I will be traveling to the US on April 29, from Manila to New York and will be there for 30 days. I will be flying back to Manila from LA by end May.
I would like to ask for tips and recommendation on the best way to back pack around the different states. Is it better to take the Amtrak, bus or plane. Also I would also appreciate recommendations on hostels to book per area.
Below is my working itinerary. Hope you can let me know if this is workable or if I should take out some areas or adjust the allotted time per location.
April 30 - May 4 NEW YORK
May 5 DAY TOUR TO BOSTON
May 6 DAY TOUR TO NIAGARA
May 7 DAY TOUR TO WASHINGTON DC
May 8, NEW YORK
May 9-11 TEXAS
May 12 LAS VEGAS
May 13-14 GRAND CANYON
May 15-22 SEATTLE / NORWEGIAN PEARL ALASKAN CRUISE
May 23-26 SAN FRANCISCO
May 27-29 LOS ANGELES
May 29 FLIGHT TO MANILA
Welcome to Travelblog! Your adventure sounds incredible. I highly recommend looking at recent blogs from mikesrtw
, who recently finished blogging a similar trip with lots of advice.
The most important thing to realize about the United States is just how big it is. Traveling within a region easily takes half a day. Traveling from one region to another, except by plane, takes a day or more. Lots of time can easily be eaten up by transport.
The bus network is the cheapest option by far to get around. It has a scary reputation but this is highly exaggerated. Take the same precautions as any other overnight bus, and you'll be fine. Amtrack is more expensive and goes fewer places, but is more comfortable. Flying can reach places quickly, but tickets will be very expensive at this point unless you get lucky and find a deal.
If your budget can afford it, I highly recommend renting a car for at least a few days to experience the thrill of a true road trip. The coast of California, for example, is absolutely incredible and can only be reached by private vehicle.
Given the transport issue, just getting somewhere from New York will take half a day. Boston requires a full day to see, and Washington DC will take as much time as you care to give it (especially if you like museums). I'd pick one of the three early sights and focus there.
New York to Texas, Texas to Las Vegas, and Las Vegas to Seattle will require at least a day each on transport. I would personally either treat Vegas as a pit stop for the Grand Canyon or drop Texas to get time there. If your budget can handle it, I highly recommend renting a car and taking three days to see the California coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which ranks as one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Your journey will be amazing; looking forward to the blogs.
I once bought a one-month ticket for Greyhound-busses in the whole US when I was a student in the nineties. I think I spent every third night or so on the busses. I would not do that again but at that time I travelled from the east coast to the west coast and back again to the east coast. It was a great adventure. Later I rented a car for 3 weeks and visited New England and so. Unfortunately I don't have the pictures and more and the trips are not on TB.
Thanks for your inputs. Im trying to cut down now the number of places that I'll be visiting so i would have more quality time in each area rather than spending most of my time on the road.
In terms of booking of my bus/train or plane tickets to get me from one state to the next, would you recommend booking it ahead, before I leave for the US? or it wont make much of a difference in terms of cost if I buy it one to two days before the trip? or can I just show up at the bus/train station and get a ticket on the spot, similar to how convenient it is when travel in EU?
Since this is my first time in the US, I would also like to have the flexibility to change plans as I go along, as necessary, of course with consideration of cost implications 😊
Plane tickets need to be bought as far in advance as possible. Although some can be found last minute, the costs will be prohibitive. The US train network is very limited compared to the EU and tickets are much harder to find as a result. Bus tickets can normally be bought the day you need them on all but the most popular routes.
Bus tickets are normally cheapest bought in advance, but the cost difference may not be significant. I'd also look into the Greyhound pass Twag mentioned. It allows nearly unlimited travel for a given number of months. I believe it is cheapest when bought in advance outside the US.
You are leaving in a few days so I'm sure you have made all of your decisions. Hopefully your trip will be wonderful. It looks like you were thinking about cutting out some of the locations. Everyone who comes to the U.S. wants to see as much as they can but never realize the distance between cities. I think you'll be happier if you stay on one coast or the other.
I would not do a day trip to any of the cities you've listed. You won't have time to see anything.
I hope you will blog about your trip. Love to find out what you did, what you saw and what your impressions are of this country.
In case everything is not already booked - I would suggest dropping Texas, and adding a day to Niagara Falls. It is not that close from New York and it is nice to spend some time there. Also add a day to Vegas - it is a uniquely interesting place.
All of this depends on your interests. Me as a politically interested person enjoyed Washington including tours to the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon in 1997. I have avoided to go to Las Vegas and this city is very low on my priority list for future visits. I was in San Antonio in Texas and this was enough got me and I have added the Southern cities of Atlanta including Coca Cola museum and CNN and New Orleans including the French Quarter. Also Chicago with some nice museums and thfamous skyscrapers.
I agree with you that D.C. is well worth the time and if it were me I would not rush through it. I would spend 5 nights in NYC, 3 nights in Boston, 1 or 2 nights in Niagara Falls, 5 nights in D.C., 7 nights on cruise, 3 nights in Seattle ( nice city), 3 nights in SF and 1 or 2 nights in LA.
Your Chicago suggestion is a good one.
In response to: Msg #196196
Thanks to security issues, White House Tours are now restricted to school groups and such.
San Antonio hooked me too. Its like a trip to Mexico without leaving Texas.
In Atlanta, I found the Coca Cola Museum to be little more than a giant commercial. If time is tight, the Martin Luther King sights were much more interesting.