Skip Navigation

First solo backpacking trip

Travel Forums North America First solo backpacking trip

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by flick149 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Hi There,

I am from Australia and plan to take my first solo backpacking trip at the end of 2010 to North America. I am not sure where to start as I will only be travelling for a month at the most. Should I tackle the East coast or West coast? What is the best way to travel around. How long should I spend in each city? Should I book hostels well in advanced or just as I go? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks :)

2. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 6y

Well the difference between East Coast and West Coast is like saying Sydney or Melbourne. Both places are great but do have a different feel. If you are more of an outdoors type of person planning on going to a lot of parks and spending less time in cities then the west coast would be better. If you prefer cities then the East Coast. You can do Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC all in a short amount of time due to their proximity. I think that if you provide a bit more information that you will get a better response. Enjoy

3. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 6y

If you do choose the East Coast, book your accommodations in advance - its a very busy time of year in NYC etc. Theres so much to see and do whichever side of the country you choose, its hard to know what to tell you!! I do have more experience through the West Coast states, so if you decide that'll be your chosen route, feel free to PM me and ask any questions

4. Posted by AGMcGill (Budding Member 11 posts) 6y

My vote is for the East Coast. You can do the big cities, where there are plenty of hostels and affordable hotels. But if you’re more outdoorsy, there is the Appalachian Trail. It stretches all the way down the coast. There are a ton of vacation rentals as well as other kinds of accommodations. The best part about the East Coast is that if you start in Maine, it will be freezing when you start. But, by the time you get to North and South Carolina, the weather will be beautiful.

5. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 6y

I would definitely consider the weather before you go. Personally, I wouldn't find walking around for hours in the winter very pleasant, even though I'm a Minnesota native. On the east coast, they tend to have icy storms which close down transportation. I lived in Baltimore for a year and literally got iced in and couldn't go anywhere for days. Wait until Spring or Fall when the temps are much nicer.

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

If you are coming in December/January be aware that its going to be winter in most parts of N.America,i'd limit your travel to Florida..

7. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

Thier is plenty of places besides Florida, Thier is Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisianna, Mississippi, Tennesee, all these places in the winter tend to be fine, Northern Cali, Northern Texas and Northern Arizona get some snow however thier is lots of southern states that if they get snow its like an inch if that and its gone poof.

Happy travels,

Adri :)

8. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

Quoting Adri204

Thier is plenty of places besides Florida, Thier is Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisianna, Mississippi, Tennesee, all these places in the winter tend to be fine, Northern Cali, Northern Texas and Northern Arizona get some snow however thier is lots of southern states that if they get snow its like an inch if that and its gone poof.

Happy travels,

Adri :)

You forgot a few;)
I was just thinking that it might be a bit cold for a backpacking trip around the country especially if our traveler is planning on hitch hiking and perhaps sleeping out doors on occasion. if in a car and hosteling no problem to visit all the museums Etc. in the big cities.
flick149 what are your plans for getting around?..

9. Posted by flick149 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Hi All,

Thank you so much for replying! I apologise that it has taken me so long to make a post!

Everyone has made an interesting contribution for me to think about, so I appreciate all the comments you have made. Here is some more information on what I would like to do...

In terms of weather, I would like to go when it is a reasonable time of year so that I do not have to carry excess amounts of luggage. Less is best for me! What time of year is the most enjoyable along both coasts?

Originally I was planning on starting in LA and making my way across to the east coast, however, it seems like trying to do this in a month would probably be a bit too much in one trip. Unfortunately, due to work constraints I wouldn't be able to extend my trip :( I am definately more of a city person, but in saying that I would love to see some of the outdoor/nature parts of the country like the grand canyon and niagra falls, mount rushmore etc. I am not opposed to the idea of being outdoors I guess is what I'm trying to say! Is there any chance of being able to coordinate my trip so that I can experience both??

I basically want to see all the major cities and the major tourist attractions, does anyone have any suggestions of where I should start my trip and where I could go to from there? What have other people done before?

I will mostly be travelling by bus and staying at hostels. I have heard mixed opinions though about which bus service is the better, so perhaps I am just going to have to experience that one for myself! I probably would have a rough itinery planned out of where I want to be and in certain time frames, but everything would be flexible and negotiable.

I hope I have been able to provide more information about my trip. Thank you again to all!

10. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

Quoting flick149

Hi All,
I basically want to see all the major cities and the major tourist attractions, does anyone have any suggestions of where I should start my trip and where I could go to from there? What have other people done before?

With just a month to play around with you will fall far short of seeing all the cities and all the attractions,i'm 62 and have been traveling N.America all my life and still havent seen a lot of it..
A good start would be Boston and NYC for a week apiece,then hop on the bus and cross the country and do the
San Francisco up to Seattle trek,and that should take care of the rest of your trip,look into a bus pass that lets you get off the bus and stay a while as you may see places as you cross the country that you might want to spend a day or two looking around or just take a break from the bus... .