Not written in stone or engraved in our hearts or circled in our daily planners. Our plan to hitchhike the USA is one that is open for endless opportunity to allow anything (and I mean anything) to happen.
Where do we plan to go?
As of right now, the places on our route are places we have always wanted to visit or have heard so much about. However, we do recognize that many times only the tourist spots are highlighted/advertised and not what the locals would consider the state’s true jewel. Therefore, if you think that a city or place should be on the list, feel free to comment below and tell us about the wonderful places you think Ben and I should visit and why ?
States/cities to visit: (this is in no particular order)
- Louisiana (New Orleans, Baton Rouge)
- Florida (Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando)
- Colorado (Denver)
- Washington (Seattle, Olympia)
- New Mexico (Santé Fe, Albuquerque)
- California (Eureka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego)
- Arizona (Phoenix, Sedona)
- Georgia (Savannah, Atlanta)
- Hawaii (all Islands)
- Oregon (Portland, Eugene)
- Utah (Salt Lake City)
- Texas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio)
- North Carolina (Raleigh)
- South Carolina (Myrtle Beach)
- Illinois (Chicago)
- Tennessee (Nashville)
- Minnesota (Minneapolis)
Ben and I enjoy going outdoors (when it’s nice weather of course) as well as appreciating all of Mother Nature’s beauty (not to mention some peace and quiet from the busy, noisy world). So of course, we are going to visit some national parks during our trip.
Parks we had in mind:
- Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)
- Olympia National Park (Washington)
- Yosemite (California)
- Grand Canyon (Arizona)
- Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)
- Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)
- Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)
So, what’s the ducking route?
Ben and I are trying to stay as far away as possible from the cold. Our real timeline is based on following the heat of the sun (We are heliophiles). We would like to hit all the northern states from our list before fall starts to settle in. Then we can explore the rest of the country with no worries in mind as most of the southern states are usually warm all year around.
Since New York City is a congested city and it is illegal to hitchhike there, we decided to take Megabus to Washington D.C. first to explore the city, and then start our hitchhiking adventures from there.
Where do we plan to stay/sleep?
Sleeping will be interesting. Ben and I have come to terms with not have a nice comfortable queen size bed or fluffy pillows to sleep on. So, we bought a tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping foams for the nights where we have to sleep along side the roads (Stealth camping). However, there are nights where we hope on sleeping in a real bed or at least on a couch.
For sleeping accommodations, Ben and I plan on Couchsurfing as much as possible, especially when we are visiting big cities. Couchsurfing is currently our most concrete way of getting sleeping accommodations. However, we are considering WOOFing in certain states and possibly house-sitting, but again none of those are really planned out.
We don’t plan on spending any money on hotels or motels unless absolutely necessary, and it’s the last resort, though I doubt it will come down to that since we have a tent.
Also, if our kind drivers or anyone we meet along the way offers us a place to crash or allows us to pitch our tent in their back yard, we will gladly accept (only if we don’t sense that anything fishy is going to happen of course).
How much do we plan to spend?
For our first adventure, Ben and I would like to spend as little money as possible, especially because we would like our little bit of savings to last as long as possible. Plus, if we wanted to spend excessive amount of money, we would have rented a car and done the classic road trip.
Spending Budget per month
Food & Water = $200
Lodging = $0
Miscellaneous= $ 60
Emergency use only (for Buses or lodging, etc. ) = $75
Total spending =$335*
* this amount is a generous amount as I have overestimated and I know it is possible to live on less a month.
Total Bills paying per month
Loans= ~$550 (total between the both of us )
Phone bill= $45
Total amount spent on bills = $595
During our trip, I plan on tracking our spending and doing a monthly report to show you how much we spent, what we spent it on and of course if we stayed within our budget.
What we plan to pack?
Packing is something like an art, so I’ve heard. We’re just trying to get it perfect, or at least get pretty close on our first try.
To find out what we packed, take a peek into our backpack.
What we hope to get out of this trip?
Our goals for this adventure are to have as much fun as possible, learn about different state cultures and restore our faith in humanity. Most of all, we want to experience the freedom that comes with the open road, the excitement of meeting someone new, the patience needed to be with each other 24/7 and the joy of having everyday be a new mystery and not a routine.
I personally want to prove to my family and friends that hitchhiking is not as dangerous as in the movies.
I mean I am trying to prove it to myself too. I don’t really know if it is. I am only going on what I have read in books and on blogs. Hey, I guess I will find out sooner or later.
Have you hitchhiked before? Do you have any advice or thoughts about our not so planned plan? If so, let us know, we would love to hear what you think about our plans and if you have any suggestions for us.