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Travel Across the USA

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1. Posted by holteend (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I am new to the forum and have got a few questions which I would be really grateful if somebody could answer.

I am planning to travel across USA on my honeymoon in August - there will be two of us (obviously!!!) - for 3 months.

The plan at the moment is to stay in New York for a month in an apartment - we would like to stay as close to the action as possible - we have got about £1500 / $3000 approx. for the budget - we don't want anywhere overly fancy just a comfortable place to rest in a decent area - does anyone have any ideas where the best place to book somewhere like this would be?

We then plan to travel across America possibly ending up in Seattle - At the moment we are planning to travel for 1 month by car (any tips on where to rent from etc?) and 1 month by rail (I think the Amtrak 1 month pass looks good value for this). Does anybody know if any carriers do an unlimited flight ticket? If this is cheap enough it might be worth looking into so that we can maximise our time in certain places.

Also if anyone has any routes that they could point us to that would be greatly appreciated. As I say the plan is to go from N.Y. to Seattle - the only places we definitely want to go are Cedar Point in Ohio and Mt Rushmore so we are quite flexible.

Any advice will be gladly received!

2. Posted by Lugor79 (Full Member 74 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


For $3000 you can get a semi-decent apartment in Manhattan for 2 people. I don't live in NYC, but I have many friends who rent there and they pay about $1000-$1500 a month for a closet in an apartment...

Rental Car: Go online and search for them orbitz, priceline, etc... However for long-term rental you may want to consider buying a cheap used car and selling it again, a hassle but may be cheaper... Another option is look at driving other people's cars across the country. Forgot what this service is called, but basically people/companies need cars transported cross country. They hire companies to do this and companies get you to drive the car...

Flights, check out Star Alliance's webpage, they have tickets for multi-flights in North America...

Hope this helps.

3. Posted by KristenS (Budding Member 56 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Philadelphia is worth stopping in for 2 days at least. Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland Ohio Chicago speaks for itself, my favorite city in the US. Milwaukee Wisconsin is a well kept secret. The city has beer & a beautiful water front and great art museum. Minneapolis / St Paul is worth checking out online too if it looks interesting. Take your time in Montana. The scenery will blow your socks off once you get out of the eastern plains. One can not help but feel slightly like a cowboy after being there. Having NYC and Seattle as the book ends of your trip is a brilliant plan. Both are vibrant and yet so entirely different. Good luck on your wedding plans as well.

4. Posted by holteend (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your input and best wishes so far!

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If you're going across the US in August, stay in the north, because the midwest and south will be extremely hot. NYC to Seattle is a good route because it fits the bill.

Places and things to see:

New York City itself, then north to Niagara Falls to see the waterfalls (unfortunately the city itself is tourist trap central and rather the pits), then go see the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland, Sears Tower and the shoreline drive in Chicago, the city of Madison, Wisconsin along the lakefront is beautiful in summer, Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota (and the Badlands area of South Dakota), Yellowstone National Park (NW corner of Wyoming), Jackson Hole in Wyoming, maybe go white-water rafting in Wyoming or Idaho or Montana, wineries either in the Red Mountain area of Washington or near Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls east of Seattle, Lake Washington/Lake Union in Seattle, The Space Needle and Experience Music Project and Pike Fish Market in Seattle.

Also, considering adding a little time to your trip on the west coast and take a ferry through the San Juan Islands over to Victoria Island (part of Canada), then go up to Vancouver and back down to Seattle. The Olympic National Park (only rainforest in the US) is also right next to Seattle. Generally, Seattle is one of the best cities weather-wise in the US in the summertime. (not as good in the winter).

6. Posted by roamp (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'd have to visit Deadwood, South Dakota and I've always wanted to visit the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Of course there's Yellowstone Park on the way also.

7. Posted by farleyUL (Full Member 125 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I think it really depends what you're into. If you're wanting to stick to big cities and things of that sort, then you should probably check out DC, Boston, Philly, and Baltimore in the East and you can't miss Chicago and Milwaukee in the Midwest and maybe stop in and check out Salt Lake City and San Fransico before making your way up to Seattle. However, if you're more interested in seeing nature and scenery, take your time through South Dakota (the Badlands are incredible), go see Devil's Tower in Wyoming, Glacier National Park in Montana (just go to Yahoo images and search it...GORGEOUS scenery), Yellowstone, and check out some Redwoods while you're here.

I would probably avoid renting a car unless you get an amazing deal. Buying a car or driving someone else's across the country would probably be your best/cheapest bet. Just exercise extreme caution when buying a car becuase you don't want to get stuck with one that can't make it across the country. If you've only got 1500 to 3000 pounds for the entire trip, I'd probably recommend that you forget living in New York City for a month if you want this to be a three month trip.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding and best of luck!

8. Posted by holteend (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks again for your replies. We have narrowed down a trip a bit and it now looks like this - NY (2 week stay to include a trip to Boston) bus to Philly, Bus to Atlantic City, Bus to Washington DC. Pick up a car hire and drive to Cleavland, Sandusky, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago. Then train to Milwaukee, Minneapolis. Fly to Mt Rushmore, Fly to Denver, Train to Kansas City, St Louis, Little Rock, Bus to Memphis, Train to New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas. Fly to Vegas - pick up a car there and drive to San Diego and drive up the coast to Seattle - Sound like loads when it is written down!

The budget will be approx £10k for the whole trip so anymore advice will be greatly appriciated - Does anyone know the cheapest motel chains? Is it possible to include a trip to drive thru Death Valley/Yellowstone without taking a major detour and at which point should we do this?

If we are struggling for time are their any places noted above that we should look to miss out on? Is New Oleans back up and running now or is the damage from Katrina still quite bad?

Thanks in advance!

9. Posted by kevandshan (Full Member 142 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Check out

10. Posted by Travelince (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You might want to try these travel certificates, they are free and will have you money on room nights.