Traveling doesn’t mean you have to go far and wide to some exotic countries on the other side of the world. Often, some of the best experiences are in your backyard – figuratively of course! Instead of planning a massive trip across the world, why don’t you focus on traveling around the great USA first? It’s a wonderful idea as there is so much to see and so many different experiences to gain. You might think it’ll get boring, but you’ll be surprised at how different some parts of the country are to others.
As such, I present to you; the 50 state challenge. The idea is simple; travel around the country visiting all 50 states. Most US residents have probably barely seen half of the states here, so there’s so much to enjoy. Of course, if you’re not from the US, this is still a great travel idea for you as well!
The big question is; how do you do it? 50 states is a big area to cover, meaning you need to figure out how to travel around, where to stay, and how to make it cost as little as possible. Don’t worry, I’ve condensed all the main suggestions and advice into this guide for you to see.
One of the main issues you’ll encounter is figuring out how you’ll travel around the country without busting a hole through your wallet. Along with this, you have to think about accommodation too; where will you stay? Both these problems can be solved with one suggestion; buy/rent a campervan, and go on a massive road trip!
With this idea, you drive yourself around the country, moving from state to state. It’s a relatively cost-effective idea as you’re self-sufficient while you travel. You don’t have to pay for any type of transport when visiting almost all the states in the country. Likewise, you can sleep in your van, completely negating any accommodation costs. Yes, there’s still fuel to pay for, along with your food, etc. However, you also get complete freedom when it comes to your trip. You can spend as much time in one place as you like, because you have no hotel to pay for. There’s no need to limit your stay because you can’t afford to be there for a long time. Similarly, you aren’t bound by public transport timetables, so you can pack up and leave whenever you want.
It’s a great idea that, admittedly, requires a great deal of effort, but it’s worth it. Plus, it’s made even better when you travel with friends. Two or three people traveling will split things like food and fuel costs, making it even more affordable.
Save Money With Low-Budget Airlines
There are some states, like Alaska and Hawaii, that aren’t part of mainland USA. As such, you have no real choice but to fly to these places. Now, nothing is stopping you from flying to different states too. In fact, one idea is to combine two modes of transport into one. You fly across the country, rent a car, and go on a little road trip around a few neighboring states. Then, you return to the state you landed in, and can hop on another plane to a different area, and repeat.
Regardless of how often you use planes as a mode of travel, and you’ll certainly use them at least twice, you need to think about the cheapest options. There are airlines like Spirit Airlines that offer ultra-low budget options for people looking to save money. Here, it’s not about luxury or class – you can say goodbye to the free onboard wifi – it’s just about getting from A to B. So, when you have to sort out flights, book as early as can be, and fly low-budget to make it more affordable for you. The money you save on travel can go towards better things during your trip.
Devise A Plan Beforehand
I’m all for impulse traveling, but the 50 state challenge is not something you should do on a whim. The US is a massive country, it’s easy to get lost and have no sense of direction at all. With this idea, you’re much better off coming up with a plan beforehand. Decide on a route of sorts; which states will you visit in which order? At the very least, this will bring more structure to your trip.
When you know where you’re going, it helps you map out the best way to do things. Also, if you’ve decided against the road trip idea, then a plan helps you figure out what accommodation to book, and when. It’s just a simple way of ensuring your trip doesn’t go up in flames before it even begins.
Travel During Summer
You have twelve months of the year in which you can travel around the country, but I think it’s best to do this in summer. I’ve got many reasons for this, one is that a lot of you will have more free time during summer. Those of you that are students will have long summer breaks, giving you months to travel around. But, even if you aren’t a student, the summer months are still the best time for you to set about on your travels.
Why? Because that’s when you’ll typically find the best weather everywhere. It might be exceedingly hot in some states like California and Texas, but I’m thinking more from a practical view here. Traveling in summer is easier because there are fewer chances things will go wrong. If you traveled in winter, there’s every chance you’ll find icy road closures, canceled flights, and general snow issues in many states. Make life easier, travel during summer.
Keep in mind that everything here is simply a suggestion! You can choose to follow the advice or not – it’s up to you. For me, these things will make your life easier when going on the 50 state challenge. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this; spend a lot of time working and saving money before going on this trip. It’s likely you’ll have to quit your job to go on it, so make sure you’re 100% certain it’s the right move for you.