Arched Bixby Creek Bridge along the Pacific Coast Highway, with lush hills in the background, in California, United States. Accommodation – Hostels can be found in most major cities, though options are generally slim. A bed in a dorm room with 4-6 beds usually costs between $35-55 USD per night. Rooms with more beds are marginally cheaper. Private rooms are usually $100-125 USD. Expect prices on the higher end in bigger cities and during peak season. Free Wi-Fi is standard and most hostels also have self-catering facilities. Hostels with free breakfast are rare.
If you plan on camping, expect to pay at least $10-20 USD per night for a basic tent plot for two without electricity.
Cheap motels usually cost around $60-70 USD per night and can be found along any highway. Expect basic amenities like TV, Wi-Fi, and AC. Some have pools.
Budget two-star hotels start at $90 USD per night (in major cities they start closer to $125 USD). The U.S. is very vast and prices fluctuate a lot depending on what region you’re in so check out the specific city guides listed above for more detailed information on accommodation. The United States is too diverse to pin down a specific number!
Airbnb is available around the country, with private rooms starting at $40 USD (though they usually average at least double that). For an entire home/apartment, expect to pay at least $100 USD per night. Prices in large cities are usually double.
Food – Food in America is relatively cheap and diverse. From seafood in New England to BBQ in the south to organic smoothies and salads out west, there is no singular food culture here. Every region has its own staples, which means you’ll never get bored of eating your way around the country!
Grab-and-go sandwiches usually cost around $5-7 USD while fast food costs $8-9 USD for a combo meal. Mid-range casual restaurants cost between $25-30 USD for a meal and drink. For a three-course meal with a drink, expect to spend at least $60 USD. Prices go up from there and the sky is the limit. Again, there is a huge range here, and expect higher prices in larger cities.
You can generally find takeout pizzas for around $10-15 USD while Chinese and Thai cuisine start around $10-12 USD for a main dish.
Beer is around $6-8 USD, a glass of wine is $8-10 USD, and cocktails start at $11-14. A latte/cappuccino is $4-5 USD and bottled water is $1.50 USD.
If you cook your own food, expect to pay $50-60 USD per week for basic staples like rice, pasta, vegetables, and some meat.
How much does it cost to visit the United States? Well, how much you spend largely depends on where in the United States you’re going to visit. For example, New York City is much more expensive than Memphis and San Francisco is going to hit your budget harder than Boise. The South is cheaper than the North and the interior states are cheaper than the coasts. The comparisons are endless; however, this overview can give you a basic look at what to expect based on your travel style.
On a backpacking budget of $75 USD per day, you can stay in a hostel, cook your meals, use public transportation to get around, limit your drinking, and do free activities like walking tours, hiking, and hanging out at beaches. If you plan on drinking, add another $10-20 USD per day. If you can camp or Couchsurf, you can likely get this down to $50-60 USD per day.
On a mid-range budget of $210 USD per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb or motel, eat out for most meals, drink more, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like museum visits and food tours.
On a “luxury” budget of $350 USD or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out pretty much anywhere you want, drink at the bar, rent a car to get around, and do as many guided tours and activities as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!
You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in USD.
There are plenty of ways to save money when you travel the US but it varies a lot by region (as I’ve been repeating). The general tips below can help you get started but, for more specific tips, visit our specific city guides!
Gun violence and mass shootings tend to dominate headlines when they happen. However, the chances of it happening to you are slim.. Do not let this discourage you from exploring the United States. The U.S. is very big and very, very diverse. And, due to this size, there is a lot of cultural (and political) variation. Despite what you hear, crime in America is low. (There was far more crime in the US in the 1990s!). For more information, read this post, Is it Safe to Visit the United States?
If you rent a vehicle, don’t leave any valuables in it overnight. Take common sense safety measures and you’ll be fine.
If you’re worried about being scammed, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.
When hiking, always bring water and sunscreen. Be sure to check the weather before you depart and dress accordingly.
Solo female travelers should generally feel safe but all the standard safety cautions apply. For specific tips, I would read one of the many incredible solo female travel blogs on the web. They’ll give you tips and advice that I can’t.
Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.
The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:
In such a large country as the United States, the climate and weather can vary drastically from place to place. This means there is really no bad time to visit the US, however you’ll want to be more strategic about your timing based on your intended destination(s) within the country.
Throughout most of the country, you’ll experience all 4 seasons, with the exception of the southern United States where it’s typically warmer year-round. Being in the northern hemisphere, summers are from June through August, winters usually last from November through March and spring and autumn fall in between.
If you are visiting the northern US during wintertime, be prepared for freezing (and sometimes below freezing) temperatures! Likewise, it can get extremely hot in the south during the summer months. We’d recommend Googling the climate in your intended destination to get a better idea of what to expect during your visit.
Peak season for tourists: The tourist season will vary based on where you are headed. If you are traveling around any major holidays or events, you can expect there to be crowds.
Times to Avoid Traveling in the USA: School holidays are typically when most families in the US take the time to travel, so places, especially kid-friendly attractions, will be more crowded. School holidays include all the national bank holidays, plus summer months (mid-June through August), the week between Christmas and New Years, and sometimes a mid-fall break in October.
From the Grand Canyon to the rugged coasts of Maine, the United States of America has something for every type of traveler whether you’re selecting a spring break destination in the USA or simply a romantic getaway!
Directions: Travel west on Avenida de Mesilla, turn west on Calle Del Norte and go for approximately 1.5 miles. After crossing over the Rio Grande, take an immediate left and continue on the gravel road for approximately .5 miles.
Monument operating hours vary by season and the park is occasionally closed for periods of up to three hours due to missile tests on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. Visitors are encouraged to call the visitor center at (575) 479-6124 ext. 236 or 206 to verify that a closure is not in effect.
10 Best Florida State Parks to Visit with Kids: Our Favorite Parks For Outdoor Family Fun In Florida
The best of the Sunshine State is on display at these amazing family-friendly Florida State Parks to experience on your next road trip.
Florida is a destination that seems to call families from all over the world.
And while many visitors are drawn the theme parks such as Volcano Bay and Disney, my family is drawn to the gorgeous Florida nature experiences such as the Everglades, where we ripped around in airboats, and the Florida State Parks where we came face to face with ferocious alligators and crocodiles (ok, maybe not ferocious. Mostly, they just lazed around suntanning).
Whether you’re planning on renting RVs to explore Orlando and the rest of Florida or just driving from the Space Coast to Orlando in your own vehicle, these State Parks in Florida should be on your list for stops along the way.
Florida State Parks have consistently been touted as some of the best state parks in the United States. And with over 175 Florida State Parks to choose from, it’s not easy narrowing your search down to the ones that deserve your attention the most.
And while my family hasn’t been to every State Park in Florida, during our tours of the state we’ve hiked, paddled, and explored enough to narrow our search down to the best Florida State Parks for families who love the outdoors.
In fact, if your family loves the outdoors, consider checking out my guide on how to hike with kids to help your little ones fall in love with the trails.
With SO many incredible nature experiences for families in Florida, how do we choose which ones are the best?
Well, we look for things that stand out and set certain Florida parks apart from the crowd.
Situated just five miles from St. Augustine and just a little further south of Jacksonville, Anastasia State Park is one of the best State Parks in Florida for families.
Located on northeast corner of Anastasia Island, Anastasia State Park offers four miles of uninterrupted, pristine Atlantic beach. And the park is teeming with family-friendly wildlife experiences, including the chance to see bald eagles, dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.
Enjoy a hike along the sand dunes on the well-kept boardwalk or cycle along the beach. You can even rent kayaks to paddle through the inshore pond.
Anastasia State Park also has some gorgeous camping opportunities that include 139 campsites split between large RV sites and tent and hammock camping in a forest setting away from the wind.
This protects you from salt spray and blowing sand without leaving you too far away from the attractions. Each campsite has electrical and water hookups.
We’ve made no secret about our love of caves and caverns. In fact, our piece on the coolest caves you can visit with kids is always getting new additions.