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  1. #1
    PonyGirl93's Avatar
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    Default Traveling the US

    I've had the biggest itch to travel for years now, and I decided that after I finish my BA I'm doing it! I looked into Greyhound bus passes, and as of right now I'm planning on a 30 day pass for anywhere in the US or Canada ($456). I don't know if I can even think about Canada, I don't even know how I will see enough of the US in 30 days!! I have seen a fair amount of the Midwest/Central South US, so I'm mainly looking at west of IL and east of PA.

    I need advice.

    On everything I plan to stay in hostels most of the time, but I will definitely check them out for good ratings on security and such. I also will be staying with anyone I know who will let me crash in their living room

    Sights to see? Costs to be aware of aside from the obvious transportation, lodging, food, sights? Recommended budget? Any wisdom, advice, knowledge, etc. that you want to impart is welcome
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  2. #2
    ShotoJuku's Avatar
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    Grand Canyon.
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  3. #3
    bkahuna's Avatar
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    Going by bus you're going to get to see a lot of the country.

    I'm not sure where you are coming from, but the travel in the US is a bit different from Europe because we are not as organized from a mass transit perspective.

    If you are coming for 30 days I'm not sure the $456 on the pass is as attractive as flying cheaply through a discount airline to various cities. That being said, you will still need to rent cars or hire taxi's in most american cities. notable exceptions being New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and MAYBE Los Angeles.

    A solid bet for an inexpensive hotel would be Motel 6, or Holiday Inn Express.

    A travel site that can help with the booking for air or hotel - orbitz.com or expedia.com. You can also use sites like hotwire.com and priceline.com if you want to find a nice hotel at an inexpensive rate. My cousin booked a Hilton in Tulsa, OK for $49 a night last weekend via priceline.


    As far as what to see in the US for 30 days here is an idea:
    Chicago
    They have a neat architecture tour that is by boat on the river

    St Louis
    St Louis Arch
    Budweiser Brewery

    Branson, MO
    Country music vacation destination

    Las Vegas, NV
    Gambling and entertainment

    San Francisco, CA
    Food, Wine
    Alcatraz

    Los Angeles, CA
    Hollywood
    Mann's Chinese Theater
    Universal Studios
    Disneyworld

    Dallas & Fort Worth, TX
    6th floor museum (JFK incident)
    Fort Worth Stockyards
    Dallas Arboretum / Zoo
    Fort Worth Zoo

    San Antonio, TX
    The Alamo / Riverwalk

    Austin, TX
    Local live music, lots of mom & pop shops/food

    Denver, CO
    Skiing in winter

    Albuquerque, NM
    Hot air baloon festival in October
    Sandia Tram

    New York, NY
    So much here, buy a guidebook

    Seattle, WA
    Music Museum (EMP)


    Not really sure what you like to do, professional sports, museums, theater, opera, music, outdoors etc? A good site for concerts is pollstar.com
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  4. #4
    PonyGirl93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShotoJuku
    Grand Canyon.
    My aunt lives in Phoenix, so I will definitely be seeing the Grand Canyon on the way to some free room & board

    Quote Originally Posted by bkahuna
    Going by bus you're going to get to see a lot of the country.

    I'm not sure where you are coming from, but the travel in the US is a bit different from Europe because we are not as organized from a mass transit perspective.

    If you are coming for 30 days I'm not sure the $456 on the pass is as attractive as flying cheaply through a discount airline to various cities. That being said, you will still need to rent cars or hire taxi's in most american cities. notable exceptions being New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and MAYBE Los Angeles.

    A solid bet for an inexpensive hotel would be Motel 6, or Holiday Inn Express.

    A travel site that can help with the booking for air or hotel - orbitz.com or expedia.com. You can also use sites like hotwire.com and priceline.com if you want to find a nice hotel at an inexpensive rate. My cousin booked a Hilton in Tulsa, OK for $49 a night last weekend via priceline.


    As far as what to see in the US for 30 days here is an idea:
    Not really sure what you like to do, professional sports, museums, theater, opera, music, outdoors etc? A good site for concerts is pollstar.com
    I'm from Ohio...

    You forgot DC in your exceptions from needing a car I've heard Portland and Seattle are not bad either, as well as getting basically anywhere in the NYC-Conn.-NJ area? I'm not really sure that flying would be economical with all the bouncing around I plan to do?

    I like to do basically anything artsy, outdoorsy, cultural, landmarks, books, old buildings, museums, horses.
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  5. #5
    Lyanne is offline Knight Champion
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    [QUOTE as well as getting basically anywhere in the NYC-Conn.-NJ area? [/QUOTE]

    That's a no for Connecticut. You could get a bus or train from NY to Boston easily, but as far as traveling around CT, unless you are sticking to the coast and using trains, public transportation is hard to find. There is something called a BoltBus that is supposed to be very good for getting between NY and Boston. I lived in CT so I was never able to use it as it didn't stop. I would definitely recommend researching NYC for your interests. I used to drive to the train station and train in to the City all the time, see museums, plays, get a black and white and a slice, and be back in time to make dinner. :-)
    I also recommend Boston, lots of history. It's a very walkable city, but there is also the subway (MBTA?) that is efficient and safe. There's such a small town feel to it, it's one of my favorite places.
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  6. #6
    burbuja0512's Avatar
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    There are SO many places to go in the US, but if I had to choose a 30 day route, you could probably see more sites in the eastern half of the US. I don't know anything about bus schedules, but I would probably start off in Boston, then go to NY, then Philadelphia and end up in DC.

    Those places would top my list just because of all the really cool historical sites. At that point, you could decide to keep taking the bus and explore the sites of the South or go west. This would depend greatly on your interests.

    On the flip side of that, you could do a west-coast trip and there are a ton of places that would be just as fun, but keep in mind that on the east coast, if you drive for five hours, you probably went through 2-3 states. On the west coast, you can drive for 10 hours and still be in the same state, so you'll have to take that into account.

    Of course, I think that Colorado is the very best state there is ha ha ha, but to be very honest, I would avoid it if you don't have a car. Everything is so far apart and even the metro Denver area is very spread out and public transportation is horrible. East Coast large cities are definitely easier to move around in.
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  7. #7
    Firedup4Jesus's Avatar
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    Hey if you come to Oklahoma you can crash at my house!!! Are you going to travel alone? I hope you have fun! LOL
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  8. #8
    LaterBloomer's Avatar
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    As I'm cheap, I LOVE staying at hostels. I've stayed at them in Europe, Canada, and the Us. Let's see, though it's a bit out of the way, the one in NYC is really nice. It's on ... Amsterdam, I think. Up near Columbia University. It's near subway and bus stops. The one is Philladelphia closest to the historical section closes during the day, and isn't quite as nice. The one in Boston is in a good location, but it isn't as clean. The one in Quebec City is wonderful, and in a GREAT location. The one in Montreal is okay. More later.

  9. #9
    PonyGirl93's Avatar
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    @Lyanne: Ahh, that's helpful, thanks! NYC is absolutely in the plans. Boltbus is still around, and Boston is definitely a yes! Do you happen to know if it is easy to get to Harvard via public transport? I would think it would have to be for all the poor (cough, oh yeah, it's Harvard) students

    @burbuja: Yeahh, originally I was planning to start out with Chicago, then chug over to the Pacific NW, hit CA, AZ, and TX before coming to the East Coast, but I'm realizing that's the longest route I possibly could have chosen Soo... I'll have to give that some more thought

    @Firedup4Jesus: Thanks!!! If I hadn't just gone to OK this year I probably would stop there. I spent a few days in OKC for a horse event, it's a pretty cool place! Yeah, I will probably be alone a majority of the time. A friend wants to make one jog with me, probably to Chicago, my sister wants to meet me in CA, and my other sister might go to NYC with me. I also have a friend who I will meet up with somewhere.

    @LaterBloomer: ahhhh, make sure to come back & leave more info, I am eager to hear about hostel experiences
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  10. #10
    Geezer's Avatar
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    Amtrak has a 30 day pass for $500. There is also a 15% student discount. Don't know if they can be combined. Amtrak forum here 30 day Rail Pass & Segments - Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

    Recommendation State Parks and natural beauty - America is beautiful, diverse and awe inspiring

    Grand Canyon (consider river running with the Hualapai Tribe)
    Yosemite, Redwood National Forest, Glacier National Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone...if you go north of the border Banff and Lake Louise.
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