Updated April 2020.
Thinking of taking the solo travel leap? You know I think you should go for it! The USA is a great solo destination because it’s so diverse. You can experience the city life of New York City, ski in Colorado year-round, experience paradise in Hawaii, or even meet up-and-coming country music stars in Nashville!
Why the USA?
People want to come to the USA to visit places they’ve seen in movies and TV, read about in books or magazines, or places they read about in blogs or news articles! Whether you want to come to the United States to see the iconic monuments, see a show on Broadway, or get a selfie with the Hollywood sign, any reason is a good reason to visit!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit the USA
Is it Safe?
As someone who has lived in the United States all my life and visited a variety of locations from “sea to shining sea,” I can safely say that yes, the United States is safe for solo travel. Just like anywhere else in the world, keep your wits about you, don’t flash your cash, and look at a map so you know where you’re going!
Safety first! How to Travel Safely
How Can I Get There?
Unless you are driving from Canada or Mexico, or cruising into a U.S. port, you will need to fly! Need a little help finding a good flight deal? Check out my post on Flight Finding Tools!
Need to read: How to Find Cheap Flights
Where to Go?
The most important thing to remember when planning a trip to the U.S. is that it’s very, very big! My suggestion is to make a list of your top five places to go or things to see. If you want to visit New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., you can visit all those by train or bus (the Bolt Bus can be very inexpensive!).
If you want to visit Disneyland, L.A., and San Francisco, you can take an incredible, all-American road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway over three or four days with lots of stops, great food, and fun things to do!
If your plans include Nashville, Seattle, and the Grand Canyon, flying between those destinations will be your best option.
Keep reading: Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping the USA
Where to Stay?
No matter where you plan to visit, I always recommend staying in the city center, or very near to the sights you want to see. You may find less expensive accommodations outside the city, but you may end up in a sketchy area or just way too far away to be practical. Be sure to check Trip Advisor’s map feature to see what accommodations are close to the things you want to see and do.
Check it out: Your Ultimate Guide to Accommodations
How to Stay Occupied?
There are so many things to do in America, you’ll never get bored! Want the beach? The U.S.A. has countless miles of beaches. Prefer iconic monuments and memorials? Washington, D.C., is the place for you. Want incredible coffee? Don’t miss Pike Place in Seattle, Washington! Want to get some serious shopping done? Head to New York for every possible store and get tickets to a Broadway show on the way! More interested in hiking and natural wonders? Check out Yosemite, Monuments National Park, or the Grand Canyon!
Read on: What to Eat in the USA
How to Save Money?
This really depends on where you go, but here are some general tips!
- Food: You will save on food if you get take-out or eat at a fast-casual restaurant with no table service. If you eat at a restaurant with table service, you will need to tip 15-20% on top of your bill. You can also get very good meals at grocery stores, too.
- Water: Water is FREE at restaurants! Opt for water instead of soft drinks or alcohol and you will save yourself quite a bit of money throughout your trip.
- Accommodations: Look for single accommodations. Many hotels, especially historic hotels, have rooms available for singles because they are smaller than a standard hotel room. Save some money by looking for accommodations for one, even when the search engine default goes to two!
- Walking Tours: Many companies operate free walking tours in major cities across the U.S., so be on the lookout for those!
- Search for Budget Tips: Wherever you plan to go, just do a quick search on the Internet or Pinterest for “Budget travel to [insert name of city or state].” You will come up with lots of useful information specific to your destination!
Get more: The Ultimate USA Bucket List
Are you ready to take on the United States? Comment below with the first place you want to visit! But before you take off, be sure to see my United States Page!
And for all my best solo tips, lists, and recommendations, check out my dedicated Solo Travel Page!
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