Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A Guide to Backpacking in the USABackpacking in the USA is a once in a lifetime opportunity. America is filled with sights, lights and fabulous people to meet but you may not know where to begin when you touch down in the land of plenty.


You must plan your trip in advance to avoid being caught short when it comes to travel. If you are staying on one side of the continent then you can hire a car to take you from A to B. If you do not wish to drive, you can purchase a coach and/or rail pass. This way, you can see the sights of local America. Megabus has fares as low as $1 and they operate across the Midwest and the East Coast. If you prefer to travel by rail, you can go for a 15, 30 or 45 day rail pass from Amtrack.

Notable Cities to Visit

Chances are you will want to visit the ‘big ones’ such as New York, Los Angeles and Florida. Las Vegas is always worth a visit provided you don’t gamble away all of your spending money! You may want to travel across the North, South or stay in Central America. There are plenty of tours held specifically for backpackers. Tour the California coast, beginning in Los Angeles and winding up in the windy city of San Francisco. You can tour the West paying a visit to the Colorado River and stopping off in Las Vegas.


In order to save money when backpacking in the USA, you will probably find yourself staying in a lot of hostels. These are cheaper and are also a great way to meet fellow travellers. It is merely somewhere to rest your head before you go sightseeing or plan your next journey. When visiting New York, there are several hostels in Manhattan worth a visit. Take a look at some reviews online and decide which one sounds best for you. The beauty of hostels is you can check in without prior booking but, if there is no more room, you will need a backup hostel. Often, tours are held in conjunction with hostels making it easier to see the sights and have a guaranteed room at the end of the day.

The USA is a big continent so plan your travel wisely. Shop around for the cheapest flights and ensure that you can get as close to your starting destination as possible.

Picture: Roland W. Waniek – Fotolia