San Francisco, USA

United States of America

The United States is a hugely diverse country in between Canada and Mexico.  Depending on where you choose to visit you will experience a variety of climate and scenery. Whether you want mountains, beaches, cities, countryside, deserts or lush forests; you can find it all while backpacking America. 


 How To Get There

There are endless start and finish options while backpacking America. You can choose to explore a single city, a state, a coastline, or any number of combinations. Many big cities have multiple airports and extensive bus and train systems to get you anywhere you would like to go.


Best Time To Travel

in the northern states July and August will be the busiest months but will offer the most consistent weather. June and September will be less busy with cooler weather and more precipitation. May through October will be warmest in the southern states although you can expect decent weather all year round.


Currency

American Dollar (USD) $1 USD= $1.26 CAD =€0.84 Euro


Average Daily Budget

Backpacking America
Crater Lake, Oregon

This will vary greatly depending on your desired transportation, food, and accommodation.

$63-78 USD per person per day if you are camping, cooking 1-2 meals each day and using your own vehicle or public transit:

  • Campsites: $13-$23 USD ($25-$45 USD split between 2 people)
  • Gas: $10 USD ($20 USD split between 2 people)
  • Food: $20-$25 USD
  • Attractions and entrance fees: $20 USD

$155-220 USD per person per day if you are staying in hotels, eating out for all meals and renting a vehicle:

  • Hotels: $65-$100 USD ($130-200 USD split between 2 people)
  • Car rental $20-$33 USD ($40-66 USD split between 2 people)
  • Gas: $10 USD  ($20 USD split between 2 people)
  • Food: $40-$60 USD
  • Attractions $20 USD

Vaccinations

Most people do not need any special vaccinations for backpacking America. Always double check with an immunization clinic before departing to be safe.


Tipping

A tip of 15-18% is customary at restaurants or for taxi fares.


Accommodation

Agoda is perfect for finding everything from hostels and B&B`s to 5 star hotels.  You can search by map or by price and they typically have free cancellation.

  • Budget: $25-45 USD per night for two people. A tent campsite or a dorm room.
  • Mid range: $75-140 USD per night for 2 people.  Bed & Breakfast, motel or a private room in an Airbnb.
  • Luxury: $150+ USD per night for 2 people. Luxury hotel, sometimes includes breakfast.

Food

Along with the classic American food you will find a wide variety of cuisine from all over the world. It is common to have a Thai, Indian, and Italian restaurant on the same street.

Some of our favorite local food:Backpacking America

  • Hamburgers: America is famous for its burgers, you can find them on almost every menu.
  • Pizza: Cities like New York and Chicago are famous for their pizza, you will find many variations to choose from.
  • Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl: The best lunch you can find in San Francisco! If you don`t like clam chowder you can often get tomato soup instead.
  • Mexican Cuisine in a Southern State: Stopping in Old Town San Diego for a Mexican feast is a must! It is authentic, delicious and reasonably priced.
  • Reuben Sandwich: A hot sandwich made of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing grilled on rye bread.
  •  Deep Fried Anything: Chances are if you go to a fair, outdoor event, or restaurant, there will be something deep fried on the menu. Some of our favorites were deep fried Oreo`s and pickles.

Transportation

  • Plane: You can find domestic flights between many cities while backpacking America; but they are not usually your cheapest option.
  • Bus and Train: There are extensive bus and train networks throughout the United States. Many cities will have a large train and bus station such as grand central station in New York.
  • Public Transit: In most large cities you will be able to get around on public transit for under $10 USD per day.
  • Taxis/Uber: Uber is usually quite a bit cheaper than a taxi. Download the app here. This is a good option in a larger city when public transit isn’t feasible.
  • Rent a Car: You can generally rent a car for $40-60 USD per day. If you are under 25 the price is substantially higher. Check your coverage and ask for unlimited kilometers to avoid getting surprised with extra fees.

Budget Tips

  • Get a hotel with breakfast included
  • Take public transit instead of taxis
  • Stay in dorm rooms, Airbnbs, or camp sites
  • Cook 1-2 of your own meals per day at your campsite or your airbnb
  • Bring carry-on sized luggage to avoid fees on domestic flights
Travel Guide: United States of America