The world has an incredible number of exciting places to offer. It can almost be difficult to decide where the journey should go. If this is the first time you are going on a long journey, it can be even more difficult to find out which countries are obvious to visit and where the planning should begin.
We have created the article series “Backpacking for beginners” to help you. We give you three articles with three strong suggestions on where to go with your backpacker backpack. Including what you need to be aware of before you travel and what you need to experience at the various destinations. In this third and final article, we travel to the United States. Read below.
It is popular to travel to the United States – also as a backpacker. There are many reasons for this, but the most important reason is probably that the United States has it all. You can both visit wild cities with lots of life, get beautiful and wild nature experiences, eat great food and much more.
There are many young people who travel to the United States to have the wild experience of traveling there. It is a more expensive country to live in, compared to, for example, Asia, which is another popular backpacking destination. On the other hand, you cannot compare the two continents either, as you get two very different experiences. The United States has a reputation for being wild and big, which it is – you will definitely have some wild experiences that you will soon forget. Conversely, you will also get some great travel memories that you cannot get anywhere else.
Road tripping is especially popular in the United States, and there are great opportunities to do just that. The cities are built around the major highways. We want to make you much wiser on both the possibilities for road trips and on travel in the USA below.
When you travel to the United States, the only vaccine you need is for diphtheria-tetanus . If you stay in the country for less than 90 days, it is not necessary to have a visa. On the other hand, you must be aware that you must apply for a Travel Authorization – even if you are in the country for less than 90 days.
The currency in the United States is the US dollar, which is abbreviated USD. 1 US dollar corresponds approximately to 6.5 Danish kroner.
There are many different options for touring in the United States. We start on the East Coast, where we would recommend starting the journey in New York. If you fly from Kastrup, it is a flight of at least eight hours – if you are lucky enough to find a direct flight.
When you arrive in New York, it can seem overwhelming. The city is the most visited city in the United States. It is known for everything from fashion to fantastic eateries to incredible art – and everything in between. The city has everything you can dream of and you will never really finish exploring it. Here’s what we’re up for while you ‘re in New York. We have selected budget-friendly must-see sights, as you can quickly spend a lot of money in the bustling city.
- The Statue of Liberty . It is one of the famous symbols of New York, which is definitely worth a visit. You can take the ferry “Staten Island”, which is a free ferry ride. It takes 20 minutes each way, and the tour gives you great views of both the famous statue and the New York skyline.
- Take a walk through Central Park . There are lots of trails and cozy nooks in the park, and something almost always happens. During the summer, free concerts are often held. Pack a food basket and take a relaxing afternoon with a book, or go for a walk – it’s an experience in itself.
- There is plenty of art in the city, and a number of museums, which are large and famous . We will highlight the Metropolitan Museum of Art , the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim , all of which are iconic art museums in the city.
In addition, of course, visiting Times Square is iconic. It is always full of people, typically tourists, and you come there to eat, shop or watch a show – there is not much else to do. This is not where the locals hang out, and while it may seem like a sensory bombardment, it’s great to experience. You may want to come in the evening when the whole street is lit up.
You can easily spend several days in the city. We would recommend that you take a road trip from New York . When you are saturated with the impressions of the big city, you can choose to drive to Pennsylvania, where Philadelphia is worth a visit.
Essentials for the city break
You can rent a car in New York, which you pick up at the airport, from where you drive directly to Philadelphia. It is a drive of just under two hours if the traffic slips.
In addition, there are also exciting museums in Philadelphia that are worth a visit, such as the Historical Museum of the American Revolution . The city also offers several cultural and historical sights, such as The National Historical Park, Independece Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, and the 1,000-pound Liberty Bell hangs.
When you get hungry, we can recommend eating a cheese steak from Geno’s Steaks . It’s fine to make a stop in Philadelphia, but you do not have to count on being in the city for several days. You can spend a single day or you can take an overnight stay and continue your road trip the next morning. It is up to you and how long you have for your journey.
Washington DC – the famous capital
It is, of course, a recommendation worthy of a stop in Washington. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from Philadelphia.
The big attraction here is of course the White House . The Capitol Hill area is a historic neighborhood in Washington that houses the entire U.S. government. It is a good idea to take a guided tour of the area. You must have arranged the trip to the White House in advance through the Danish Embassy in Washington . It takes several weeks to get the necessary safety information approved, so you need to plan your visit well in advance.
You can take a free, guided tour of the city. It’s a really good way to see the city, the best sights and hear about the city’s history. Since it is a free tour, it is really good style to pay your guide a small amount.
The city offers classic metropolitan life in many ways, but somewhat more subdued than in New York.
There are many opportunities to visit several cities down the East Coast. Here we will jump to Miami, which for many will be the final destination on the East Coast. The city is really beautiful with white sandy beaches and big city atmosphere . It is for many here that the holiday mood really occurs.
There are palm trees on the streets, good shopping and good food. In addition, the climate is warm all year round. It is especially a popular city for young people. There is a cool nightlife in the city and Miami has some of the best clubs in the world.
There is plenty of life along the beach in Miami, which is obviously worth a visit. On the seafront there are plenty of opportunities for cycling, walking or jogging. Sports are a big part of Miami, and it’s a wild experience to go in to watch a game in the city. You can either choose American football, where the Miami Dolphins are the local heroes, or basketball, where the Miami Heat are at home.
There are wild shopping opportunities in Miami. It takes place on Lincoln Road, where you will find everything from well-known chains to small design shops.
Of course, it is also possible to road trip on the opposite coast of the United States, the West Coast, which offers completely different experiences. Here we would recommend you to start your journey in San Francisco. If you fly from Kastrup, it is a flight of between about 14 and 20 hours, where you must expect a stopover.
San Francisco is an exciting city to visit. There is a very complex population and wide diversity in the city, everything from college students over hippies to tech giants. These are particularly cool parks and really delicious food you get in the city – this is where you will find some of America’s best Asian food. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the country to live in, so it pays to explore budget-friendly alternatives.
We can recommend taking an evening out in “The Mission District” where you can get a great view of the city, eat delicious Mexican food drink drinks at one of the many hip bars.
It is in San Francisco that you will find the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It is a trademark of the city and of course a must-see. You can take a walk on the bridge, or just see it from the ground.
It is also really nice to see the city from the water side, where you can take a ferry ride from the harbor. If you choose a public ferry it is the cheapest.
From San Francisco we would recommend that you go to Los Angeles. It is the second largest city in the United States, and many have a love / hate relationship with the city. The city is bubbling with movie stars, wannabe actors, musicians and surfers .
The city is not the obvious tourist destination, which is why you will not find definite tourist attractions either. It is instead a city you come to experience as it is. Here you enjoy life; going to the beach, eating nice food, going to concerts and so on.
That said, there are of course iconic places in town that we would recommend you see. The city is home to Hollywood, and for many, Hollywood Boulevard is an important point on the journey. This is where you see “The Walk of Fame”, where famous stars have their own star on the road with their name engraved in it.
It is definitely also worth a visit to spend a day at popular Venice Beach. There is always plenty of activity in it with, among others, street artists, surfers, skaters. There are lots of restaurants along the beach, and generally a really nice atmosphere.
It is in many ways a wild city, filled with colors, lights, casinos, expensive hotels, a wild nightlife and world-class restaurants.
It’s hard to find entertainment better than the one you find in Las Vegas. You can therefore take advantage of watching a show of one kind or another. There is money to be saved by booking tickets in advance .
It’s not just party and colors when you visit Las Vegas. You can also get a nature experience by, for example, visiting Hoover Dam, which is a dam that was originally built to tame the Colorado River .
In addition, Las Vegas offers Shark Reef, which is an aquarium designed as a shipwreck. Here you can get up close and personal with everything from sharks to sea turtles.
Once in Las Vegas, you can drive further inland to see the Grand Canyon National Park. It is a drive of between four and five hours. The Grand Canyon is a huge gorge, which is a very popular tourist attraction in the United States. It is incredibly beautiful and definitely worth the drive when in the western United States.
We would recommend that you drive to San Diego as your last stop on your road trip on the West Coast. The city is located right on the coast right on the border with Mexico.
The city describes itself as being the finest city in the United States . It’s a much quieter city than Los Angeles and Las Vegas that you come from. The town has a super surf spot at Encinitas on the many beautiful beaches. If you are into beautiful and different architecture, you should take a walk in the La Jolla area.
We can recommend visiting Balboa Park . It houses more than 16 museums and you will find both nature, culture and science. You can easily spend a whole day here without getting bored.
In addition, there is ample opportunity to relax and enjoy some quiet days both on the beach and with walks around the beautiful city.
Good advice for your trip in the USA
- When on the West Coast, one of the best burgers you can get is the In-N-Out burger
- The USA is huge and you can not achieve everything you want – so choose the most important for you and make a realistic plan for your trip
- Remember to keep track of your travel insurance
- Spread your money over several bags