Hi my name is kelly, i am 21 years old and live in uk i have been wanting to travel for ages now, so i have decided im gonna head off this year sometime. i have always been interested in seeing the sights in texas,arizona,alabama, and california. the thing is none of my friends or family are interested in coming along with me. So just wondering if anyone would like to meet up on this trip? also could anyone give me any information on how much roughly will i need for the trip, im planning to go from 1 month to 2 months maybe longer it depends if i can find work over there, is it easy to find work, and is it safe to backpack e.g camp out? any information would be helpful thanks kelly.
You have a nice itinerary there, but there's one minor discrepancy, but perhaps you wanted it this way I'm not sure. Alabama is two states east of Texas. The good news is, of course this is if you're interested, is that the two states in between Alabama and Texas are Mississippi and Louisiana, two very interesting states in their own right. I can't say I know much about Mississippi other than the Gulf Coast which has really nice beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, but Louisiana is absolutely beautiful. If you stop by New Orleans you will get to see a truly unique American city that will most probably not resemble another other you will see in the States. But I'm biased because I loved New Orleans.
Other than that, some info on how you can get about the great distance between Alabama and Caliifornia. Check out the Greyhound Discovery Pass, which is somewhay like the European Rail Pass except Greyhound is a bus company. The International Discover Pass (http://www.discoverypass.com/products.asp) can be purchased for different time lengths, and it allows you to take the bus any time between your arrival and the end of your pass. You can find general info, bus routes, and other valuable info on the website. I think that is the easiest and possibly the least costly solution for you.
New Mexico is also in between Texas and Arizona. I don't know if you would like to stop by there or not, but I've heard it's a beautiful place as well. Plus, you're 21 so you can pass by Las Vegas on your way to California. Even if you're not interested in gambling, it is a city to see. It's very surreal. I'm sure the Grand Canyon is on your list of things to do, and that's a place where you can camp out, and a perfectly beautiful place at that. As far as accomodations go, I'm not certain how the hostels stack up both price wise and quality. I know that the hostels in New Orleans are very very crusty if you will, but I have no idea if that's an indication of the state of hostels down south. You can check the accomodations section on Travellerspoint to get a good idea. As for the overall price, I'm not sure how much you'll need. But just as a personal thing, I like to have at least 2000$ CDN (which is roughly less than 1000 GBP) for a trip. It might not cover everything but I think it's a good base to start with.
I think I bombarded you enough! If you have any other questions don't hesitate! You chose a really nice trip, hope everything works out!
Some more advice. I completely agree with Tam in that you chould check out the southern states of America, but I personally would avoid using the Greyhound as your sole transportation choice. The buses in America are, quite unfortunately, lacking when compared to their European counterparts. One thing that can be said for them: you'll be interesting people. REALLY interesting people. However, keep in mind that it is illegal to hitchhike in America as well. What a bummer.
As for backpacking... it's probably a bit different that in Europe as well. There are hostels in most major cities, but just crashing at the bus station would probably be unwise, especially as a girl travelling alone.
Yikes, that was a lot of negativity there... but I promise, once you get out here you'll have a great time. If you do make it to southern california, hit me up. I'd love to meet a fellow traveller! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you any ideas when you'll be going this year? I'm hoping to spend a couple of months in the States in June/July enroute to Australia and as my brother lives in Austin, Texas I was planning to include some time there in my trip, as well as Grand Canyon, Las Vegas etc.
I've used Greyhounds before in California and my experience of using them was pretty good - but I was with my brother so it might have been a different story if I was on my own!
Anyway, give me a shout if your plans are at all similar to mine.
As been said before don't miss New Orleans on the way between Alabama - Texas, it's a truly unique city, very beautiful with lots of character and with a great atmosphere, completely unlike any other American cities I've been too.
In Texas you should definitely go to Austin, vibrant, lots of live-music in and around 6th Street. If you can, travel to Big Bend (national park) I haven't been myself but have heard it's very very beautiful.
Also don't miss New Mexico, which resembles Arizona a lot but doesn't seem as desolate (at least not the parts I spent time in)
If you can, try to team up with someone and rent a car, because undoubtedly the best way to travel is by car, that way you can stop at small places, the ones you just happen to find and haven't read about. You really should see the countryside and national parks, one of the best things with the States is the nature and countyside. One of my favourite national park is Zion (in Utah), also liked Grand Canyon (North Rim - less crowded) both parks have got really nice campgrounds.
Well hope this helps.
You'll have a great trip!