The United States is not a cheap destination. It ranks as one of the most expensive destinations in the world, including for the locals. Whether or not you agree with the American culture, setting foot on “the land of the brave” is an experience you must try at least once in a lifetime.
Home of the many of the clichés Millennials grew up with the United States is everything you have imagined and nothing at all. Put on some comfy shoes and make sure your bank account is full if you want to enjoy the real American experience, even for a short while.
Assuming you have all your traveling documents in order, here is how to live and travel in the country for a full month while staying on a budget.
Tip 1: Choose A Few Main Destinations
With 50 states and a total population of around 350 million people, you can’t expect to see everything in a month. Each state has its charm. It provides endless leisure activities for people of all ages and budgets, but you need to figure out which part of the country best suits you.
The first mistake most tourists make when setting foot for the first time in the United States is that they try to visit as many places as possible. Sure, it is possible to travel from Miami to New York or Los Angeles, and still pay a short visit to the Capitol. But, you won’t end up remembering anything more than the jet-lag between flights.
Come up with a realistic plan and stick to it!
Pin a few key-destinations, preferably on the same coast, and rent a car to enjoy a real American road trip. Gas is cheap, the highways are decent, and you’ll find countless restaurants on the road to stop for a quick bite on the way to your next destination.
Tip 2: Visit The Deep South To Get The True Local Vibe
New York City may be the world’s fashion capital and Hollywood one of the most glamorous places on Earth, but you won’t get to experience the American quintessence unless you visit at least one of the states in the Deep South.
Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, or South Carolina are some of the Dixie states that provide the authentic Deep South experience. From comfort deep-fried food to long walks in the national parks, hot temperatures in the summer, and a unique mix of cultures and customs, each state in Dixie is worth visiting.
If you’re looking for tips on visiting some places in the area, you should start with the legendary New Orleans, NOLA for locals. The city has recently celebrated its 300th year of existence and is one of the most intriguing places in the country.
A unique mix of Creole and European cultures, here you’ll have the opportunity to taste deliciously crafted beers. Take a stroll on the famous Bourbon Street to listen to live jazz music or enroll in one of the “haunted” tours to learn more about vampires, ghosts, and voodoo witches.
Don’t forget to also sip a cup of delicious coffee at the Cafe du Mond, one of the most famous cafes in the world that used to gather important authors and artists. Spending at least four days in New Orleans is mandatory if you want to enjoy some of its mysteries and know the locals.
If you don’t mind loud streets and alcohol intoxication, you can plan your trip here around March or April, just in time to enjoy the city’s most famous festival, Mardi Gras.
Memphis and Nashville are other Southern destinations you don’t want to miss out, especially if you’re a country music fan. Home of the Johnny Cash Museum, Elvis Presley Museum, and filled with live country music bars, the main streets in these cities are an endless supply of parties and celebrations. Nashville is also the world capital of broken musician dreams, just like Hollywood and LA is for actors.
Regardless of where you choose to go, there are many affordable travel destinations in the USA.
Tip 3: Sleeping Arrangements
You can’t seem to save much money if you’re heading for a road trip in the Midwest and Deep South as museum entrances, park fees, and ghost tours will cost you big bucks.
However, one way to balance your finances and make enough to enjoy a full month on American soil is to know where to sleep. 3-star and 4-star hotels are for those who can afford to spend a couple of hundred dollars per night for fancy shampoos and a larger flat TV screen.
Contrary to what you’ll encounter in hotels all around the world, the number of stars in an American hotel won’t make too much of a difference in terms of amenities and comfort. If you want to travel for cheap, then switch hotel rooms for rented apartments.
Room service and a pool might be lovely first thing in the morning, but when you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll learn to make your breakfast from scratch with Walmart groceries and even look for recommendations from fisherpants.com on the best fishing equipment to catch your dinner.
The silver lining is that you’ll get to mingle more with the locals and experience living in a typical American house, similar to what you’ve seen in movies growing up.