I am a 20 year old college student and did a lot of traveling around Europe this summer using busses and trains. I had a great time and it made me realize how enormous the U.S. is and how little of it I've seen! I've pretty much stuck to the East Coast most of my life, though I've been to Colorado and Washington.
I have an entire month free from December 20th - January 20th. I would love to travel pretty much anywhere in the U.S., preferably in a more westerly direction. I have a car I can use. Considering gas prices, would taking a car still be cheaper than if I took busses everywhere or even flew out and took busses around?
I have a limited budget, $1000 at absolute max.
My options for my starting point are New Jersey or Colorado, though I wouldn't have a car in Colorado.
Any suggestions of places I could go and ways to cope with a limited budget? I couch-surfed this summer to much success (met some really terrific people) and I am thinking that I could do that again. Are there any places that I should really avoid because of icy, dangerous road conditions? My car is not a huge 4 wheel drive SUV.
Also does anyone know of any kind of ride-share website in the U.S.? I used a great website in Germany this summer called mitfahrgelegenheit that helped me find people traveling to the same place that I wanted to go who would take me along for a fraction of the price of a train ticket - a safer, elevated (more expensive) form of hitchhiking. I saved hundreds of Euros and traveled a lot. Does this type of thing exist in the U.S.?
Thanks for any help!