Traveling to the United States on a Budget

A favorite overseas destination for many Australian travelers is the United States. There are a number of things to do there, and the country itself provides a diverse mix of cultures and attractions. However, traveling to the United States can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be though. Here are some tips for traveling to the United States on a Budget.

Be Flexible

The first key to traveling to the United States is to be flexible. There are a number of cities to fly into, and often you can rent a car or catch a connecting domestic flight on a United States airline to your final destination. The difference in these tickets can be hundreds of dollars, so be sure that you shop around.

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Also, you should, if possible, be flexible about the dates you will travel. Even when it comes to purchasing your flight, doing so on a certain day can actually save you money. Tickets bought on the weekends or on Tuesdays are usually the cheapest.

Traveling during the week instead of on the weekend will also save you money. Most business flyers choose to fly Monday mornings or Friday afternoons, which means if you choose a mid-week flight it will probably cost you much less. Keeping dates flexible, and even the time of your flight is the best way to stay in budget.

Travel in the Off-Season

Prime tourist season in Australia is often the off-peak season in the United States. April and May, before children get out of school there and September and October are all good months to travel in. The cost of everything in tourist areas is usually lower, and the weather is still good for the most part.
That being said, be sure you know the weather pattern of where you will be traveling. The United States is huge, and the weather varies a great deal from region to region. San Francisco can still be cold in the early months of spring while the southern part of the country could be experiencing a heat wave. This simply means to be prepared for whatever weather might come your way.

The other factor to traveling in the off season is that some attractions or resorts may have minimal staff, and some things will even be closed to allow for off-peak maintenance. If you want to do something specific, it is good to check ahead of time to make sure it will be open and that you can see everything you want to see.

Also, be prepared for weather changes. Spring and fall are unpredictable weather times in much of the United States, so things can change unexpectedly. If you don’t bring seasonal clothes with you, you may have to purchase them, so be sure to factor that in to your budget.

Watch Where You Stay

Traveling on a budget does not mean you have to stay in substandard hotels. There are a number of options that can help save you money when you travel to the United States.

● Airbnb: This is a service where people rent out homes or rooms for one or more nights when they are not using them. This can be much cheaper than a hotel, and it provides you with a much more personal experience from someone who knows the area where you are staying.

● Stay with Friends: In the era of Facebook, we all know people from all over the world. If you have friends in the area of the United States where you will be visiting, they may have an extra room or a place for you to stay, perhaps even for free.

● Look at Resorts: Especially if you are traveling in the off-season, a resort often offers transportation and amenities that other places will not, along with local guides and tours. Even though the initial cost might be higher, you will save money in the long run.

● Shop Around: Hotels in the same area can sometimes differ in price significantly. Find the best deal by looking around.

Where you stay is one of the most important aspects of your trip, but saving money can also impact the other things you can do as you travel. Try to save money on lodging so you can enjoy the area you are visiting.

Use a Travel Agent

Traveling to the United States can be a complicated vacation, especially if there are a number of things you want to do in more than one area. If you have friends or family who can help you with planning, it can be a little easier.

However, often a travel agent can recommend destinations, will know more about hotels and neighborhoods than you do, and can actually help you with scheduling things in a way that won’t stress you out.
Travel agents can also advise you on how to find cheap travel insurance to ensure that if you need to cancel your trip or you need medical care while you are away from Australia, you are covered.


Traveling to the United States can be one of the most fun trips you will make, but it will take careful planning to stay in budget. Whether you do that planning yourself and no matter where you stay, make sure you are getting the best value for your dollar.

What are your best money saving vacation tips? Leave us a comment in the section below.

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