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Living The American Dream For 3 Months...We hope...!

Travel Forums North America Living The American Dream For 3 Months...We hope...!

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1. Posted by GaryMLeader (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Okay so a pal -snip- and I -snip- had been talking about going travelling for sometime and when another friend of ours (He lives in the States) decided to propose to his Mrs and set a date, we decided to just go...throw caution to the wind and book. We booked our flights and sorted ESTAs last week. We leave 13th April 2013 henceforth thus everything is a massive rush atm and we are currently working like absolute dogs to fund this trip.

Fortunately we both want to travel the States in pretty much the same way; as cheaply as possible. We have a rough idea of where we want to go and what we want to see but its getting about that is posing the biggest issues. Initially we fly in to NYC and wish to spend 2-3 days there before a mammoth 16 hour Greyhound trip to Bristiol, TN for the wedding. We will spend about 8 days there before heading off into the wild...

The issue we have is post TN. We both love the idea of not having a set in stone plan as we may wish to spend more time in certain places. But the places we're looking to see are kind off scattered all over the place. When we leave Tennessee we're thinking to head South to New Orleans but would also love to see Chicago before heading West. Although I'm now wondering whether a kind of circular route would be better. So maybe from TN travel to Florida perhaps and go through the Deep South all the way to the West Coast, visiting anything and everything along the way before going up the West Coast and maybe into Alaska (How easy is it to get to Alsaka? And how many pennies/cents is it likely to set us back - Any ideas?) before taking the cheapest route back through Middle America and passing through Chicago on our way back to NYC? Is this feasible?

We are both more than happy to camp and rough it, we will also look into Couch Surfing (Anyone have any experience of this?), Hostels and maybe do some WWOOFing. Thinking about purchasing a minivan or something that can also be used as a roof over our heads, but I understand there could be registration issues as neither of us will have a fixed abode (although as I type this we could totes use our mates address) and also we are slightly apprehensive to commit a large chunk of our budgets to something we may struggle to ultimately sell. Would we be better to purchase the Greyhound 60 day adventure pass perhaps and deal with the many weirdos (We'll probably blend in pretty well) we come across?

So the places we are looking to go are: NYC, New Orleans, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, LA, San Fran, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon. The aforementioned are must see to both of us. However if our budgets allow us we would also like to do; Everglades, Florida, Alaska, Niagra Falls and I'm sure there are a lot more that have slipped my mind...also please feel free to slip in any suggestions?

Basically I'm not too sure what this thread is asking, I guess its just a piece of literature put out there for anyone who wants to read, comment and throw out any suggestions as to what we should do. We're just way too excited and quite frankly our pals are well and truly fed up of us going on about it nonstop thought I'd try a new audience... :)

Gaz and Spence

Oh just a quickie...access to gyms? Whats it like or are we better off improvising?

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2009 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

You really are a dreamer if you're thinking about Alaska on a budget! The easiest way is on the ferry from Seattle (camping on the deck) - not sure this is still allowed, but you could check with the Alaska Marine Highway people.

American Dream - we Americans gave up on that idea some time ago!!!

Access to gyms in the States - sure, just bring cash or cr cards

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Feb-2013, at 11:51 by Daawgon ]

3. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2572 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

What's your budget for the 3 months?


4. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 823 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

To answer the "is this feasible?" - the short reply is No. :-)

A basic route covering what you describe (NY-TN-FL-Grand Canyon-Vegas-San Diego-LA-SF-Yellowstone-Anchorage-Chicago) is 12000 miles. That's a lot of daily travel. I did 3000 miles in a month there, driving round the Rockies, and it was too much driving and not enough enjoying.

If you remove Alaska (which would help your budget), or turn it into a flight side-trip, it becomes a lot more feasible.

5. Posted by GaryMLeader (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Okay...cheers for the feedback guys. So I realise the reality is that we won't be able to do everything, particularly given our budgets but nevertheless we can shoot for the moon ay...! We have around $5k each that we would like to do it on but obviously we do have emergency funds set aside, although that has been earmarked for another trip to Asia, South America or Australasia later on in the year!

So maybe rule out Alaska. Florida was also a maybe cos we understand it to be quite expensive and is also out of the way so to speak. So maybe just travel through the Deep South to the West Coast and spend quite a bit of time in and around that part of the States!?

6. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 823 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

£35 a day for food, transport, a bed, activities. Seems low.

7. Posted by GaryMLeader (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

So I appreciate the budget is low but this is what we want to do. The whole idea of travelling on a shoestring really appeals. I mean we are literally happy to walk, cycle or hitchhike anywhere, pitch a tent and just go with the flow. A lot of what we want to do has been inspired by Chris McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp; Its the freedom that particularly appeals. Yes we want to see the bigger cities and all the attractions but we also went to get "lost" in the wilderness and see rural America, wander through areas where there is nothing to see but fields and the feint outline of a mountain range on the horizon.

We certainly have the time to do this and it would be a great way of seeing some of the less travelled parts of the States. We're also concious of the fact that if we allow ourselves a greater budget then we will use and abuse this rather than simply living to our means.

I have also travelled the West Coast previously on a budget of approx $850-900 after doing Camp America (did WA, OR, CA, NV) admittedly I did run out of money in Vegas (I actually ran out before I got there - had enough to live off but not move on before my flight back to the UK from NYC) but I travelled for around 4 weeks so do have a little experience of travelling on a budget for a period of time.

8. Posted by GavThomas (Budding Member 64 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I can't offer any advise Gary but your plan sounds like the mutts nuts, I plan to do something similar at the beginning of next year. I did read into something about moving rental cars between cities for the rental companies, so you don't pay for the hire as you are doing them a favour..... Miht be worth a look

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by GaryMLeader (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Cheers mate...Just hoping it all goes to plan!

Yeh I heard something similar last time around, did a little research and couldn't seem to find anything about it. Also heard about people that buy cars of auction websites and then need them delivering so will essentially fund your trip as you drive their purchase to them - how true this is I do not now? Also I would imagine their would be insurance issues with this!? If there is any truth in it...Fantastic!