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Travelling across america for 3months any do's and don'ts?

Travel Forums North America Travelling across america for 3months any do's and don'ts?

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11. Posted by TravelGirl0513 (Inactive 10 posts) 4y

Quoting josh89

Hi, I'm travelling from New York in June 2012 and all the way to California finishing in September.
I was planning on taking roughly $4500 but I'm slightly worried I will be on a tight budget the whole time.
Paying for food, accomodation, greyhound, AMtrack, experiences etc.
I'd really appreciate any advice that may benefit this trip! Also anyone thats doing anything similar, drop me a message if you want to share ideas.
Thanks alot.

Hi Josh, I would love to help you out. Since I'm still a traveling newbie most of my trips have been within the US. If you want to share some background on yourself and context of the trip myself and others may be able to help you out the best. Where are you from originally? Do you have any particular interests: music, art, film, photography etc. You can plan some great trips around visiting filming locations or more typically famous landmarks.

Look forward to sharing ideas!


12. Posted by MsBlues (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y

Hi Josh,

I've done a lot of travel within the US and would recommend seeing the east coast, New Orleans, move up north to Chicago and quickly travel through the mid US maybe stopping in New Mexico, Arizona, Vegas and onto the California Coast. Most Americans call the area between the east coast and the west coast as "fly over states". There are interesting things in between, but with a limited budget and maybe time, I'd limit the time I'd spend in places like Kansas and Texas.

For places like Manhattan (NYC) and San Francisco, check out hotels and hostels next to these areas that can be reachable by public transportation. For Manhattan, staying in Brooklyn right over the bridge can lower your lodging costs immensely and you can use the subway to get to points of interest in Manhattan. In San Francisco, check out the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit System) or Cal Train and stay somewhere along the route will be so much cheaper than staying in San Francisco. Staying in Fremont or Pleasanton will be so much cheaper, but both places have hotels right by the BART station that will take you into San Francisco.

Make sure you give yourself lots of time for San Francisco. It's an amazing place and in my opinion the best city in the US. It's not cheap to sleep there, but there is a ton of low cost things to do and great food for low prices, especially in places like Chinatown.

New Orleans is amazing and another very unique US city. Chicago is beautiful and interesting. LA isn't my idea of a real city, and public transportation is horrible, but enclaves like Santa Monica, Venice, and the Grammy museum downtown are fun. Sedona in Arizona is an absolutely stunning place visually and is worth your time. Vegas is surreal and goofy, but fun.

Enjoy your time here. If you want detailed info on San Francisco, let me know.


13. Posted by josh89 (Budding Member 5 posts) 4y

@Daawgon Thank you for the advice I'll bare that in mind. I think they live in Colts Neck, NJ. Unsure what the area is like but it's free accomodation!

@TravelGirl0513 Hi there, I'm 22 years old and I am from South London. I have recently graduated from university studying filmmaking. I'm interested in photography, cinema, and music. The reason for this trip is just to meet loads of new people, see some amazing sights and have an extraordinary exeperience.

@MsBlues Hi, Thank you for all the information, I will be taking it all into consideration! I'm aiming to have a rough route prepared but I'll have an open mind and go with the flow, although I like the idea of heading to chicago after new orleans and then cutting across! Sedona looks insane, I'll definately try to visit it at some point!
I'm now planning on signing up to WWOOF as it would give me a chance to meet local residents and have a brake from the big cities as I'm from London and that was what I am trying to escape for a while. Alot of people have reccomended San Francisco so it's an area that I am looking to spend a good deal of time in.

Thanks again for all your tips and advice!

14. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

It does sound like you are on an extremely tight budget. With that in mind, do yourself a big favor and checkout HelpX this is a similar set up to woofers but much more laid back and much more diverse accommodations and jobs. The link takes you to the host locations map for the US and I just checked out two places in NYC. One in Staten Island and one in Harlem. Free accommodation and food for a few hours work in NYC! you can't beat that. The real beauty of HelpX is it introduces you to real local people, who want you to really enjoy their town.

I'd think again about going through Kentucky and Tennessee and missing out on NC and SC. NC has a very active film community and is a beautiful and diverse state, from beaches to the great smokey mountains. Georgia also has a strong film industry, in fact if you make it there, let me know and I have a friend who is a director and producer in Atlanta who I could introduce you too. Going down through NC and SC makes more sense too for your route if you are going to FL.

If I were you, Id use the HelpX site and plan my route via the accommodations there, and Greyhound it between them. Then splurge in the places you really want to enjoy. I'd also advice if you do this to actually sign up and go do a couple of Helpx's in England to give you a feel for it and also give you a track record which will help in getting people to accept you in other Helpx's.

Good luck.

P.S on the subject of do's and don'ts

Don't twitter that you are going to mess up America or dig up Marilyn Monroe.

Don't ask for a fag.

Don't tell a girl she has a nice fanny.

Do drive on the wrong side of the road.

Do say "really" and "shit" before and after every sentence.

Do remember to tip.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Mar-2012, at 17:31 by Dodger ]

15. Posted by TravelGirl0513 (Inactive 10 posts) 4y

To get a little off topic, I am super jealous all of you who have the opportunity to travel for weeks and months at a time. In my life I feel tied to so many obligations from school to starting a career and on top of saving my pennies. I fear that my semester studying abroad will be my only big opportunity to travel the world. :( It depressing to think that my exploration of the world may have already come to an end before it ever really began.

So here's my outcry to you lucky folks...

How do you intertwine travel into a busy professional life?

When is the right time: youth, adulthood, retirement?

Look forward to receiving advice!


16. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 4y

Quoting josh89

@TravelGirl0513 Hi there, I'm 22 years old and I am from South London. I have recently graduated from university studying filmmaking. I'm interested in photography, cinema, and music. The reason for this trip is just to meet loads of new people, see some amazing sights and have an extraordinary exeperience.

Since you are a filmmaker, I assume you'll want to take a movie studio tour while you are in LA. I've done the deluxe VIP tours of both Universal and Warner Brothers and I thought the one at Warner Bros. was more extensive and much less expensive, since WB doesn't have any amusement rides. If you can swing the added cost, get the 5 hr deluxe VIP ($250) at WB which gets you in a much smaller group, visit more areas and get a nice lunch in the main artist commissary. While we were eating lunch, we saw both George Clooney (at the next table!!) and John Stamos which for me was seeing my #1 and #2 heartthrobs. Of course, there's no guarantee you'll see anyone famous but it's a fun possibility. We visited the Foley room, watched them edit a TV show, saw/walked through several movie sets and tv sets including the huge ones where they might flood the area for a ship scene, huge wardrobe and prop storage, building where they build sets, drove through the various city and town areas, a WB movie museum where you can see props and costumes up close, etc. I went while the tv show ER was filming their last season (hence John Stamos!) so it was cool to see the ER exterior. The regular VIP tour is $49, half as long and no lunch.

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