Traveling in America can be quite expensive if you go the usual route by staying in hotels or even motels for the matter. Here is a guide on how I managed to travel across America on $ 20-30 per day including a place to stay. You will need to be savvy with the internet because you will have to sign up for websites like greyhound, megabus, spirit airlines, hostelworld, and couchsurfing.

Finding Cheap Transportation

trans siberian railway train ride
The go to website for cheap transportation are Greyhound, Spirit Airlines, Amtrak, and Megabus. They usually have tickets for very cheap prices and sometimes have discounts or offers that allow you to book a ticket for $1 only.

Booking Bus Tickets

I in fact was able to book $1 bus ticket from Detroit to Houston with Megabus because of their amazing discount offer that they have once every while. The trick to finding better prices and deals is to book your departure dates on workdays and hours that not a lot of people book on. For example, booking a flight or a train ticket on Tuesday, Thursday very early in the morning, or very late at night will usually give you the cheapest prices.

Deals on Flight Tickets

When it comes to finding flight tickets for cheap, you should check out JetBlue or Spirit Airlines. You can find flight tickets less than $100 one-way from one side of USA to the other. Signing up with their credit card for the mile benefits is always nice, and when you rack up enough points, you get free flights. They do expire, but it’s perfect for someone who is touring around the U.S. Be warned though, if you are not a minimalist, you will be charged extra on luggage and additional items that the ticket does not cover, so read their policy on what you are covered for very carefully. Sometimes there are delays and change in departure terminal without much notice, so it is riskier than buying flight tickets from airliners that are geared towards customer service. But hey, you get what you pay for. You need to get from point A to point B? Then they will do the job.

Hitchhiking

I never went hitchhiking, but have met travelers who got free rides from people out on the road. You always want to exercise some caution nonetheless. If you are a young attractive female with a lot of valuables, maybe it is not the best idea, but hitchhiking does make a good travel story, so it is up to you. There are other travelers who are willing to split the bill on gas and take you to your destination for much cheaper though, so sharing rides with other people is another option. There are in fact apps that allow you to find people going in the same direction. Try Blablacar.

Budget Accommodations

You may not find the most comfortable nor the cleanest places to stay however if you need a place to crash, then these are your best options for finding cheap alternatives.

Staying in Hostels

I highly recommend staying in hostels because you will be able to find amazing deals for very cheap prices for reasonable accommodation. As I said hostels are not the most comfortable nor the cleanest however you will have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life from different countries. You will have to share a room with strangers so it is best to have a lock and take precautions to not lose any valuables and belongings. Depending on which hostel you stay in it can cost you around $10 up to $30 or more. The best value are usually found in new hostels or somewhere in the middle in price range. You have a place to stay and reasonable comfort. If you don’t care much about location, then booking hostels away from the city centre and touristy places can be a bit cheaper.

Couchsurfing

Many people have amazing experience with couchsurfing because not only do you get a free room but sometimes if the hosts are nice enough you can have a guide for free. Just install the app Couchsurfing, and you can find events as well hosts who are willing provide you a place to crash for free. However, you should be careful and do your due diligence by checking out their social accounts, their online activity if you want to be safe than sorry, especially if you are a female. There are some weird stories out on the internet.

Preparing Cheap Foods

Cooking your own meals are the cheapest alternative if you don’t want to spend much money. For $ 3-4 you can make a decent meal that is healthy for you. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian then, it is going to be even more cheaper.
If you don’t know how to cook, instead of eating out at fast food joints, buy processed and pre-packaged foods. Although they are not the most healthy foods in the long run, at least you won’t go hungry. Side note: Sometimes hostel guests cook together and buy in bulk which make it a lot cheaper. Or the hostel itself prepares breakfast, lunch, or dinner for reasonable prices as well. That’s pretty much it! Happy travels!
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