This is a particularly topical issue if you have your first independent trip to the USA. Careful planning is the way to save time and money, and also avoid any unpleasant surprises along the way.
On the Internet, you can find a huge amount of useful information about the country – read the forums or take a walk through the channels of popular video bloggers.
It’s also recommended to book a hotel room or a camping site and think about how to get from one American city to another.
Of course, a trip to the United States requires careful budget planning, so as not to be left without money in the middle of an unfamiliar country two weeks before the departure of the plane. After the route is ready, you can proceed to it. Calculate your housing, food, transportation, and entertainment expenses. For this, you can use the data from the Numbeo website.
CONSIDER RENTING A CAR
The USA is known for its multi-mile highways connecting numerous cities. However, most of the amazing places are situated not in cities, but in nearby or fairly remote destinations.
If you want to really see a large number of attractions on a budget, then pick up a car. Are you still not an experienced driver? Don’t worry – car rental for under 25 travelers allows having an unforgettable road trip for everyone regardless of age.
It’s enough for you to book a car in advance and print a confirmation voucher. The average cost of a car is $25-35 per day for an economy or compact class.
KEEP IN MIND SECONDARY ROAD TRIP EXPENSES
Traveling around the United States by car means not only complete freedom and independence from public transport but also certain expenses. In addition to the cost of renting a car itself, don’t forget to include the budget for gasoline, toll roads, and tunnels. Some rental offices require an international driver’s license, but many suppliers ask domestic licenses only.
Another useful detail – along the road you will see such signs as Rest Area and Service Area. Rest Area allows you to relax and use the toilet, while in the Service Area it’s possible to refuel and have a bite.
STAY IN HOSTELS, CAMPSITES, OR USE COUCHSURFING
Depending on the location, budget, and requirements regarding the level of comfort, you can choose between hotels, motels, hostels, rental apartments, campsites, and Couchsurfing.
Hostels and motels in the center will cost more than outside. Most national parks have their own cheap campsites, which need to be reserved in advance. Also along the road, there are rest areas with tables and awnings, where you can shop, eat, and sleep. If you are disturbed by the police, feel free to say that you are tired, and it’s difficult for you to drive safely without rest.
BUY PRODUCTS IN SUPERMARKETS
A good way to reduce the cost of an independent trip to the United States is to buy food in supermarkets. In large stores, products are much cheaper than, for example, in small stores at gas stations. Also in supermarkets, there’s a category of goods that are produced specifically for this chain, and the cost of which is lower compared to other brands.
Among the largest and most popular are Walmart, Publix, Wholefoods, Aldi, and Costco. Their assortment is different, but the main food products are not much different.
Supermarkets are designed for different audiences: Publix and Wholefoods – for more affluent and demanding customers, but for the budget travelers Walmart and Aldi will be the best choice. The most affordable of them is Aldi.
Remember that the price is indicated without taxes, which is usually 6-10%!
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