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Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?

Blaenau Gwent...
7 posts
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Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?

Next year I plan to travel the world (or as much as I can afford!) and my first destination is going to be the USA.

My original plan was to drive Route 66 this september with a friend but after a few delays he finally realised that he would never be able to afford it. Now though 2 of my friends have decided to have their stag do's in Las Vegas, and now it's all booked for March 2015!

Now my plan is to stay in America after I've done Vegas, I'll be doing it on my own but can't really decide the best way to go about it. Driving Route 66 on my own doesn't sound as good now though, not to mention expensive, so I've been looking at flying from Vegas to New York and then making may way to LA/California and stopping lots of places along the way!

I've looked at a few tour trips such as Trek America and STA Travel and found trips that would suit my budget and the itineraries tie in with most of the places/things I want to see but I'm not sure if I would enjoy being stuck to a schedule and also I can be a bit unsociable at times and find it hard mixing with new people (something im hoping travelling will change!)

The other option I've been looking at it travelling across by train/bus and staying in hotels and hostels along the way, booking things along the way with the freedom to change my mind at anytime.

I know that in the end its all down to me how I go about doing it but any advice from anyone who has ever done, or thought about doing it, your advice would be much appreciated!

By the way I forgot to mention my budget for the USA will probably be around £3000-£3500 and hoping to spend around a month travelling there.


Age - A young 29!

r c
Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?

Ben D,

i maybe reading your path wrong but i think you're doing some backtracking?

from Vegas > NYC > LA?

why not go to LA first and then to Vegas. Ive heard of R66, but dont know if it goes thru Vegas. If it does, then why not drive it from LA to Vegas? You can experience the desert at its best or do a night drive when its cooler. And then fly out of Vegas to NYC.

Of course i have no idea on where you're going in between. I would try to minimize your backtracking and figure some sort of path to maximize your $$$. Even with the 1.6 BPS to 1 USD its still not a lot and you dont say if that 3~3.5k BPS includes your flight.

Also if you fly back home from the East coast, it takes about 4 hours off your atlantic flight. However any layovers can take that away.

i fly solo so i won't comment about the tours.

good luck.

Edited: 25 July 2014, 00:49
Blaenau Gwent...
7 posts
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2. Re: Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?

Hi thanks for your reply, sorry I should have been a bit clearer. I'm already booked to go to Vegas for 6 nights, flights from London are sorted and more or less paid for, my £3000 budget is for after I've done Vegas.

I know im back tracking a bit by heading back east but I definitely want to finish off in LA and depending on how much money i have I could well head down to South America and eventually Australia (but that's a topic for another day!)

Really I'm just looking for advice on how I go about travelling the states rather than where to go and in what order.


San Diego
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3. Re: Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?


Most of us here have no experience with tours that go across the USA. We tend to book our own trips and drive or fly most of the time. Train travel across the USA is possible but many folks just don't have the time and it is not as typical as it would be in Europe where train travel is pretty much the norm!

IF you want to do any traveling along the east coast of the USA(NYC,Boston,DC,Florida ) etc. there are trains that travel often to those places.

There is a train that goes from NYC to Chicago too. After that if you want to actually stop off places you'd have to get the train routes and plot out where they stop and if those towns look interesting to you.

You have a lot of research ahead of you. Sorry that I cannot help with the trains but we've only done road trips across the USA. BTW there is a separate Road Trips forum and a Train forum on this site which may be of help to you.



Edited: 25 July 2014, 14:29
4. Re: Travelling the USA independently or with a tour company?

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