Planning. where do you start!?...

Travel Forums North America Planning. where do you start!?...

Last Post This thread is marked as being about USA
1. Posted by tany33 (Budding Member 14 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I'm planning to travel the US and know the basics of what i would like to do. Aiming to take 7/8 months with a budget of about £10,000 - but i'd rather spend sparingly. Would like to fly to New York, explore the East Coast and then maybe fly accross to the West Coast and travel around there, but i dont want to miss out on a lot of cities etc. in more of the central states too! I'm hoping i can get in contact with some relatives who live out there so that will effect where i go a bit.

I really need some advice on planning the trip. Where on earth do i begin!!!! i tried looking at flights but oh my god how confusing can they make it, and should i get all the paperwork stuff arranged first such as visa's etc. Generally i would like some advise on how to go about organising things, where to start, what to look for and any tips from those of you with more travelling experience than me!

thanks. Tania xx

2. Posted by J-Farm (Budding Member 12 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

really must visit chicago!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5972 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Quoting tany33

Where on earth do i begin!!!!

Since it's the USA: visas, and be prepared for hell during the process. The USA easily ranks amongst the least welcoming nation on the planet nowadays. Personally I suspect you'll have a really hard time being allowed to stay for more than 3 months. (There's the possibility to extend a visitor visa, but they have all kinds of weird rules and regulations about it, and it really must be an extension to the visa, not something you take care of in advance.)

4. Posted by RJ Mc (Inactive 33 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi there! If you have relatives in the US, they may be able to help you with some of the Visa work. Of course, look into official websites for traveling to US. As far as itenerary, I would say get here at the best price, and then work the itenerary from there. This is a great place for advice on where to go.You have a lot of work to do, better get on it! I'll look into Visa web sites and get back to you. - Rebecca

5. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

since you have cousins / family in the is very possible for them to sponsor you quite easily in order to extend your would be current visa.

6. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Wow, I didn't know that the usa had become so difficult even for our friends!! I don't know anything aobut visa's but I can't beleive that the UK isn't on the "no-visa required" list but the whole EU is waived??

Regarding visiting the US on your budget. I would suggest that a rental car from the east coast to the west coast wold be the way to go, although many people go ahead and buy a used car here and then drive cross country and sell it when they leave. Under current exhange rates your money should last you a hlaf year if you're cautious about your spending.

Driving would give you the opportunity to explore some on the more important natural features of the US like the Grand Canyon, the badlands of the Dakota's, the Mississippi River, Yellowstone Park, Yosemite Park, etc....

Not to mention the inland cities such as St. Louis (gateway to the west), Chicago, Buffalo, and so on....

If oyu are flying into the east coast then I would dirve west, either the north route or south route depending on your arrival date, and then drive back east the opposite route...

Good Luck

7. Posted by jbur816 (Budding Member 17 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Yes, all of the above... and don't miss the drive up the coast in CA on Highway 1. Very beautiful and it takes you through Carmel and Monterey (where I grew up and can still only marvel at both the beauty and sophistocation of the area.)

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5972 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Quoting foggyidea

I don't know anything aobut visa's but I can't beleive that the UK isn't on the "no-visa required" list but the whole EU is waived??

That (the visa waiver for European countries) is only for a period of up to three months, and don't dare doing it a second time in a year, for obviously the only people that can have that much free time are terrorists (communists/child-molesters/[insert your boogey-man of the day]), so they'll rifle through your luggage for an hour and ask you no end of questions (and tough luck if that makes you miss a connecting flight) and then tell you that by god's own mercy they'll allow you in this time, but after that you're banned for a year. :(

The USA is a gorgeous country that I love to be in, and where I have many friends, but it's getting increasingly xenophobic, and the security theater it puts up at the border is just getting completely ludicrous.

Tania: jbur's recommendation of highway 1 is indeed a must. Most gorgeous coastal scenery anywhere. And then from San Francisco you can head on to Yosemite and the gorgeous nature there, and/or drive further up the coast over the avenue of the giants and the redwoods - it's all worthwhile.

9. Posted by RJ Mc (Inactive 33 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Okay, here is a web site for you to check out. Go to and see what you can find out about Visas. Don't be offended. In these times, no visitor or immigrant is exempt from a thorough checking out. Start early and have patience. - Rebecca

10. Posted by tany33 (Budding Member 14 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Rebecca! I have been doing my research on visa's but the website you found was by far one of the more useful.

Thanks as well to you all for your ideas, i would really like to get some good driving in but i know renting a car can be difficult unless your over 21? I will be 19/20 when im planning to go so will i still be able to rent or is buying a car easier? If so hows best/safest to go about it?

When it comes to planning i'd like some ideas on what things to focus on and what things to let happen when i get there. i hope those of you who have planned trips like this before can give me some tips on what to look out for when first starting to organise things. so far i know i need to look into visa's, all paperwork etc. places i want to vist, travel options, costs, time it takes to travel to places and so on. what other essentials should i make sure i look into?

Thanks. Tania xx