There are many reasons why you seek cheap travel in the United States, but that’s for exploration in another article on another day. What we will focus on is how to enable you to achieve cheap travel while making sure that your vacation is just as fulfilling.
The United States is different from many European countries or even Australia and New Zealand as it does not have too many hostel accommodations to offer young people and back packers. Should you be able to find one of the few hostels, you can expect to pay between $15 and $30 per night in a dorm room.
A better bet would be to head for cheap hotels or motels that offer a room to yourself or you and your family and reasonable prices outside the center of the big cities out of town, you can expect prices to start at about $35. If you decide you would rather stay in the center of a larger city the prices you should expect to pay will start at $60 and upwards. The United States is a large country and prices can vary widely depending on when you expect to need to stay.
The good news is that it is possible to eat well even on a tight budget in the United States. Eating out at fast food outlets and delis will mean you can eat really well and not spend a fortune, expect to spend $6 more or less if you choose this type of restaurant look out for the dollar menu as that too offers great value. Mid-range restaurant chains like Applebee’s will charge you more around $10 to $15. If you prefer, you can get a tasty sandwich for about $5 from a deli. If your budget allows you to go you can get a good meal at an independent restaurant for prices beginning at $15 without beverages.
Getting around in the United States
The United States is a big country and because of this getting around it can be quite a challenge. Despite the growth of the American railroad system in the early decades of the 20th century this network was not able to compete with the airline network and so the train system is not as extensive as it used to be.
America is best travelled by car; considering it is considered to be the home and cradle of the automobile industry this would make sense. The car and the open road go together and you should consider your chance to experience the American road trip as a key part of your American vacation experience.
Hiring a car for a good price is quite possible should you know where to look and fuel prices compared with other countries, particularly in Europe are a fraction of what you would expect to pay at home. Having your hire car gives you the other big advantage of being able to plan and pursue your itinerary in a flexible way, lingering at locations that interest you before you decide to move on.
If you plan to spend your American vacation on the East or West Coast, it is not necessary to hire a car as you will find that there are well developed and cheap to use train and bus networks that can help you get to your intended destination. You will find that the bus network, made famous by Greyhound, can get you from A to B for as little as $1 for a one way fare.
If you intend to fly domestically as you explore America you are best advised to check out the fares on offer from Southwest and JetBlue airlines as these are normally the cheapest, however try to book your domestic flights as early as possible as the prices will rise as your date of travel approaches particularly during the peak holiday season including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year and Easter. Amtrak can transport you on their trains across the country and the experience can be truly amazing, however the fares you will have to pay will never be as cheap as taking the same trip by long distance bus.
Suggestions for your United States vacation
If you were to ask what you could do in the United States on a one week or two week vacation, the choice would be just too vast to give a suggested itinerary or advice on prices as they vary so greatly. However, there are some general pieces of advice that hold good wherever you travel in the United States. For example, if you plan to be vacationing near Los Angeles, aim to stay in affordable hotels in Victorville as they are close to the big city but the prices that they charge are a fraction of what you would pay in the city center.
Travel by bus whenever you can both on long distance and shorter trips, in the North East of the United States $1 can get you a long way when you travel by bus and costs far less than traveling by train or taking a domestic flight. Consider hiring a car and sharing the costs with friends who have come with you on your vacation or those who you have met on the way. Splitting the costs of gas between four occupants gives you the freedom to decide where you are going to go and for how long while not spending too much money.