Many of us would love to travel across the States but there’s always a reason not to. My advice is to just book your flights as soon as you have the capacity to do so, and you’ll soon find the solutions for any issues you expected to come up against.
Here are some common misconceptions that I found to be completely workable when I was in the States.
It’s not possible to do it without a car!
Not true. I never learned to drive, but the United States has a very decent bus and train network. You can buy Amtrak passes and Greyhound bus tickets or multi-stop passes. Many cities have public transit, uber is popular and it’s perfectly acceptable to use your legs to cycle and walk too!
It’s going to be so expensive.
It’s probably going to be pricier than staying in Western Europe and if you’ve travelled in Asia or South America you might sense that you are literally just burning away money in comparison to how cheap the cost of living is.
Finding a place to stay isn’t cheap, but Couchsurfing is a possibility. Flights and getting around may cost you. But my biggest expenditure on the daily was things like gifts, shopping and paying to get into museums – all optionals. By eating at delis, markets and grocery stores my food budget was often around $15-$20 a day.
I need someone to go with.
No, you don’t! Going to the States was my first solo female travel trip. I wanted to go alone, but even if I wanted a companion no one was available to go with me at the time.
I rarely felt like I was alone because everyone was so chatty and friendly wherever I went. People would ask to accompany me round cities, I met people in the hostels, got invited on dates (polite blushing) so you really don’t feel that absence at all!
And for every other situation, you can befriend someone’s dog!
Many places are quite dangerous, aren’t they?
If you’re going to be caught up in a criminal incident, the only thing that needs to happen is that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. It therefore means that in the middle of the safest place on Earth, you could come up against an issue.
Everyone warned me about this and that place. Here isn’t safe and there isn’t safe. Poverty, homelessness and drug abuse are serious issues in big cities and there are some very desperate people in desperate situations. Do your research, be aware of your surroundings and be sensible. As a woman alone without insurance, I made sure to be back before it got too late into the night in a few cities – but it’s not always a necessary precaution and in many places I was out roaming until late and felt completely safe.
Hmmm… Now is just not the right time. Maybe I’ll book for next year.
Next year will not be the right time either! You’ll always find the reason not to! Find a cheap flight, close your eyes and press “book”!