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Roadtrip USA; what you won’t account for when planning

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I love America and have visited the continent on numerous occasions, but recently I undertook one large road trip across the states. As a UK citizen I found it difficult to gage the expenditure and budget for ‘cost of living’ against the activities I wanted to experience. I thought it useful to outline to travellers how much of the budget I actually blew on my road trip and the best ways to save when travelling the states.

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In most countries, particularly Asia, it’s far cheaper to ‘wing it’ shall we say and book your accommodation as you arrive, this is not the case in America. Planning is everything when it comes to travelling America. Work out your route, and opt to spend more days in the cheaper areas, also consider weekends, it’s cheaper to stay out of the large conventional cities such as LA, San Francisco & New York on weekends.

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Do your research, travelling by car appears expensive on the surface, but split it 4 ways and this makes getting about a less costly experience. Gas in the states costs nothing compared to Petrol in the UK so don’t just assume that a budget trip can’t include a car. A secondary advantage of having a car is you are able to sleep in it, or get to the more rural areas to camp, this will bring the cost of your trip down whilst being a fun alternative to another night in the Hotel.

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Tips, I wrote an article on tips that you should check out before travelling. A minimum of 15% is compulsory and is not considered a generous tip, you should budget to leave 18-20% for all sit down meals, take this into account before you opt to eat in the establishment.

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Wifi is available in mass across America, from bars and restaurants to historical establishments. Make sure you request the wifi password and Skype/Facetime home for free, far cheaper than purchasing an unnecessary and costly Sim Card.

The total budget for my trip was £2,000 (including flights from the UK), my total expenditure was around £2,400. It’s important you take into account all additional costs before you budget for the states! But always remember, you’ll make back your money when travelling Asia a less costly part of the world.

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xx

Roadtrip USA: First Stop, Las Vegas

I’ve always had a great love for the states, ever since my first visit to Disney World, Florida in 1997 it’s been my choice of holiday destination. So in August this year, me and my best friend Megan set out on our Stateside adventure!

Travelling takes months of planning, with so much to consider from timescales to accommodation, the majority of our trip I booked prior to leaving the UK, however a section I left in the hope that we could just make it up as we went along.

We boarded our flight to Las Vegas, Nevada on the 10th August 2013. This was the longest and most painful flight I have ever had the misfortune of sitting through. After 7 hours of severe sickness we finally touched down in Chicago, only to board a further 4 hour flight to Vegas, saying this was not ideal is an understatement. We finally landed in Vegas on the evening (local time) of the 10th. Jetlagged and feeling still quiet ill we decided to call it a night and hit the sack ready for a jam packed day of adventure tomorrow!

From this point on I documented my travels, a daily diary entrance helped me keep track of my experiences, I’ll share these with you if you promise you won’t laugh.

11th August 2013.

WE HAVE ARRIVED BABY, touchdown in Sin City! Last night was dire but hey hoe, I’ve finally picked myself up, no time for illness in Vegas. We did some great exploring today, I think I’ve done more exercise in 1 day than I did in the entire month of July. The hotels are colossal with each one consisting of its own underground shopping mall, eateries and of course Casino!

The diversity in Vegas is inimitable; an aura of elegance intertwined with the seemingly corrupt, seedy casino goers makes Vegas a city like no other. Vegas buzzes, it’s alive with both the mirage and the real portraying the city itself as the lead character in its very own show.

Today, we’ve had chance to study our hotel, the Tropicana is one of the longest reining hotels on the Vegas strip and is situated directly opposite the MGM Grand, New York New York and Hooters. Well, it’d be rude not to pop into Hooters for tea being so close and all wouldn’t it? I’m sure this makes many the male reader envious :P.. but I suppose if I had a backside like that I’d be parading it around a restaurant as well. Although not the nicest meal I’ve had, it did provide as promised, a typical American dining experience. On hindsight, I wouldn’t of ordered a salad, salads should be given a wide birth until dining in Los Angeles.

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Hotel Tropicana

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