Unless you’re coming from Cuba it’s pretty easy to find flights to the US. If you’re flying from the UK you’re on one of the busiest, most competitive routes in the world and now, thanks to the Open Skies pact that allows any airline from the EU or America to cross the Atlantic, prices are lower than ever. Zoom Airlines are a good place to start.
Major, international airports include JFK and Newark (New York), LAX (Los Angeles), SFO (San Francisco) and Hartsfield International (Atlanta).
You can cross one of the several borders with Canada on a Greyhound bus or Amtrak train. Buses also run between Mexico and the States but as yet there are no cross-border rail connections.
There are 400 domestic airports in the USA and a number of low-cost carriers so if you want to cover a lot of distance in a little time a flight is a good option. Discount airlines include JetBlue, Southwest and AirTran.
Unlike the crazy UK system, there is one rail system throughout the USA, Amtrak, meaning you can traverse all the way from Chicago to New Orleans (20 hours) and New York to Los Angeles (62 hours) and not have to change. Though in terms of sanity it might be a good idea. It’s not the cheapest or fastest way to travel but you get great views and you’re bound to meet some characters. Amtrak Thruway buses will help you get from the railway network to smaller places and national parks.
The story that all inmates leaving prison get given a free Greyhound bus ticket isn’t strictly true but you wouldn’t want to hang around many US bus stations in the middle of the night. That said, Greyhound buses are a cheap way to travel between major town and cities so, if you do arrive late at night you can afford to splash out on a taxi. If you’re taking several trips it’s worth investing in a North American Discovery Pass that allows unlimited travel for two months. While they’re not on the scale of Greyhound, Trailways are worth checking out as they’re often cheaper.
With the rising price of fuel driving in the USA is never going to be a cheap option but hooning down Route 66 in a Cadillac is surely priceless. Drive-away cars mean you can pick up a hire car in one town and drop it off in another – Auto Driveaway is one option. You need to be over 23 and in possession of an International Driving Permit. Make sure you have insurance. For road trip options see Road Trip USA.