I am considering a trip to the states, my main plan is to go to new york and travell through the states finishing up in seattle.
My plans are at an very early stage, i was wondering what would be the best way to travel have been considering doing a mix of flying, driving or taking bus or trains. I am also open to suggestions on what would be the best route to take. There are a few places i would like to travel through like washington apart from that i wouldn't mind just going through small towns and any main cities that would be of interest. As for sites i would like to see the grand canyon, the niagara falls, any nation parks on the route and also maybe mount rushmore if its on my final route.
As for time limit i will have about two months, as for money i sould have at least 2-3 thousand
sweet. I'll suggest something a little different since you are going to be in NYC and heading west.
go paintballing in Jim thorpe, PA. It's one of the top spots in the world to paintball.
Just google skirmish jim thorpe and know that it is the most fun ever. It's one of those things you do once and never forget it. Plus you'll meet tons of people.
Hey, i dont know how much independence you want on your trip, but I would recommend the group Trek America for travelling across the States. I went to Canada with them last year and also to the Eastern States a few weeks later and they were the best trips of my life. They specialise in travel for 18-38 year olds (but also older people and family groups) and you just go round the country in a small group (max 13 plus a tour guide) in a minibus with a trailor and all your gear and camp all over the place and see some amazing places. Somedays you are in the minibus a long time but they do a lot of 2 or 3 night stops in certain places and they do trips to pretty much anywhere you want to go! The Grand Canyon features in a lot of their trips as well! You can do trips in specific areas, like I did in Western Canada or the Eastern USA, or they do cross country trips from New York to LA, etc. so there are pretty much endless choices, and you will make some great friends.
Dunno if that is what you are really wanting to do but if you want to see the states without all the hassle of organising it yourself then check them out(just type Trek America in google)! I would pretty much guarantee you would have an amazing time!
cool paul, must say that paintball place looks class, if i do end up going near it i am def going to go!
Chapple89, cheers for the info, i have been looking at trek america trips for a couple of years, but am not sure about the idea of being on a time scale, i do like my independence when travelling and like to take things at my own pace. Although I am seriously considering doing one of the tours around the west coast, possibly the rocky mountain high or the pacific dream tours. I was just wondering what you thought of the way their tours are ran, are the trek leaders good? and i am wondering if you felt rushed when travelling with them or was it relaxed?
Firstly, apologies for the essay here but i thought i would write as much as possible to help you out as much as i can!
Fair enough with the independence, i mean i was only 18 when i did the trips last year so they were ideal for me as i wouldnt have been able to hire a car, flying is quite expensive and i couldnt get in pubs and clubs so would have been harder to meet people, but when i am older I would love to try it at my own pace and being independent with it.
With the time scale and pace, it all depends on what trip you do really. I did the Canadian Parks West which was 3 weeks and in a relatively small area considering some of the trips they do in 3 weeks, such as New York-LA which i believe would have a lot of time sitting in the minibus! So we had some like 2 or 3 hour drives then a 2 night stop so you get a lot of time at places (A lot of these drives are also broken up into places that people might want to see on the way to your campsite for that night, so you might have a day of driving broken down with lots of stop offs at nice little places). But then we also had a 6 hour drive to get to Vancouver but then we had 2 nights there and had a full free day in Vancouver to do whatever we wanted as a group or individually. We had a lot of 2 or 3 night stops on that trip, like we stayed in Banff National Park for 3 nights, so we got to see a lot of that area and had a lot of free time. On one day as a group we did an all day hike up and down mountains at Lake Louise which was truly spectacular and a great achievement, (something you might miss if you go alone and not know the area!) then the next day was pretty much a free day where some of us looked around Banff, went up the mountain in these little cable car things, went in hot springs etc lol, whilst others went on hikes, so they always try and cater for what you want, and this is pretty much the same at all times on the trip, you have some organised stuff as a group or you can go off and do your own thing if you want (as if they are long trips u are bound to want some free time to yourself).
However, on my next trip, the Best of the East, it was a lot different, as it was a large area to cover in a 2 week trip (New York-Washington-Virginia-Tennessee-Chicago-Niagara Falls-New York and lots of inbetween places), so there was a lot of time spent in the minibus, and for most places it gave you a taster of what the places would be like if you had 3 or 4 days there etc. Like we had 2 nights in Chicago and it rained 24/7 going in Hurricane season lol(finally clearing up when we left) but what i saw of it has made me want to go back in the future and hopefully be able to walk around without getting drenched(because we didnt let the rain bother us, still went out and had an amazing time lol).
So yeah it depends on the trip length and how big an area it covers. The Pacific Dream caught my eye as well, and i think a month would be about enough to do that trip, or you can do the shorter 1/2 length trips of pacific coast or rocky mountain high i think is the other half.
I mean you could always travel independently and on your way do a 2 week trip for example, then you havent committed yourself too much if you think it isnt for you but if u like it u might wana do it again, or u could see some places that you then wana go back too and see on your own spending more time there.
In regards to the tour leaders, i personally felt they were great. Obviously i cant account for all of them, but the two i had really knew their stuff, knew some great spots to take you and were always trying to account for everyone individually within the group, like one guy wanted to go horse riding so our tour leader tried to find a spot where people could go horse riding whilst others went hiking or looking around small towns etc or just doing whatever. On my second trip we tried to go white water rafting but we couldnt fit it in the schedule, so our tour guide organised an evening of paintballing for us in West Virginia instead which was real fun(although i dont think it was quite as good as that jim thorpe paintballing looks, haha!) So I found they always go out of their way to try and make it as memorbale for you as possible, I mean at the end of the day it is your vacation and they want you to enjoy it!
On the trips as well, depending on your tour guide, you may have to cook in the evenings. Our first tour leader did all the cooking which was great and we all helped with washing up, but then on the 2nd trip we had a rota for people doing the cooking and washing up etc, so like your group would cook for 2 nights, then another group would cook for two nights then another group etc, so you would have to do some cooking but then you do get nights off, and then you also go to restaurants and stuff in the cities etc.
You also make some great friends, Ive stayed in touch with most of the people thanks to the wonders of Facebook lol and met up with my first group several times every month or 2, and even regularly talk to one of my tour guides out in the USA, and I even went and stayed with one of them out in New York after my 2nd trip (A free place right in the center of Manhatten, Not bad, can make some useful contacts too lol!) And hoping one day to go see the other guy who lives in Ohio. Thats just how my trips have turned out but im sure you would have similar experiences.
So yeah, not sure what else to add really, if you have any other questions feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out!
I'll throw in some more odd things.....
just outside of NYC in northern jersey there is a medieval times...(the restaurant they went to in the cable guy) I know you guys have real castles and whatnot over there but this place is too cheesey. you just go with a few people you just met and scream your heads off and go to drunksville. It's a good laugh. and you eat everything with your hands.
there is a six flags great adventure theme park about 45 mins south of NYC in Jackson, NJ that's pretty decent. get one of those passes that lets you jump to the front of the line. idunno it's a good mix of water parks and rollercoasters. good way to kill a day
from there you are only 45 mins east of Philly. there you can pick me up and we will go to....
....Pottsville, PA! What's in Pottsville? glad you asked. You can go on a tour of the yuengling brewery... America's oldest brewery!
after that you can always pass through Hershey, PA and go to the chocolate factory or go to hershey park! Ive never been but I bet's interesting.
or as always I suggest Centralia, PA. I've never been and I don't know anyone who has but it's on the way to niagara falls! just google it, seems interesting enough to drive through.
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Feb-2009, at 21:28 by Cool Paul ]
Hey! Have an awesome trip. I don't know if I can be of much help to you unless you come through Ohio (which seems possible!) or Michigan. Let me know!