Sometimes you want to travel, and you want to experience something brand new. But when you’ve just paid for flights, it can look a little bit overwhelming to think of the cost associated with making a trip to the US for your holiday. Do a little digging, and you’ll find it’s a lot less expensive than you may think – try a few of these destinations on for size and see if you can save money by visiting them over other large or more popular tourist destinations.
Detroit’s the largest city in Michigan, and it’s been around for over 300 years! With a long record like that, it’s not a surprise that it’s got plenty to see and do, and plenty of things to entertain yourself without hurting your wallet. Founded by French colonists in the early 1700s, it’s one of the older cities in the region, starting as just a small fort. Since then it’s grown to a city of over half a million people. The city boasts many micro-breweries for anyone who wants to try some new tipple, and plenty of amazing brunch food to try. There are a number of outdoor festivals and concerts which are held every year, and if you shop around you might find one that suits your budget.
If you’re up for something a little more cultural, then you can visit museums or self-tour places such as the Guardian Building. With local residents and artists making their own visual culture, you can hop onto one of the street art tours available, to show you all the new handiwork on show around the city.
Albuquerque, near the Rio Grande of New Mexico, is a city of a half-million people. If you’re willing to go out of the way, literally, to save some cash, you’ll get amazing views as a reward. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, bikers, and everyone else who likes the great outdoors. The Petroglyph National Monument provides a huge area to walk through, with some of the oldest historical features you’ll find in the U.S. – petroglyphs carved by native populations many years ago.
Albuquerque also boasts a number of museums, which will generally cost you less than ten dollars to visit. There’s also a zoo, a tramway, and plenty to eat. If you time your trip right and get there for the second week of October, you’ll be able to see the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – an event unlike anywhere else, where hundreds of hot-air balloon enthusiasts float above the city.
When you think of Texas, you might think immediately of Houston. San Antonio is another large city in the state, and it has no less to do than its better-known cousin. With transport around the city only costing you $2.75 for a day pass for the buses and streetcars, it won’t cost you much to get around.
San Antonio is best-known for its most famous historical claim to fame – the Alamo. After you’ve visited this must-stop, you can always go and check the San Antonio Zoo, spend time in one of its many parks, or visit the Farmer’s Market in The Pearl District. And why not finish off your day by passing time next to the river? It passes through the city itself, and you can grab a quick bite to eat, or just relax and watch it flow by.
Here is a great guide to a weekend in San Antonio.
The city is known as “The City of Brotherly Love”, and has been around for ages. It’s one of America’s older cities, starting from the colonial era and going onwards, and it’s conveniently located for anybody who can only fly into the U.S easily through New York City airports. There’s a direct train line to Philadelphia, so you don’t have to worry about getting another transfer flight.
Once you’re in the city and want to see what there is to do, you don’t need to look far. Due to its history tied in with important history in America as a whole, you can see things like the Liberty Bell, check out spookier locations like the Eastern State Penitentiary, a prison which held Al Capone, and check out a number of its art museums. Food isn’t expensive either, with local favourites such as Philly cheesesteaks being cheap and great-tasting.
Phoenix is the State Capitol of Arizona, and like the rest of the state, is hot all year round. This makes it the best place to get away from the winter blues, without needing to spend tons of cash. Its winter is mild, and its summers very hot – those winter months are the best time to get enjoyment out of it. If you find you need a break from the sun, you can use its metro system all year for cheap, to take a break.
Its desert environment is beautiful as well as impressive, with plenty of natural vistas which you can enjoy for free. You can enjoy this from places such as the South Mountain Park, or take a walk through the Desert Botanic Garden, which looks very different from any botanic gardens you may have seen in the past. With plenty of free museum days on either Wednesdays or the first Friday of the month, if you time your visit right you can jump right into what local artists and local history has to offer.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.