5 Tips for Travelling Around America

Hi I’m Mel from JustMelKate and Sophie has kindly let me take over The Nomadic Backpacker today to share some tips for travelling around the USA as I have recently just returned from a trip myself. Here are my five top tips:

  1. Be realistic on time.

America, much like Australia is a huge place. Not only is there going to be a lot to see in each place, but no matter which way you decide to travel around it’s going to take a lot of time.

  1. Research away from the guidebooks.

America is a huge tourist attraction obviously, it has Disneyland, countless theme parks and world famous attractions, but there is so much more to see than that. It’s a country that can take you from the beach to a snowy mountain in a matter of hours in a car so look beyond the usual guidebooks to really get the most and in my opinion the best out of your trip.

  1. Be prepared to drive.

I would suggest driving from state to state, it gives freedom of leaving or arriving whenever you want and you can discover places along the way. It’s also almost an unspoken rule that aside from New York, no one walks anywhere. It’s really hard to use public transport even in big cities such a San Francisco or LA. It’s very time consuming and can be expensive to get to where you want to go.

  1. Look for alternative accommodation.

Hotels are super expensive, they know they can be and there is often a lot of hidden charges whether you book in advance or arrive on the day. Hostels haven’t quite reached the standard of Australia and South East Asia and don’t attract the same crowds a lot of the time. Options such as AirBnB are good to get a cheap room but in a great spot, as you’ll also find cheaper accommodation such as motels are miles away from where you want to be and especially far from public transport.

  1. Pick a coast.

On my first trip over, I thought I was going to hit every city in the US, but if you’re doing it on a budget or have less that 6 months to do it, I massively advise splitting up a trip to East or West and returning to do the other half. This way you get to see all of what that area has to offer and it will massively save money on travel.

This are just simple tips to help in making some decisions as you travel across America, if you’re off soon, have an amazing time and know I am very, very jealous!

READ MORE: Camp America: Top Tips

Until next time, Mel // // @JustMelKate

Let me know in the comments your top tips or share it with the social media links below!


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  • Tom
    09/08/2014 at 09:13

    American guy here! Nailed it with all of these, I always tell people they should drive and try to camp and couch surf as much as possible. I recently wrote an article about getting free campsites out West (they are all over the place out there). The only thing I would add to this is that while I agree to pick a coast, I think you should drive cross-country at least once. To see the Midwestern plains start turning into the moonscape-ish and adventuresome West is a truly memorable sight to see. And don’t skip out on the Grand Canyon even if it sounds too touristy. 🙂

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