Travel America: How to Make the Most of It

America Skyline
Photo by John Fornander

There is so much to see in the United States of America. This guide offers both insights into what to see and how to travel.

There is so much to explore in this country. From the environmental contrasts to the varied cultures, there is a lot to see. The key is deciding both what interests you and how much money and time you have to travel.

What Do You Want To See?

Do the stark evergreen forests of northern Maine interest you? Maybe the tropics appeal to you. Maybe it is the lush rain forest of Hawaii or Puerto Rico. Or are you interested in cultural diversity? Hawaii has plenty as does South Florida.

What cultures are you interested in? Does the Latino culture with its passion draw you or do the contemplative, intellectual aspect of Asian cultures appeal? Or you can find communities with lots of Swedish, Scottish, Italian, Irish, Polish, or German ancestry as well as English descendants. Certain times of the year there may be events celebrating the culture which can be a fascinating experience.

What is Your Budget and How Much Time Do You Have?

Do you have a lot of money to spend and explore or are you limited in how much you can spend? If you have certain financial constraints it means more planning is probably necessary. Some places such as Hawaii are more expensive to visit and will take more careful planning if you are to visit there.

On the other hand, there are ways of economizing in even the most expensive places in the United States of America. Hawaii has hostels that can save in the cost of housing when you visit. There are also campgrounds on the islands as well. But an equally important factor is the cost of car rental. This can be a factor in many parts of the country and there are certain tips to learn. Car rental is cheaper if booked online and by the week instead of daily. Plane fare also varies tremendously and having an open ticket is more expensive.

Changing your reservation also can be quite costly. Prices continually change so do not count on being able to change your mind at the last minute as the price can double overnight. If you can figure out how long you plan to stay in a certain place and what you want to see beforehand it can definitely help with these costs.

Stay at a friend’s place.

Get in touch with some people that you haven’t seen in a while.  Call some old college friends or childhood friends that you have been dying to see.  Perhaps visit some family members that you lost touch with or a long lost godparent that you never even met!  Open your network and stop by.  This may only be a short-term place to stay, but it will be more fun than staying in a hotel and certainly cozier.

Make friends in higher places.

Do you have any friends or connections in the hotel industry?  Certain hospitality workers get a percentage off of their own hotels or various hotels all over the United States of America and Canada!  Stay with them or join them at their place of employment.

Don’t Feel That You Have To See Everything in the Americas

While it is tempting to try to cram everything we have ever wanted to do into a short vacation doing so has many drawbacks. We can miss seeing a really beautiful or unique place we had not heard about before. We may find that the area we are exploring is even more interesting and fascinating than we realized.

We may also find that the place we are rushing onto is not as interesting as we had thought. There is also the factor of exhaustion from trying to do or see too much. If we want to remember the trip the more time we allow ourselves to slow down and explore the more we are likely to remember.

Travel during the slow season.

If you go to a place when less tourism occurs, hotel rates and flights will be cheaper. There are always fun things to do in places that you have never been before, so why bother with the congested crowds and overeager people from out-of-state when you could go somewhere to relax instead.

Use The Connections You Have

It is hard to get to know an area without having connections. While you may find areas that they have not explored they can also save you a lot of time and money. Whether or not you want to stay with them, their experience in exploring an area can give you much-needed insight. They may have found restaurants that are both inexpensive and good. They may also have found very unusual or spectacular areas which not everybody knows about.

Consider not always eating out.

When going somewhere for a week or more it is a great idea to go grocery shopping. Put a budget aside for the days/ nights that you want to make special and go to the fancy restaurants. With the leftover cash, go to a local market and stock up on food for the other days. This could save you hundreds. It is especially convenient to do if you are staying at a friend’s house so that you have a full fridge for your food instead of a mini-fridge like at many hotels.

Enjoy Your Trip in the United States of America

It is important that you explore for your own enjoyment and not simply because you feel you must keep up with what others are doing. If you can leave your worries behind while traveling that can help tremendously. Of course, pre-planning can help with this as then worries about money or plans can be minimized.

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