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USA - Where to start?

27 Apr 2013 Shay_AussieGirl asked


Hi guys, I'm looking at a couple tours of the USA, not sure where to begin, looking at the Best of USA tour, Southern Adventure and Western Highlights. Has anyone been on these tours and could suggest which one i should go with? Also, how much spending money should i be looking at?

  • Read the responses 13 responses so far
  • 1 May 2013 B_87 said


    Im doing best of USA starting September 2nd this year

  • 5 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    How much money are you planning to take if you don’t mind be asking? I have no idea how much i should save! I’m looking at doing it next year though

  • 5 May 2013 Lauren said


    Hi! So I am answering this from the point of view of an American, not having done any of the tours.

    Western Highlights looks great, I have been to all of those cities and I have to say, Arizona may be my favorite state to explore. I was in Pheonix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon for a family vacation last August, and be prepared for some intense heat in some places (110°F) and some cooler temps as well near the grand canyon (60-70°F). Vegas is a must if you are in the area, and San Diego is beautiful.

    Best of USA also looks pretty awesome. I’m from New York City so I always suggest visiting, and San Francisco is where I will be moving soon. You see some more interesting cities on this tour, and there is definitely more time to really explore each of the cities. Definitely see less of the landscape though, its a lot more city-centric.

    I can’t comment on the Southern tour, I haven’t been to many of the cities on it but I have heard great things about most of them. Seems like a lot of time will be spent traveling though…

    And in terms of money, the average meal here will run you $6-$10, but can get much more expensive if you go somewhere fancy, plus 15-20% tip. The average alcoholic beverage will run you $5-$10. In Vegas you can spend as much or as little money as you choose, its all about how much you care to gamble. New York is expensive purely because of the shopping (6.5% sales tax on clothes) and transportation (use the subway unless it is late, then take a cab). For any of these vacations I would personally budget around $1500, but only you know how much money you will spend (as in, if you tend to prefer expensive food, it may be more).

  • 6 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    Oh that’s awesome! Thanks heaps!

  • 6 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    I was pretty confused about the whole tipping thing, we don’t do that here. That clarified that too! Thanks so much!

  • 6 May 2013 Lauren said


    real fast, I figured I should clarify a bit more on tipping. You tip when you get waiter service (like, when you order and have someone bring food to your table) and no other time. if there is a tip jar out at food places I normally put my change in it but keep the dollars. And on drinks I tip $1 per drink no matter how much the drink costs.

    Waiters and bartenders can be paid under minimum wage in the US because it is assumed that they will make money off of tips, and you should try and tip between 15%-20% if it is good service. I tip 10% with bad service, but always leave some cash on the table. Having worked in the food service industry, it is appreciated.

    And the money I suggested comes out to ~$100/day, which is definitely what I would suggest in New York and probably in other cities too if you want to do some tourist-y things. I’ve done the tourist things in New York and it will add up to ~$100/day, but totally worth it.

    Happy exploring!!

  • 6 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    Oh thats awesome, i understand it now! Thanks!

  • 9 May 2013 Sally and Bunt said

    Sally and Bunt

    im doing best of usa tour october 14th cant wait :) you should def book one going to be amazing

  • 11 May 2013 Stephey88 said


    There are so many amazing places to see and things to do you will enjoy any of the trips you book! I’m doing the Grand Northern in October and can’t wait. I have also been to New York previously and it is my favourite place to visit.

  • 11 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    I can’t wait! Think i’ll do the best of USA first

  • 12 May 2013 hayleyhorowitz said


    I am doing the best of USA starting in New York leaving August 7 :) I can’t wait

  • 14 May 2013 Kelsey said


    i did the southern adventure jan 31 – feb 13. it was the best time of my life! my one regret would have to be not doing the full grand southern and continuing on to NY with everyone – I did Washington, NYC and boston by myself afterwards and san Francisco beforehand. I didn’t spend as much as some people but I definitely bought a lot – I came back with another suitcase. I think my spending money would have been about $3,000 -3,500 total if i’m including optionals. I definitely recommend the southern adventure cause it’s just so diverse, you see so much of the US from the desert to the snow to texas to new Orleans (we were there for mardi gras so it was party central). definitely start in LA though cause if you start in new Orleans, it might be awkward to become friends with everyone seeing as they will have already travelled from NY together :)

  • 14 May 2013 Shay_AussieGirl said


    awesome thanks :) Soo much i want to see!

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