The Hitchhikers’ Plan !?!

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.

Practicing my Hitchhiking Signs
Practicing my Hitchhiking Signs

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)

  1. Louisiana (New Orleans, Baton Rouge)
  2. Florida (Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando)
  3. Colorado (Denver)
  4. Washington (Seattle, Olympia)
  5. New Mexico (Santé Fe, Albuquerque)
  6. California (Eureka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego)
  7. Arizona (Phoenix, Sedona)
  8. Georgia (Savannah, Atlanta)
  9. Hawaii (all Islands)
  10. Oregon (Portland, Eugene)
  11. Utah (Salt Lake City)
  12. Texas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio)
  13. North Carolina (Raleigh)
  14. South Carolina (Myrtle Beach)
  15. Illinois (Chicago)
  16. Tennessee (Nashville)
  17. 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:

  1. Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)
  2. Olympia National Park (Washington)
  3. Yosemite (California)
  4. Grand Canyon (Arizona)
  5. Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)
  6. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)
  7. Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
  8. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
  9. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

So, what’s the ducking route?

Our Hitchhiking 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.

The Author

Jazzy is a professional travel blogger and the chief editor of Road Affair. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Ben, since 2012.

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  1. Hey guys! Quite a solid plan you have worked out. You will be in for an epic adventure! Longest hitchhiking trip we have ever done is only two days across Vancouver Island, where we just pitched our tent on the beach for the night. Besides that all our hitchhiking endeavours have only been for a few hours here and there in Central America and SE Asia. Look forward to seeing how your trip goes. We’ll be following.

    Oh, what worked for us in Vancouver Island was making real funny signs. We actually met a guy a few days after we reached one of our destinations of Sointula who left his family at a park to drive us to the ferry terminal because he had recognised us from our interesting sign earlier that week. Have fun!

    1. I really do hope it will be epic. What was your funniest sign ? Thanks for the advice, it is greatly appreciated and we love joking around so making funny signs will be a piece of cake.

  2. Wow! Sounds like quite the adventure you have planned. I just signed up to your newsletter so I can see how it all unfolds. All the best with your journey it all sounds VERY exciting!

    1. Thanks Ruth !!! We also can’t wait to see how everything unfolds, and as it unfolds, we will share everything on our blog !!!

      Our first Newsletter will be coming out soon, so keep a look out for it :)

    1. Haha no Ronnie you didn’t miss anything. We plan on leaving on the 4th of August, so in about two weeks. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you stay up to date on our journey around the USA :D

  3. You should definitely make some stops in the panhandle of Florida enroute to New Orleans. If you get off the interstate, you can drive through great some amazing white beaches. Look up Grayton Beach, FL. Also you can drive through Navarre Beach to Pensacola Beach. Most of the drive is protected National Seashore so nothing is allowed to be built there so you have white as snow sand dunes and water on both sides of you. Pensacola Beach is one of the best kept secrets in Florida. Absolutely stunning white beaches and blue water. Way nicer than any South Florida beach. The locals are friendly and have a great beach bum nightlife though still a small town.

    1. Kristen, that sounds amazing. I love beaches but my boyfriend is a beach bum which means I can guarantee we will stop there. We might even have to pitch our tent there for a while and live the beach bum life. Thanks for the suggestion. It is greatly appreciated.

  4. Sounds like quite the adventure. Although I’m interested to hear why you decided to skip over certain states?

    Also: Let me know if you plan to make it to Vancouver Island as well as Vancouver. I’d be glad to show you around!

    1. As of right now, the states on our route only include places of our interest and some suggestion from others. If a state is not on the list yet, it’s because we haven’t found something in that state that grabbed our attention. However, if someone tells us something interesting about a state that we like, we will add it to the route. We are trying to keep the plan as open as possible. Is there a state that you think we should visit, that’s not marked ?

      Thanks so much for the offer. We will definitely take you up on it if we make it to Vancouver.

  5. Please please please don’t let your only stop in South Carolina be Myrtle Beach! While it’s definitely a tourist destination (and thus, very popular), I think that Charleston, Hilton Head, and Beaufort are indefinitely more attractive and unique (and I say this as someone who’s lived all over the state my entire life). If you find yourself in the stretch of area between Georgetown, SC, and Charleston, SC (along Highway 17), and you need a place to pitch your tent, let me know–we’ve got a 7.5 acre farm there where we’d be happy to let you camp for a night!

    1. Hey Natalie, we are no longer hitchhiking the USA, but we are thinking about a road trip of the USA in the near future. Since traveling aboard, we realized we are not very fond of and try to avoid over populated touristy areas and enjoy the isolated nature. So we will definitely have to take you up on your offer. We already have the tent now we just have to get there!

      Thanks for offering us a place to pitch a tent if we are ever in the area.

  6. my goal is to start in Minnesota and head south to Louisiana i am following your packing advice and love it but i want to know if you have any tips for a only me trip im female fifty and under a hundred pounds i am hoping to make it back to mn all in eight weeks im really excited to do this and hope to meet lots of people

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