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Summer trip advice

Summer trip advice

Old May 17th 2012, 9:23 pm
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Default Summer trip advice

Hello All

I am thinking about taking a summer trip in the USA, perhaps around 2 months, just backpacking sort of thing. Always wanted to live stateside but still working on the whole challenge of getting a visa which may take a while longer.

So for now I'v saved up enough money so I dont have to upset uncle sam by looking for work and I can just be a tourist and enjoy the country that way for a couple of months. I have about £4-£5,000 disposable income that I can budget for the trip.

Just wanting a bit of a brainstorm of how I can go through immigration as easily as possible as I have been on several holidays to the states for a lot less than 2 months and realise how strict they can be.

So far Im thinking......

Have a recent bank statement showing a good amount of money (£10,000?)
Have a return flight booked and evidence of that.
some record that Im still employed by my job over here.

If anyone can think of any to add, or just any general recommendations about cool things to do, sensible advice, or personal experience doing something similar please just add it, its all appreciated.

Take care
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Old May 17th 2012, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by BILLY88 View Post
Have a recent bank statement showing a good amount of money (£10,000?)
Have a return flight booked and evidence of that.
some record that Im still employed by my job over here.

If anyone can think of any to add, or just any general recommendations about cool things to do, sensible advice, or personal experience doing something similar please just add it, its all appreciated.
That about covers it! You may not even be asked for those things. Just handy to have, just in case.

Hard to say what cool things to do, when we don't really know what YOU like to do, other than backpacking. I'm a luxury resort kinda gal, so my cool things to do probably won't match yours. LOL

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Old May 17th 2012, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Ah, I thought of one good piece of advice! If you're looking to backpack, and be outdoors more than indoors, don't come to central, western, or southern Arizona during the summer! Northern Arizona (Grand Canyon) might be doable.

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Old May 17th 2012, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

I imagine thats something to do with the weather being pretty extreme?

Noted..

Thanks

I probably wouldnt mind seeing quiet a lot of middle America though (if Arizona is classed as that?) seen quiet a lot of the East coast, so was thinking of making like the old times and heading west

I really quiet like the south when I was there last, so dont know what life for a backpaker is like in the southern states (guess thats a broad thing to consider) the Carolinas were amongst my favorites.

In europe Hostels tend to be the cheapest way for a backpacker to live (I like luxury places too, but Im in my early 20's so im not really fussed ) Are motels pretty cheap? or would Hostels still be the best idea to stick to budget. Dont recall seeing too many before.
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Old May 17th 2012, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by BILLY88 View Post
I imagine thats something to do with the weather being pretty extreme?

Noted..

Thanks

I probably wouldnt mind seeing quiet a lot of middle America though (if Arizona is classed as that?) seen quiet a lot of the East coast, so was thinking of making like the old times and heading west

I really quiet like the south when I was there last, so dont know what life for a backpaker is like in the southern states (guess thats a broad thing to consider) the Carolinas were amongst my favorites.

In europe Hostels tend to be the cheapest way for a backpacker to live (I like luxury places too, but Im in my early 20's so im not really fussed ) Are motels pretty cheap? or would Hostels still be the best idea to stick to budget. Dont recall seeing too many before.
I've lived in Arizona for 42 years and have never seen a hostel-type place. But then again, I've never looked for one.

Yes, it's because of the 100+ degree weather.

Rene
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Old May 17th 2012, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by BILLY88 View Post

I really quiet like the south when I was there last, so dont know what life for a backpaker is like in the southern states (guess thats a broad thing to consider) the Carolinas were amongst my favorites.

In europe Hostels tend to be the cheapest way for a backpacker to live (I like luxury places too, but Im in my early 20's so im not really fussed ) Are motels pretty cheap? or would Hostels still be the best idea to stick to budget. Dont recall seeing too many before.
There are independent hostels in cities on the west coast at least, Green Tortoise in Seattle and San Francisco for example. Motels can be very cheap, but are sometimes used by the homeless (e.g. some residence will whore themselves out until they make the motel price plus something for drugs) It can be hard to tell which are dodgy and which are not, but the cheapest tend to be on the dodgy side. But if you are are backpacking just view it as local charm.
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Old May 17th 2012, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

GBP 5,000 over 60 days equate roughly to $130 per day. Whether that works or not depends on the types of places you'll be hanging out. Cities can be more expensive than rural areas. The cheapest place to stay in town will always have the kind of people there that you'd imagine would stay in the cheapest place in town.

Mrs tonrob and I, back in 2002, drove from Vancouver - Toronto - Florida - Texas - Vancouver in the space of 14 weeks. Prices were cheaper then but the exchange rate was far worse than it is today, so it goes a long way to evening things out overall. We survived on about that figure a day between the two of us by being frugal with accommodation, eating and not hitting too many bars.

Just realized that your flights will probably come out of that figure first, leaving you less. You may find this a bit of a squeeze overall - probably still do-able though if you plan carefully.
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Old May 17th 2012, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Don't know about west coast, but there doesn't seem so much in the way of hostels down here.

A chain motel can be $30-50 a night up in Maine. In the burbs of Mass, about $50-80 and downtown Boston, the same motel is $120.

Might want to check out airBnB or couch surfing sites and see what you can find on those.

How are you planning to get around? Hitch hiking probably won't be very effective and car/train not so cheap.
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Old May 17th 2012, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by BILLY88 View Post
Hello All

I am thinking about taking a summer trip in the USA, perhaps around 2 months, just backpacking sort of thing. Always wanted to live stateside but still working on the whole challenge of getting a visa which may take a while longer.


If anyone can think of any to add, or just any general recommendations about cool things to do, sensible advice, or personal experience doing something similar please just add it, its all appreciated.

Take care
Depends what you want to do, for backpacking in general then Colorado is worth looking into-- research the Colorado Trail, it goes from Denver to Durango and there are plenty of spots to hang out in a long the way to make it worth a full two-months.

You also don't need to be committed to doing the entire trail. Personally, I would avoid "middle America" if you love the out-doors-- nothing but flat-lands

Plenty of cheap Hostels (Leadville Hostel for example), fishing, camping, hiking as well as the nicer mountain towns such as Breckenridge, Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Basalt or even good old Buena Vista and Salida.

Last edited by Leyther; May 17th 2012 at 11:58 pm.
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Old May 18th 2012, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Don't forget to factor travel/health insurance into your budget. If you get ill or hospitalised for any reason, it can end up very expensive.
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Old May 18th 2012, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by Leyther View Post
Depends what you want to do, for backpacking in general then Colorado is worth looking into-- research the Colorado Trail, it goes from Denver to Durango and there are plenty of spots to hang out in a long the way to make it worth a full two-months.
http://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm

Reminds me of the Appalachian Trail, which is pretty good going. The whole thing takes you through - CT,GA,MA,MD,ME,NC,NH,NJ,NY,PA,TN,VA,VT,WV.

Can do parts and then train or bus around the boring bits you don't fancy and there is plenty of info on where best to send supplies from one part of the trail to another so that you don't have to carry all the stuff with you.
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Old May 18th 2012, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

If you're into hiking and planning on seeing the west (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana etc), buy a National Parks annual pass. It's about $80 and is the best bargain in America.
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Old May 18th 2012, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

If you want a smoother trip though immigration, don't look like a backpacker.

Student, backpacker, unemployed hipster. These are sort of trigger 'visuals' that they are looking at when you come through the border. They are looking for those who might go off the reservation and end up working as a bartender or a coffee shop denizen while prancing around the US. You don't have to wear a suit, but something smart / casual with a recent hair cut won't hurt that much.
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Old May 18th 2012, 1:31 am
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Lightbulb Re: Summer trip advice

If going to some of the larger cities (mainly in the NE inc. Toronto, Canada) check out these websites:

http://us.megabus.com/ (journeys from $1 plus 50c booking fee)

http://www.boltbus.com/
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Old May 18th 2012, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Summer trip advice

Originally Posted by Leyther View Post
Depends what you want to do, for backpacking in general then Colorado is worth looking into-- research the Colorado Trail, it goes from Denver to Durango and there are plenty of spots to hang out in a long the way to make it worth a full two-months.
You called?

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On yer bike?
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