Does your bucket list include an item on visiting all 50 states? If it does, you’re like many others who want to see the U.S.A. from end-to-end and from top to bottom. Fortunately, if you can free up enough time over a three- or four-year span, it’s possible to see all 50 states without having to quit your job or spend a fortune.
However, the total cost of a multiple vacation trek can easily reach into the several thousand-dollar range. The definition of several is up to you, and is almost entirely based on your chosen mode of travel, the kind of lodging you prefer, and other factors. In short, this list is all about planning and making a few lifestyle changes now so that you can enjoy an incredibly fun journey from sea to shining sea. Here’s how to get started making a realistic plan for the big excursion along with helpful tips to know before you travel around.
Find the Time
You can make the grand tour of all 50 states over a five-year period if you want, but most intrepid travelers find that three years is the ideal time, spending between two and four weeks annually. Depending how you want to approach the journey, you can eliminate states you’ve already visited, which can save considerable time. Otherwise, examine your upcoming years’ schedules carefully to make certain you can carve out at least six weeks for the purpose of the tour.
Pay for the Trip
Depending on how you plan to traverse the continental U.S., plus Alaska and Hawaii, the total price tag could range from moderate to high. Taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a quick and painless way to get easy access to cash to cover all the expenses of the jaunt. If you’re not familiar with the way HELOCs work, review a quick and straightforward guide on what they are and how to apply.
Rent a Camper Van and Plan
This option calls for some serious map time. However, renting a camper/sleeper van or motor home can save you big bucks on lodging. And traveling in this fashion can make for a perfect camping style trip and build many memories. Yes, fuel and vehicle rental expenses add up, but this is one of the most economical, and popular, ways of traversing the 48 continental states.
Take Group Bus Tours
If you don’t like to drive and enjoy the company of large groups, consider taking several tours via bus, eventually putting together a visit to each state. East and West coasts are easy to cover because many foreign visitors to the U.S. represent a lucrative market for tour bus companies.
Drive Your Own Vehicle
Relatively economical, driving your own car gives you complete control about where to go, when to go, and how long to linger in each place. There’s also an advantage in being able to change direction based on inclement weather or a side trip to visit an old friend. Your biggest expense will be lodging, unless you pull a tent and sleep in it as many nights as possible.