There is often a misconception that when it comes to visiting the United States, it is always an expensive proposition. This is really not true.
Using the budget travel tips to the United States that we offer in this article, you can easily ensure that your trip to the US does not prove to be a costly proposition.
Going Off the Beaten Path
Most travellers to the United States, especially first-timers, are tempted to stick to the same routine of New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington DC, and so on, viz. the time-tested and most commonly visited places.
Now, while these are no doubt some of the biggest attractions in the United States, remember that the country is really B-I-G and there are many other places which are just as nice with equally attractive experiences on offer.
By steering clear of these extremely overdone places, you can easily save yourself a pretty penny since a lot of other destinations in the United States cost a fraction of the ones to visit, in comparison to the ones mentioned above.
If visiting these prime places is unavoidable, you can consider minimizing your time there and spending more time at other places off the beaten path.
Consider Long-Distance Train and Bus Travel
Once again, given the size of the United States, it is no surprise that air travel is the preferred means of transport for long distances. At the same time, the US offers equally attractive ways to travel long-distance, by both train and bus.
The Amtrak network, for instance, is quite vast and covers much of the country, including coast-to-coast travel. Likewise, there are Greyhound bus services available all over the country. Using these services, you will save a considerable sum as compared to traveling by air.
Moreover, unless time is really a constraint, you will find traveling over land by train or bus to be quite an experience in itself since you will enjoy some truly unique and memorable sights!
This is a very broad tip that we are giving you but nonetheless, it has major implications, especially because a lot of travelers completely fail to do it!
Research in this context includes a variety of aspects. For instance, before zeroing in on a particular hotel of your choice, have you researched other stay options? Have you looked at CouchSurfing, for example; or Airbnb, for that matter?
Remember that for every choice you opt for, there could very well be a cheaper alternative.
The same goes for aspects like food; before you think you already have the best food options clearly mapped out for yourself, do research other possibilities. The supermarkets in America, for instance, have some really attractive food options at truly down-to-Earth prices.
Have you checked out the possibility of traveling to the United States without a Visa?
Tourism travel to the United States has a particularly attractive facet, which is that of ESTA travel. This essentially entails members from select countries which are on the Visa Waiver Program list, to travel uninhibitedly to the United States, without having to compulsorily take a tourist visa in advance.
As long as your trip duration is 90 days or less and there are no grounds under which the US Customs and Border Protection might render you inadmissible into the United States, you should have no hassle obtaining an ESTA to travel into the United States for your trip.
Yes, as far as having confirmed ESTA status goes, we (as indeed CBP officials themselves) always recommend applying at least 72 hours prior to departure. This gives ample time for processing your application and also allowing smooth entry into the United States with requisite background checks already in place.
Free Entry to Various Places
Now, coming back to our budget travel tips to the United States, remember that a lot of attractions in the country come with free entry. This includes many different parks, forests, city center attractions, and more.
So, if your primary goal is to visit, have that experience, and ideally capture it all on photos and videos, then you can easily achieve all that without actually spending any money for that.
At the same time, wherever things are not entirely free, remember there are attractive discounts invariably on the anvil, especially at places such as museums.
Always remember to make the most of them.
It is really not that difficult to travel across the United States on a budget. With adequate research (we really couldn’t stress enough on that!) you will find ample avenues to easily explore the United States at length without spending a fortune.
As far as getting to the United States in the first place is concerned, as we mentioned, if you are a citizen or eligible national of one of the countries on the Visa Waiver Program, then ESTA is clearly there for you!
Yes, do confirm your ESTA status prior to departure!