The ‘God’s own State’ is definitely one of the best places to be. But for a lot of people, financial constraints represent a major barrier to seeing the fascinating beauty and amazing culture on offer. Unlike places such as Iceland or Greenland however, a trip to the United States on a budget very much feasible. You simply need to carefully plan your trip right from your lodging, feeding, means of transportation, the sights that you would see, and all other fine details. Here are some tips that could save you a lot of money when traveling to the United States.
Travel Guide to the United States
This is one aspect of your trip that would gulp a lot of money, especially if would be flying across the Atlantic. Snagging a bargain may be quite difficult, if not impossible at this stage. You would need to do your own research about the flight rates in your country. You would be surprised that the rates could vary greatly with different airlines. Also, You should consider flights with stopovers are generally cheaper. If the inconvenience of stopovers doesn’t sound bearable for you, flying in through the East Coast is your best bet. East Coast flights could be significantly cheaper than West Coast flights.
The importance of the season of travel cannot be overemphasized. You should not even think about taking your trip during Christmas or any other season considered as a peak period. Flights costs could be twice as high during this period. If you are looking to enjoy the best weather without paying through your nose, schedule a trip to the US around September.
Finally, you should be on the lookout for ticket discounts and be ready to jump at any mouth-watering deal that comes your way. A huge part of being ready involves having your documents at hand. Below are some of the documents international travelers would need before they can be admitted into the United States.
Every international traveler that hopes to visit the United States would need to obtain a passport. It is advisable that your passport should have one or more consecutive blank pages because some stamps or visas would have to appear together.
Travelers coming in from countries that are ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would require a visa. If you want to find out if your country is eligible for the program, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa.
You are also required to purchase a visitor insurance coverage. The coverage would normally cover accidents, minor health issues, and some other travel-related issues.
If your country is listed under the VWP, you would need an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to determine if you are eligible to travel under the program or not. You should get your ETSA form ready at least five days before your trip.
Once you’ve arrived safely, the next thing to figure out is where you would be staying. The reasonable option here is Airbnb. You could find yourself living like a crown prince at the price of a dorm room. While the shared apartments may not be as convenient as hotel rooms, the amount you would save would be more than worth the sacrifice. You could get yourself a decent accommodation for as low as $20, even in one of the big American cities. There are other platforms that offer cheaper or even free accommodation, but none boasts the security that comes with Airbnb. You could even check out reviews of the host you are about to live with before making payment.
America is quite the vast land and you can’t simply hope to walk everywhere. Most tourists opt to rent a car for the purpose of getting around but remember, you’re traveling on a budget. The cost of insurance and gas would easily drain your wallet.
America’s transport network is well-connected and you can get around by road or rail. While public transport may not be the most pleasant means of moving around, it would surely bring you closer to the American culture and it is quite cheap. There are some private transport companies that specialize in conveying tourists all over America and they could also prove a viable option. An example of such company is Greyhound.
A crucial part of traveling on a budget is finding cheap food. Remember food is quite important to your health and you should never compromise the quality of the food you would be eating. Dining out is usually an expensive option and you should only do that when you absolutely have to. Grocery stores should be your best friends as that is where you can get quality, affordable food items.
The good news here is that grocery prices in America are relatively lower than what you would find in many other parts of the world. If your accommodation has cooking facilities, you should avail yourself of them. Cooking is the best way to have control over what you take in and it doesn’t cost much. When out on your sightseeing visits, pack along your own sandwich, water, and fresh fruits. You would be spending little on feeding if you can do this.
It’s rather unfortunate that traveling is highly expensive as it is one of the best ways by which you can add more life to your years. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to enjoy a budget trip to America. If you can follow all the tips shared above, you would realize your dream to travel without needing to break the bank.