Go Alone and Pay More: 11 Insights About How Much Expensive Solo Travel Is In America

Out of curiosity, a solo backpacker asked people on the Internet why is it more expensive to travel alone in the U.S. The traveler was met with a flurry of responses, ranging from the thrifty to the extravagant. Sifting through the noise, some opinions stood out. But it still seems that expenses can be really high when crossing the vast American landscapes on your own. And while some costs are obvious, others are more hidden, waiting to ambush the unsuspecting tourists.

1. The Holiday Craze

Ice skaters fill the skating rink under the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a popular holiday tourist attraction in Midtown Manhattan.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The secret is timing. High-traffic holidays like Christmas, and Fourth of July, or even local events like Mardi Gras often crowd places, meaning there are higher prices for almost everything. Traveling just a week later could save you some serious cash! And if adventure fun is what you’re after, consider hitting the ‘shoulder season’ which means the time between off and peak seasons.

This not only gifts you a fresh perspective but also emptier, more serene landscapes. As one wise traveler advised, “Keep an eye on big local events unless that is your goal.” Plan smart, and travel more cheaply.

2. The U.S. Has a Weak Travel Infrastructure

Woman drinking tea and watcing airplane
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Unless you’re embarking on a hiking or camping trip suited for solo travel, the U.S. lacks the infrastructure to support traveling alone at a reasonable cost. One commenter decries the scarcity of hostels, inadequate public transit, and a shortage of budget airlines in the U.S.

3. High Cost of Living Areas = Higher Travel Expenses

Times Square ,is a busy tourist intersection of neon art and commerce and is an iconic street of New York City and America
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some regions of the country have a high cost of living that travelers can’t avoid. A user on the thread describes their experiences traveling in the Northeast U.S. by themselves, writing, “Just came back from Boston. I think I spent like 1-2k in a week, lol. My first meal cost $65 and was essentially a snack.”

4. A Tale of Two Trips

Spain. Valencia, Peniscola. View of the sea from a height of Pope Luna's Castle. The medieval castle of the Knights Templar on the beach. Beautiful view of the sea and the bay. Mediterranean Sea.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Someone compares two trips they went on, a two-week excursion to Spain and a ten-day trip to Michigan, and the cost differences were astonishing: “Back in 2019, we went to Spain for two weeks and Michigan for ten days…it cost us more to go to Michigan and stay in a not so nice hotel in Muskegon than it cost to go from L.A. to Spain.”

5. The Tourism Industry Is Designed for Groups

A group of friends enjoy the day on new orleans tours around Jackson Square, in the French Quarter. Millions visit New Orleans yearly.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The tourism industry in the U.S. intentionally attracts couples, families, and groups of friends because they collectively spend more money than someone traveling alone. One person on the thread confirms this based on their own experience, describing a trip to New York City and seeing that most tourists at the popular attractions were groups of people.

6. Rental Car Prices Have Increased

Borrow , rent
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Since the pandemic, the cost of car rentals has exponentially increased. One respondent states, “Since COVID, the rental car has been the big issue in my solo traveling in the U.S. Paying 3x-4x the rate of what it cost just a couple of years ago is such a bummer. I can find cheaper airfare through budget carriers. But there’s no way around the rental car.”

7. Lodging Is Expensive

A sign on the wall of the hostel.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Unlike European countries, the U.S. only partially supported youth hostels, which are highly affordable hotel alternatives, especially in bigger cities. Making matters worse, some American-based hostels shuttered their doors due to the pandemic shutdowns. Somebody on the thread indicates they avoid paying for lodging by camping in their car on a road trip.

8. Uneven Currency Exchange Rates

Woman with money closing face
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Even though the U.S. and other countries are experiencing inflation, the strength and value of the U.S. dollar remain high. For travelers from other countries, their currency is worth less in exchange. This uneven currency exchange can make trips to the U.S. out of reach for those traveling alone.

9. Profiteering Is Rampant

family at hyatt hotel in caribbean
Image Credit: Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

The travel industry took a big hit due to pandemic shutdowns. To recoup that lost revenue, service providers are raising rates. “The profiteering everywhere you turn is getting outrageous,” an individual responds.

10. Length of Stay and Destination Matters

The Los Angeles International Airport with its streets, entrances and exits. In the foreground is the LAX-sign. Captured from above.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another user observes that a two-week vacation versus a weekend getaway affects how much a solo traveler spends, and the destination matters. Some cities, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, are notoriously expensive.

11. America Is Expensive, Period

Fashionable couple shopping
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

Finally, this user acknowledges, “The U.S. is an expensive place to do anything.” Do you agree?

More From Savoteur

Young caucasian man wearing casual shirt over blue background feeling angry, annoyed, disappointed or displeased, showing thumbs down with a serious look
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Visiting the United States is filled with excitement and adventure – especially if you’re visiting from another country. There aren’t many nations that can offer more to foreign visitors than America! However, tourists should think twice about visiting certain places. Recently, U.S. citizens and tourists met in an online discussion to reveal the places foreigners should avoid at all costs.

10 Places in America Foreigners Should Avoid at All Costs According to Americans

12 Things Americans Have or Do That Is Better Than in Europe

Proud woman with the American flag and smiling
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

There is a certain respect between the United States and its European counterparts. However, anyone who’s lived in both places knows what America has or does that puts Europe to shame! Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal everything Europe should be jealous of when comparing itself to the United States.

12 Things Americans Have or Do That Is Better Than in Europe

Top 10 Most Unique Cities in the U.S. According to Americans

Woman seeing through magnifying glass
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Tennessee Williams once famously said, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” An online commenter asks people in a forum to share the most unique cities in the USA — here are their picks.

Top 10 Most Unique Cities in the U.S. According to Americans

10 Big Things Americans Are Not Ready To Hear According to Europeans

Portrait of shocked amazed stressed girl staring hear unexpected news information isolated on violet color background
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Buckle in, America: Europeans are about to lay some cold, hard truths on you. There are some things that Americans aren’t ready to hear, and recently, people met in an online discussion to reveal all the things that Europeans would love to say to the United States in general. It’s an eye-opening look into how America is viewed from across the pond!

10 Big Things Americans Are Not Ready To Hear According to Europeans

Top 10 Most Forgettable U.S. States According to Americans

woman yawning
Image Credit: Cast of Thousands / Shutterstock.

Sometimes it’s easy to get selective amnesia toward certain states. It may happen for many reasons; maybe you visited the state once, and nothing was memorable or striking about it. Or perhaps it gave you bad memories on the first visit — first impressions matter a lot. According to regular voyagers, these are the top most forgettable states.

Top 10 Most Forgettable U.S. States According to Americans 


Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.

These 11 Unusual But Affordable Items Will Make Your Life Easier Story Discovering 6 Underrated Gems for Your Next Getaway Story Vacation – 6 Terrible Travel Fails Every Tourist Should Learn Story Instagram Gold – 6 Selfie Spots in These Breathtaking U.S States Story Islands – 6 Strangest Islands Beyond Your Imagination Story