If you want to see the USA on a budget, you’re in luck. There is so much to see, so the longer you can travel, the better! Reducing the cost of your trip will mean you will be able to extend your length of travel.
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Plan – Plan, Plan, Plan. Planning in advance is usually the cheapest way to do most things. If you leave transportation or sightseeing to the last-minute, you are going to end up spending more. If you can, plan as much as possible as far in advance as possible. If you are going to a tourist attraction see if they have a website with deals or coupons. Set a daily budget of what you intend to spend, so you don’t spend too much.
Accommodation – Airbnb is fantastic for budget accommodations. Whether you’re just looking for a room to crash in or an apartment with a bit more privacy, Airbnb has it covered. Using ‘instant book’ makes it quick to find somewhere to stay if you are searching last minute, too. If you want to cut back on your budget further, there are a lot of couchsurfing websites (Never heard of this? Try Google!). Or, in the summer, many of the National Parks welcome campers.
Transportation – Transportation doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a lot of options for getting from Point A to Point B, and flying isn’t always the cheapest way. Catching a plane also means you miss out on seeing places along the way. Find other people that are traveling and ride-share with them (I am NOT talking about hitch-hiking, look for “long distance ride-sharing”). If you don’t feel up to it, then that’s okay, too. Hiring a car can be expensive, and if you’re covering a lot of miles, it can be tiring, too! If you’re going from city to city, Shofur has cheap bus tickets.
Food – Take advantage of breakfast, if it is included with your accommodations. When you are out and about during the day, try and take a packed lunch with you. Not eating lunch out every day will save you so much money! If there aren’t options for you to prepare meals before you head out, find somewhere to grab some food on the go. Even if you save only a few dollars picking up a sandwich, it’ll soon add up.
Sightseeing – Depending on what you want to do when you are traveling, there are always a number of options. If you want a city break, of course, it’ll be more expensive. But there are a lot of free museums you can visit, and great parks to explore. If you like hiking and camping, then picking up a national park pass is a win-win. National Park Annual Passes are available online for $80, but you’ll have so much to see and do.
Ask – This applies to all the above. Asking your friends and family if they can recommend other ways to save money while making memories. Who knows, you may even find someone who will be willing to invite your family into their home for the night. If you don’t know anyone who has been to the area, try checking out TripAdvisor. There are a lot of helpful people who will be able to offer first-hand advice.
Are you taking any trips this summer? What’s your advice for traveling the USA on a budget?