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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In The USA?

We’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit in the United States, and one of the questions that we’re always asked is – how much does it cost to travel in the USA? Particularly on the kind of trips we do, which tend to be self-drive road trips like Route 66 or across the deep south of the USA.

Well, today I’m going to see if I can help you figure out how much it will cost you to travel in the USA, so you can budget for your own trip accordingly.

A few things to keep in mind. In reality, this kind of question is much like asking “how long is a piece of string”, because, the answer really is – it depends. If you want to rock luxury hotels and fine dining, your budget is naturally going to be a little different to someone looking for budget eats and motel stays.

In addition, prices vary depending on location, with major cities like San Francisco and New York always going to be more expensive options.

how much does it cost to travel in the USA

Thankfully, the USA has a wide range of options to suit most tastes, and is still a country that can be travelled enjoyably on a relatively low budget. In this post, I’ll be sharing some budget ranges to give you an idea of what to spend, plus some quick and easy ways to save money as you go.

This budgeting guide is going to focus more on a self-drive road trip as I believe that’s the best way to experience America. It gives you the flexibility to plan your own itinerary, stop when and where you want, and experience as much (or as little!) as you want each day.

If you’ve not driven in the USA before, don’t worry, I’ve put together some tips for driving in the USA.

Let’s look at each of the key areas where you’re likely to spend money on your trip in the USA, and see how the costs work out.

How much does it cost to travel in the US?

In summary, you should look to budget between $75 and $300 per person per day for travel in the USA. This amount will vary depending on your travel style, where in the US you travel, and which sights you want to see.

We have split this post into the main costs for travel in the USA, which are:

  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Sight-seeing
  • Food

For each section, we’re going to give you an overview of budget, mid-range and high end prices, followed by some tips for how to save money on each category. Let’s get started.

1. Accommodation Costs for Travel in the USA

Accommodation is definitely going to be one of the main costs associated with your US trip, and not one you can easily avoid unless you buy a tent or rent a campervan – and even then you’ll likely have to pay campsite fees.

The good news is that the US has a range of accommodation options to meet pretty much every niche, from cosy B&B’s to budget motels to hostels to campsites to high end palaces of modern luxury.

Price of Accommodation in the USA

  • Budget: You’re generally looking in the region of $50 – $100 per night for two people for a private room in a budget hotel or motel
  • Mid-range: You can get very reasonable accommodation for $100 – $200 per night for two people for a private room
  • High-end: The sky’s the limit, but $300+ is your starting point I’d suggest

Money Saving Tips for Accommodation in the USA

Use budget chains.

Many budget travellers turn to hostels when looking for cheap accommodation. This is definitely an option in the US, especially if you are travelling on your own, but in our experience travelling as a couple, the best value was found with low-cost hotels & motels – chains like Red Roof Inn or Motel 6.

You’ll find these clustered around Interstate Exits, as well as on the outskirts of most towns and cities. It’s not going to be a glamorous experience, but in our experiences, you’ll usually get a bed, some form of breakfast, your own bathroom, and free parking.

Book online.

For the majority of our hotel and motel stays, we found the best prices online, usually using booking.com. In many cases, we have arrived at a property, asked for their rates, compared against those online, and then asked if they were willing to price match.

In nearly every case, the desk clerk would just tell us to book via the online site. Savings could be substantial, so for the five minute inconvenience this was definitely worth it.

Book with free cancellation and recheck the price

This tip has actually saved us money a number of times. If you book a property with free cancellation well in advance of your trip, it is well worth checking the price again a few times as your trip nears.

We’ll sometimes find that properties reduce their prices closer to our trip date based on demand, and so we can cancel and rebook at the lower price. Of course, this doesn’t always work, but it is worth keeping in mind.

Look at casinos.

Another option to think about are casinos. Many of these offer relatively good value mid-range rooms in the hopes that you’ll spend big on the casino floor – if you can avoid that temptation then you might end up saving.

They also usually have cheap dining & drinking options, again, in the hopes that you’ll spend your money gambling.

Use alternative sites.

Finally, don’t forget to think outside the box. There’s a huge range of accommodation options available beyond the normal – check out websites like Vrbo to widen your scope of options and (potentially) reduce your costs.

For lots more options, check out my guide to AirBnB alternatives to flesh out your digital toolkit for booking the best value accommodation!

how much does it cost to travel in the USA

2. Transport Costs for Travel in the USA

A road trip in America is going to require a car. There are of course other ways to get around the US, including trains, buses and planes, but that’s for a different post. In this post I’m going to focus specifically on travelling by car.

For more tips on driving in the US, including car rental requirements and driving advice, check out my tips for driving in the USA post.

Also, bear in mind that car rental costs are significantly higher if you’re under 25, as the insurance premiums that rental companies charge are much higher under this age group.

Price of Car Rental in the USA

  • Budget: $150 – $400 per week for a budget car that will comfortably fit two people and luggage
  • Mid-range: $400 – $600 for a mid-range car that will easily fit four people and luggage
  • High-end: $600+ for a high end car such as a convertible, large SUV or luxury vehicle

Note – car rental prices can vary greatly depending on demand and time of year. If you are looking to hire a vehicle, we recommend that you take a look at Rentalcars.com to compare car hire deals across a wide range of different providers, including the biggest names in the business, to get a great deal for your trip.

Money Saving Tips for Car Rental

Don’t book for city use.

If you’re hiring a car, only hire it for the time period you need. If you’re flying in and out of a city, in most cases you’re unlikely to need the car until you leave the city, so don’t spend money you don’t need to on rental or overpriced city parking fees.

Instead, save money by renting for the day you leave the city, and return on the day you get back to the city.

Take advantage of weekly rates.

Be aware that rates vary depending on if you are hiring by the day or by the week. You can score significant savings on longer term rentals when the weekly rates kick in, plus many car-hire companies appreciate longer term rentals and may give you a free upgrade to a roomier car.

In our experience, we always book the smallest car and end up driving something which by European standards anyway would be a mid-range vehicle – plenty of room for the two of us and luggage!

Book with free cancellation and recheck rates

Similar to hotels, car rental prices vary depending on demand and season. We sometimes find that as our trip gets closer, the prices drop. So if you book a trip well in advance, we recommend booking a car with free cancellation and checking from time to time to see if you can rebook at a cheaper rate.

Avoid airport surcharges.

This can be harder to do, but you should be aware that the convenience of picking a car up at an airport location often carries a hefty surcharge.

Take a bit of time to compare rental fees for city locations and the airport locations, and if it’s easy enough to get from the airport to a city centre pick up, it may be worth the savings.

Avoid peak times.

This tip pretty much applies to every section in this guide. If you visit a location during a key event when demand is high, such as New Orleans during Mardi Gras, or Albuquerque during the International Balloon Fiesta, you will find that prices can be significantly higher across the board for everything from accommodation to car hire.

Obviously, if you need to visit during these times, then go for it, but be aware that costs will be higher, and you will need to plan that into your budget accordingly. If you don’t want to attend these events, try to avoid visiting when they’re happening.

Avoid additional fees.

One way that car rental companies make a great income is by trying to get you to sign up to various additional services, including additional insurance and damage waiver fees. These are usually very expensive – sometimes even more so than the car rental itself!

We definitely don’t suggest you skip out on necessary insurance, however, there are more cost effective ways of obtaining peace of mind. Many credit cards, for example, include this cover if you pay for the car rental using their service. There are also third party websites that offer things like excess coverage, CDW and so on.

For more information on these, check out my driving in the USA tips post.

It’s important to remember that most car rental agencies will use high pressure sales tactics when you go to pick up the car to try and get you to sign up to these insurance offers, which make up a significant part of their bottom line.

If you are prepared for this in advance, and know exactly what cover you already have, you will be able to get through this process without spending more money than you have to.

Avoid one-way trips.

If you’re doing a road trip, it is usually tempting to start in one location and finish in another. Unfortunately, car rental firms often levy a fee for one-way rentals, which can make this a costly idea. This isn’t always the case, depending on the popularity of the route, but it is very common.

Obviously, in many cases you won’t be able to avoid this, but it’s worth bearing in mind, and also worth noting that many online price comparison sites fail to take this into account when providing quotes.

Buy and sell back.

This certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you are travelling in the USA for a prolonged period of time (more than three months I’d suggest), then buying a car might be more cost effective than a long term rental, depending on factors like insurance.

It’s definitely more hassle, and you will need both a US address for the registration documents and to purchase car insurance. When I travelled in New Zealand and in Australia, I bought and sold a car for both of those trips, which was a very worthwhile investment.

Look at Alternative Rental Options

If you want to rent a campervan or something similar, rather than going to the major brands who will be fairly expensive, take a look at a service like RVShare. This company offer peer to peer campervan rental – a bit like the AirBnB of RV rental, meaning the costs can be a lot lower. Similar options include Outdoorsy and RVEzy.

If you’d prefer to rent from an RV rental company, use Motorhome Republic to compare prices across the major companies in the USA.

Shop for the cheapest gas.

That car you rent needs fuel to get it moving – the good news being fuel in the US is relatively cheap. Prices can vary a lot from gas station to gas station, so shop around for the cheapest deals.

Generally, gas stations at Interstate exits are more expensive. Also, be aware that prices can vary wildly between states, so if you’re doing something like Route 66, where you cross a lot of states, check prices using a site or app like GasBuddy to see where you can save.

If you are doing a road trip and want to budget your gas, the AAA website has a really handy gas cost calculator for doing just that.

We also have a regularly updated page of travel resources that lists our favourite tools for finding the best prices on everything from flights to car rental to accommodation.

Sign Route 66 California_by_Laurence Norah

3. Sightseeing Costs when Travelling in the USA

On to the fun stuff! Obviously, the kind of sightseeing you choose to do will vary depending on your interest, but I’d guess you might be interested in attractions, museums, national parks and that sort of thing.

Costs for Sightseeing in the USA

Obviously this is up to you, but we’d suggest you budget in the region of $10 – $75 per person per day for sightseeing costs. Here are some ways to save.

Money Saving Tips for Sightseeing

Get a City Attraction Pass.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing in one city, then see if you can find a city attraction pass for that city. For example, the CityPass company covers a range of destinations, plus there’s the New York, and New Orleans passes amongst others.

These are usually very cost-effective ways of seeing a lot of attractions, and sometimes include public transport and skip the line access as well.

Buy a Parks Pass.

One of the best things about the USA are its incredible National Parks. These usually have an entry fee, however if you’re going to be visiting a number of parks, you can save by investing in an Annual Pass.

These represent excellent value for money, with one $80 fee covering you and up to three other people in your vehicle for entry into over 2,000 parks across the US for a year.

Find free days.

There are a lot of free museums and other attractions throughout the USA. What you might not know is that even the paid attractions often have “free entry” days, where you can visit for free.

These can fall on a particular day of the month, or may line up with a national “free museum” day. Just use the internet to search for the city and attraction type you’re interested in to see if you can score free entry.

Book in advance.

This doesn’t always save you money, but it can save you time, and time is also important! Many popular attractions allow you to book in advance, skipping the long lines and letting you get straight in.

You’re paying for your trip, so you might as well make the most out of the time you have!

Use concessions.

If you fit into a specific category such as age group, disability, military service or membership of an organisation, you may qualify for either a discount or even free entry at many locations. Just research in advance so you know what you’re entitled to.

Yosemite view of El Capitan_by_Laurence Norah

4. Food Costs in the USA

Food! There’s so much choice in the USA, so basically whatever you’re into, and even if you’ve got allergies or intolerances, you’re probably going to be able to eat well wherever you go, and at a reasonable price.

Price of Food in the USA

  • Budget: $5 – $10 per person per meal at a fast food restaurant, food truck or diner
  • Mid-range: $15 – $35 per person per meal at a reasonable restaurant, gastropub
  • High-end: $50+ per person per meal at a nice restaurant

Money Saving Tips for Food in the USA

Split portions.

Food potions in the USA tend to be very generous. So generous in fact, that when Jess and I eat out, we normally split a main (known as an entrée) between us, and it’s still more than enough food.

Many restaurants will happily split a meal for you, or at least give you an extra plate. Sometimes there will be a “split charge”, but this should be clearly marked on the menu.

Get a box.

If you order too much food and can’t eat it all, don’t waste it! Nearly every restaurant will be happy for you to take your food with you – just ask for a box, and they’ll be happy to provide.

In the UK, this is not a common practice, so can feel a bit weird, but I assure you, it’s very normal in the USA, even at high end restaurants!

Read Post  10 Reasons Why You Should Travel To USA
Cook your own food.

Definitely a great way to save on food costs is to cook your own food. Many vacation rentals for example come with the basic cooking essentials like oil and spices, and since they’ll usually come with an equipped kitchen, you can definitely save by making your own meals from time to time!

Find the deals.

Even if you’re going to splurge, you can still save money by keeping an eye out for deals. Some restaurants do two-for-one deals, have happy hour prices at off-peak times, or offer daily specials. Take advantage of these to save money.

Don’t forget the fast-food options.

Sure, these might not be the healthiest of options, but if you’re in a pinch for a budget meal, or just can’t find anywhere else that’s open, fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s or Subway can be a cost-effective way to get a filling meal.

Skip the drinks.

One of the nicest things about eating in the USA is that you nearly always will be presented with glasses of water when you sit down. If you can, just stick to water, as it’s free! If you do want to drink, be aware that soft drinks and coffee often come with unlimited refills, so take advantage of that.

If you’re happy with water though – stick to it, you can definitely save money by skimping on the drinks – particularly the fancy chain coffee options!

Don’t forget tax and tips.

Not a money saving tip – but something to definitely be aware of. If you’ve not travelled in the US before, you might get caught out by the fact that taxes aren’t generally included on the prices of items – instead they’re added when the bill is totalled.

If you’re used to sales tax being included (such as in Europe), this might present a bit of bill shock! In addition, tipping is very normal in the USA for service, with tip amounts generally ranging from from 10 – 20%. Sometimes this will be added automatically, but usually it’s at your discretion.

Oak Alley Plantation Louisiana_by_-3

In Summary: How Much Does it Cost to Travel in the USA?

For two people travelling in the US, I’d estimate a cost per person per day as follows.

Don’t forget to add on the cost of getting to the USA as well, plus any visa fees you might have to pay (depending on your nationality).

I have to say, the USA is definitely one of our favourite countries to travel, and particularly, to road trip in. There’s so much to see and do, really something for everyone, plus it’s relatively safe and easy to travel in.

The other good news is that it’s not that expensive either, at least, if you don’t want it to be.

Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline walking tour new york _by_Laurence Norah

Final Money Saving Tip for Travelling in the USA!

One of the easiest ways to save money on a road trip in the USA, and anywhere really, is to travel as a group. Many of the costs are fixed, such as car hire, fuel and accommodation, and by having more of you, you can split the costs and reduce the per person price significantly.

A group of 2-4 people travelling together in one vehicle and sharing accommodation is definitely more cost effective for a road trip than one person going it alone!

Angel Oak Tree%252C Charleston_by_Laurence Norah

Further reading

We’ve put together a lot of content on our travels in the USA, plus we have some favourite go-to resources when we’re planning our adventures. Here’s the best of those resources to help you plan your own trip:

  • We’ve written guides to things to do in a number of cities across the USA, including things to do in San Antonio, things to do in Savannah, things to do in Albuquerque, things to do in Cambria, things to do in Santa Fe and things to do in Santa Cruz, to name but a few. See our complete USA content here.
  • We have a detailed guide to spending 2 days in New York
  • Our guide to planning a Route 66 Trip, as well as a comprehensive two week Route 66 itinerary
  • An awesome Deep South USA itinerary
  • A planning guide for a Pacific Coast Highway Trip
  • An awesome two week USA road trip itinerary, which includes Las Vegas, California and the Grand Canyon
  • A Detailed California Road Trip Itinerary – a must read for any budget minded traveller!
  • We have a guide to hiking Havasu Falls if you’re looking for an epic hike!
  • Our guide to doing laundry when traveling – hand-washing your own clothes can be a good way save a bit of money on your trip!
  • Lonely Planet’s guide to the Best Road Trips in the USA – lots of inspiration here
  • Looking for more road trip inspiration? Check out our guide to the world’s best road trips for more ideas, which covers both the USA and the rest of the world.

And that sums up our post on the cost of travel in the USA! Hopefully you found it useful – as always, let us know your thoughts, tips and suggestions in the comments below!

Advice on how much it costs to travel in the USA, with a focus on road tripping, and containing advice for saving money on food, accommodation, sight-seeing and car rental!

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There are 40 comments on this post

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Mark Credle says

I really want to visit many places of USA because I always have heard that it is a place of amazing natural beauties. But it would be great if I can get any suggestion about where the travel cost would be reasonable.

The cost definitely varies depending where you are in the USA. Larger, more popular cities like New York and San Francisco for example tend to be more expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation and sight seeing. As you head to less well known cities and smaller towns, the cost will go down. The definition of reasonable definitely varies by person, but hopefully this gives you a starting point.

Have a great trip!

Barna Hamilton says

We thought your blog was genial. Me and two friends have six weeks to drive cross the USA starting July 17 2020.
We want start and finish in Washington DC, where we have family.

Do you have a ready itinerary? That would be great. We most want visit the National Parks( no city except San Francisco), specially Yellowstone, Yosimite, Grand Canyon.
Your suggestions would be fantastic.

Thanks very much. We have some itineraries but not for six weeks across the USA. We have a three week USA deep south road trip, a 2 week route 66 road trip, and a 2 week California road trip. But we don’t have something as you describe at the moment. However we do have lots of USA content on both our sites which should help you plan!

Have a great trip!

Barna Hamilton says

Thank you very much. We will study this with attention.

My friend invited me to visit them for a week and will be staying with them for the whole duration. I am wondering how much pocket money do I need to prepare for traveling there. Currently I’m staying in Bahrain.

Hope you can help me have an idea how much I need to prepare for it.

It’s really up to you, depending on what sort of activities you will be doing, like sights you will be seeing, as well as any meals you want to have out. There’s no easy way to answer this question I’m afraid, it’s a very personal thing!

Enjoy your trip,

Im a Filipina nurse working in Singapore right now. I want to travel in the Usa for around 10 days and visit my friend in California and in Texas. Could it be possible that I can come to Texas from California? How much will it cost me going to Texas from Cali and what’s the cheapest way as Im looking at flights costing around 1000 usd as well. Thanks

I’m guessing the cheapest way would be to take the long distance bus, although that would obviously take longer than flying. Try the Greyhound website. $1000 seems quite expensive for a flight though – are you booking during a holiday weekend or other busy time of year? Flights in the US are not usually that expensive. Have you tried using Kiwi.com or the Southwest website?

Hi,
Thank you for the informative post.
I alongwith my spouse and 2 kids, plan to visit US in Nov 19 for 25 days.
Can you please mention which all states should i visit in this span of time and roughly how much would it cost us … e.g 8 grand or 10 grand.

Thanking you in advance.
Raheel

Laurence Norah says

My pleasure. So your question is definitely tough to answer because it will very much depend on your travel style and interests. Some people like to go quickly and try to fit as much in as possible, other like to travel more slowly. We’ve done both in the USA – for example, we travelled all eight states of Route 66 in two weeks. But we’ve also spent a whole month exploring just one state at a time.

Budget wise it will also vary. November is not an expensive month generally, although the Thanksgiving weekend can be a bit more pricey. The budget will vary depending on the type of accommodation (from budget motels to 5* luxury!), and whether you visit expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, or spend more time in smaller towns.

Finally, in November, the northern states will be quite cold. So if you would prefer to be warm, I’d recommend staying in the more southern states. I’d suggest perhaps exploring California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada if you prefer warmth and landscapes. Alternatively, you could follow our deep south itinerary if you love history, culture and food:

This post should help you figure out the costs, just take the costs for each day at your preferred travel style for transport, accommodation and food, and add it together

Have a great trip!

Lasse Trans says

” I have a dream” a vice man once said, and I have a dream to – My wife and I would like to take our 2 adult children and their spouses to the US for 10 – to 14 days depending on flight schedule in 2020 a total in 6 adults.
we are planning to se Niagara Falls, White house and walk to Capitol, and some kind on sport while wee are there. We have been thinking about renting a RV but also like staying in mid range hotels –
We are a camper family and have always been, but looking into prices, would mid range hotels be a better deals for us?
How far from Washington should we stay to have affordable prices?
Can you recommend a good steakhouse also with affordable prices and US size steaks?
Thank you for a informative site and sharing with us.

Laurence Norah says

So it’s hard to say exactly, but when I have done the math on this sort of thing before, it usually doesn’t work out any cheaper to do a trip like this by camper compared to staying in hotels. It’s more of a lifestyle decision than a budget decision. I’d also say that if you want to see cities more than wilderness, then hotels will make much more sense, as city centre campsites are few and far between!

Of course, there are different factors to consider. You might find that with six of you that short term apartment rentals will be cheaper than hotels. It also depends how many rooms you need in the hotels – I’m guessing it will be three separate rooms.

I haven’t visited Washington, but I would think there are plenty of choices downtown for hotels. Staying far out of the centre to save money can be a false economy – you end up losing time in travel and if you drive, you will have to pay for parking. So I would try to find something central that is also cost effective.

We like to use booking.com for this sort of search. They have some really useful filters, so when you put your dates in you can filter by price, average guest rating, number of rooms you need, and they also have apartments.

I did a search, and there are a few fairly well rated options in the centre that come in at under £150 a night for two people sharing (this will of course depend on your dates). You can see some results here.

Some options include this Holiday Inn, this Pod Hotel, and this B&B.

Unfortunately having not travelled in Washington I don’t have a steakhouse recommendation for you.

Hopefully this helps though – let me know if you have any more questions and we will try to help out. Otherwise, have a great trip, and let us know how it goes!

Hi firstly thanks for the great article. I am taking my family to America in a tear and a bits time starting in New york and ending in Las Vegas a 1 month road trip. My question having paid for flights and the car rental if i have 10000 dollars as fuel, sleeping and gas money with some entertainment inbetween would this be enough or should i get more?

Laurence Norah says

Hi David! My pleasure, thanks for stopping by

So your budget works out to around $333 a day. I would say that this should be fine, however, it depends on the size of your family and if you need separate rooms everywhere (family rooms can work out to be more cost effective). It also depends on what level of luxury you want of course. Hotels / motels can be had from $50 – $150 in the budget to midrange category across the US, but also for much more. So generally I would say that you should be fine, but if you plan on a lot of fine dining, more high end hotels, and pricier attractions – or if you are a larger group – then you might need a bit more.

Have a great trip!

hi,
Next year i have plan to visit Louisville, KY.
any suggestions which place i need to visit?

Laurence Norah says

We’ve not been to Louisville, so we don’t have any suggestions sadly. We know there’s the Kentucky Derby, but that’s about it!

Sorry we can’t be of more help, but have a great trip anyway!

This is by far the most helpful information suited to what we want to do in the US we have found so far. Thankyou for posting. Hope you enjoyed NZ.
Shaun and Sarah

Laurence Norah says

Awesome Shaun & Sarah, I’m so pleased you found it useful! I loved NZ, spent a whole year there and have a hankering to return!

Very informative blog, now i am clear in my mind what i want and how. I plan to visit US in this fall i.e October with my parents. both are in 60s and never been to US, itinerary is very important for me considering i dont want my parents to get fatigued or loss energy while travelling interstate only. I plan to visit New York, Washington DC and Florida all three of them on east coast (my choices are more focused towards my parents taste).

My major concern is budget and how to travel interstate, its not feasible for us to hire a car and drive across. can you advise on mode of transportation. Also how much US dollars will be required for a budget trip comprising of two-three disney theme parks, Niagara falls, two- three national parks, visiting landmarks, towers. Also Halal food options in these three cities

Laurence Norah says

Thanks very much. From the post you should be able to put together your own budget depending on your level of comfort. For transport, I’d suggest looking into either the train (Amtrak) or long distance bus services like Greyhound. Another option is of course to fly, but this will likely be the most expensive option. For your specific needs, I’d suggest looking up the attractions and the various entry fees they charge so you can come up with a budget and an idea of costs. I also have to say that I have no idea regarding Halal food options, but tools like Yelp and Google Maps should be able to assist with finding great options with reviews from other travellers.

I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful trip!

For the halal food, you can use use zabiha website to search for the halal place to eat

Thank you Sofia will definitely use it

Mwangala simioti says

Im planning a trip to the usa by the end of this year…Thanks for your detailed information,it has really helped me.

Laurence Norah says

My pleasure! Have a great trip

Mona Ruiters says

Your write up is very informative and helpful.
I am from South Africa and my Fiance and I are planning a trip to California in April 2019.
We would like to do a road trip and visit LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Would you be able to advise on the best route to take and how much time to allow to see as much as possible of most of the things you have mentioned in your write up.
We have no idea where to start and which route to drive, this will be out first visit to USA so it is all very new to us.
Your advice would be highly appreciated.

Laurence Norah says

Thanks very much Mona!

I’m not sure how long you are visiting for, but my suggestion would be to start in San Francisco, work down the Pacific Coast Highway to LA, and then head across to Las Vegas via Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley. I have a detailed two week California Road Trip itinerary here:

I’d basically advise following that until Death Valley, and then heading over to Vegas 10-14 days would be my recommended amount of time. I can also recommend checking out my guide to driving in the USA – this kind of trip is best experienced as a self-drive experience

How Much Does It Cost To Travel In The USA?

We’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit in the United States, and one of the questions that we’re always asked is – how much does it cost to travel in the USA? Particularly on the kind of trips we do, which tend to be self-drive road trips like Route 66 or across the deep south of the USA.

Well, today I’m going to see if I can help you figure out how much it will cost you to travel in the USA, so you can budget for your own trip accordingly.

A few things to keep in mind. In reality, this kind of question is much like asking “how long is a piece of string”, because, the answer really is – it depends. If you want to rock luxury hotels and fine dining, your budget is naturally going to be a little different to someone looking for budget eats and motel stays.

In addition, prices vary depending on location, with major cities like San Francisco and New York always going to be more expensive options.

how much does it cost to travel in the USA

Thankfully, the USA has a wide range of options to suit most tastes, and is still a country that can be travelled enjoyably on a relatively low budget. In this post, I’ll be sharing some budget ranges to give you an idea of what to spend, plus some quick and easy ways to save money as you go.

This budgeting guide is going to focus more on a self-drive road trip as I believe that’s the best way to experience America. It gives you the flexibility to plan your own itinerary, stop when and where you want, and experience as much (or as little!) as you want each day.

If you’ve not driven in the USA before, don’t worry, I’ve put together some tips for driving in the USA.

Let’s look at each of the key areas where you’re likely to spend money on your trip in the USA, and see how the costs work out.

How much does it cost to travel in the US?

In summary, you should look to budget between $75 and $300 per person per day for travel in the USA. This amount will vary depending on your travel style, where in the US you travel, and which sights you want to see.

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We have split this post into the main costs for travel in the USA, which are:

  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Sight-seeing
  • Food

For each section, we’re going to give you an overview of budget, mid-range and high end prices, followed by some tips for how to save money on each category. Let’s get started.

1. Accommodation Costs for Travel in the USA

Accommodation is definitely going to be one of the main costs associated with your US trip, and not one you can easily avoid unless you buy a tent or rent a campervan – and even then you’ll likely have to pay campsite fees.

The good news is that the US has a range of accommodation options to meet pretty much every niche, from cosy B&B’s to budget motels to hostels to campsites to high end palaces of modern luxury.

Price of Accommodation in the USA

  • Budget: You’re generally looking in the region of $50 – $100 per night for two people for a private room in a budget hotel or motel
  • Mid-range: You can get very reasonable accommodation for $100 – $200 per night for two people for a private room
  • High-end: The sky’s the limit, but $300+ is your starting point I’d suggest

Money Saving Tips for Accommodation in the USA

Use budget chains.

Many budget travellers turn to hostels when looking for cheap accommodation. This is definitely an option in the US, especially if you are travelling on your own, but in our experience travelling as a couple, the best value was found with low-cost hotels & motels – chains like Red Roof Inn or Motel 6.

You’ll find these clustered around Interstate Exits, as well as on the outskirts of most towns and cities. It’s not going to be a glamorous experience, but in our experiences, you’ll usually get a bed, some form of breakfast, your own bathroom, and free parking.

Book online.

For the majority of our hotel and motel stays, we found the best prices online, usually using booking.com. In many cases, we have arrived at a property, asked for their rates, compared against those online, and then asked if they were willing to price match.

In nearly every case, the desk clerk would just tell us to book via the online site. Savings could be substantial, so for the five minute inconvenience this was definitely worth it.

Book with free cancellation and recheck the price

This tip has actually saved us money a number of times. If you book a property with free cancellation well in advance of your trip, it is well worth checking the price again a few times as your trip nears.

We’ll sometimes find that properties reduce their prices closer to our trip date based on demand, and so we can cancel and rebook at the lower price. Of course, this doesn’t always work, but it is worth keeping in mind.

Look at casinos.

Another option to think about are casinos. Many of these offer relatively good value mid-range rooms in the hopes that you’ll spend big on the casino floor – if you can avoid that temptation then you might end up saving.

They also usually have cheap dining & drinking options, again, in the hopes that you’ll spend your money gambling.

Use alternative sites.

Finally, don’t forget to think outside the box. There’s a huge range of accommodation options available beyond the normal – check out websites like Vrbo to widen your scope of options and (potentially) reduce your costs.

For lots more options, check out my guide to AirBnB alternatives to flesh out your digital toolkit for booking the best value accommodation!

how much does it cost to travel in the USA

2. Transport Costs for Travel in the USA

A road trip in America is going to require a car. There are of course other ways to get around the US, including trains, buses and planes, but that’s for a different post. In this post I’m going to focus specifically on travelling by car.

For more tips on driving in the US, including car rental requirements and driving advice, check out my tips for driving in the USA post.

Also, bear in mind that car rental costs are significantly higher if you’re under 25, as the insurance premiums that rental companies charge are much higher under this age group.

Price of Car Rental in the USA

  • Budget: $150 – $400 per week for a budget car that will comfortably fit two people and luggage
  • Mid-range: $400 – $600 for a mid-range car that will easily fit four people and luggage
  • High-end: $600+ for a high end car such as a convertible, large SUV or luxury vehicle

Note – car rental prices can vary greatly depending on demand and time of year. If you are looking to hire a vehicle, we recommend that you take a look at Rentalcars.com to compare car hire deals across a wide range of different providers, including the biggest names in the business, to get a great deal for your trip.

Money Saving Tips for Car Rental

Don’t book for city use.

If you’re hiring a car, only hire it for the time period you need. If you’re flying in and out of a city, in most cases you’re unlikely to need the car until you leave the city, so don’t spend money you don’t need to on rental or overpriced city parking fees.

Instead, save money by renting for the day you leave the city, and return on the day you get back to the city.

Take advantage of weekly rates.

Be aware that rates vary depending on if you are hiring by the day or by the week. You can score significant savings on longer term rentals when the weekly rates kick in, plus many car-hire companies appreciate longer term rentals and may give you a free upgrade to a roomier car.

In our experience, we always book the smallest car and end up driving something which by European standards anyway would be a mid-range vehicle – plenty of room for the two of us and luggage!

Book with free cancellation and recheck rates

Similar to hotels, car rental prices vary depending on demand and season. We sometimes find that as our trip gets closer, the prices drop. So if you book a trip well in advance, we recommend booking a car with free cancellation and checking from time to time to see if you can rebook at a cheaper rate.

Avoid airport surcharges.

This can be harder to do, but you should be aware that the convenience of picking a car up at an airport location often carries a hefty surcharge.

Take a bit of time to compare rental fees for city locations and the airport locations, and if it’s easy enough to get from the airport to a city centre pick up, it may be worth the savings.

Avoid peak times.

This tip pretty much applies to every section in this guide. If you visit a location during a key event when demand is high, such as New Orleans during Mardi Gras, or Albuquerque during the International Balloon Fiesta, you will find that prices can be significantly higher across the board for everything from accommodation to car hire.

Obviously, if you need to visit during these times, then go for it, but be aware that costs will be higher, and you will need to plan that into your budget accordingly. If you don’t want to attend these events, try to avoid visiting when they’re happening.

Avoid additional fees.

One way that car rental companies make a great income is by trying to get you to sign up to various additional services, including additional insurance and damage waiver fees. These are usually very expensive – sometimes even more so than the car rental itself!

We definitely don’t suggest you skip out on necessary insurance, however, there are more cost effective ways of obtaining peace of mind. Many credit cards, for example, include this cover if you pay for the car rental using their service. There are also third party websites that offer things like excess coverage, CDW and so on.

For more information on these, check out my driving in the USA tips post.

It’s important to remember that most car rental agencies will use high pressure sales tactics when you go to pick up the car to try and get you to sign up to these insurance offers, which make up a significant part of their bottom line.

If you are prepared for this in advance, and know exactly what cover you already have, you will be able to get through this process without spending more money than you have to.

Avoid one-way trips.

If you’re doing a road trip, it is usually tempting to start in one location and finish in another. Unfortunately, car rental firms often levy a fee for one-way rentals, which can make this a costly idea. This isn’t always the case, depending on the popularity of the route, but it is very common.

Obviously, in many cases you won’t be able to avoid this, but it’s worth bearing in mind, and also worth noting that many online price comparison sites fail to take this into account when providing quotes.

Buy and sell back.

This certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you are travelling in the USA for a prolonged period of time (more than three months I’d suggest), then buying a car might be more cost effective than a long term rental, depending on factors like insurance.

It’s definitely more hassle, and you will need both a US address for the registration documents and to purchase car insurance. When I travelled in New Zealand and in Australia, I bought and sold a car for both of those trips, which was a very worthwhile investment.

Look at Alternative Rental Options

If you want to rent a campervan or something similar, rather than going to the major brands who will be fairly expensive, take a look at a service like RVShare. This company offer peer to peer campervan rental – a bit like the AirBnB of RV rental, meaning the costs can be a lot lower. Similar options include Outdoorsy and RVEzy.

If you’d prefer to rent from an RV rental company, use Motorhome Republic to compare prices across the major companies in the USA.

Shop for the cheapest gas.

That car you rent needs fuel to get it moving – the good news being fuel in the US is relatively cheap. Prices can vary a lot from gas station to gas station, so shop around for the cheapest deals.

Generally, gas stations at Interstate exits are more expensive. Also, be aware that prices can vary wildly between states, so if you’re doing something like Route 66, where you cross a lot of states, check prices using a site or app like GasBuddy to see where you can save.

If you are doing a road trip and want to budget your gas, the AAA website has a really handy gas cost calculator for doing just that.

We also have a regularly updated page of travel resources that lists our favourite tools for finding the best prices on everything from flights to car rental to accommodation.

Sign Route 66 California_by_Laurence Norah

3. Sightseeing Costs when Travelling in the USA

On to the fun stuff! Obviously, the kind of sightseeing you choose to do will vary depending on your interest, but I’d guess you might be interested in attractions, museums, national parks and that sort of thing.

Costs for Sightseeing in the USA

Obviously this is up to you, but we’d suggest you budget in the region of $10 – $75 per person per day for sightseeing costs. Here are some ways to save.

Money Saving Tips for Sightseeing

Get a City Attraction Pass.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing in one city, then see if you can find a city attraction pass for that city. For example, the CityPass company covers a range of destinations, plus there’s the New York, and New Orleans passes amongst others.

These are usually very cost-effective ways of seeing a lot of attractions, and sometimes include public transport and skip the line access as well.

Buy a Parks Pass.

One of the best things about the USA are its incredible National Parks. These usually have an entry fee, however if you’re going to be visiting a number of parks, you can save by investing in an Annual Pass.

These represent excellent value for money, with one $80 fee covering you and up to three other people in your vehicle for entry into over 2,000 parks across the US for a year.

Find free days.

There are a lot of free museums and other attractions throughout the USA. What you might not know is that even the paid attractions often have “free entry” days, where you can visit for free.

These can fall on a particular day of the month, or may line up with a national “free museum” day. Just use the internet to search for the city and attraction type you’re interested in to see if you can score free entry.

Book in advance.

This doesn’t always save you money, but it can save you time, and time is also important! Many popular attractions allow you to book in advance, skipping the long lines and letting you get straight in.

You’re paying for your trip, so you might as well make the most out of the time you have!

Use concessions.

If you fit into a specific category such as age group, disability, military service or membership of an organisation, you may qualify for either a discount or even free entry at many locations. Just research in advance so you know what you’re entitled to.

Yosemite view of El Capitan_by_Laurence Norah

4. Food Costs in the USA

Food! There’s so much choice in the USA, so basically whatever you’re into, and even if you’ve got allergies or intolerances, you’re probably going to be able to eat well wherever you go, and at a reasonable price.

Price of Food in the USA

  • Budget: $5 – $10 per person per meal at a fast food restaurant, food truck or diner
  • Mid-range: $15 – $35 per person per meal at a reasonable restaurant, gastropub
  • High-end: $50+ per person per meal at a nice restaurant

Money Saving Tips for Food in the USA

Split portions.

Food potions in the USA tend to be very generous. So generous in fact, that when Jess and I eat out, we normally split a main (known as an entrée) between us, and it’s still more than enough food.

Many restaurants will happily split a meal for you, or at least give you an extra plate. Sometimes there will be a “split charge”, but this should be clearly marked on the menu.

Get a box.

If you order too much food and can’t eat it all, don’t waste it! Nearly every restaurant will be happy for you to take your food with you – just ask for a box, and they’ll be happy to provide.

In the UK, this is not a common practice, so can feel a bit weird, but I assure you, it’s very normal in the USA, even at high end restaurants!

Cook your own food.

Definitely a great way to save on food costs is to cook your own food. Many vacation rentals for example come with the basic cooking essentials like oil and spices, and since they’ll usually come with an equipped kitchen, you can definitely save by making your own meals from time to time!

Find the deals.

Even if you’re going to splurge, you can still save money by keeping an eye out for deals. Some restaurants do two-for-one deals, have happy hour prices at off-peak times, or offer daily specials. Take advantage of these to save money.

Don’t forget the fast-food options.

Sure, these might not be the healthiest of options, but if you’re in a pinch for a budget meal, or just can’t find anywhere else that’s open, fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s or Subway can be a cost-effective way to get a filling meal.

Skip the drinks.

One of the nicest things about eating in the USA is that you nearly always will be presented with glasses of water when you sit down. If you can, just stick to water, as it’s free! If you do want to drink, be aware that soft drinks and coffee often come with unlimited refills, so take advantage of that.

If you’re happy with water though – stick to it, you can definitely save money by skimping on the drinks – particularly the fancy chain coffee options!

Don’t forget tax and tips.

Not a money saving tip – but something to definitely be aware of. If you’ve not travelled in the US before, you might get caught out by the fact that taxes aren’t generally included on the prices of items – instead they’re added when the bill is totalled.

If you’re used to sales tax being included (such as in Europe), this might present a bit of bill shock! In addition, tipping is very normal in the USA for service, with tip amounts generally ranging from from 10 – 20%. Sometimes this will be added automatically, but usually it’s at your discretion.

Oak Alley Plantation Louisiana_by_-3

In Summary: How Much Does it Cost to Travel in the USA?

For two people travelling in the US, I’d estimate a cost per person per day as follows.

Don’t forget to add on the cost of getting to the USA as well, plus any visa fees you might have to pay (depending on your nationality).

I have to say, the USA is definitely one of our favourite countries to travel, and particularly, to road trip in. There’s so much to see and do, really something for everyone, plus it’s relatively safe and easy to travel in.

The other good news is that it’s not that expensive either, at least, if you don’t want it to be.

Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline walking tour new york _by_Laurence Norah

Final Money Saving Tip for Travelling in the USA!

One of the easiest ways to save money on a road trip in the USA, and anywhere really, is to travel as a group. Many of the costs are fixed, such as car hire, fuel and accommodation, and by having more of you, you can split the costs and reduce the per person price significantly.

A group of 2-4 people travelling together in one vehicle and sharing accommodation is definitely more cost effective for a road trip than one person going it alone!

Angel Oak Tree%252C Charleston_by_Laurence Norah

Further reading

We’ve put together a lot of content on our travels in the USA, plus we have some favourite go-to resources when we’re planning our adventures. Here’s the best of those resources to help you plan your own trip:

  • We’ve written guides to things to do in a number of cities across the USA, including things to do in San Antonio, things to do in Savannah, things to do in Albuquerque, things to do in Cambria, things to do in Santa Fe and things to do in Santa Cruz, to name but a few. See our complete USA content here.
  • We have a detailed guide to spending 2 days in New York
  • Our guide to planning a Route 66 Trip, as well as a comprehensive two week Route 66 itinerary
  • An awesome Deep South USA itinerary
  • A planning guide for a Pacific Coast Highway Trip
  • An awesome two week USA road trip itinerary, which includes Las Vegas, California and the Grand Canyon
  • A Detailed California Road Trip Itinerary – a must read for any budget minded traveller!
  • We have a guide to hiking Havasu Falls if you’re looking for an epic hike!
  • Our guide to doing laundry when traveling – hand-washing your own clothes can be a good way save a bit of money on your trip!
  • Lonely Planet’s guide to the Best Road Trips in the USA – lots of inspiration here
  • Looking for more road trip inspiration? Check out our guide to the world’s best road trips for more ideas, which covers both the USA and the rest of the world.

And that sums up our post on the cost of travel in the USA! Hopefully you found it useful – as always, let us know your thoughts, tips and suggestions in the comments below!

Advice on how much it costs to travel in the USA, with a focus on road tripping, and containing advice for saving money on food, accommodation, sight-seeing and car rental!

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There are 40 comments on this post

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Mark Credle says

I really want to visit many places of USA because I always have heard that it is a place of amazing natural beauties. But it would be great if I can get any suggestion about where the travel cost would be reasonable.

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The cost definitely varies depending where you are in the USA. Larger, more popular cities like New York and San Francisco for example tend to be more expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation and sight seeing. As you head to less well known cities and smaller towns, the cost will go down. The definition of reasonable definitely varies by person, but hopefully this gives you a starting point.

Have a great trip!

Barna Hamilton says

We thought your blog was genial. Me and two friends have six weeks to drive cross the USA starting July 17 2020.
We want start and finish in Washington DC, where we have family.

Do you have a ready itinerary? That would be great. We most want visit the National Parks( no city except San Francisco), specially Yellowstone, Yosimite, Grand Canyon.
Your suggestions would be fantastic.

Thanks very much. We have some itineraries but not for six weeks across the USA. We have a three week USA deep south road trip, a 2 week route 66 road trip, and a 2 week California road trip. But we don’t have something as you describe at the moment. However we do have lots of USA content on both our sites which should help you plan!

Have a great trip!

Barna Hamilton says

Thank you very much. We will study this with attention.

My friend invited me to visit them for a week and will be staying with them for the whole duration. I am wondering how much pocket money do I need to prepare for traveling there. Currently I’m staying in Bahrain.

Hope you can help me have an idea how much I need to prepare for it.

It’s really up to you, depending on what sort of activities you will be doing, like sights you will be seeing, as well as any meals you want to have out. There’s no easy way to answer this question I’m afraid, it’s a very personal thing!

Enjoy your trip,

Im a Filipina nurse working in Singapore right now. I want to travel in the Usa for around 10 days and visit my friend in California and in Texas. Could it be possible that I can come to Texas from California? How much will it cost me going to Texas from Cali and what’s the cheapest way as Im looking at flights costing around 1000 usd as well. Thanks

I’m guessing the cheapest way would be to take the long distance bus, although that would obviously take longer than flying. Try the Greyhound website. $1000 seems quite expensive for a flight though – are you booking during a holiday weekend or other busy time of year? Flights in the US are not usually that expensive. Have you tried using Kiwi.com or the Southwest website?

Hi,
Thank you for the informative post.
I alongwith my spouse and 2 kids, plan to visit US in Nov 19 for 25 days.
Can you please mention which all states should i visit in this span of time and roughly how much would it cost us … e.g 8 grand or 10 grand.

Thanking you in advance.
Raheel

Laurence Norah says

My pleasure. So your question is definitely tough to answer because it will very much depend on your travel style and interests. Some people like to go quickly and try to fit as much in as possible, other like to travel more slowly. We’ve done both in the USA – for example, we travelled all eight states of Route 66 in two weeks. But we’ve also spent a whole month exploring just one state at a time.

Budget wise it will also vary. November is not an expensive month generally, although the Thanksgiving weekend can be a bit more pricey. The budget will vary depending on the type of accommodation (from budget motels to 5* luxury!), and whether you visit expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, or spend more time in smaller towns.

Finally, in November, the northern states will be quite cold. So if you would prefer to be warm, I’d recommend staying in the more southern states. I’d suggest perhaps exploring California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada if you prefer warmth and landscapes. Alternatively, you could follow our deep south itinerary if you love history, culture and food:

This post should help you figure out the costs, just take the costs for each day at your preferred travel style for transport, accommodation and food, and add it together

Have a great trip!

Lasse Trans says

” I have a dream” a vice man once said, and I have a dream to – My wife and I would like to take our 2 adult children and their spouses to the US for 10 – to 14 days depending on flight schedule in 2020 a total in 6 adults.
we are planning to se Niagara Falls, White house and walk to Capitol, and some kind on sport while wee are there. We have been thinking about renting a RV but also like staying in mid range hotels –
We are a camper family and have always been, but looking into prices, would mid range hotels be a better deals for us?
How far from Washington should we stay to have affordable prices?
Can you recommend a good steakhouse also with affordable prices and US size steaks?
Thank you for a informative site and sharing with us.

Laurence Norah says

So it’s hard to say exactly, but when I have done the math on this sort of thing before, it usually doesn’t work out any cheaper to do a trip like this by camper compared to staying in hotels. It’s more of a lifestyle decision than a budget decision. I’d also say that if you want to see cities more than wilderness, then hotels will make much more sense, as city centre campsites are few and far between!

Of course, there are different factors to consider. You might find that with six of you that short term apartment rentals will be cheaper than hotels. It also depends how many rooms you need in the hotels – I’m guessing it will be three separate rooms.

I haven’t visited Washington, but I would think there are plenty of choices downtown for hotels. Staying far out of the centre to save money can be a false economy – you end up losing time in travel and if you drive, you will have to pay for parking. So I would try to find something central that is also cost effective.

We like to use booking.com for this sort of search. They have some really useful filters, so when you put your dates in you can filter by price, average guest rating, number of rooms you need, and they also have apartments.

I did a search, and there are a few fairly well rated options in the centre that come in at under £150 a night for two people sharing (this will of course depend on your dates). You can see some results here.

Some options include this Holiday Inn, this Pod Hotel, and this B&B.

Unfortunately having not travelled in Washington I don’t have a steakhouse recommendation for you.

Hopefully this helps though – let me know if you have any more questions and we will try to help out. Otherwise, have a great trip, and let us know how it goes!

Hi firstly thanks for the great article. I am taking my family to America in a tear and a bits time starting in New york and ending in Las Vegas a 1 month road trip. My question having paid for flights and the car rental if i have 10000 dollars as fuel, sleeping and gas money with some entertainment inbetween would this be enough or should i get more?

Laurence Norah says

Hi David! My pleasure, thanks for stopping by

So your budget works out to around $333 a day. I would say that this should be fine, however, it depends on the size of your family and if you need separate rooms everywhere (family rooms can work out to be more cost effective). It also depends on what level of luxury you want of course. Hotels / motels can be had from $50 – $150 in the budget to midrange category across the US, but also for much more. So generally I would say that you should be fine, but if you plan on a lot of fine dining, more high end hotels, and pricier attractions – or if you are a larger group – then you might need a bit more.

Have a great trip!

hi,
Next year i have plan to visit Louisville, KY.
any suggestions which place i need to visit?

Laurence Norah says

We’ve not been to Louisville, so we don’t have any suggestions sadly. We know there’s the Kentucky Derby, but that’s about it!

Sorry we can’t be of more help, but have a great trip anyway!

This is by far the most helpful information suited to what we want to do in the US we have found so far. Thankyou for posting. Hope you enjoyed NZ.
Shaun and Sarah

Laurence Norah says

Awesome Shaun & Sarah, I’m so pleased you found it useful! I loved NZ, spent a whole year there and have a hankering to return!

Very informative blog, now i am clear in my mind what i want and how. I plan to visit US in this fall i.e October with my parents. both are in 60s and never been to US, itinerary is very important for me considering i dont want my parents to get fatigued or loss energy while travelling interstate only. I plan to visit New York, Washington DC and Florida all three of them on east coast (my choices are more focused towards my parents taste).

My major concern is budget and how to travel interstate, its not feasible for us to hire a car and drive across. can you advise on mode of transportation. Also how much US dollars will be required for a budget trip comprising of two-three disney theme parks, Niagara falls, two- three national parks, visiting landmarks, towers. Also Halal food options in these three cities

Laurence Norah says

Thanks very much. From the post you should be able to put together your own budget depending on your level of comfort. For transport, I’d suggest looking into either the train (Amtrak) or long distance bus services like Greyhound. Another option is of course to fly, but this will likely be the most expensive option. For your specific needs, I’d suggest looking up the attractions and the various entry fees they charge so you can come up with a budget and an idea of costs. I also have to say that I have no idea regarding Halal food options, but tools like Yelp and Google Maps should be able to assist with finding great options with reviews from other travellers.

I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful trip!

For the halal food, you can use use zabiha website to search for the halal place to eat

Thank you Sofia will definitely use it

Mwangala simioti says

Im planning a trip to the usa by the end of this year…Thanks for your detailed information,it has really helped me.

Laurence Norah says

My pleasure! Have a great trip

Mona Ruiters says

Your write up is very informative and helpful.
I am from South Africa and my Fiance and I are planning a trip to California in April 2019.
We would like to do a road trip and visit LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Would you be able to advise on the best route to take and how much time to allow to see as much as possible of most of the things you have mentioned in your write up.
We have no idea where to start and which route to drive, this will be out first visit to USA so it is all very new to us.
Your advice would be highly appreciated.

Laurence Norah says

Thanks very much Mona!

I’m not sure how long you are visiting for, but my suggestion would be to start in San Francisco, work down the Pacific Coast Highway to LA, and then head across to Las Vegas via Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley. I have a detailed two week California Road Trip itinerary here:

I’d basically advise following that until Death Valley, and then heading over to Vegas 10-14 days would be my recommended amount of time. I can also recommend checking out my guide to driving in the USA – this kind of trip is best experienced as a self-drive experience

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Individuals who have a relative or relatives in the U.S. can become permanent citizens as well. However, the relative in the U.S. must sponsor the immigrant during their time of stay in the U.S. When applying for the visa, the relative should provide evidence of the relationship with the applicant and also show proof of sustainable income.

Fiancé(e) Visa

A person who has a fiancee in the US is eligible for a unique kind of visa. This document allows the person to travel and marry their spouse. The two people should, however, marry within three months after getting into the U.S. The application of this visa takes a few months and involves two steps. First, the party who is already a U.S. citizen should file an -129F visa petition. Once the petition is approved, the beneficiary gets the approved petition.

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The next step is for the applicant to get the necessary documents for the visa application. Once the applicant has the required documents, the consulate prepares an interview. The couple needs to report their marriage details to the USCIS offices for the beneficiary to obtain the green card. One should remain in the country until the process is complete, and then they get permanent residence.

For this type of application to work, both parties should be free legally to get married when applying. The intended marriage should also meet the relevant U.S. state marriage law requirements. Also, the two parties need to have met physically within the last couple of years.

Employment

USA visa South Africa

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Source: UGC

The visa you require to become a US citizen on an employment basis is known as EB-3 visa. In this type of visa application, the applicant needs to have a reliable employer based in the U.S. This means that one must have made a job application and passed. After that, the job applicant must meet the eligibility requirements. If the application is successful, the visa status changes. The application is also required to provide other documents such as a medical report.

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Individuals who have specialized knowledge in different work fields can get an L-1 visa to enable them to work in the United States. Often, companies use this type of permit to transfer their workers who can offer specialized knowledge. Once an individual gets this visa, their spouse and minor children get L-2 visas to help with their moving.

READ ALSO: Great migration: Why are so many skilled South Africans moving abroad?

Investment

Individuals who have interests in investing in the United States are eligible for the EB-5 visa. One must provide evidence of financial commitment in that they will create employment opportunities for U.S citizens. The advantage of this permit is that you can live anywhere, not just in the area of your business location.

When making an immigrant visa application, an applicant can opt to seek the help of an attorney. However, the attorney must be US-licensed. The attorney executes the G-28 form, of which a copy should accompany the applicant’s petition. Also, the attorney offers help in filling the different forms. During interviews, the attorney accompanies the applicant but does not take part in the interview.

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Although emigration from South Africa to the USA involves numerous steps, it is not hard if you meet the requirements. You can opt to apply through a consular officer, consulate, or through the US embassy. You will receive the help you may require on how to immigrate to USA from South Africa.

How much does it cost to immigrate to USA?

emigration from South Africa

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Source: UGC

The fees will depend on the kind of visa. USA visa South Africa applications based on employment usually cost around $405, while applications based on relative applications cost $230. When filing for a fiancé(e) visa, the petitioner pays $340 to file the petition. Before the interview with the consulate, one pays $350 as the fee for applying.

The other cases cost about $220. It is essential to note that the charges are per person and are inclusive of the security surcharge, which is about $74. One may incur extra costs to cater to the medical examination and getting other necessary documents.

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Can South Africans work in America?

It is possible for South Africans to work in the U.S provided that they have met the legal terms. For instance, one must make a job request while in South Africa and undergo an interview. Once one passes the interview and is sure of a job position in the U.S. they can go ahead and make the application. In this case, employers play a significant role in the application process.

READ ALSO: US Visa application process and requirements

What do I need to immigrate to America?

emigration from South Africa

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Source: UGC

The applicant should assess whether they meet the requirements for moving. Besides, one needs to have money that can cater for the costs that they will incur throughout the process. It is also advisable for one to have cash that can sustain the immigrant for some months after they get to the U.S.

What is the easiest way to immigrate to USA?

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There are different ways that one can immigrate to the U.S. There is no definite answer as to the easiest way for one to move. The easiest way to move to the U.S. is the one that meets all the eligibility requirements.

READ ALSO: Great migration: Why are so many skilled South Africans moving abroad?

Are you thinking of how to immigrate to USA from South Africa? Do you have a thousand questions spinning around your head and you are not sure where you should start? With the information above, nothing can stand between you and your dream if you wish to live and work in America. Thousands have done it before, and so shall you. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

Source https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-travel-in-usa/

Source https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-travel-in-usa/

Source https://briefly.co.za/54757-how-immigrate-usa-south-africa.html

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