Looking for advice of road dogs of the States (1 Viewer)

Is it realistic to complete this journey in 26-28 days?

  • Yes, with some extra days to spend at some of the locations

  • Yes

  • Yes, with good luck and in a hurry

  • Probably no

  • No, dude, this is way too much


Results are only viewable after voting.

MarcellZ

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Hello everyone, I've been a casual fan of this site for the past years, and for the first time, I'm planning a hitchhiking trip. Also first time in the States.

I'm looking for the advice of experienced travelers about my journey plan:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=11YUINTT5a6V8DiSKi9DswExw0hI&usp=sharing

These routes don't take hitchhiking questions in account, so if you think I should use a different road or take public transport in some areas please let me know.

1. The most important question: Is it possible to safely complete this route in about 26-28 days? (My visa allows for 30 days after I'm finished with my work in mid August, in Michigan.) Not accounting for the extra days that I want to spend in some of the national parks, how many days would this take realistically?

2. Which areas are the most difficult to travel in the plan?

3. Is there something I'm not taking into account? Would you recommend this route for a brave beginner?

I'm grateful for all of your insight you can share.

A bonus question. I'm free to choose any city for departure. I'm contemplating the idea of flying over to Lima, Peru. If you think Los Angeles in not the most practical for that, but some other city, let me know.

Cheers!
 
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Tude

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Very cool and welcome to STP and utilizing our resources and knowledge. @wizehop @cantcureherpes @Kim Chee

Called in a few others who may be of help or direct to more resources -- and welcome again :)
 

SlankyLanky

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i voted yes, but with some luck theres a few reasons why but mostly because hitchhiking can be hit or miss, its pretty hard to nail down a definitive time frame when it comes to hitchhiking. its difficult for me to answer time frame questions like this because in all honesty when im travelling im not in a hurry. the west coast/midwest is not my area of expertise but like you mentioned ide look into public transit in some of the bigger (and even smaller) cities to get you to the particular hwy yer looking to hitch from. my biggest concern would be getting stuck in wyoming/south dakota for a bit longer then you plan, like i said hitchhiking is really hit or miss you could get a few really good rides or nothing for days at a time. is this yer first trip to the states?
 
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MarcellZ

MarcellZ

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, guys!

Yes, first time in the States. I'm not really afraid of hitchhiking or the people, it's just that I really have no grip of the distances and the habits. I feel like if I don't prepare well enough I have a higher chance to mess up something and get stuck in the country with my visa expiring and stuff like that.

I also started considering buying/renting the cheapest car I find.
 

SlankyLanky

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, guys!

Yes, first time in the States. I'm not really afraid of hitchhiking or the people, it's just that I really have no grip of the distances and the habits. I feel like if I don't prepare well enough I have a higher chance to mess up something and get stuck in the country with my visa expiring and stuff like that.

I also started considering buying/renting the cheapest car I find.
i mean yea theres always the chance of getting stuck somewhere for a few days, just kinda the nature of hitching but its not really something ide be to concerned about.

as far as renting a car im pretty sure you have to be at least 25, have a valid drivers license thats recognised by the usa and a credit card, so if you have all those you should be golden.
 
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MarcellZ

MarcellZ

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yes, now i done some research and renting under 25 is only possible with extra fees. That, addded to the cost of renting / buying, additional gas money, eeeh.... probably no.

Some guy suggested train rides such as the empire builder and bus services like greyhound. Any experiences/tips with these services?

The main idea still remains hitchhiking.
 

SlankyLanky

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yes, now i done some research and renting under 25 is only possible with extra fees. That, addded to the cost of renting / buying, additional gas money, eeeh.... probably no.

Some guy suggested train rides such as the empire builder and bus services like greyhound. Any experiences/tips with these services?

The main idea still remains hitchhiking.
amtrak (empire builder) would be miles above as far as comfort goes, but i havnt ridden greyhound a long distance like that ever, but even the short trips ive taken have most always been pretty miserable. but neither are really going to give you any time at all to get off the train/bus to explore a city, you may have some lay overs on greyhound but for the most part yer just gonna be sitting in a cramped seat with a bunch of loud annoyed folks around you. amtrak isnt much different and ive never ridden it that far but compared to greyhound its a way more comfortable ride. as far as tips go if you do decide to do one of these routes just keep in mind yer basically going to miss everything in every state besides some gas stations and a walmart mcdonalds or two that greyhound would stop at so you could get food. also im not sure how much a amtrak that far would cost but i could imagine it being a pretty penny or two.

obviously ide suggest hitching, yer gonna see more of the country hands down. it sounds like yer main concern is being stranded somewhere when yer visa runs out, if thats the case you could always grab a bus ticket the rest of the way to wherever yer end destination is a few days before it runs out if its that big of a concern.

you said its yer first time in the states but would this also be yer first time hitch hiking at all? what kind of gear do you have? are you travelling with a bit of extra cash or mostly planning on camping out?

heres a featured list written by the founder of the website that might give you a few ideas on what yer gonna want to pack if you havnt ironed out those details already. alot of it is basic stuff and some is situational for things you may not need at all but its a nice place to start to get a good idea, alot of folks over look little things and end up regretting it, for instance chap stick and tweezers for me are worth more then their weight in gold especially when they arnt available.

https://squattheplanet.com/threads/squat-the-planets-ultimate-gear-guide.26425/
 
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benton

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Being in a hurry ruins the fun of hitchhiking in my opinion .

However it can be a point to of pride to cover the most distance in the shortest time.

Depends on what you value more I suppose
 
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MarcellZ

MarcellZ

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Given your replies and peoples on some other forums (people of more conventional travel communities are suggesting that I should never hitchhike in the usa at all) I'm considering to shorten my trip so that i finish in Denver. If im too fast, I can at least spend some extra days in beautiful Colorado, right?

Thanks for your insight on bus and train travel. I'd like to use these only as emergency resort, for example, when getting stranded for days in some place, to make up for lost progress. My biggest concern is indeed missing the plane and thus getting f*cked with visa stuff - but I still want to see some variety of natural wonders and experience punk traveling over a bigger distance.

It seems I'm going to have about 1500-600 dollars available at the start of the journey. I will probably allocate some emergency quick travel funds - what'd you suggest? I intend to camp out combined with couchsurfing. I do need to spend on food and some entry tickets though. (Also, I'm not leaving the states until I've laid hands on one of your fancyyy raccoon hats :D)

I've only hitchhiked from one village to the next a couple of times in my country, so no real experience - but at least im over the fear of sticking out your thumb for the first time. I also travel using ride-sharing websites every week.

Thank you for drawing attention on the importance of gear. This is my list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zS0gv84mvpf3kEupSXoX6ZNxftfpb6MJiEMhUfBsB8w/edit?usp=sharing
With question marks on the items I'm not really sure about. Most of these items I already own so there's no need to allocate funds for shopping. The most bulky item is probably the camera gear - but I definitely need it for my work. Without the laptop I could get by - but then I'd have to skip on travel blogging, probably.

Thanks for your opinion, benton. One day, maybe I can travel in the USA again without deadlines. One day :rolleyes:
 
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Coywolf

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Couple of points:

Yes, the trip is possible. But there are a few areas that suck for getting rides and may take you a while.

You have allot of miles in South Dakota and Wyoming. Neither state is easy to hitch in, and Wyoming downright discourages it.

You sounds like you have plenty of money for the trip. You could do this trip on $200 if you were thrifty.

Watch out for hitching in National Parks. It is illegal in some of them (But allowed in Yellowstone).

Hitching into LA suuuuuuuucks. Make sure you do allot of research on routes and public transit when going through big cities. Google maps and street view is a godsend, but definitely carry a paper map backup.

Keep you pack light for such a long trip. If there is one thing I have learned while hitchhiking, it's that you only use about 50% of the things you bring with you.

Greyhound fucking sucks. Don't take it unless it is the last resort, and try not to ride for very long distances. It is a major ripoff. Amtrak is usually expensive, but ALOT better. It gets cheaper if you buy your ticket further in advance.

Use the forums in this website. They will tell you everything you need to know. Ecspecially "hitchhiking" "gear and supplies" "Where to?" And the beginner guides to traveling. They are incredible and an amazing resource.


Hitching in this country is incredibly easy if you have a good head on your shoulders. People from foreign countries seem to get more rides than locals for some reason (the "exotic" factor or something) I've seen it a bunch.

Use your wits and be safe. It can get sketchy on the road. I won't sugar coat that.

If you get stopped by the cops, be friendly and honest. We now live in the age of Trump, and they will not hesitate to deport you.

Hitchhike with a cardboard sign. It is MUCH more effective than thumbing when people know where you are going. Even if it only says "West".

If you have any specific questions about the western US, PM me. Ive hitched most of it, through one route or another. Sounds like a great trip, have fun!
 

Coywolf

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I jist took a look at your gear list. You should lose at least 1/3 of that stuff. That is waaaayy too much and you will hate yourself with every step with a backpack on.

Get down to the basics. You can buy/find allot of that stuff on your travels. And forget about the laptop if you have a smartphone.

Also, don't take canned food. Backpacking dehydrated food is the way to go. You don't even need HOT water to rehydrate it. Or granola/jerky. Canned food is freakin' heavy.

Just my opinion. My first pack was 75lbs and I did 2000 miles with it. Let's just say my quads were HUGE after a month, and now my pack weighs 35-40 lbs. You should aim for around 1/3 of your body weight.
 

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