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how much money would i need??

Travel Forums North America how much money would i need??

1. Posted by aloha123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

hello. im looking to travel around the US for 3 months next september. not completely sure on the route i will take yet, but looking to take in places such as LA, CA, Washington, NY... Not sure how much i will need for this, but i am hoping that i could get by on $3000 for the three months. do you think that is possible?? going with 4/5 friends so accom prices could be shared there.
Any help and insight into this would be much appreciated! thanks in advance!!

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

I would say that 1K a month would feed you, but not much else! How are you getting around? Even sharing a motel room w/4 people would be at least $15. a day. LA and NY are 2 rather expensive cities. Maybe you should think about Mexico?

3. Posted by aloha123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

its gotta be the US for me.. how much would you say would be a realistic amount to see all the sites and have a good time then? as for getting around.. i heard something about the greyhound buses being pretty cheap for getting around the states, but maybe our own form of transport may be a better option.. i.e a camper van or something? (something which we could maybe sleep in at nights too). what would you suggest??
thanks.

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

Quoting aloha123

its gotta be the US for me.. how much would you say would be a realistic amount to see all the sites and have a good time then? .

You want to see all the sites in America?it could take a lifetime.I'd pick an area of the USA and explore in an expanding sphere for as long as the time and money permit as an example start in Miami and work your way up the coast to New York City. or start in San Diego and work your way up to Seattle.Better to have good solid memories of a particular area than just a whirlwind of foggy memories from trying to do too much with too little time or money.
3 months and how much money? probably average out to $75 a day bare minimum.
The problem of getting around could take up a lot of your money,Greyhound busses basically only go between the major urban centers and then you'll only have the opportunity to explore the big cities by public transit, and hostels will be where you will be staying as there arent any campsites in the cities ,buying a van would be the way to go but then you are leaving yourself open to the potential of expensive repairs if the truck breaks down.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Oct-2009, at 03:09 by jambo101 ]

5. Posted by HngryTrvlr (Budding Member 56 posts) 7y

You can get by on $3000, but you need to really budget. I suggest staying at hostels (avg. between $20-$60) or couchsurfing. I did couchsurfing during my west coast trip and saved a lot of money. Happy travels.

6. Posted by Brentski (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

i would say realistically if u plan on staying in paid accomodations, even on a tight budget, ur looking at at least twice that. if your travelling around america, its a big country and generally not too cheap to get around. if u wanna hit the major cities, id recommend flying between them either with southwest.com or jetblue.com.

i honestly think though 6k for 3 months is a much more realistic and comfortable number. even that would be pretty tight IMO.

safe travels

7. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 7y

The main things that you'll be spending money on : accommodation, food, transportations, entrance tickets.

A budget that averages about $33 per day is unrealistic. Even though yes, you can plan and budget tightly, big cities like LA, NY, etc will be expensive. Food alone may be causing you that much. I'd think you'll need to set at least a good $50 per day ($4500 for 3 months) if not more. I personally would not like to go under $75 per day, especially if there's accommodation costs to look after.

The places that you're planning to visit are not close to one another. Unfortunately public transport system in USA in general is not all that great. Trains are expensive and irregular (and they also often arrive/depart at the most ungodly hours), and Greyhound buses are cheaper but time for travel do padded out considerably. Even then, once at destination, you still need other mode of urban transports to get you around - US cities are rarely walkable cities, say, like European cities do. Also, with these, you're confined to travel to specific places/locations only.

To be on the road with your own vehicle means more freedom and the possibility to choose where to go, what you want to stop for along the way, travel whenever and whatever day/time that suits you best.

You may look into getting RV and share with friends, and this mean you also have less worry on the accommodation front since you can sleep in the RV. However, there's the fuel cost to consider, as well as vehicle maintenance, safety, the worry on where you can park the RV or not, the parking fees etc. Manouvering large vehicle like that is not a piece of cake either and certainly they would not be allowed into many urban areas. Moreover, driving long distances for weeks would be very tiring too. On the other hand, with RV, you can go roadtripping!

You can also look into car rental, which again, share with friends. The fuel costs should be cheaper than a RV, parking issues would be less problematic, car is small enough for urban roads, but now you will need to look for accommodation. Check for nationwide car rental companies, if they'll allow you to pick up the car in one city and drop off at another (so you won't need backtracking the entire trip just to return the car).

Couchsurfing would be the cheapest way to sleep, but in a big group, it'll be hard to find a host that can take so many of you. There are youth hostels around so that would be another cheap option. You can at least cook at youth hostels, saving money on eating out (major plus point for cooking, since eating out will adds up once you think of the 15-20% tips you'll be expected to fork out). Some couchsurfing hosts may allow cooking too, but that's their permission that you'll have to obtain.

Assuming there are sights and parks etc that you will want to visit during your trip - those are usually not cheap either. Sure, there will be some which are free, events that are open for all without charges, but more often than not charges will apply. Museums can regularly cost some $10-$20 each, but do check if they have special days/time when there's a price reduction or free entry. Some museums may be free at all time. Entering national parks will normally incur charges too, often depending on what vehicle you'll be driving in to the parks.

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