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Travel Where have you been? Where are you planning to go? Where would you like to go?

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Old Feb 12th 2009, 03:49 PM
Multiplum Multiplum is offline
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Talking Travelling to USA

I really, really want to visit the US. No chance of that happening this summer, but perhaps the next.

How expensive is it to travel within the states? Staying in one place would be a bit boring after spending over a thousand dollars on tickets. Louisiana would be a good place to go, for instance, as that is one of the places where I might be find a free bed to sleep in for a while.

Are trains and planes expensive? I really have no idea, and I'd rather ask here than google it, for some reason.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 06:29 PM
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Americano Americano is offline
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Originally Posted by Multiplum View Post
I really, really want to visit the US. No chance of that happening this summer, but perhaps the next.

How expensive is it to travel within the states? Staying in one place would be a bit boring after spending over a thousand dollars on tickets. Louisiana would be a good place to go, for instance, as that is one of the places where I might be find a free bed to sleep in for a while.

Are trains and planes expensive? I really have no idea, and I'd rather ask here than google it, for some reason.
It's a large country. Any idea of what other than Louisiana might interest you? The humidity in summertime Louisiana is beyond description.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 06:48 PM
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It's a large country. Any idea of what other than Louisiana might interest you? The humidity in summertime Louisiana is beyond description.
A girl, absolutely wonderful person, visited my home town and stayed for a few weeks. I had too many questions regarding her state. I'd like to go pretty much everywhere, if I had the chance. Buying a car and go from coast to coast is the ultimate dream, but not one I can afford.

I guess there are some states I'm completely uninterested in, simply because I know nothing about them. Like Idaho and Kansas, what's up with those? That being said, I would probably enjoy simply walking through any small town any given place. Museums are boring, looking at boring stuff is fun.

Swamps, enormous cities and trailer parks are things I'd like to see with my own two eyes. Somehow, the US is very exotic to me. I've actually never met an American I didn't like, so my general impression is that you're quite easy to communicate with. Unlike the French and Italians, for instance.

The biggest problem would be accomodation, I guess. I can only make so much over a couple of months at a nursery home - even though out wages are high and your money worth shit - but it's a pretty big project. I fear I won't be able to go for many years yet.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 07:08 PM
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You'd be surprised how cheap it is to travel around rural USA. Food, booze and motels are remarkably inexpensive - especially compared to western Europe. Likewise with airfares between cities.

NYC, Boston, Washington or San Francisco are going to be expensive to visit but only because of the cost of accomodations is comparatively high in those places.

What will freak you out as a European is the distances. And there are practically NO passenger trains at all except in the US north-east corridor.

If you have the time to do the planning, the best "cheap" way might be to look into doing some "house-sitting". That might give you a free place to stay in a place or two. Given the weak American market right now, this summer is likely to see lots of lower prices and special deals at restaurants and motel/hotels.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 08:29 PM
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You'd be surprised how cheap it is to travel around rural USA. Food, booze and motels are remarkably inexpensive - especially compared to western Europe. Likewise with airfares between cities.
When I travel within Europe, I normally find very reasonably cheap places to live. Even in France, we found a shabby hotel for 17 euros a night, which is fairly good. In Greece, we got a room with AC for 10. Ridiculously cheap. I can live anywhere, and I never - never - make complaints. I only use rooms to eat, read and sleep, anyway. I can't stand staying inside when out in the world. Norway is very different to all other countries in this sense. I don't think I would ever find a place charging less than 20 a night. Even 30 is pretty cheap, I think. I pictured the US would be similar. I've never stayed at a hotel here, though, so I'm just pulling this out my ass.

A tent is more than enough for me. Luxury is for pussies, in my opinion. Seems to me the more shit I put up with when travelling, the more fun it was in hindsight.


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NYC, Boston, Washington or San Francisco are going to be expensive to visit but only because of the cost of accomodations is comparatively high in those places.
All of the above are places I'd like to visit.

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What will freak you out as a European is the distances. And there are practically NO passenger trains at all except in the US north-east corridor.
Strange. It's a joy to travel by train in Europe, and I've spent quite a few nights on trains.


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If you have the time to do the planning, the best "cheap" way might be to look into doing some "house-sitting". That might give you a free place to stay in a place or two. Given the weak American market right now, this summer is likely to see lots of lower prices and special deals at restaurants and motel/hotels.
This is interesting. Are there dorms around the US? Good places to rest, and you you're actually forced to talk to people. That, in my case, is very helpful.

House-sitting... Strange... I would be super-paranoid about having strangers watch my stuff. A quick search gave results, so it's obviously a popular trend.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 08:41 PM
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wphelan wphelan is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to USA

The United States is built for driving. I absolutely love getting in my car and taking two-lane highways through small towns and big cities. The interstate highways will get you where you want to go much faster (and more safely), but they're a pretty boring.

If renting a car isn't an option, you'll have to fly between cities. For the most part, trains are an extremely expensive and scarily slow means of travel between cities and states. There's no passenger rail system in this country to speak of.

I'd really research car rental prices and give it some serious consideration. It might be more affordable than you think.

If you're definitely going to Louisiana, I'd suggest renting a car and driving up to Chicago. You'll get to see a pretty good variety of what the US has to offer. You could see New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago, which are all very interesting cities. Actually, in my biased opinion, Chicago is the greatest city in the country.

Not to mention there are plenty of swamps (in Louisiana) and small towns to visit in between. And if you do pass through central Illinois, I'd be glad to show you around the area. Also, you could always check out http://www.couchsurfing.com/ when you're looking for places to stay.

It all depends on how long you'll be over here for though. There's a lot to see. As anyone who loves knows, narrowing it down and deciding where to go is the tough part.

Last edited by wphelan; Feb 12th 2009 at 08:45 PM.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 08:49 PM
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dilettante dilettante is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to USA

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Originally Posted by Multiplum View Post
When I travel within Europe, I normally find very reasonably cheap places to live. Even in France, we found a shabby hotel for 17 euros a night, which is fairly good. In Greece, we got a room with AC for 10. Ridiculously cheap. I can live anywhere, and I never - never - make complaints. I only use rooms to eat, read and sleep, anyway. I can't stand staying inside when out in the world. Norway is very different to all other countries in this sense. I don't think I would ever find a place charging less than 20 a night. Even 30 is pretty cheap, I think. I pictured the US would be similar. I've never stayed at a hotel here, though, so I'm just pulling this out my ass.

A tent is more than enough for me. Luxury is for pussies, in my opinion. Seems to me the more shit I put up with when travelling, the more fun it was in hindsight.
Depending on where you're going, you might be able to find some youth hostels to stay in. A quick internet search should bring them up (http://www.hostelusa.com/ is one place to start). I spend about six weeks after college meandering my way from Georgia to Niagara Falls sleeping in hostels or campgrounds all the way (except for a couple nights when I just slept in the car).
Just make sure you read the reviews for any hostel you're considering in the US; some of the ones I stayed in were quite nice, but a couple were down right freaky. (For example, if you go to Niagara Falls, I strongly recommend you stay in the hostel on the Canadian side!)

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Strange. It's a joy to travel by train in Europe, and I've spent quite a few nights on trains.
Yeah, I've often wished the US had a European-style train system. The fact that things are more spread out here makes it less cost-effective though. There is AmTrack, but it only operates in select cities and is annoying expensive.
If you don't have a car and don't mind riding a bus, Greyhound buses might be the cheapest way to go long distances. If you're moving between DC, Philadelphia and New York you can take the "China town" buses that run between the china towns in those cities. I've never been on one, but I hear its extremely cheap but something of a crazy experience.

I'll second Michael's comment about the distances in the US. In my limited experience with first-time visitors from Europe they've often had to change their plans when they realized how far apart all the things they wanted to see really were. Going from NYC to San Francisco, for example, means at least a couple days of nothing but travel.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 08:57 PM
Multiplum Multiplum is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to USA

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The United States is built for driving. I absolutely love getting in my car and taking two-lane highways through small towns and big cities. The interstate highways will get you where you want to go much faster (and more safely), but they're a pretty boring.

If renting a car isn't an option, you'll have to fly between cities. For the most part, trains are an extremely expensive and scarily slow means of travel between cities and states. There's no passenger rail system in this country to speak of.

I'd really research car rental prices and give it some serious consideration. It might be more affordable than you think.

If you're definitely going to Louisiana, I'd suggest renting a car and driving up to Chicago. You'll get to see a pretty good variety of what the US has to offer. You could see New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago, which are all very interesting cities. Actually, in my biased opinion, Chicago is the greatest city in the country.

Not to mention there are plenty of swamps (in Louisiana) and small towns to visit in between. And if you do pass through central Illinois, I'd be glad to show you around the area. Also, you could always check out http://www.couchsurfing.com/ when you're looking for places to stay.

It all depends on how long you'll be over here for though. There's a lot to see. Narrowing it down is tough.
Thanks. Of course, I may never go, but if I ever grow the gonads to so, this thread will be of great use. I can't believe what I'm reading on the page you linked. These people are either incredibly gullible, looking for people to kill in their sleep or simply incredibly hospitable.

I have absolutely no idea what it costs to rent a car, and I didn't even consider it knowing what that costs here. That is something to bear in mind from now on. Louisiana is just a place I pictured going to, for some reason. I would have to meet someone I know. New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago are all places of great interest, but then again, there are so many. All these famous cities.

Oh, why wasn't I born into wealth. More wealth, I mean, I guess I'm fairly lucky all things considered.

IAESTE is also a good option, but I'm far too afraid of doing a horrible job. "Work and travel" works for Australia, but for the US, that can't be an option, right? Your minimum wage is... well.

If I went, any less than two weeks would be a waste. The tickets alone cost a lot - approximately 10,000 NOK, which equals about two weeks of tightly packed shifts.

Meeting people would be important, so you can bet I would be eager to hook up with you to see these places with a local. IF I ever went - again I feel it is important to point out that I'm not making any specific plans at this point.
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