The United States is a vast and diverse country with much to see, but the ‘must-see’ sights in the US can be miles and miles from each other, meaning you’ll have to work out how you’re going to get between the two!
There are many different ways to travel in the United States and we’ve taken a look at each of them to see which is the most efficient for your trip. So, while you’re waiting on a visa or ESTA for Irish citizens to come through, why not take a look at our research and work out the best way for you to travel while you’re in the US!
Travelling by road is an incredible way to see the sights in the US. With miles of highway to take you from one city to another, road-tripping is a very popular way to get around the country.
If you do choose to travel by car on your visit to the US, there are a few things you should remember. Firstly, the US is huge, meaning that to get from one major city to another, say Las Vegas to New York, can take days. The distance between those two cities is actually 2,521 miles and will take a whopping 37 hours to travel. It is also important to remember that in the US you drive on the right-hand side of the road!
There will be car hire services at most major airports. The age to hire is 25 years old in the US and you must have held your license for more than one year. You may be charged an extra fee if you drop your car off in a different city and some services allow younger drivers for extra too.
You will need a credit card to hire a car, though some places may let you leave a cash deposit in very rare cases.
Ensure you have your license on your person at all times and choose an insurance policy that covers the driver and all passengers when driving in the US.
A note on taxis
In most major US cities, taxis can offer a quicker alternative to public transit. Most cities will have cab services you can hire and you may also be able to call an Uber or Lyft, the two ride-sharing apps that dominate the US market.
There are a number of different long-distance coach companies in the US, including the famed Greyhound service. These services, like car travel, can take a long time and so travelling the US via them isn’t always the most efficient if time is of the essence. Coach travel can, however, be a great way to see the sights.
By public transit
Public transit is a great way to get around cities and towns. It usually includes local bus services, and in some cases, underground trains systems. Be aware that not all cities have quality public transit systems and a car may be needed.
Underground train systems
Cities including, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Boston, all have underground train systems that can make moving around cities relatively easy. Most are quicker than local bus routes and can be a cheap and efficient way of travelling.
Local bus routes
City buses allow you to hop on and pay your fare to the driver. There are usually also bus passes you can purchase if you’re planning on multiple rides. It is also a good idea to download a map app for the city you’re travelling in to ensure you’re getting on the right bus!
Most rail systems in the US are operated by Amtrak. Trains are not considered an efficient way to travel in the US as trains are usually infrequent, slow, and more expensive than other methods of travel.
Since the US is so vast, travelling by plane could be a quick and simple way of getting from one destination to another. There are a number of budget airlines that offer great prices for domestic flights which include JetBlue, Virgin America, and SouthWest. Check these out if booking domestic flights.
Depending on the area of the US you’re travelling to, you may be able to find incredibly efficient boat services. With city tours in places like New York and San Fransisco and ferry services like the Staten Island Ferry and the Alaska Marine Highway System, boating can be a great way to move around the US.
What is the most efficient way to travel in the United States?
The US can offer a huge variety of transportation systems and the most efficient services depend on where you’re going and what you want to see. If you want to spend time sightseeing and exploring the country, road-tripping or long-distance coaches may be a good option, but for quick travel between states, you should opt for plane travel.
In coastal areas, boat services can be a great option for getting from one destination to another. Where they’re available in cities, underground train services are also a really good option, though other rail services are generally not considered a quick or efficient travel method.
The best way to find the most efficient travel in the US is to take some time to research your route and plan out the easiest way you can travel for the kind of trip you want.