Traveling across America at least once in your lifetime is almost like a rite of passage. The extent of diversity in this great nation is awe – inspiring. Travel across America by train is not always the best or the cheapest option. Sometimes, there will be offers available through Amtrak, which can be availed as one of the cheaper ways to travel across country. Train journeys come with benefits and a few disadvantages. For instance, a train may not cover the route you mapped and sometimes, you may not have trains for the duration you mapped. There are however easy options to travel across America and not go broke.
1. Use yelp to find cheap but hygienic food
After the explosion of start – ups and apps on the Internet and smart phones, finding places to eat has become easy and economical. Use yelp reviews to find out cheap and authentic places to eat. Yelp also has ratings, so you can find a relatively hygienic place rather than fall ill on your road trip.
2. Stock up on groceries to cook your own food
Although it is easy to find places to eat during your cross-country trip, making your own breakfast and supper will save around 5 to 10 dollars a day. For a trip lasting 45 to 60 days, even 5 dollars a day will lead to humongous saving.
3. Camp across the country
If you already purchased passes for national parks, you can camp there for as less as 15 dollars a night. You will get a clean tent and you are in the heart of the park. Contrary to what you favorite soaps have led you to believe, these campsites are safe, more often than not. Camping at national parks is cheap and camping at Bureau of Land Management campsites is free. Camping your way across America is the cheapest way to travel cross-country with family. Remember to follow all guidelines and rules while camping like using the appropriate facilities provided by the campsite and also using designated fire rings when you want a fire either for cooking or for warmth.
4. Get parcels to-go instead of dining in
If you must eat at a certain place and food is your priority and not the ambience, get food to go. This way, you can save on tips and other extras.
5. Hitchhike or ride share
If you do not own a car, you can almost always hitchhike. This way, you not only travel cheap, and often it is safe. You can also share your ride with other travelers you meet at hostels and motels or at airbnbs. Just be sure you are amicable company and you have amicable company.
6. Use a car relocation service
One cheapest way to drive across country is to make use of a car relocation service. A car relocation service is one that allows you to drive someone’s car from point A to point B as part of moving his or her car from A to B. This way you save on gas; maybe even get paid for the service you render. Using a car relocation service however gives you less options and time if you want the leisure to specifically visit some places and explore some parts. The route you might take may also be more rigid than when you drive or use a rental.
7. Use a good rental instead of your own car
Sometimes, driving across country gets cheaper if you use a car with better fuel efficiency than the one you own. It also works out cheaper to use a newer car as against the good old station wagon. In that case, you can always use a rental for better mileage and less maintenance.
8. Save on accommodation
Hostels are rare in America and are not really as cheap as you might expect. Thanks to the Internet, you can now look up airbnb and cheap hotels that have complimentary breakfast. In a airbnb for instance, you get a private or a semi private room, a bathroom and access to the kitchen where you can make your own quick meals. This will also give you a chance to mix and mingle with locals and get tips on visiting the local attractions. You can also couchsurf to find free accommodation with the locals.
9. House swap
You can also swap your house with interested people across the country to go and live at a particular spot for a few days or weeks time. You can register on websites like homeexchange and plan individual trips to different parts of the country. You should however screen candidates carefully before you give up your home for there is plenty of risk involved in house swapping. This may not turn out to be the cheapest way to travel America depending upon your circumstances but it sure is the most exciting way: living another person’s life for a few weeks.
If the travel bug has bitten you and you wonder every minute how to travel across America in the cheapest, safest way possible, make a solid plan. You will probably not stick to it but this will help you plan your finance, the places you would like to stay, whether you like to camp and the money you are prepared to spend on attractions. After making a list of places you wish to visit and things you want to see, buy passes that are valid round the year that give you free/discounted admittance to majority of places. A national parks pass is a great idea. Plan your journey well, keep accounts and have a good one!