Say what you will about the ol’ U, S of A, but you cannot deny that it is, almost overwhelmingly, large. It’s a big place. HUGE. And while that’s pretty cool (as land mass size comparisons go), it means you’re in somewhat of a pickle if you feel like visiting for only a short while.
So when it comes time to plan, you’ve gotta either be super ruthless or super organised – or both. You’ve gotta be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice, to cut out half your itinerary without second thought, to make the call that NO, you WON’T stay the extra day in this tiny Southern town no matter how hospitable its residents seem.
1. Be selective
When it comes down to it, you’ve gotta acknowledge that you’re probs not gonna be able to see everything. Some states will be missed, others you’ll only spend a day or two in at most.
So when you’re planning your itinerary, you need to be critical about how much you really want to visit a random town in the Midwest, as opposed to popping round New York like you dreamed as a child. Both would be cool, don’t get me wrong, but only one will suit you and your travel style.
A good starting point for your first trip to the US is to check out the West Coast. You can squeeze a whole bunch of sights into one two-week trip – and it’s super easy to get around there.
2. Hit the hotspots
It’s cliché for a reason – the top spots around the US are must-visits. From the Grand Canyon to the Malibu beaches, you’ve gotta lay eyes just to say you have – and honestly they’re pretty sick places anyway.
Our recs? Make sure you hit the big cities. Although there’s definitely a certain charm to the small towns of rural America, if you wanna get a vibe for the US that you see on the silver screen all the time, you’re gonna wanna be city-bound.
And you’ve gotta go to Cali, baby. Trust us when we say that you’ll have a good time, even if it’s just hopping off a bus for a day trip to scope out the sun and sand.
3. Don’t be precious
Look, if you’re going to squeeze all this into a teensy lil’ time frame, you’re gonna have to ditch a fancypants attitude. Unless you’re the descendant of some crazy rich oil baron (in which case, pls be my friend) then you probs don’t have the luxury of a private jet or helicopter to do your bidding.
You’re gonna be pulling long nights to drive from place to place, staying on the outskirts in order to get a quick morning getaway to your next destination, and probably packing snacks. So get ready to tough it out a bit because let me tell you, it’s worth it.
Take advantage of the rest and relaxation you get when you’re riding along from one place to another, because it’ll be hectic every moment that you’re wandering around.
4. Hop on a bus
A lot of people will say to get a pre-established tour when you go overseas to save the hassle of planning, but if you’re the type to want a little spontaneity mixed in with your structure, you may want to consider a hop on/hop off trip. You’ll have way more flexibility and freedom but still won’t need to worry about getting around.
Busabout have a stack of routes where you can simply get on and off the bus as you please, wherever and whenever you fancy. It’s super simple to organise yourself that way, and it doesn’t take anywhere near as much stress and planning to execute.
So get hyped because it’s still entirely possible to get as much of the States covered as you can in just a couple short weeks. And hey, it’ll give you a taste of what it’s like so you’ll be all the more keen for a return visit.
USA. USA. USA.