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Discover The United States of America
The United States of America is a vast and diverse country, a melting pot of geographical wonders and rich heritage. It is a country of endless travel possibilities, from the towering snowcapped mountains in Colorado to the arid deserts of Death Valley, the endless great plains of Oklahoma and Kansas and the bustling Metropolises of New York and LA. It is the place where I was raised and one I have travelled extensively, and for me, setting out across this great country is one of the greates travel experiences of my life.
The American Dream
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Firstly, the US is huge. This makes it very hard to see everything if you are short of time. By far the best way to see as much as possible is by car. Renting a car or van is fairly inexpensive and allows you to get around at your own pace, picking out your route depending on your interests. It took us 3 months in a beat up Pontiac van to get from New York to Seattle and I still feel like we could have spent longer on the road.  The price of food, gas, cigarettes etc can vary greatly from state to state, with the central and southern states usually being much cheaper.

How to plan your trip:
America is a country best explored by car, and with no time restraints. Gas is generally cheap and there are plenty of camping spots to be found. Roadside motels are everywhere, and while sometimes a bit sketchy, are usually good value for money.
The classic roadtrip from The Atlantic in the East to Pacific in West winds through the heart of America, across the plains and over the Rockies. It ends up at the beautiful Pacific coast, leaving you exhausted and barely able to take in all the sights you witnessed. If you have a finite amount of time we recommend picking a region you are interested in and planning your trip around this area. Staying on the west coast provides easy access to places of interest such as Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and the stunning range of National Parks in Utah, Wyoming and Arizona. If you aren't renting a car, there are plenty of tours that leave from LA or Vegas to get you to the places you are interested in visiting. The deep south gives you New Orleans, the Everglades, Miami. From here you can make the drive  up North to Nashville, Memphis and the Carolinas. People tend to be fooled by the sheer scale of the country, so be warned that even these seemingly nearby destinations can take days of driving to reach.

Memphis 

Transport:
Most major cities have extensive subway and bus systems and it is very easy to get around. One you leave the city, Amtrak has a pretty good network of trains that covers alot of the country. They can be pretty expensive but will get you where you need to go quickly and hassle free. It is wise to book these trips in advance as trains can fill up quickly, especialy during summer and on holidays. Greyhound, Trailways or Mega Bus offer a cheaper alternative, if you dont mind long bus journeys.
Renting a car in the states is pretty straight forward. There are lots of rental companies to choose from, and all the competition can lead to some very affordable rates. Some companies will not rent to anyone under 25(or over 71), so shop around and find one that will if this is the case. Rental agencys will provide basic liability insurance with your car, but it is always advisable to pay that little bit extra to have your own insurance as well. Most credit cards come with basic car rental insurance, provided you paid with the card, so make sure to check before you go.

It is also an option to buy a cheap used car when you arrive. We cover that more in depth HERE.

Accommodation:
America provides a full range of accomodation choices. From budget hostels ($10-20), roadside motels($50-100) to higher end hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and apartment rentals. Depending on the type of trip, and your budget it is usually very easy to find something to fit your bill.
Destination Guides


​​Australia
Belgium
Belize

Canada
Croatia

Czech Republic
England

France
Germany
Greece

Indonesia

Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Malta
Myanmar
New Zealand
Poland
South Africa
Spain
Thailand
Usa
Vietnam

Mexican Hat, Utah


Urban nights:
If you are staying in a big city accomodation can be very expensive. If your budget is tight, we usually advise staying somewhere outside of the downtown core, and using busses and trains to get where you want to go. For instance, even the cheapest hotel or hostel in Manhatten will set you back upwards of $200 a night, whereas down in Brooklyn or Queens you can find the same thing for less than $100. Do your research though, as even a couple of city blocks can be the difference between a nice safe neighborhood, and one where you're too afraid to leave the hotel.(See the Tenderloin in San Francisco).
Air BnB is a great way to find great places in areas you normally couldnt afford, while also allowing you to get the "real" experience of the city you're in.

Stay in nature:
Camping is a great option for seeing the country, and it is usually easy to find places to stay. Most National and State Parks offer campgrounds for a reasonable fee and Kampgrounds of America (KOA) sites are everywhere. There there are many free options as well, though as always you need to be careful where you camp up. Americans are serious about tresspassing, and guns are plentiful so check well for signs, and know the who's land you are on before you set up camp. Sleeping in reststops on the freeways is not allowed, although we whave never had any problems having a quick nap in our car when we got tired.


A great way to get on the road for cheap is RV relocations. Companies that need a vehicle moved from one rental office to another will allow you to take the RV free of charge, or for a small fee and drop it off at a designated location within a prearraged time limit. While this does limit your flexibility, it allows you to have the full camper van experience while paying only for gas and insurance. Websites such as imoova.com  or jucyrvrentals.com  allow you to search for the relocation deals in your area.

Medicine Bow Forest, Wyoming

Where to spend your money:
Do:

Buy a National Parks annual pass. Its only $80 per car(up to 4 people), and gives you access to all of the National Parks as well as over 2000 federal recreatin sites, national forests and lands managed by the BLM. Plan your trip around visiting as many of these beautiful parks as you can. In a few weeks it is easy to visit 10 or more, especially if you are out west. For our top 5 National  Parks check out our blog post on the subject. 
If you are staying in the city, then catch a ballgame. Americans are crazy about sports, with either baseball, football, basketball or hockey seasons going on all year. There's nothing quite like enjoying a cold beer and popcorn on a hot summers day at the ballpark, so if you get the chance, do it. 

Eat:

 American food can get a bad rap, with people often associating it with McDonalds or Burger King. In reality, American cuisine is diverse and complex. From soul food in the deep south with its french Creole influence, to the mexican inspired Tex-Mex out west, there is truly something for everyone..
No trip to America is complete without getting the chance to try Barbeque. Each region has its own specialities and the discussion over which is best has long been a contentious issue. In the Carolinas, slow smoked pork is dressed with chili's and vinegar, and either chopped or pulled. Memphis is famous for its ribs, smoked and served either sauced or dry.
Kansas city BBQ is characterized by its wide variety of meats, and is usually served with sticky mollasses or mustard based sauces. Maybe the best known dish to come out of KC is burnt ends, the crispt blackened tips of the smoked brisket.
Texas BBQ is divided into 4 distinct styles. The most well known variation is Central Style BBQ, which focuses on smoked meat of all types, usually sold by the pound and served sans sauce (or on the side if you must). This is my personnal favorite, and can be found in abundance all over the state.

Tipping in America is NOT optional. Unless the service is unacceptable, you should usually aim to tip 15 - 20% on meals, erring on the high side in major cities. It is worth noting that servers in the States will often be paid below minimum wage, and as little as $2.13/hour, so they rely on this money to live.

Drink:
As with food, beer snobs tend to turn up there noses at Americas offerings, with big Macro brews such as Budweiser and Coors found everywhere. However, craft beer is catching on, with little breweries springing up everywhere.
Alchohol can be bought everywhere(Im lookin' at you, Canada), and is extremely cheap compared to most of the world. America also produces many high quality spirits, most noteably bourbon, which is usually distilled in Kentucky, and aged for no less than 4 years in charred oak barrels.

Now that you’re in America:
Mexico is an easy day trip from border towns in Texas or Souther California. If you are craving beaches and palm trees, you can fly out to Honolulu for relatively cheap and without worrying about visas.


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Natural Wonders

Urban Wonders

Curios

  1. horseshoe bend
  2. chinatown san francisco
  3. The four corners
  4. great salt lake
  5. new york city
  6. burning man
  7. grand prismatic lake
  8. Beale Street
  9. rodeo

Horseshoe Bend

Chinatown, San Francisco

The 4 Corners

The Great Salt Lake

New York City

Burning Man

Grand Prismatic Spring

Beale Street, Memphis

Rodeo