Planning a Trip to the US

I get a lot of emails from people who live in Europe and other places about how they should structure their trip to the United States. Obviously, the US is a huge country with a lot to see and do and the distances between places can be vast. There is a lot of planning that needs to go into a big trip to the US, whether you just stay in the northeast or out west and do a bi-coastal trip. The US isn’t cheap although for Europeans it’s now a lot cheaper with the exchange rate.

The first thing I suggest to people is to figure out what they definitely want to see. Most people say they can’t miss New York and rightfully so. This is also the easiest and most accessible gateway from most of Europe. The other great thing about visiting New York for travelers is that it is well positioned to visit the rest of the Northeast Corridor cities, which are Boston, Philadelphia and Washington be it by train, bus or air. You could even hit smaller cities like Providence or Baltimore and if you are here during the summer there is no shortage of awesome beaches and great beach towns to visit from Massachusetts all the way down to Maryland.

These cities are easily accessible for tourists and have great facilities and are a good insite into the relatively short history of the United States. However, if you wanted to visit the popular tourist cities of Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco you need to buy airline tickets. These are very easy to get of course but can be pretty expensive depending on your budget. Many budget travelers ask me about taking a bus across the US. I say that would be a nightmare and it also really isn’t that cheap either compared to flying. With gas prices so high now and the distances so great–it really pays to fly.

Also, contact travel agents abroad and see about airline air passes around the United States. A lot of time you can buy a number of segments around the US. Additionally, check online airline sites that usually have great deals that you don’t find on general travel sites and your travel agent certainly won’t have.

Finally, as New York could be used as the center for northeast travel, you can use LA as your center out west because it’s easy to get to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Diego and San Francisco which are all major tourist spots out west. Obviously, there is a lot more to see in the US including national parks and other great cities like Chicago, etc. but its difficult to do everything on one otrip to the US unless you have unlimited time and money. So pick a region of our country and explore throughly and then come back again and do something else. The US, like India, China, Brazil, Russia and most larger countries has too much to see in one trip so just plan ahead by logiccal targeting and what you want to see the most. You’ll be less stressed and make life easier on yourself.

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  1. Coming to America is a difficult decision because as ou said there are so many places to see and things to do. I recently did the northeast by flying into Boston and then using Amtrak up to New York City and then to Philadelphia and then to Washington DC. The train was great and fast. I really enjoyed everywhere I went except for maybe Philadelphia. We spent two weeks in the US and I plan on going to the west coast another time.

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