The United States of America is one of the staple holiday destinations, and it is no surprise. With a vast land area and multiple iconic cities that every person would like to witness. Even if it is only by accident. It is a melting pot of history and culture, much like Europe, however, condensed in one nation.
If you fancy a visit to the United States, it is worth noting that there might be changes in the travel permit required. This will be coming in the form of the Electronic Visa Update System, easily known as EVUS. At the moment, only Chinese citizens are required to apply for them. So, if you are one and you have started the process, do not let your EVUS enrollment expire.
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Getting Around on a Budget
This is an important point that could not be stressed enough. The United States of America is vast. That is why it is never short of business opportunities, especially around tourist attractions. Unfortunately, these businessmen, just like anywhere in the world, takes advantage of tourists too much. They jack up prices higher than they should. As a result, tourists end up short of cash earlier than they would have expected.
So, how should you travel around the United States?
Spend Your Money Wisely
More specifically, know where to spend your money.
As mentioned above, national attractions tend to attract both tourists and businesses. Their main selling point is convenience. It gives holiday goers a nearby option where they can eat, relax, or buy mementos from to remember their trip by. What this does is making tourists disregard option from down the road who may offer better services or items at a far cheaper price.
This is not what you wanted when you refused to let your EVUS enrollment expire. You wanted to enjoy the country as much as you can, and to visit as many places as you want.
For a cheaper, but relatively good, or sometimes better experience, go down the road. Eat and buy mementos further away from the attraction. That way, you will get more out of your buck.
Airplanes and buses are the most efficient way to go around the country. It normally depends on time constraints, your destination, and the experience you would like.
Either way, there both pros and cons.
Airplanes are rather more expensive that buses. To some, it is a luxury. However, if you are diligent enough to look for cheaper prices and promos, using planes as a means to travel from one city to another; from one state to another, can be a viable option. Moreover, they offer free snacks on the plane and lodging would not be a problem considering it would not take you more than a day to travel. You can also catch up on sleep while you are in the air.
If you want an even cheaper plane ticket, it might be best to buy a return ticket. You can just throw the other half if you are not going to use it. Also, add a Saturday night in your itinerary. That will also help bring the price down, even a little bit.
On the other hand, buses are initially cheaper than airplanes. However, it is best suited for traveling within a state, or within rural areas where travel only runs for a few hours, or overnight the most. Otherwise, you will be paying for lodging as well as your food, making it more expensive in the long run.
However, the pay off with buses is that you can witness more of the country’s landscape on it, possibly making your experience worth it.
There is never a definite answer whether it should be a bus or a plane. It will always be an either/or situation, and it all comes down to what you want and how you want it.
While avoiding letting your EVUS enrollment expire, you might have seen shows portraying people with their thumbs up on the side of the road waiting for cars to stop and give them a ride. That is hitchhiking, and that is illegal. A few states choose to ignore such behavior, but in most states, it is illegal. So, it is better to be safe than sorry, otherwise, you might end up on the wrong side of the law.
Instead, try using Uber. It’s safe, reliable and an excellent way to move from point A to point B within the United States. Plus, if you’re a new user you can get your first ride FREE or severely discounted.
Know Where to Stay
Lodging is an important part of a holiday. Unfortunately, most of the options available are expensive, especially staple accommodations like hotels.
Recently however, there have been a surge of rather cheap lodging options for travelers. One well known example is Airbnb. A relatively new idea compared to others on this list, it offers convenience at a cheaper price. In addition to hotel like accommodation with an option to have an entire place on your own for your holiday, it also gives you space to cook your meals, saving you a whole lot from take eating in restaurants.
Moreover, the accommodations are quite lovely considering that these are mostly privately-owned properties for rent.
On the other hand, if you are traveling across the country it might be smart to look into national parks offering campsites for a night. They are relatively cheap, with some offering it at $5 a night. They also offer serviceable amenities such as a grill, a tent, and a communal shower and toilet. Private space may be a bit expensive, but not as much as hotels, and they also offer added luxuries like swimming pools, a laundromat, and a grocery store.
During the summer holidays, it might be worth looking into universities as well. They have extra dormitory places because of students going away for the holiday. Take note that not all universities offer the service, that is why calling them beforehand is a must. Otherwise, you might end up homeless, or worse, spending way too much on a hotel.
Let us face it, traveling can be expensive. Although, fun for the most part. Every move you make will cost you something, and on a regular day, that can be stressful. However, a holiday is a holiday. It is a time to splurge on your personal relaxation and a lifetime of memories. You just have to be wise about it because the less you spend, the more you experience and that is a prize worth not letting your EVUS enrollment expire.