There are so many incredible places to see in the US that you would be doing yourself a disservice by only staying in one place. So, what's the best way to get around?
Getting Around the USA by Plane
As it is such a big country, flying can be a great way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. There are plenty of options to fly within the USA, and many low-cost airlines offer very affordable prices.
Many of the major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United offer competitive fares and frequent traveler rewards, making it easy to save money while flying. Other domestic airlines such as Spirit, Frontier, and JetBlue offer low-cost fares and discounts for booking in advance. During promotion periods, you can sometimes find flights for as little as $20! Keep in mind though, you get what you pay for with budget airlines.
Getting Around the USA by Car
This is our favorite way to get around the USA, and also one of the most popular options for a lot of travelers. It gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, allowing you to explore the country at your own pace and take in breathtaking views of the countryside. If you don’t already have a car, you can find car rental places in all the major cities. Just note though, generally, you have to be over 25 and pay with a credit card as most rental companies don’t accept cash.
While driving through the US is a relatively cost-effective to get around, if you’re planning a road trip, make sure to consider the cost of gas, tolls, and parking as these can all add up pretty quickly.
Getting Around the USA by RV or Campervan
Renting or buying an RV or campervan is another great way to get around the US. Although they can be a little more expensive than cars due to the amount of gas they use, they can save you on accommodation costs.
Keep in mind though, due to their size, these types of vehicles may not be able to access all the same areas that a car can. Before you invest in one, make sure that you’ll actually be able to get to the places you want to visit.
Travel tip: While it is illegal to pull over and camp on the side of the road (unless you're in a National Forest), Walmart usually allows you to park in their parking lots for a night or two for free.
Getting Around the USA by Motorbike
Many companies offer motorcycle rentals, but you must have a valid motorcycle license if you are a US citizen, or an international motorcycle license if you are visiting from outside the country. Helmets are required for riders in most states, and for good reason - wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of an injury if you are involved in an accident.
Getting around the USA by Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking can be a cheap way to get around a country, but it is illegal in some US states and isn't a big part of the US culture. The poor portrayal of hitchhiking in Hollywood films has made drivers perceive it as dangerous, and it is highly discouraged by local authorities, even in the states where it is legal to do so.
Getting Around the USA by Bus
Many buses service the same cities as airlines. In most cases, bus travel between cities is cheaper than flying, but the payoff is that it takes significantly longer. Be sure to plenty bring food with you for the journey. If you forget, don’t fret - there are generally stops along the way where you can use the bathroom and purchase food.
Megabus is a great option for budget travelers, offering super affordable fares to many of the major cities in the US. By booking far enough in advance, you can even find tickets for as little as $1! Greyhound, on the other hand, offers a wide network of routes that cover most of the country. There are also a few other more localized companies that offer services to a smaller selection of destinations. If you’re looking for the best deals, Busbud is a handy tool for checking schedules and prices for specific routes.
Getting Around the USA by Train
Amtrak provides an extensive train service, connecting most major cities within the US. Though tickets are often not much cheaper than domestic flights, train travel can be a great way to experience the beauty and scenery of the US in a relaxed and leisurely style. This style of travel within the US, however, can be quite slow.
Whether you're a jet-setter or a train aficionado, there's a mode of transportation that's just right for your budget and travel style. So, go ahead and plan your trip, hop on your chosen ride, and get ready to explore all the fantastic sights and sounds that America has to offer!