So here we are with the American Trip expenses you need to know if you are planning for a USA trip. In this blog, we will be focusing on the lowest cost travel that can be done without anything left behind.
So the key point we would be going deep are:
Flight Booking accordance with American Trip expenses:
Tip1: Try to book a flight ticket 4-6 months before you are planning to travel. So if you take an earlier flight booking then it would cost you around $250+$250 a total of $500. It may carry on the date you are taking the ticket.
Tip2: Try to keep your luggage withing 15KG when you are ob-boarding and you can increase this till 25KG when you return because you may buy some pieces of stuff as every travel needs buying cool stuff.
Tip3: Try to find some coupons for flights too from MakeMyTrip, Paytm, or Goibibo or any other online sites which may save you about $20-$30.
If you want to stay for free or very minimal charge then the best option is Couch Surfing.
Now what is Couch surfing if you don’t know then google says:
CouchSurfing is a global homestay and social networking service accessible via a website and mobile app. Members can request lodging publicly or directly from other members, “hang out” with other members or join/create events.
Is Couch Surfing free and safe?
No, hospitality on Couchsurfing is free. A host should never ask a guest to pay for their lodging, and a guest should not offer. We do recommend that a guest show their appreciation by cooking a meal, taking the host out, bringing a small gift, or offering some other gesture. And yes it is safe for both men and women.
But couch surfing is very hard to get because nothing is free in the USA. So you need to follow these steps to get Couchsurfing granted for you:
- Maintain your profile in Couchsurfing genuinely like you are a regular traveller.
- Apply for a maximum of 2 days of Couchsurfing, not more than that else they reject the request.
- Maintain good relation with other guys from different countries so that they can increase your staying nights in Couchsurfing.
You can book a hostel from any reputed site like:
The best suggestion I would give you can go to the HIUSA hostel. Why am I suggesting?
- If you want to take a subscription you need to spend around $20.
- Once you take membership, whenever you book hostels from HI USA you would get a $3 discount.
- These hostels are very clean and cozy.
- They include breakfast.
- They provide free Woking Doors too.
- This is preferable for couples too.
Next, I would suggest for AIRBNB. This is also used to book apartments and if you all are friends then this site is very good for 3-4 people.
Keep in mind these things when you book a Hostel:
Wisely choose your hostel type, if you are a family loving guy then go for Homely hostels, or if you like parting then choose Party Hostels. These are some hostel types that are available in the USA. And if you want the cheapest one then go for a cheap dormitory.
5 Star Hostels
Room type/ Bed type
You can choose different rooms and bed types on these sites too. Help yourself to get a suitable one for yourself.
Some types are:
- Private room.
- Bungalow style.
- Dormitory(3-6 person) [FYI having sex in a dorm is a no-go].
- Family room.
Always remember that two main points to save money is cheap accommodation and food so always try to get a free breakfast with the hostel itself.
Distance from your travel point
Always keep in mind the point where you are staying is in the middle of your travel circle. Or else you would be increasing your cost of travel inside the USA. Keep your location near these spots or middle of these spots:
- Grand Canyon.
- Glacier National Park.
- New York City.
- San Francisco.
- Washington, D.C.
- Las Vegas.
Many hostel websites charge prepayment. This payment confirms your booking and may not be refundable. Try to find a refundable payment scheme in case you cancel your trip.
There are 3 types of payment.
You can pay for everything BEFORE your arrival. You can pay nothing, not even leaving a prepayment and pay for everything by arrival. Or you pay a few % prepayments and the rest when arriving.
I would prefer not to give prepayments and if yes then a very small %age (5-15%).
Always read the T&C for cancellation charges. Because many hostels trick their cancellation charge. So better to avoid prepayment to reduce cancellation charges. Sometimes you will lose 100% of the money when you do not show up.
Always assure the confirmation mail and recheck it because sometimes you don’t understand the time zone structure of the USA and you get wrong date bookings.
And mail the support team immediately if you find any mistake from both sides. Better to keep track of American Calender.
Discuss the Checkin and Checkout time with the Hostels, because in hostels or Couch surfing many people are living together so there might not be any gap for you if you check-in earlier or later.
Always try to keep in touch with the hostel reception in the call so that you reach the right time and you need not wait.
What is the Check-in Time?
The check-in time gives you the time the hostel has a room or bed ready for you. This time is usually somewhere between 13:00 and 16:00 (1 pm and 4 pm).
What is Check-Out Time?
The Check-Out time refers to the time you have to leave the room or bed and sometimes even the hostel. The average check-out time is between 10:00 and 11:00 (10 am and 11 pm).
Note: Above check-in and check-out are taken from hostelgeeks.com. It may differ for different sites.
Extra Payments at hostels
Always ask the what are you paying extra for? Because hidden charges may be there. Some of these are:
- Indoor gaming
- Outdoor gaming
- Extra bed
- Earlier Checkin
- Late Checkout
- Any stains on the bedsheet or towels
- Other penalties
Keep a lock with you always. (because they take rent for lock they provide)
Now many of you are wondering why we should stay in Couch Surfing or hostels? and why not in Hotels because you have money with you too. But the thing is we travel because we want to realize other cultures and meet different people. All these things you can get in the Hostel or Couch surfing. Still, if you want to stay alone then the hostel is an option. But I am not mentioning it here.
Currency to reduce American Trip expenses:
Next, we would be focusing on the currency.
Where to exchange currency? Which bank is good for FOREX? Which companies provide good currency exchange prices?
What is Thomas Cook?
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. is an Indian travel agency, headquartered in Mumbai, India. It offers a range of travel services including Foreign Exchange, International and Domestic Holidays, Visa, Passport, Travel Insurance, and MICE. (Source: Wiki)
Why Thomas Cook?
- You can order the card from home without going anywhere.
- If you want to load the Forex card for next time you would have to only go to the nearest branch. As simple as that.
- What do you need to make FOREX card in Thomas cook?
- PAN CARD
- RETURN FLIGHT TICKET
- What you need to do is take some amount of cash and the remaining amount load into the Forex Card.
- Also, don’t forget to fill the forms they would give you which may help you when you are out of money. If you sign those forms then it would easy for you to transfer the amount from their account to your card in a one go.
- There are two types of FOREX cards:
- Multicurrency card
- Single Currency card
Try to use a single currency card because it would cost you less and also the US dollar is a universal currency so it would not be any problem for you.
Luggage to reduce American Trip expenses:
I know whenever you go to travel somewhere you don’t want to miss anything left behind. But my suggestion for a US trip would be to take at least luggage you can take. Why?
- It would be very cost-effective for a long tour.
- It would be easy for you to travel.
- Less fear of getting your luggage lost.
Now what all things you need to take inside the luggage?
- Always check the temperature of the country you want to visit because your packing should be based on the temperature.
- Always take a Universal charger.
- Carry a neck pillow.
- Carry at least cloths as you can.
- May carry 3-5 pairs of socks.
- Take a pair of tracking shoes.
- Always carry a water bottle with you. (when onboarding, keep it empty else it would be eliminated in the security process.)
- If you are taking cosmetics with you, always assure that it has a level on it else they would throw it in the security process.
- Always carry a SIM card with you because you would not get WiFi everywhere and you may lose some precious time for an internet connection, so it is better to carry a SIM card or buy there only.
Food is a major issue with Accommodation in the American Trip expenses. Because everything is you consume is of a very high price.
How to reduce the Fooding price?
- Try to book a Hostel in which food is included.
- Try to carry some readymade sweets or food which would last for at least 3 days.
- You can eat as many fruits instead of cooked food.
- Or you can find a supermarket which provides you some food which can be cooked in the Hostel.
- If you are a vegetarian then you can find many Indian veg restaurants there too.
There are many ways of transportation you can use in the USA based on your need and headcount:
- Public Bus/Metro: If you are a Solo traveller then this is a better option for you because you can experience the real USA through public transports.
You can take daily or weekly metro tickets based on how many days you are staying you can take that also.
- UBER: You can use UBER if you are a team of 3-4. It would be convenient too.
- Personally hired car: If you can pay for the parking charges in the USA then you can hire a personal car too. It would be amazing.
- LEFT taxi: In the USA there is a famous taxi called LEFT taxi. You can use that too.
- Intercity Flight/Bus: Whenever you travel intercity try to travel by bus or flight according to your convenience. Always try to book a ticket in advance because the fair is dynamic in the USA. Also, keep your luggage limited.
Shopping in the USA:
Many among us may think that we can buy Macbook and all at a cheap rate in the USA which is very true.
- But you need to keep your luggage empty for shopping.
- So try to shop in your last 2-3 days of the trip.
- Try to buy things which you can not get outside the USA.
- Be ready with your Forex card in case you are short of money.
- These things can reduce your American Trip expenses if you keep them in mind.