The USA is a wonderfully varied and truly massive country, there is so much to do and see and if you are serious about seeing the world a trip across America simply has to be on your wish list. This isn’t a simple holiday though – if you want to do the USA justice you need to take some time and plan.
So with that in mind, here are a few tips in case you are thinking of having a trip to the US, where to get started and where to go.
How to get started
First things first, how long do you have? And what is your budget? You should also consider how fast or slow you want to take it – I would suggest an absolute minimum of 4 days per state, but if you are pressed for time it is worth being selective about which states you see and spending more time in each if you can.
Picking a route
There are 50 to choose from and figuring out where to start is tough. It would take you at least 6 months to see them all and that’s if you go from one to the next every few days.
Needless to say, it would nice to spend a year or so meandering around and sampling all that every state has to offer, but in reality you will need to consider which areas are most important to you and how you want to travel.
My recommendation would be to select a handful of must see places and plot them on a map; plan a simple route and see what else you can see along the way.
Pace is also important of course; You might choose to spend a week one place and then just a day or two somewhere else en route. If you start by selecting your highest priority areas you might find you can afford just a day or two in other areas in order to cram in as much travel as possible without ruining your vacation.
For example if you are doing a road trip through Florida, you might want to go to the Everglades for a tour. Then head down to the Keys and do a Key West sunset cruise, a snorkel tour and if you are adventurous a jet ski tour.
New York, Florida, California and perhaps Texas are the top choices, but as you can see, visiting each of them will take you through Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico… It is all about plotting the best route to hit the places you want to see and making the most of your time along the way.
So how do you actually get around whilst you are there? Well there are plenty of options for travel, it really depends on where you are going and what sort of a vacation you want, either way, here are a few options:
Best for getting from east to west – if you want to see Florida AND California it might be worth flying to save a day or two of traveling time, although this will obviously cost more than say catching a bus. If your route is fairly continuous you might not need to fly, but if you are time constrained and you want to see all four corners of the country, consider working some flights into your journey.
You haven’t been to the US if you haven’t traveled on a Greyhound – these buses run routes across the country and they are great value. Try getting a bus through the night and you can save the cost of a hotel too (as long as you don’t mind a stiff neck in the morning). Not glamorous but if you are on a shoestring these are a good option.