The Cheapest Way To Travel Across The US


You’ve got a lot of options, but see what would be the cheapest way to travel across the US – and save money while you do it.

When you think of a vacation, you might be wondering what type of transportation to choose to get to your travel destination. One of the main factors that can influence your decision is its cost.

If you’re planning a vacation in the US, you’ve come to the right place as you’re about to discover the cheapest way to travel across the US.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Travel Across The US

If you're considering traveling across the United States, you're probably interested in how much different types of transportation may cost you. Let's review how much you can expect to spend on each means of transportation – plane, bus, train, and car.

By Plane

Flying is usually the cheapest and quickest option to travel. However, the price of an airline ticket can vary based on how far in advance you book your flight and what day or week you fly. But in general, if you book far enough in advance, you should be able to snag a relatively cheap ticket.

For example, you could potentially purchase a one-way ticket from San Francisco to New York for approximately $150. On the other hand, flights can skyrocket to the thousands during busy travel and holiday seasons.

By Bus

Traveling by bus is usually the next cheapest option to get from point A to point B. There are a number of bus carriers like Greyhound operating across the US and stopping through major cities. So you have tons of options if you decide to travel by bus.

Keep in mind that traveling by bus isn’t as time-efficient as a flight. You could be on the road days if you’re traveling far distances.

The average price of a one-way ticket from San Francisco to New York is about $200.

By Train

Trains, such as Amtrack, are a little more expensive compared to a bus, but depending on the train you may pass some beautiful scenery during your ride with stops all across the US. On average, a one-way train ticket from San Francisco to New York would cost you about $232 to $380.

By Car

If you prefer to make a full cross-country journey, road tripping by car could be the best option. However, depending on your travel plans, it could be the most expensive option. 

You can also calculate your gas cost using the AAA website when you enter details like:

  • Starting location
  • Destination
  • Your car details (year, make, and model)

5 Ways to Save Money While Traveling Across the US

There are a few ways you can save money while traveling across the US, regardless of what option you choose. Let’s review them below:

1. Consider Inexpensive Accommodation Options

Accommodation can be the most expensive part of your trip. But it doesn't have to be. In fact, when you're planning a vacation on a budget, you should consider less expensive lodging options than a hotel.

If you're traveling with friends, you could split the bill no matter where you stay. In case you're traveling solo, you can consider booking a hostel. Even a private room at a hostel could cost less than a hotel room. If you'd like to get an authentic travel experience and stay with a local, you could also consider renting a private room through Airbnb or even Couchsurfing.

2. Rideshare

Whether you’re driving by yourself or taking a car to get to your destination, you could offer other travelers to join you and split the cost. What’s more, ridesharing not only lets you cut your travel expenses, but it can be enjoyable to share your experiences with other travelers.

Offer rides to people you meet in hostels or coffee shops, or post an ad on Craigslist, Instagram, or Facebook.

3. Take Snacks and Drinks with You

While there are quite a lot of junk food restaurants on US highways, it’s not really a budget-friendly way to get food. Instead, you can take a water bottle to refill along the way and stock up on sandwiches and snacks at grocery stores.

4. Book Flight Tickets Far In Advance

If you’re traveling by plane, it’s important to book your tickets in advance. Booking a flight one to two months in advance, or even earlier, can help you save a lot of money as airlines usually raise their prices for upcoming flights.

5. Check Out Different Modes of Transportation and Carriers to Get the Best Deal

Different carriers may offer different prices on their tickets. So it’s best to check out at least a few of them and take the best deal.

Ready to Travel Across the US?

In this article, you’ve discovered the cheapest ways to travel across the US. Regardless of which method of transportation you choose, it’s important to understand that you still need to save money for your vacation well in advance. 

Apps like Monorail can help you create savings goals for your destinations so that you’re prepared by the time you depart.

See what saving with Monorail could look like for you.

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