How To Backpack America For Cheap

Need to know how to backpack in America for cheap? A backpacking trip can be one of the most rewarding and unique experiences you can have in your lifetime, but cost is always something to consider. Knowing how to backpack in America for cheap is a great skill to have. In any kind of vacation there is a lot of planning to be done, but a backpacking trip is all about the details.

  1. Come up with an itinerary. Part of the allure of backpacking is having a loose schedule and being able to decide on a whim what city you will wake up in next. While this is a fun way to backpack, it is certainly not the least stressful, and if you are looking to backpack in America for cheap, this is not the best way to go. Come up with a master list of all the places you'd like to go. Then, based on how much time you have for your trip, get realistic and cut your dream itinerary down to a manageable amount of locations.
  2. Decide when you would like to travel. If you would like to backpack in America for cheap, remember that the time of year you choose for your trip has great financial implications. For example, the months surrounding May and June can be some of the most fair-weathered months we see in the States; however, these and the summer months will also be some of the most expensive. You will find accommodations and transportation will likely be much more expensive during these times of year than others. If you're looking to save some money, consider moving your trip to less popular travel months.
  3. Make sure you have the supplies you will need. The main thing you will need for backpacking is a backpack, of course! You should expect to pay  between $200 and $750 for a good, mid-priced backpack. Be realistic about your needs; if you are traveling in mostly urban areas you will not need a pack as heavy duty as you would if you were planning on camping for much of your trip. After you have selected your pack, you will also need some good guide books and transportation schedules. Being prepared with all of your supplies before you leave will prevent you from having to buy too much along the way and will help you toward your goal of backpacking in America for cheap.
  4. Get familiar with public transportation. If you are planning to backpack properly, you will have to take mass transit from place to place.  Become familiar with the train or bus schedules that run between each stop on your itinerary, make sure you have all the schedules you will need before you leave.  You may want to consider collecting all this information in a folder to keep it all safe. Public transportation is one of the best ways to backpack in America for cheap, it also allows you the freedom to make a few last minute decisions about changes to your itinerary.
  5. Make a budget. In order to backpack in America for cheap you have to be prepared with a solid breakdown of how much money you have. If you are planning to be gone for four weeks, the last thing you want to do is blow through your money in the first two weeks of your trip. Look at the expenses you will have and make sure to budget out your trip so you are sure you will have as much money per day at the end of your trip as you do at the beginning of it!
  6. Hosteling is a great way to backpack in America for cheap. Staying at hostels or campgrounds instead of expensive hotels is a good way to cut down on your spending. It is also a great way to meet other travelers! There are hostels just about anywhere you'd like to go in the United States, so you will surely be able to find one any place you go. Remember to make reservations if you're not that flexible; during the height of travel season they tend to fill up quickly.
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