How to Travel the USA on a Budget

Vacations in the United States are often associated with spectacular road trips, Las Vegas’ bright lights, and the magic of NYC at Christmas. This vast, diverse country has so much more. National Parks are full of breathtaking natural attractions. Beaches range from private and serene to lively party spots. America’s smaller cities also have a lot to offer in culture, music, and delicious regional cuisine.

Although the U.S. isn’t a very popular destination for budget travellers, there are many ways to save money while enjoying your vacation.

These tips will allow you to make the most out of your trip to America, even if it’s on a budget.

Be wise when choosing your destination.

When planning your vacation to the United States, there are many things to think about. You might be tempted to visit the main sights, such as New York City, Miami and Las Vegas. But if you are looking for low hotel prices, affordable food, and free attractions, you will need to consider other options.

You can find great sightseeing in lesser-known American cities like Savannah, Charleston, and San Antonio for a fraction of what it costs. They also have a rich history, affordable entertainment options, and more local charm. If you’re looking for a place to explore America’s musical heritage and enjoy traditional Southern cuisine, Memphis and Nashville are great options. Washington, DC, offers some of the most popular free attractions.

You can choose to travel by bus or train.

Although air travel is the most convenient and fastest way to travel between major US cities, trains and buses can be quite affordable. They will also add a lot of American flavour to your American vacation.

Greyhound, North America’s largest bus service, has over 3,700 stops. On the other hand, Amtrak offers great value coast-to-coast rail trips if you book well in advance.

Ticket is a new search engine that provides train and bus schedules throughout the U.S. This online tool lets you search and compare more than 90,000 bus routes and trains in the United States to help you choose the best option for you.

Enjoy free attractions

You don’t have to be a tourist to find free attractions in every city.

According to America’s Favorite Places survey conducted by Travel + Leisure in 2015, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Kansas City, Houston, New Orleans, and Houston are America’s top cities for free attractions.

Many museums offer discounts and free admissions throughout the week. You can immerse yourself into the culture at markets and beaches. Festivals such as River to River in New York City, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, or the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans offer great opportunities.

Cities like San Antonio (TX), Savannah (G.A.), or Memphis (T.N.) are rich in history and full of colourful street performers. Smart development projects make them a joy to walk around. This is true for major metropolitan areas like Washington DC, where the Lincoln Memorial, National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian Institution museums are all free of cost. Or Chicago with its famous Millennium Park and stunning architecture that runs along the streets.

New York City offers a wide range of free activities and attractions, although they are not cheap. Central Park is a great place to relax, take in the city’s energy in Time Square or ride the ferry to Staten Island. If art is more your thing, you can visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which offers entry for free on Fridays, or the Guggenheim’s Saturday “Pay What You Wish” program.

Camp out

Hostels aren’t as popular in America as they are in Europe. However, camping is a great option to reduce your accommodation costs.

There are many campsites available for free or low cost in the country’s beautiful national parks and forests. Many have adequate facilities such as toilets and water. A great tip for long-term travel is to buy an 80$ Annual Pass through USGS. This gives you access to over 2,000 Federal recreation areas.

You can choose from several well-equipped parks owned by private individuals for as low as 20$ or 30$ per night. You will find hot showers, laundry facilities and convenience stores. Some even have Wi-Fi and swimming pool access. It is recommended to make a camping reservation.

Maxine B. Sandoval

Road To Paradiso is a travel blog that brings out the travel companion stories together so that anyone can learn from the experiences and decide which city to wander, what travel items to carry, and what time to visit.

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