I'm going around North America in January and February. I was planning on using the grey hound bus discovery pass but have heard it's not going to be available as of next year so I'm now trying to find alternative ways of getting around.
I've looked at the Amtrak train which is alright but pretty expensive. Does anyone know anything else that might be available or of any companies that do cheap flights in America? Starting to stress out as the discovery pass was so ideal!
It depends on where you plan to travel - the USA is rather large. In places like the Northeast and Northwest, there are private bus companies that are dirt cheap. Bolt Bus is one of them. Google for other intercity bus services.
Air travel here is expensive - even the discount airlines are fairly expensive. The only way to get a really cheap fare is to book online way in advance.
I would recommend the Amtrak pass - the only problem with Amtrak is limited service to many parts of the USA. This is a country of private car ownership and frequent flyers. Most middle class people avoid bus travel - they fly!
One of the best deals for young foreign travelers is the Green Tortoise Bus Tours (mainly on the West Coast) - I believe there are a few other similar tours - use your search engine.
[ Edit: Edited on 07-Nov-2012, at 06:25 by Daawgon ]
Travel is expensive these days and with distances, many Americans fly if more than a few hours driving time.
January and February can be VERY cold in central* and northern parts of America with feet of snow and cancelled buses and trains. The only places I will visit then is southern California and right down south in Florida.
- I think it was Jan 1982 when I was in sunny Los Angeles when Chicago has temperatures of -40.C and a wind chill factor of -100.C . People were getting frostbite after just several minutes outside.
Congrats on your detailed profile... It makes giving advice easier!
Is your trip to NA the first leg on your RTW trip? If so, then you may want to considered starting your trip in South America instead as January is summer down there.
You can then work your way up to North America. The weather should have improved alot by the the time you get up here!
Thanks everyone for all the ideas. Will definitely have a look into the green tortoise bus and everything else.
Yeah North America is the first leg and it's all booked so don't think I'll be able to change it around. I'm a big fan of snowboarding though so I'm not too bothered about the weather and even hoping to find some ski resorts somewhere. Looking forward to the sun in California and Florida as well.
I've found a good website for flights which is skyscanner.net it seems to have quite a few cheap flights for N. America so fingers crossed I can get some of them sorted before the get expensive.
Cool (Brrrr). If your looking for winter activities, you couldn't have picked a better time or place!!! Downhill Ski resorts a great but they will put a dent in your budget. You can also try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing => cheaper rentals and trail access fees. Some areas will also have dog sledding.
I live near Ottawa. We have the Rideau canal that freezes over to become the longest skating rink in world. Some people even commute to work by skating! Gatineau Park is close by for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.
You may want to check out Winterlude if your in my neck of the woods in early February.
Another Very Special Event held in early February is the Quebec Winter Carnival. Get more info here
Canada...We are the North in North America!
You really should look into Megabus. It will be cheaper than any other way around. Of course bus travel means you will be taking the long way, but if you were going to take grey hound than you were already expecting to take the long way. Mega bus also has free wifi and here is a link that will give you cash back when you purchases tickets. Have fun.
Your best bet is to mix it up. Try to take mega bus, amtrak, fly, and find perhaps other people to travel with.
In the northeast, it's essentially one giant city. You can bounce around from Boston to NYC, to Philly to baltimore and DC and it's really only about 1-3 in between each city. So if you plan early you can get bus fare for just a few dollars, sometimes free in january.
but don't take amtrak in the northeast, the prices in this area are absurd, and they really only save you 30 mins or so.
I've taken the amtrak from seattle to vancouver and it was just stunning. It was worth the extra money over there.