My name is Anthony. This is my first time traveling anywhere abroad on my own. I really don't know much and kind of am shooting in the dark as to where to go and what to do for the cheapest airfare and locations.
I really don't care where I go really, I'm currently located in the U.S. around the San Fransisco area of California. I just want to get out of here and explore somewhere new, the hike trails are old, the weather is old, everything is... too familiar.
I don't have much to spend and would love any suggestions.
Why don't you look at Western Canada? British Columbia & Alberta have spectacular scenery. Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Waterton NP, just does not get any prettier than this. Not expensive to get there and Canadians will be thrilled that you want to explore their country. The nicest people I have met are Canadians
Or perhaps Mexico if you want some beach time. We have all read about the drug wars going on in Mexico, but many areas are not in the line of fire. Perhaps Tulum, maybe Zihuatanejo. Close, not expensive to get there or stay, might be worth your time. Good luck with your planning.
Wow. Thanks. I appreciate all your input. Isn't Canada more expensive than the U.S. if I'm not mistaken? I think I'd enjoy Canada - I've also never been to New York... I'm excited just thinking of this!
New York is amazing, so much to do and you can find many free/low cost things. Some of my favorite things in New York are walking through Times Square, going inside the Empire State building (you have to pay to go to the top though), ride a ferry for Ellis Island and go into the Statue of Liberty (costs money), there are museums like the Metropolitan and Museum of Modern art, I loved walking through Rockefeller, you can go to central park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge was one of my favorite activities, there is Grand Central, and free summer movies (at http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-summer-movies-2012/?a=1&b=1&pid=hp-hero-drgbl-1) which I have never done but looks amazing!!! Of course there are many amazing musicals and productions but those can get costly.
I'm not sure how much flights would be from the US but if you can scrape together your airfare, SE Asia is very cheap to travel though. I've been to Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and found Thailand the cheapest - our best bargain was a (private) double room for £3 between two of us (less than $5) per night... and we didn't even try very hard to find it (a taxi driver recommended it, actually). Dorms would potentially be even cheaper (and better for meeting fellow travellers). You can also eat street food for next to nothing - it's fresh and tasty, better than I've had in some restaurants back home.
If you want to stay a bit closer to home, I'd recommend Hawaii. It has it's own culture and traditions so although you wont' be a million miles away from California, it'll probably feel like it. It's easy to spend a lot on accommodation in Waikiki but we stayed in a hostel on Lemon Rd that was good value. Check out www.hostelbookers.com to see what prices are like.
Above all - enjoy planning your adventure!
Many backpackers start off in SE Asia. It's cheap once you get there, and easy to get around many countries, as a lot of people speak English. From California, South America is not that expensive. You might consider flying to Peru or Brazil.
If you have a car, there are many opportunities around North America. You could drive, in the summer, through Canada to Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. There are many provincial parks in British Columbia where you can camp, very cheaply. In the Yukon and Alaska, I think you can pretty much camp anywhere you want, for free. (Just watch out for grizzlies!)
Since budget is an issue and you're tired of the familiar then dump Canada, Hawaii and all that other English speaking crap and do SE Asia or Central/South America.
They're easy to get to from California and they're dead cheap - and foreign.