Spending Your Gap Year in the United States of America

Daniel Badenhorst
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With These Helpful Hints, You Can Learn How to Stretch Your Dollar Further.

Although Thailand, Costa Rica, and South Africa are the most popular gap-year destinations for young people, the United States of America is quickly emerging as a true rising star in this field. Despite the fact that it was not a popular gap year destination ten years ago, it has risen through the ranks to become the third most popular country in the world to visit.

If you are one of the thousands of students considering taking a gap year in the United States, one of the first things you should consider is that, in comparison to many other potential gap year destinations, the United States is not an especially affordable place to live. The cost of living varies by state, but several areas of the United States are consistently ranked among the world’s most expensive places to live. Many international rankings consistently place New York City, California, and Washington State at the top.

However, this does not imply that you must have won the lottery in order to have a successful gap year in the United States. Anyone who has sufficient knowledge and the ability to manage their finances wisely can make the most of their time in the United States. Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your money during your gap year in the United States.

1. Understand Your Lodging Options

As previously stated, the cost of living varies greatly across the United States. Popular tourist and business travel destinations, such as New York and San Francisco, have some of the highest rents in the world. Rents in cities that are equally exciting, such as Phoenix, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Baltimore, are significantly lower. If you must stay in one of the more expensive areas for an extended period of time, you should conduct some research to determine which areas are better suited to your financial situation.

2. Travel on a Budget

While it can be financially disastrous, driving in a state like California, where gas prices have long surpassed $4 per gallon, is sometimes necessary. Traveling across the country does not have to be expensive if you have the right information. Despite the fact that public transportation in the United States is not particularly developed, long-distance and intercity travel on carriers such as Greyhound Buses and Amtrak Trains can be accomplished at surprisingly low prices. However, the caliber of your trip may fall short of your expectations.

3. Ensure That You Have Enough Money for Entertainment

In general, doing a little research before spending money on entertainment will allow you to save a significant amount of money in the United States. You are now in the land of modern entertainment, so keep in mind that whatever you want to do, whether it is going to the movies or playing games online, there will be a dozen ways to do it, each of which will cost you significantly different amounts of money. Consider the enormous popularity of online casino games such as poker and roulette in the United States. Because providers understand that customers have many factors to consider when it comes to bonuses, prices, and play options, there are many great deals available online if you know where to look.

4. Make a Commitment to Eating Locally.

One might reasonably wonder what it means to “eat local” in a country as culturally diverse and gastronomically enthusiastic as the United States. The fact that regional cuisines in different parts of the United States are so distinct from one another, on the other hand, is precisely what makes eating your way across the country one of the most enjoyable things you can do in your life. If you want to save money on your food purchases, learn about regional specialties. Because there is so much competition among Chicago restaurants, deep dish pizza is the most cost-effective option for dinner. In New York City, a single dollar is still required to purchase a slice of pizza. A Philadelphia cheesesteak will never put you in debt, and dim sum in San Francisco will never cost more than a few dollars.

If you are concerned about the cost of your gap year in the United States, the aforementioned suggestions can help you significantly reduce your outgoing expenses. Also, don’t forget to plan ahead of time!