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US budget - realistic

Travel Forums North America US budget - realistic

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1. Posted by Appro (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Hi all,

I'm planning my 2010 RTW trip and I'm now thinking about the US leg. This will be at the end of our journey. We aim to spend about a month in the US - but we haven't pinned down a route yet.

My main worry is the cost. Not including flights, we have about $80 to spend a day. That's travel, accomodation, food, etc, for two people.

1) Is this realistic?
2) What travel options would you recommend for this budget? (Buy car, rent car, greyhound, train, etc).

This is all so far. As I said, early days in the planning.

Many thanks,


2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

we have about $80 to spend a day. That's travel, accomodation, food, etc, for two people.

I have been to the USA only once and that was ages ago, but even I know that this is not nearly enough. It would be possible to do it if you had a car (a cheap clunker that you bought and that you hope holds until your trip is up), slept in the car and bought food from the supermarket, but even then money would be very tight.

3. Posted by frimann85 (Budding Member 16 posts) 7y

Maybe you should shorten your trip a bit if you expect it to be a holiday-like experience.. 80$ a day for two persons won't get you far in the US.

- Otherwise I would recommend you to visit East Asia with your current budget... Decent food and hotels are easily obtainable with that kind of money.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Aug-2009, at 05:53 by frimann85 ]

4. Posted by Appro (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Aye - I thought this wouldn't be enough. Just wanted someone to tell me the obvious! Hehe.

We're doing SE Asia, plus many other places. The US is on our way home. Maybe we'll do 2 weeks instead of a month (see a few major sights/cities) and double our budget to $160 a day.

Sound more reasonable?

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

To the best of my knowledge, the cheapest hostel in this area is approx. US$20. a day pp (or approx $45. a day per room at a motel). The cheapest fast food would be about $15. a day pp for 3 small meals. The trouble is, who wants the very cheapest on vacation? As an American myself, I really can't afford to travel in my own country for more than a few days at a time because of these prices. I find even expensive W. European destinations to be cheaper than home, and far easier to access. As a resident, I know how to live cheaply, and I do live relatively cheaply (simply not realistic for a traveler to know all the short cuts and ins and outs of frugality in America).

6. Posted by Appro (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

I think we're already considering cutting down this part of our trip. We want to do it cheaply, but not too cheaply. We still want to be able to do the things we want to. I think we need to do a lot more research into places, costs, etc. Personally I want to see the obvious touristy cities - LA, SF, Vegas, NY etc - as I've never been. That would do me for now.

Cheers all.

7. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y

It would be better to just do a region of the USA,that way you will take home memories of that particular region rather than a chaotic dash across the continent in a bus not remembering which city was which.If its summer i'd do the Northeast or Northwest, winter would be nice in the Southeast like Florida,Georgia or any of the Gulf states

8. Posted by frimann85 (Budding Member 16 posts) 7y

Good idea shortening your trip down a bit... NY is really nice but hotels/hostels are quite expensive if you want to stay on Manhatten at least.

Go to Vegas - double your money ;)

9. Posted by Appro (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Where we go will depend on the RTW flight ticket we get. Some offer a few US flights for the same price (I think in the OneWorld explorer you get 6 US flights). If this is the case then city hopping is much more viable.

@frimann85: I'm more likely to end up owing $1000's :P

10. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 7y

I'd say shortening your trip and doubling your budget would be a good plan. I think $80/day may be possible, but not as likely in the bigger cities, and not much fun. Considering the places you're wanting to go I think the $160/day for two weeks is a good idea. If you were mixing in some cheaper cities I might say $120/day for three weeks would be okay, but the places you're looking at are going to be more expensive. Best of luck with the planning