The United States has a good number of vacation spots centered around cities. After all, who doesn’t like a trip to Vegas? And while there’s nothing wrong with the good old Vegas or the ever dependable Miami, here is something you could try out for a change – Backpacking. What backpacking trips offer you is unmatched potential for exploring a place you may previously never even have heard of.
To immerse into local cultures and interact with the local crowd in a way you never can. Granted that there are a few shortcomings in this mode of travel, but in this article, we try to decode the myth that such trips are not to be taken at all. Read on to find out.
The poet Robert Frost famously declared, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Obviously, Frost wasn’t necessarily talking about backpacking but for the sake of context, let’s just assume he was right. Here is a list of the top eight places that could be the paradise you are searching for.
Asheville – Home to excellent home-brewed beer and food, Asheville is a backpacker’s delight. The place offers a wide variety of diverse travel opportunities for any traveler. You could just relax around the many parks that the place has.
Or, if you are feeling a tad bit adventurous, you could just take a hike up the Carolina mountain trail. The fact that you could drive up to the Smoky Mountains comes as an added bonus for those among you who love camping.
Pacific Coastal Drive – The Pacific Coast has time and again been ranked as one of the most scenic places to drive to. The drive, for instance from San Francisco to Portland is a treat to the eyes: cliffs, forests beaches, and redwood. You name it and the scene has got it. Be well prepared to overshoot your assigned time as you will find yourself making frequent stops to admire the scenery.
Nashville – Nashville is a curious concoction of unlimited possibilities. When you consider the fact that the city is one of the fastest growing in the world, you wouldn’t normally consider it to be detached from its roots. However, that is not the case. Nashville is world famous for its fantastic music scene.
While there are not really a lot of things to do for a tourist, as a backpacker you can enjoy some wonderful Southern food and the company of some of the happiest people in the world. The positive energy that the city seems to soak in will simply refuse to go, just give it a try and you’ll know firsthand.
San Diego – The first thing that comes to one’s mind when you think of San Diego is the zoo. The San Diego weather is perpetually warm and sunny and no, that’s not an exaggeration. Backpackers could choose from a variety of activities ranging from hiking to surfing. Throw in the bars, seafood, and taco stalls and San Diego is the place to go.
Montana – Montana is just about one of the best states that I have ever seen and considering how much I roam about, that says a lot. It’s got just the right amount of everything. Montana doesn’t disappoint, you need not take my word for, just pick up a bag, and go find out.
Portland – Portland has its fair share of problems. For starters, it does not have a big airport with regular flights and is therefore not really well connected. But it does make up for it in a lot of ways. In Portland, you’ll find the best food trucks you’ll find anywhere, cocktail lounges that are simply mesmerizing and a beer culture that borders on religious paranoia.
There’s even a peaceful Japanese garden for those who crave a mild oriental experience. If you still need a reason to go to Portland, I’ll give you two – the World Domination Summit and the Portland International Beerfest.
Grand Canyon – The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Words simply cannot describe how beautiful the Grand Canyon is. It is breathtaking in a way that can simply not be put into words. If you actually decide to hike through the Canyon, make sure you go all the way up to the Colorado River.
Islands in Lake Erie – The group of Islands are such that they can be classified as being hidden gems. South Bass Island is as peaceful a place as it gets. It’s not really the conventional backpackers’ destination as it tends to be a tad bit expensive. However, if the price is not a bar, the Island can offer hospitality comparable to places like Miami.
Backpacking as a mode of tourism is generally discouraged in the US for a variety of reasons. For starters, the tourist infrastructure for cross-country tourism is deplorable. Hostels are not really popular and trains don’t connect to a lot of places.
Given how massive the United States is, road trips are always bound to be a diverse experience. Here are a few of the typical costs you need to consider while embarking on a cross-country exploration.
Accommodation – There are not really a lot of hostels that the potential backpackers can turn to. All you can find instead are motels and hotels. Considering the fact that even the cheapest accommodation can set you back by $35 per night, this is one of the heads under which you are bound to spend a lot.
Food – While it is generally recommended that you try out new food cuisines, it could also end up being one of the aspects you spend the most on. A simple hack would be to buy your own groceries and make food from scratch.
Transportation – The huge size of the US makes it a problem if one does not properly plan it out. While the American road trip is almost like a sacred tradition, there also exists an extensive train and bus network. A well-planned trip would ensure that you don’t end up splurging on air tickets.
Backpacking trips, as admitted by many avid travellers, are the best way to know a place. There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that your budget stays as low as possible. For instance, you can redeem hotel points from your hotel credit card, which is sure to save a lot of money. If you are going to some national park, you can invest in a national park pass which will allow you access to up to four parks.
There are similarly a lot of hacks that you can use to ensure that your backpacking trip is done at a low cost and at the same time not compromising on the quality of the trip. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your bags, and get, set, go!