Saturday, March 27, 2010

Budget Road Trip ? -- try HI Hostels

Hi Jamie,

My friend and I are thinking about taking a cross-country road trip this summer. We were initially thinking about backpacking through Europe, but the road trip definitely seems more plausible. The only thing is we're a little worried about finding places to stay. We're going to be taking a small car, and staying overnight in it doesn't sound too appealing. At least with the whole backpacking through Europe plan, there is the possibility of staying in cheap hostels in most large cities. What is a cheap way to have overnight accommodations on a cross country road trip?

If the cross country idea doesn't pan out, we were thinking of just doing a road trip in the west coast (we're from California). do you have any ideas for such a road trip? Thanks.



Hello Jawad --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I'm happy to help you plan a road trip this summer.

Whether or not you take a big trip to Europe, I would strongly recommend you try some short road trips around California -- in fact there are some great hostels along the coast that ware perfect for spur-of-the-moment travel. The best of these hostels are around San Francisco -- in the city itself, and north and south (including one in a landmark lighthouse at Pescadero, seen above, down near Santa Cruz) -- and wherever you go staying at hostels is a great to travel, and to meet fellow travelers.

Here's a URL for the HI Hostelling International website for Pescadero:

And a link to a map of HI hostels all over California:

Once you get a feel for road tripping, you can expand your horizons with a cross-country trip. While there aren't as many official hostels as there are in europe, accommodations and other costs are pretty low in the US -- if you share a room with your friend, you should be able to get by on less than $30 a night each, which is about what you might pay to stay overnight in most European cities. And in the US, you'll get a bathroom and TV included in the price, which you definitely won't for your $30 in Paris or Amsterdam...

While there are not so many hostels, there are lots of low-cost lodgings all over the USA -- motels ! -- so don't worry about finding affordable places to sleep. And if you really want to stretch your budgets, invest in a tent and sleeping bag and camp out on some of the many great state and national parks -- there are often gorgeous places to visit (and these are the places Europeans come to America to enjoy!)

OK, there are some ideas for you -- let me know what you think of all this, and if you get a chance, check out my Road Trip USA books (which have hundreds of suggestions for roads to drive, places to stay and things to do and see, all over the USA).

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home