Budget Traveling in the US
When it comes to budget traveling in the US, someone like Jack Kerouac will probably tell you that nothing is simpler than hitting the road with just a few dollars in your pocket and an appetite for adventure. But half a century later, hitchhiking is treated almost as a crime and few would dare to travel without a heavy suitcase of ‘bare necessities’ and a backpack full of gadgets. Yet, people are more dynamic then ever and always eager to hear about any strategy that would help them cut some vacation costs.
Fortunately, the age of travel deal search engines and jet setting has made it quite easy for people to find a cheap vacation. Several minutes per day will be enough for anyone with a basic knowledge of the Internet to grab some last-minute cruise to the Bahamas or some discounted all-inclusive staying in Cancun. But if you want a slice of true American living, things might get a little complicated. First off all, USA is not quite the cheapest country to travel – and that is valid even for an American. And, like I said before, the days of hitchhiking and sleeping under the stars are long gone – budget traveling in the US got a whole new dimension. So what would be some affordable, yet safe ways to travel around the US?
Well, let’s remember that we have the good old Greyhound bus. Traveling for hours in a bus can be very tiring, but consider it this way: an overnight trip from one city to another will allow you to have the whole day for yourself and save the accommodation money. But let’s not forget that we are living in the century of cheap air traveling – with a little research, you’ll probably find a flight that will take you to the destination in just a couple of hours and for the same money. If you are traveling in groups, a slower, yet very comfortable option would be to rent a car.
So what about accommodation? Well, here things might get a little more complicated. USA doesn’t have the same tradition as Europe, where at each step you’ll find a youth hostel or some family owned bed and breakfast. If you are an outdoorsy person traveling in summer, you’ll be happy to discover the numerous campsites along the road. Otherwise, the best alternative remains an inexpensive motel.
Last, but not least, here comes the stomach asking for its share. Traveling requires a lot of energy – hence lots of food – not to mention that you want your experience to be pleasant (which is definitely not the case when you are hungry). Some granola or high protein bars can be very nourishing for a hiker, just as they are easy to carry. And you can always substitute the classical American breakfast for some cereal or bagels, and save your money for a warm lunch in a nice restaurant. And thanks to the chain diners, you know that, no matter where in the US you will be, you can always find your cheap burger.