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What is the cheapest (best?) way to travel east to west coast USA?

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Chris B asked:

My friends and I are planning to travel across the USA from San Diego to New York in the Summer 2008. We are all 21 which makes hiring a car very costly because of the surcharges for younger drivers.

What would anybody suggest as to the best way of getting across on a student’s budget?

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4 comments to “What is the cheapest (best?) way to travel east to west coast USA?”

  1. Going by train will be something you will never forget. You can reserve a cabin, eat decent meals and be walk around the train while seeing some of the country. Flying to NY is too expensive and you miss seeing the US.
    Here’s a link to help:
    You might want to make your reservations soon.

  2. The train is awesome.

    Amtrak Rail Passes are available for travel within the entire United States. They offer 15-day and 30-day passes for unlimited travel. It will cost around $500 per person for a 15 day pass and about $600 for thirty days.

    If you just want to travel one way, without side trips, it will be around $400 per person.

    And you can fly or take the bus for around $250. Although they don’t allow for the room to walk around and the comfort you will have on a train. Sometimes getting there is the most memorable part of a trip.

  3. Take the train. It will take you from LA to Chicago and then you transfer to a train going to NY.

  4. The cheapest option is to fly, but if you want to see the country, than other options beside the trains suggested above include:

    1) Greyhound, which is the nation wide bus system. Not a very nice trip, but convenient

    2) Green Tortise is an alternate bus company that does trips for young adults in a converted bus. One of their buses goes from Boston (easily reached from NYC) to California. Your fellow passengers are inteseting and they stop at cool places, but it has a very limited schedule

    3) Buy a car, and then sell it when you get to California. Very easy to do, though you may need help to do all the paperwork, insurance etc

    4) Rideshare: There are others like you travelling the US looking to share costs. Check message boards at hostels, as well as at colleges at the end of the term. You can also check online bulletin boards such as

    5) Travel companies such as Trek America which cater to young travellers like yourself

    Good luck

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