Monday, September 13, 2010

Where to Stay on a Budget

Hi Jamie!

My partner and I are currently in Australia planning and saving for our trip of a lifetime, a roadtrip around USA! I have already ordered your book and i'm sure it will prove invaluable but my question relates to accommodation. We want to spend a fair bit of time driving around, hopefully at least a couple of months, and as such we won't be able to plan too much in advance, if we find somewhere we really like we will stay longer. As we will be trying to make our dollars last as long as possible we were hoping to camp as much as possible. Being from another country it's hard to know whats available, are there plenty of options for budget accommodation/camping across the US, and would they be available on short notice? We would be happy staying in maybe a guesthouse now and then to clean up but hope to camp out as much as possible, do you think this is feasible? Sorry it's such a general question, any advice would be greatly appreciated, and if you cover this in the book please just let me know as it should be here hopefully in the next week or so!

Thanks in advance,



Hi Daniel --

Many thanks for your nice note -- hope you got and have been enjoying my book. As far as camping around the US, I think you will be pleased with the range of options. Especially in the less-densely-developed western reaches of the USA, there are all sorts of places to camp, ranging from very basic, primitive campsites in "National Forests" and "Bureau of Land Management" areas, to campgrounds with showers and other facilities in state and national parks, up to nearly luxurious commercial campgrounds, which come close to Europeans standards (swimming pools,m sports facilities etc).

It may take a while to learn the differences between "BLM" and "USFS" and all the other acronyms, but there is a very good range of options, and most are available on short notice (apart from ones in the more popular national parks, but even there you can usually find something, even if you simply turn up). Here's a good intro URL:

Budget accommodation (under a roof) is more rare -- there are some good hostels, operated by the non-profit HI Hosteling International, but these are usually in coastal big cities or a select few other places -- like lighthouses on the California coast. URL:

Hope this helps, and good luck with the trip.

Keep in touch, and Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Hi Jamie, thanks for the nice reply.

We have received your book now, and are loving it! So much information to go through, but its great to have it all at hand, makes it so much easier and less nerve wracking to start planning our trip.

Thanks also for those links, will be sure to check them out and let you know once we are settled on some routes and are closer to heading over.

Thanks Again,



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