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usa 3 months travelling how much money

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1. Posted by tommysullivan (Budding Member, 5 posts) 9 Jul '13 05:44

tommysullivan has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hi i am visiting America for 3 months with my brother as a part of our gap year, and i have no idea how much spending money i will need i am flying to Miami in October and leaving from new york in January.

We are visiting Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Memphis, Little rock, Dallas, San Antonio, El Pa so, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Sacramento, Reno, Winnemuckah, Salt lake city, Green River, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburg, Washington, Philadelphia and finally New York.

We have paid for all accommodation and travel which is a mix of Amtrak and Greyhound, we just need money to pay for food and entertainment, i am wondering what the least we could get by on ie 2 meals a day plus sight seeing and 1 drink at a bar. Also does anyone know if its easier to book sights in advance such as national parks and museums.

If any one could give some kind of insight into the amount of dollar i will be needing it would be much appreciated. Thanks:)

2. Posted by Lugor79 (Full Member, 70 posts) 9 Jul '13 06:47

Hey,

If you plan on doing McDonalds ( or any other fast food), plan about $6-7 per meal. If you plan on sitting down for food plan on anywhere plan on $10+ per meal. Bar beer is generally $5 a pint, unless you find special 'deals', ie some bars will have happy hour prices that would be as low as $2 a beer.

You can look up Disney/Universal ticket prices, all depends on where you and how many days.

As for National Parks, I would highly recommend the $80 annual pass, the reason is parks that have entrance fees (and a lot of parks do not) range from $15 to $30 a park, so if you go to 3-4 of these parks you've saved money on the Annual pass. How do you plan on getting to these Parks? Tours? Rental cars?

Also recommend you don't carry cash for your trip with you. Not sure where you are from, but a set of banks have an ATM alliance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance), that allows you to withdraw cash cheaply. Bank of America is usually ubiquitous all across the US.

BTW, you do know that both Amtrak and Greyhound are notorious for being 'not on time', trains regularly run hours late.

3. Posted by Kimee129 (Full Member, 32 posts) 9 Jul '13 06:53

Wow...what a trip you have planned! You are going in a low travel time (except for Florida which is probably high tourist season due to it being warmer weather). What kind of meals are we talking? Are you a steak and potatoes type of person or a sandwich kind of person? I would recommend perhaps eating a large breakfast (which some hotels/hostels provide) skipping lunch and eating an average dinner with snacks thrown in. I lived off of $20 a day by going to the local grocery market and fixing myself my own sandwiches/chips/drinks rather than eating at the local take out food place. On Greyhound you won't have much time to grab much either so take plenty of snacks for the ride. Amtrak has a food car, but they tend to be pricy! What kind of attractions are you wanting to see? Please put Monument Valley and Grand Canyon somewhere in your agenda. You can catch a tour bus from Las Vegas. Personally I would skip Los Angeles and do San Diego instead, but if you want the touristy stuff as a first time thing then go for it. I prefer San Diego for its gorgeous sites and gorgeous people. (Then again I spent 10 years there and am very partial to it). You probably will not need advance reservations for the time you are going, but you may want to check to see if the internet price to book online is cheaper that buying in person. Sometimes it can be up to $10 off per person. Also that means you don't have to locked into a date or time if something should happen. Happy Trails..and have an awesome time!

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 9 Jul '13 10:33

3 months of Amtrak and Greyhound - I can see it won't be a pleasure trip!

5. Posted by lhammer610 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 9 Jul '13 16:24

So many comments, so little time:

"We are visiting Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Memphis, Little rock, Dallas, San Antonio, El Pa so, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Sacramento, Reno, Winnemuckah, Salt lake city, Green River, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburg, Washington, Philadelphia and finally New York."

Orlando is expensive, if you expect to visit the parks. New Orleans is, perhaps, the most fascinating city in the US. Rock, Jazz, Cajun music on Bourbon Street. Stop at a local restaurant that serves Cajun Crayfish and get a lesson on eating them. Lots of fish to eat. Jambalaya, gumbo and po' boy sandwiches.

I prefer Austin over San Antonio. A lot more fun, especially if you like music. But San Antonio has the River Walk and the Alamo. It is possible to take a bus to several missions. Las Vegas is like watching a car wreck. It is awful, but one just cannot stop looking. Lots of great shows. Over the top gambling. I prefer Old Town, Las Vegas. Be certain to pick up a sub (hoagie) at Capriotti's.

SF is just a lot of fun. Make reservations in advance to visit Alcatraz. Consider riding a bike across the Golden Gate. A great Disney family museum at The Presidio. Catch a baseball game at the Giant's stadium. Fisherman's Wharf. Sourdough bread. Trolly Car museum.

Sacramento, Reno & Winnemuckah do not hold a lot of attraction for me. Reno is a poor version of Las Vegas. Winnemuckah has some good hiking nearby.

Salt Lake City is beautiful. See the Mormon Church and the nearby Rockies (if you like to hike).

Green River, Denver, Omaha: don't know a lot about them.

Chicago is a fabulous town. Try taking a boat tour of the city. Catch a baseball game at Wrigley. Several wonderful art museums. Ride "L" (elevated trains). See the Loop area of downtown. Millennium Park.

Cleveland - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Toronto - don't know enough. Pittsburgh is a nice city. Washington - lots of free museums and stuff to see during the day. Glad you will see the train station. Not a lot of nightlife except for Georgetown area. Baltimore is nice, with the inner harbor and museums.

Philadelphia is likely the most underrated city in the US. 30th Street Station rivals Grand Central in NYC. Don't miss South Street/Head House Square and Manayunk for bars and restaurants. Lots of craft beer. The Philly Art Museum is nice. Make arrangements for a tour of City Hall and a ride up William Penn Tower (rivals the Washington Monument). Be sure to hit the Reading Terminal Market, especially for lunch and get a real Philly Cheese Steak. A tour of the Masonic Temple (next to City Hall). The Italian Market. The US Mint is cool. And, of course, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. If you like Impressionist Painting, the brand new Barnes Foundation ranks with the best in the world (get reservations!).

New York is amazing, of course. Grand Central Station, the Public Library (across the street, I think). Deli sandwiches!!! Art museum. Central Park - too much to mention here.

And you are skipping Boston?! Big mistake.

I wish, somehow, I could get you up to Portland.

As for food, we frequently eat breakfast at a local restaurant place for the cheapest meal of the day. For lunch, we munch of pretzels and water / soda to tie us through. Dinner at a diner is better food than fast food (McDonalds). Of the fast food, the healthiest may be Arby's. Stay away from our french fries and sugar soda. Get your drinks / water at grocery stores. To save some money, get food at grocery stores and eat in a park, or your room. Get lots of fruit, cups of yogurt, in grocery stores. Peel an orange vs. a bag of chips for fries. Don't supersize yourself or you will have a lot of weight gain.

6. Posted by jeantyc (Budding Member, 68 posts) 10 Jul '13 06:04

On your budget fast food restaurants are the only way you are going to make your budget; which in my opinion is a waste especially for NYC, New Orleans & Las Vegas; the cusine alone is why most people go to these cities; Most places in the US allow you to pay what you can afford to attend museums; that's definitely the case in my city (NYC); however in Vegas depending on what you want to do you will need advance reservations for most of the shows;

7. Posted by Gibbs79 (Budding Member, 25 posts) 21 Jul '13 16:26

I going to spring break in march , landing In Panama City and spending 3 months working my way to LA not to sure on the spending thing either , no accomadation booked

8. Posted by tommysullivan (Budding Member, 5 posts) 22 Jul '13 03:43

As for National Parks, I would highly recommend the $80 annual pass, the reason is parks that have entrance fees (and a lot of parks do not) range from $15 to $30 a park, so if you go to 3-4 of these parks you've saved money on the Annual pass. How do you plan on getting to these Parks? Tours? Rental cars?

Cheers for that sounds like a good deal

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2013, at 03:54 by tommysullivan ]

9. Posted by tommysullivan (Budding Member, 5 posts) 22 Jul '13 03:52

hi huge thanks to everyone who has replied, it has given me a lot of help as i know have a rough idea of how much $ i will be needing.

Also thanks for the advise regarding travel and opinions with the greyhound and Amtrak. Not a pleasure trip was a personal favorite.

I will now be booking events in advance such as Vegas shows and national parks etc..

Boston and Austin where places we wanted to visit but unfortunately when booking we where originally going by Amtrak 45 day rail pass and there weren't enough segments to fit in.

A word of advise for any travelers when looking to book Amtrak 45 day pass when paying individually for each it came out a few hundred dollars cheaper which was a real surprise.

Once again thanks for all the advise.
:)

10. Posted by tommysullivan (Budding Member, 5 posts) 22 Jul '13 04:01

Quoting lhammer610

So many comments, so little time:

"We are visiting Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Memphis, Little rock, Dallas, San Antonio, El Pa so, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Sacramento, Reno, Winnemuckah, Salt lake city, Green River, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburg, Washington, Philadelphia and finally New York."

Orlando is expensive, if you expect to visit the parks. New Orleans is, perhaps, the most fascinating city in the US. Rock, Jazz, Cajun music on Bourbon Street. Stop at a local restaurant that serves Cajun Crayfish and get a lesson on eating them. Lots of fish to eat. Jambalaya, gumbo and po' boy sandwiches.

I prefer Austin over San Antonio. A lot more fun, especially if you like music. But San Antonio has the River Walk and the Alamo. It is possible to take a bus to several missions. Las Vegas is like watching a car wreck. It is awful, but one just cannot stop looking. Lots of great shows. Over the top gambling. I prefer Old Town, Las Vegas. Be certain to pick up a sub (hoagie) at Capriotti's.

SF is just a lot of fun. Make reservations in advance to visit Alcatraz. Consider riding a bike across the Golden Gate. A great Disney family museum at The Presidio. Catch a baseball game at the Giant's stadium. Fisherman's Wharf. Sourdough bread. Trolly Car museum.

Sacramento, Reno & Winnemuckah do not hold a lot of attraction for me. Reno is a poor version of Las Vegas. Winnemuckah has some good hiking nearby.

Salt Lake City is beautiful. See the Mormon Church and the nearby Rockies (if you like to hike).

Green River, Denver, Omaha: don't know a lot about them.

Chicago is a fabulous town. Try taking a boat tour of the city. Catch a baseball game at Wrigley. Several wonderful art museums. Ride "L" (elevated trains). See the Loop area of downtown. Millennium Park.

Cleveland - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Toronto - don't know enough. Pittsburgh is a nice city. Washington - lots of free museums and stuff to see during the day. Glad you will see the train station. Not a lot of nightlife except for Georgetown area. Baltimore is nice, with the inner harbor and museums.

Philadelphia is likely the most underrated city in the US. 30th Street Station rivals Grand Central in NYC. Don't miss South Street/Head House Square and Manayunk for bars and restaurants. Lots of craft beer. The Philly Art Museum is nice. Make arrangements for a tour of City Hall and a ride up William Penn Tower (rivals the Washington Monument). Be sure to hit the Reading Terminal Market, especially for lunch and get a real Philly Cheese Steak. A tour of the Masonic Temple (next to City Hall). The Italian Market. The US Mint is cool. And, of course, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. If you like Impressionist Painting, the brand new Barnes Foundation ranks with the best in the world (get reservations!).

New York is amazing, of course. Grand Central Station, the Public Library (across the street, I think). Deli sandwiches!!! Art museum. Central Park - too much to mention here.

And you are skipping Boston?! Big mistake.

I wish, somehow, I could get you up to Portland.

As for food, we frequently eat breakfast at a local restaurant place for the cheapest meal of the day. For lunch, we munch of pretzels and water / soda to tie us through. Dinner at a diner is better food than fast food (McDonalds). Of the fast food, the healthiest may be Arby's. Stay away from our french fries and sugar soda. Get your drinks / water at grocery stores. To save some money, get food at grocery stores and eat in a park, or your room. Get lots of fruit, cups of yogurt, in grocery stores. Peel an orange vs. a bag of chips for fries. Don't supersize yourself or you will have a lot of weight gain.

Hi thanks a lot for all of this info huge help, this is better than the travel guides . Yeah i agree missing Boston is a huge mistake, and possibly Portland as well may try and add these into the mix somehow. Also this sounds like a an absolute must 'Be certain to pick up a sub (hoagie) at Capriotti's'. And yeah new Orleans culture looks incredible especially after watching the tv show treme.
Thanks for all the info :)