mexico is only 5min. from SD if you want to party, call a cab). Ticket pricing is moderate but it will show you most of the coastal towns and cities. Beautiful ride! Amtrak can pretty much take you anywhere in the US. Our plane tickets are currentley pricey, but you may find deals on cheapoair.com or other discount ticketer sights.
If you rent a car, GAS IS EXPENSIVE $4 dollars a gallon. Howeverif you do, Drive the Highway 1. Don't forget about Santa Barbara and our wine countries in the Napa and Santa Ynez Valley's (California). Wine tours are super cheap and are in beautiful parts of California. Have fun maybe we'll see you her in Santa Ynez.