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Old 05-27-2004, 10:32 AM   #1
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Ok im new to this and ive never backpacked or travelled like this before. I basically want to go to america and spend 4-6 months travelling from NYC and washington over to cali via florida and texas. Im from the UK and i would just like for anyone to post advice on america and make suggestions. We plan to try and not sleep in hostels or motels and try to hook up with people as we travel and take a tent as backup. How much money do you think we will need for that amount of time, and i think we need visas. Is there anythign we should be aware of before we travel thanks guys
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:09 PM   #2
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I can't give you a good answer right now but as soon as I get off work appx. 11pm EST. I'll give you all the information I can think of.
Good luck,
Amber
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Old 05-29-2004, 12:17 AM   #3
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Message comes a tad late, but I'm busy, lol.

First off: From the sound of your s/n you seem very 'punk'. So if you happen to dress in all black or anything other than 'normal' American clothes you will see a difference in how you're treated. If you're looking for a place to stay Americans will gladly take a preppy looking surfer to a solemn looking kid.

Ok for camping you can use www.camping-usa.com which gives you a good listing of different camp sites. Some places have a set age limit on how old you have to be to rent a campsite...for some it's 18 and then it can go up to 23 (highest I've heard). Camp sites can cost more than motel rooms in some places. Many go for about $30 a night or $40 for a site with electricity (bring an outlet converter).

As CD said it sounds like a good idea to buy a car shortly after arriving. But I think finding insurance and getting the title switched might be too big of a hassle. Look into a Greyhound bus pass, similar to the rail pass in Europe. You can by a pass for any number of days and pay one cost and ride all you want. If you're considering renting a car I wouldn't suggest it. Too much money...some go over $99 a day!

Many cities and towns in America frown upon camping in random places. I'm sure a field off in the country wouldn't be minded but if you stop in a park for a night then you may wake up to the police in your face. If you choose to get a car in the states then it's easy to sleep in your car at any rest stop along the highways.

I'm not sure if you have a strong accent or just a barely noticable one...n fact I'm not that familar with UK accents. Either way many women in America find a man with an accent super hot. So if you need a house to crash out try wooing a lady with your voice...it works.

If you or any of your friends have allergies or tend to get sick alot then stock up on meds. Who knows when your come across a doctor or a place stocking your medicine. America's allergy season is a killer, even for those who don't suffer from allergies.

Decide before leaving if you're planning to eat at restaurants/diners or buy your own food. Depending on location the price of a single meal at a small family diner(say chicken fingers with fries) can cost $4 while that same dish at that tendy restaurant cost $24. Either way you're expierencing the American way...I prefer the diner...more interaction with people. If you're planning on buying your food at a supermarket or corner store than keep up with the prices of key items. Recently dairy products, some milk, eggs and cheese have risen 60 cents in price. Which is a big cost if you're on a small budget. As for sodas many states charge 5 cent deposits on bottles so if the sign says 1.00 then you gotta buy 1.05 plus tax. My state doesn't have taxes so I can't help there.

Hope you have fun and I hope you see that you're doing what many Americans never even consider!
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:58 AM   #4
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As far as a car goes... if you do decide to get a car for a low price it might be worthwhile to get a PO Box in the town your at and hang out to get the title and registration. As far as insurance there are cheap o places all over like LOOK! insurance, and a few others that will give you PLPD (basic insurance) for nothing and probably won't care that you only have a PO Box t send the information to. If you need any definitives just ask.

As far as food goes, some of the best places to eat, especially if driving all over are Coney Islands, and other various greasy spoons. Most of the time they are similar in price to fast food, but you at least get to sit down and they seem to have a slightly more relaxing atmosphere. I am not sure how common coney islands are all over the country, but there are plenty in michigan. Other popular places for all night dining include IHOP (International House of Pancakes), Dennys, Perkins. Although Denny's is a bit more expensive. The US is strange in the fact that you may be in one city that has everything open 24 hours 7 days a week, but drive 5 miles away and nothing in sight is open. For example. where I live in Dearborn it is dead after 6p.m. except for a few gas stations and such. However drive down to Taylor and they have all sorts of 24 hour stuff. Need any suggestions and I can give it a look into.

Also, depending on how punk you are the coney islands and such are usually more accepting of 'alternative' appearances then some other places. Especially strange colored hair, piercings, tattoos, wild clothing styles. Which also goes with where you will have problems unfortunately can change from one side of a city to another and can't really say like, "don't go to this city or this state" cause we are much more diversed then that.

If you do get the car, to keep yourself in the clear just be sure to follow the speed limit. Under federal mandate the highest speed limit on a Interstate is 70, however states have the right to post it lower then that if they like. The safe speed is 65. Which I am pretty sure won't be more then 5 over. I don't think any states still have it posted at 55. But I could be wrong. Also, don't drink and drive for sure. Seeing as you will have out of state plates for most of your journey the cops will take the oppurtunity to nail you to the wall.
On most other highways the speed limit is 55. On Surface streets will vary.. .but 40 is probably a safe guess until you find a sign. Residential streets are 25, and parking lots are 10 or 15. (of course they are all in MPH)

Blink mentioned tax... I have noticed many states will charge tax on some foods. BAH! Michigan doesn't charge tax on food, unless it is prepared (i.e. restaurant). We also have a $.10 dep on anything carbonated or alcoholic (except wine and liquor) Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachussetts, New York, Delaware, Oregon, and Iowa are $.05. California is something, and Cali puts a deposit on everything.

I will post more later
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:52 AM   #5
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10 cents...damn...and the customers at work complaina bout 5, lol.
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:37 AM   #6
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hey thanx you guys as for tax im not worried about that the UK over charges on everythign 17.5% is added to all our purchases.
The car idea sounds like a good one id just have to work out after buying it and other bills with some work on route will it be cheaper to travel that way still.
As for my apparence i dont get any hassle here in the UK i have my lip pierced and my upper arm tattooed but when i have a shirt on u cant really see it, i will be wearing tees and jeans most the time and my hair wont be anything outragious because it will be hard to maintain on the road.
Money for me is gonna be a major factor for the trip and im not sure how far i will get i will have around $4000 and im gonna live the bere minimum because i wanna see as much of america as i can u know.
Also if i did run out of money suddenly or had problems how are places there for like general work i wont have a work visa so it will be cash in hand on the sly, how are places on that really tight, ok with it but dont expect to earn a good wage or they gonna take u on and 10 mins later the cops show up.
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Old 05-30-2004, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Also if i did run out of money suddenly or had problems how are places there for like general work i wont have a work visa so it will be cash in hand on the sly, how are places on that really tight, ok with it but dont expect to earn a good wage or they gonna take u on and 10 mins later the cops show up.
If you find that you need to earn some extra cash, you can probably find work. America is still in some ways the land of oppurtunity. Check with smaller places. coffeeshops, smaller shops to see if you can find some work. You will be paid under the table, depending on the work chances are probably $4-8/hr. But it can very. Seeing as the owners can get in more trouble then you could they won't be turning you in. Some factories or farms may also take you on for extra help. I would just avoid large corporations, i.e. mcdonald's, Rite Aid, Ford, Subway, etc. These places being large corporations stick to the regulations and rarely offer chances for freelance work. But the average mom and pop place may hire you. Also you could try to offer a service if you have to, such as grass cutting or babysitting perhaps. I don't know the possibilities really could be endless. Just think of something if you have cash problems... $4000, if you really scrape by could probably last 2-3 months. maybe longer.

As far as buying the car, it may be cheaper if you are up to sleeping in it on occassion. If you think of it, even a cheap hotel is still $20-30/night. So even if one night a week over 3 months you slept in the car you saved $240-360. Even though you will have to buy gasoline and possibly some maintenance, it may be cheaper then buses still. The only problem with the car is having to park it in major cities.
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:08 AM   #8
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Nice to hear that you're thinking of visiting the States, you'll have a great time however you decide to travel....

Here's my take on it, if I had 4-6 months off, I'd definitely second the car idea. My brother had a good point, he just returned from travelling in OZ for a whole year. What he did was buy a cheap used van and drive from city to city and basically live out of it. Over time he had a bed, dresser for clothes, campstove, etc. His point was that he told me "you know, I didn't need to go all the way over to OZ to do this, I could just as easily do this and see all the states."

The van gives you the freedom of going where ever you want, when you want, for just the price of gas...and what you save on room/board would cover most of that. You would also save on food by cooking easy meals for yourself. Also, selling the van at the end of the trip would recover probably most of the cost of it, and give you money to get home, ie plane ticket, etc. Scrapping up the money for the van and temporary insurance would be the biggest challenge you face, but if you travel with 1 or 2 others and all pitch in, it wouldn't be too difficult. Just get something that runs well.

Also, another idea to get money in a pinch...approach an elderly couple in a small countryside town and see if they need any assistance. Explain your situation with a smile on your face, and you may get work around their house such as fixing a fence, moving furniture, yardword, etc, and, I bet, even a home cooked meal and a place to stay for the night. A lot of elderly people can't do this work themselves and would welcome the opportunity to help, and have some company at the same time.

Keep us posted on what you decide, and as blinkchick said, you would be doing what most Americans never (but should) consider.
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:25 PM   #9
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Yar, I quite like the idea of taking a van around the US, but its up to Mr Rancid there.... :greenguy:
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:34 PM   #10
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hey its not up to me if we get and old motor u will be driving as i cant legally and also we would have to fund it together

(if u hadent guess ladylyndz is coming along to)
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:44 PM   #11
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Yep, I go for the Van idea then, couple of sleeping bags in the back, hahahaha, the shaggin wagon, lol.
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by LaDyLyNdZ@Jun 7 2004, 04:44 PM
Yep, I go for the Van idea then, couple of sleeping bags in the back, hahahaha, the shaggin wagon, lol.*
u would like that wouldent u
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:53 PM   #13
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Well I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
 
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There are so many U.S. car rental options open to you when on holiday in the United States to rent a car in the United States can easily be arranged. Visit to the United States from abroad, or even if you vacation in your country, the distance involved is so great, driving rental cars is a better choice to own.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
 
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The U.S. is one of the most developed countries have a number of hotels of all categories, including luxury, budget and economy. In addition, within most cities in the country to provide excellent accommodation facilities in the attractiveness of low tariffs to enable tourists to make hotel reservations online or in the United States directly with the hotel agent.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:15 PM   #16
 
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For those individual who are planning to go to USA whether it is for family, travel, work or business purposes they should attain passport or visa first. Good thing I found this awesome site which is Visa USA | American Visa | US Visas | Migration Expert they help foreign individual obtain US visa. I also checked their site and it is legitimate.
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