TraveLinkSites talks with travelling couple Wayne and Pat Dunlap of the travel blogs Unhook Now and Plan Your Escape Now all about travelling the USA. With 43 states under their belts we feel they’re pretty well qualified to talk us through what’s good to see and do in the land of Springsteen, Dylan and other heroes of TLS’s blog editors!
1. Hi guys! Could you briefly introduce yourselves, your sites and your experience travelling in the US?
We (Wayne & Pat Dunlap) live in San Diego, California, and have been fortunate to live our dreams. We shared a life changing adventure together. We rented our home and traveled the world for the past 2 years visiting 51 countries (100 countries and 43 U.S. states total in our lifetime).
Wayne has a burning passion for travel and being a former Economics professor, also has a sincere desire to help others safely realize and afford their travel dreams. In my past life, I was a business owner, executive of high-tech companies, and an Economic professor.
Pat was a winner of Entrepreneur of the Year for San Diego and says: “Choosing to run away with my husband and best friend has been the most rewarding lifestyle change one can make. It’s brought us closer together.”
You can visit our popular World Travel Adventures Blog www.UnhookNow.com to see photos, interesting things to do, and history for 155 wonderful places in the world. You can also subscribe to receive free cost saving travel tips and bargains.
Planning is key – learning what is right for you, where to do, and how to do and afford it. We spent 6 months writing our popular selling comprehensive how-to World Travel Book “Plan Your Escape, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home” www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com that is receiving 5-star customer ratings on Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel. It shows how you can travel and see more for half the cost for all trips, have more adventure and romance, safely realize your travel dreams, and much more.
2. How does the US compare to the rest of North America in terms of things to see and do, its food and its culture? Is it very similar to other countries or very different?
Of the 3 countries in North America(U.S., Canada, & Mexico), the U.S. is more similar to Canada. Mexico has a more Latin American culture. The thing to remember about the U.S. is that it is a very large country – 3rd largest in the world in both population and area. People from all around the world have come to the U.S. to live giving it a very diverse selection of cultures.
The U.S. has some of the tallest mountains and vast plains in the world. It has vibrant cities that lead the world in finance and commerce and you can find places you could drive for most the day and see only a few people. It has very rich areas and surprisingly to some visitors, also has poor areas. The experience that is the U.S. cannot be summed up easily because of its vast size and diversity.
3. How much money can someone travel around the USA for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
Travelers to the U.S. can experience luxury or budget travel. Finding exclusive resorts and low cost motels is possible. Like in other parts of the world, larger cities can be more expensive. Visitors will probably find food costs very reasonable. Traveling off season will yield better travel bargains. High tourist seasons like the summer months when schools are out are the busiest and often more expensive. Because public transportation is not as good in the U.S. as in other places in the world, renting a car is often a necessary expense. Because the U.S. is large, exploring a region more rather than flying to many destinations is less expensive.
4. What are your favourite destinations in the USA and why?
We are partial to our home town of San Diego, California, known for having the best weather in the U.S. San Diego also has wonderful attractions that the locals enjoy such as miles of sandy beaches, great tourist attractions like San Diego Zoo and Sea World, and much more. We also like California in general including San Francisco (a great fun city), Disneyland, Big Sur, wonderful Napa and Sonoma wine regions, giant redwoods, great national parks like Yosemite, and more (not too keen on Los Angeles). Las Vegas is a fun excursion for big production shows and just being amazed.
Arizona’s Grand Canyonis amazing. You can drive to it from Las Vegas. New York is a great city with so much happening. Touring the northwest states of Oregon and Washington during the summer is beautiful. Florida’s Orlando and its many great attractions is a very fun destination. Miami is fun and the drive down to Florida’s Key West is worth the effort. New England is historic and post card beautiful. The brief fall foliage eruption of color is one of the greatest shows on earth. The Rocky Mountains have some of the best winter skiing and summer sports in the world. A visit to our capital, Washington DC, is very interesting for history buffs. Staying awhile in Hawaii can be wonderful.
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in the USA and why?
There are so many that it would be hard to list them. We suggest you review our guidebook and search online (“things to do in XXX”) for suggestions for the region or city you plan to visit. A good Internet resource to see special events in each of the US’s 50 states is: Top Events USA.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
We like the friendly people we meet everywhere. The rich diversity offers many unique cultural experiences. The vast varied geography affords every type of activity you can think of. Since 9/11, airport security can be a bit concerning to newcomers – just go with it, you will be fine.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
We like to showcase the beauty of each place we visit giving our readers a good ‘feel’ for the place. We include photos as well as interesting things to do.
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around the USA without?
Your passport and a smile. Check for any VISA requirements.
9. If you could have lived anywhere else in the country where would it be and why?
San Diego, California, is hard to beat with its consistently nice weather, beaches, attractions, good job market, and our friends and family. We love San Francisco, California- a very interesting city. We would also like to try living in New York City for awhile to enjoy the excitement it has to offer.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone had told you before you started travelling in the USA what would it be?
How great the U.S. is and how big!
Massive thanks to Wayne and Pat Dunlap for their great tips, hints and insights on what it’s like to travel the USA. Make sure you check out their blogs Unhook Now and Plan Your Escape Now all about travelling the USA.