I've had a good read through other posts on here, but there's nothing on here that's specific to me so thought I'd post. Please please please send me any thoughts and advice on the below if you have any!
I'm in the twilight of my 20s, living in England and have just been made redundant so have a bit of cash sat in my bank that I'm wondering what to do with. I've applied for a few jobs, but the market is slow, so am considering doing something I've always wanted to do - road trip across America. I might not do it at all if I get lucky with a job of course, but I'm setting myself a cut off time of January, if I have nothing by then, I'm going to do this trip the end of January!
Right, so firstly I'm guessing this is the worst time of year to be planning something like this, but it's just the situation I'm in! I need lots of advice! For instance firstly I don't even know whether to start in the East and head West, or West and head East - I'm thinking I'd start in NY if I went East to West you see but; I've been to New York twice, once in January a couple of years ago and the River Hudson froze over! I've never been so cold! (Although I understand that was one of the coldest on record there!) So anyhow, I'm thinking maybe West to East is better?
As for things I want to see, well, I'm even considering going to Punxatawney for Groundhog day as it's in February and seems like a cool thing to do! (anyone ever gone to it!) but aside from that I want to do what I guess to be the usual sort of things - visit some of the major cities, see as many sites as I can (Grand Canyon etc etc), I studied some American history back at school so would like to look at any American Indian/Wild West type sites in the Mid West, as well as visiting people I know in Denver and LA. Is there anywhere that you are particularly proud of that the US has that is worth seeing? I'd really like to see some cool wildlife out there if I can, especially bears if it's possible to go somewhere with guides to see them? When are the National Parks open? I'm assuming that these don't open until March/April at the earliest?
Other ponderings are how long to go for?...I'm thinking in terms of money really here - how much would you say it costs per day to travel a bit, see a few sites, and live reasonably well...safety is more important to me than cleanliness etc! I don't really want to miss out on doing stuff either though, I'm a big music fan, so for instance if I passed through let's say Nashville, I'd want to go to a bar to hear music etc. I've only got NY to go on, which was massively expensive, are other cities easier to get a cheap motel room/hostel?
Fourthly, how best to travel across America...I know I'm in a forum here that will say by car! But is it really the best way, considering I'd have to buy/hire a car (how easy is this/where do you do this?) and have no experience of driving outside the UK.
Finally, same problem as I see a lot of people have on here(!), I'll be travelling alone as all my friends say they want to do it - but never commit! Is this safe/fun and how easy is it to meet other like-minded people on your travels doing the same? I've backpacked round Europe and met loads of people on campsites/in bars/wandering around with sunglasses and backpacks on etc, doing the same that made it more fun to travel around places with, but I get the impression the US is a whole different kettle of fish!
Thanks for reading this far, I'd appreciate any feedback on any of my points! Thanks again.