It is possible to travel around the United States for cheap, I’m talking $50 a day cheap. This includes boarding, food and sightseeing. One thing to keep in mind, is that some days you will have free boarding so you’ll have more money to spend on eating out and sight seeing. The next day you might use your whole budget on a place to stay, so you’ll need to take in some free sights to keep your budget in check. If you plan carefully however, your average will be $50 a day or less.
Where to Stay
There are several ways you can stay across the country for cheap or free. First, let’s talk about free. Stay with locals across the country with Couchsurfing. You can’t beat free, and you get to meet some great people that can give you local info on the best spots in town.
Next is Airbnb is where you can stay cheaper than most hotels when you share a room with others. You can get a room for $20 -$40 a night with Airbnb.
Don’t forget Hostels. I’m sure you have heard of them when traveling around Europe, but there are some here in the United States too. They aren’t located everywhere, mostly in the bigger cities, but they are a great budget option when you can find them. You can get a room for around $30 a night per person.
If you are traveling with a small group of people you can look into a cheap motel and split the price. At hotels like Super 8 and Motel 6 you can get a room for $50 -$60 a night, and split with at least one other person, your rate cuts in half.
Use travel points if you have them. You can get free hotel stays and discounts with travel points on your credit cards if you use them. You can also sign up for rewards programs through booking sites to earn a free night’s stay. Expedia offers a rewards point system where you can rack up rewards for booking hotels stays as well as flights.
Pitch a tent. It’s not the most glamorous way to stay, but it is cheap. There are many places you can camp for free with a tent. You can also get memberships like Good Sam or Passport America, and stay for around $10 – $30 a night at many campgrounds. Then, you have access to the campground amenities including pools, showers, arcades, and more.
The cheapest way to eat when you travel the US for $50 a day, is to cook your own food. But we all like to try new foods when we are traveling, and the nights you stay for free give you a bit more of a budget.
Always try to go for the mom and pop places, they are generally cheaper and you can find some of the best food at these types of places. If all else fails, eat where the locals eat, it is almost certain to be cheaper. Groupon can sometimes be a great place to look for restaurant deals in different areas across the US. You can save up to 50-60 percent on this popular deal site.
Saving money on the sights and attractions is next, and this can often be a big part of your budget. Take in the country’s natural beauty and buy a National Parks Pass. This pass will get you access to many National Parks and historic sites at one low price for an entire year.
Visiting the town’s visitor center will get you savings on the local attractions, and you never know what freebies you might be able to score. Many visitor centers have a list of free attractions in the area. City parks are always free, and some can feature playgrounds or splash pads for the little ones if you are traveling with children.
Traveling the US doesn’t have to be a costly venture. The tips above are just a few you can use to help you travel the US on $50 a day or less.
What are your tips for traveling on a budget?