USA the cheap way.

The Cheap Way, Travel / Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Although some things can be unavoidably expensive, it is still relativity easy to save on the amount you spend by following some of these tips.

Don’t do a Joey and share your food!

The USA is famous for it’s fast food and larger than large portions. If you are travelling with others, share a meal and if not order a starter for a main, I can assure you it will be enough!

Also a lot of places do a happy hour on drinks and food, with food being as cheap as $2!


(This was a starter)

Visit a Casino.

No not to gamble all your money away but to eat. If you sign up at a lot of casinos they will give you a free ticket to their buffet. 5 plates later and a few freezer bags of leftovers to take away with you and you’ll be more than satisfied!

Book you travel in advance .

The cross country train ticket I did with Amtrak cost me $170 but I booked it 2 days before. The price dropped dramatically for booking it a week or more in advance.

Shop around.

There is a lot of ways to get around cheaply so you need to shop around to get the best deals, especially if you are going long distance.

Also, if you are going on a longer than average journey, try and book one that travels through the night. This not only gets you to your destination at a cheaper rate (unfriendly times are usually cheaper) but it saves you paying for an overnight stay somewhere to.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to get around in the USA;-

  • Uber

  • Lyft

  • Megabus

  • Greyhound (though it is a first come first serve basis, even if you have already bought a ticket, so make sure you get there early!)

  • Amtrak

  • Boltbus

  • Gumtree rideshare



(night bus to Memphis)


A great way to see the real America and save money! Check out the website, it is a great idea in which you do a few hours volunteer work in exchange for your board and sometimes a meal! I did 3 while in the States and met some great people as well, who I will definitely stay in touch with!


(Volunteering through Workaway picking walnuts in Nashville, Tennessee)

Visit the Welcome Centres.

Most states will have a welcome centre (obviously easier to visit if you are driving yourself). These welcome centres will have tonnes of information on cheap and free places to see and visit and they also have plenty of offers and vouchers for discounts on campsites and motels!

Travelling in a Campervan (RV)? Know where to stay!

I found that finding somewhere to sleep the night in the campervan was the trickiest and most expensive part of the day! I stayed at a few KOA’s which were great but they can be pricey to.

I then started using which was a great way to find cheap or even free places to park up for the night!

I also stayed at a few State Parks which were great. Some of the locations where just out of this world and the rate was fairly cheap, usually including electric and water hook up to!

Make Friends.

Obvious one maybe but getting to know people can open up plenty of doors. Whether it be a free zombie costume they give you at Halloween just because it was lying around at their house (Yes this happened to me) or they take you out to teach you surfing for free, instead of you having to pay for a lesson (this happened to me to) making friends is great in every way.

Just remember to always give back, teach them something new to!

Buy a SunPass if you are driving through Florida.

Florida is well known for it’s toll roads so instead of getting caught short, buy a SunPass. They cost around $5 and you can get one at the Florida Welcome Centre. You top it up and stick it to your windscreen and off you go!

Saying all of this though, if you are driving through Florida, miss the Interstate and follow the smaller roads. If you driving down the east coast, make sure to drive the A1A along the coast, for great views and no tolls!

I only actually had to use my SunPass once in Florida and that was when I had to drop my trusty campervan back to Escape Campervans in Miami. So tolls can be easily avoided!

And finally…

Don’t buy anything in Airports.

This doesn’t need an explanation really. Everything is overpriced, so if you have left over money, save it for your the next trip!

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