Guest post: Planning A Budget Trip To The US – by Jake Morris

Yellowstone National Park, USA - Planning a budget trip to the U.S.

In this week’s guest post… our new contributor Jake Morris gives us tips on planning a budget trip to the US. With suggestions on best beaches, national parks and cities.

Planning A Budget Trip To The US

For many European travellers—particularly those who prefer budget vacations or backpacking experiences—the prospect of a trip to the U.S. seems like a great deal to handle. Indeed, transatlantic flights alone can be very expensive, and it’s also true that many of the highlight vacations in the U.S.—a trip to the Las Vegas casinos or New York’s various attractions—involve very costly accommodations, attractions, and lifestyles. However, this is no reason to write off the U.S. completely, especially for budget travel!

Once you’re on the ground in America, there are plenty of breathtaking destinations and trip ideas that you can enjoy on the cheap. Here are a several ideas worth considering if you’re interested in planning a trip overseas.

Research The Best U.S. Beaches

As is often the case with beach destinations, the most famous options in the U.S. aren’t necessarily the best. For example, if a trip to Florida interests you, there are literally dozens of wonderful alternatives to South Beach. These include the Gulf Coast beach towns and options like Delray or West Palm Beach. You may also want to consider other choices entirely, such as the North Carolina Outer Banks or a “southern charm” beach town like Charleston, South Carolina. All of these options can be quite affordable compared to mainstream, more “famous” beaches.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, USA. Planning a Budget trip to the US

Consider National Parks

The U.S. is home to some astounding national parks, with most of the best options being out west. The Dial a Flight travel-aid section specifically notes Glacier National Park (Montana), Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) and the Grand Canyon (Arizona) all among their top-10 must-see destinations in the United States—and it’s certainly hard to argue against that. Any of these locations offers you the budget option of simply hiking and camping through some of the most picturesque natural beauty in the western world.

Yellowstone National Park, USA - Planning a budget trip to the U.S.

Shoot For City Culture, Not Size

Many assume the United States’ biggest cities—New York, Chicago, etc.—are also its best for tourism. While this isn’t necessarily a false notion, some of the most fascinating cities in the U.S. are a bit smaller or located in less mainstream areas. A few examples to consider for more affordable destinations are: New Orleans, Louisiana for its vibrant, unique French-inspired culture and wonderful seafood; Denver, Colorado for its beautiful, charming mountain vibes; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, for its laid-back population and the local food and drink that’ll keep you busy for weeks.

New Orleans, USA. Planning a Budget trip to the US

Plan A Route

The U.S. is full of destinations, and it’s a shame to pay for a flight across the pond only to visit one! Try to plan your vacation in a way that allows you to travel to a few different cities or destinations. And that goes for whether it you want to hop between national parks or travel to different cities. Ultimately, it’s more value for your flight!

California Route 1, USA. Planning a Budget trip to the US

written by: Jake Morris

Jake Morris is a freelance photographer and travel writer. He primarily travels throughout North and South America, with an occasional foray into the far East.

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One comment

  • I love the vastness, diversity and friendliness of the U.S. I completely circumnavigated it with a Greyhound bus pass years ago. Quite an eye opener, esp. in Alabama and Louisiana. Bus is still one of my favorite ways to travel. You save a ton of trouble and cash on airport transfers by arriving city center.