From exciting theme parks to sandy beaches, the sunshine state is an incredible holiday for families, couples and friends
From the bustling streets of New York to beaches of California, we love a holiday in the USA. There's so much to see and do whatever kind of thing you like and it doesn't have to cost a fortune either. With flights starting from less than £300 per person and plenty of cheap accommodation on offer, like hostels and budget friendly hotels, you could be one of the many people enjoying a holiday to the United States each year, and now is the time to get looking for an escape in 2021 and 2022.
Always check the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before you book because advice can change.
A number of the big airlines fly from the UK to the US, including some of the UK's regional airports like Birmingham, Edinburgh and Belfast. Sometimes due to demand this may only be a seasonal service, like the summer months between April and September while other routes are year round. Some airlines have transatlantic partnerships, like British Airways and American Airlines, or Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, which can provide more options suited to your ideal times.
Over the years a couple of low cost airlines have introduced cheap flights to the States which has included Norwegian and Jet2, but were significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Airlines are always looking at introducing new transatlantic fights and low cost carriers can be an affordable way to do this, however it doesn't always mean they are the cheapest. Although flights prices advertised can be very cheap, you may still want to include check-in luggage, seat selection and more which can push the price up.
If you're on a city break, getting from airports into city centres is pretty easy using public transport, whether you're in Washington DC, Chicago or Miami. And getting about those cities is generally quite simple too. Exploring by foot is always a great way to see a city, but subway and buses are frequent in all cities.
A hire car is perfect for giving you the freedom to drive where and when you want. The USA is well known as a driving country. Whether you wanting to enjoy a road trip and travel through several states and seeing some of the natural wonders of the country.
From its hustle and bustle on the streets and endless shopping opportunities to the cool and quirky bars, cafes and restaurants that are dotted throughout Manhattan, New York City never fails to disappoint. For the first time tourist on holiday in NYC, you've got to tick off the bucket list items like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. For the more seasoned visitor to the city, head online to places like Time Out to see what the latest shows and entertainment are on offer. A trip over to Brooklyn is also worth the trip.
Home of the theme parks, Orlando offers something for everyone. The likes of Disney World and Universal Studios isn't just for the kids, there's plenty to keep everyone entertained, whether you've always dreamed of meeting your Disney idol, or hurtling at speed on the latest rollercoaster. It's worth booking an ATOL protected package to include your flight and hotel, as well as any theme park tickets. Not only does this give you financial protection, but can also save you a fortune with many tour operators providing discounts when combining it all. And while the hotels can be close by, a villas in Orlando are the perfect way to enjoy your own freedom, have access to a private pool and save a bit of money too.
A typical trip to California will be driving along the west coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa, perhaps with a quick trip inland to enjoy the delights of Palm Springs. A great holiday destination, California is popular with Americans too as they enjoy their vacations along southern Cali's gorgeous sandy beaches.
There's plenty to do and definitely something for everyone. There are great cities to explore, beaches to relax on, lots of hiking trails if you love the outdoors and plenty of wonderful seaside towns dotted along the coastline, offering the ultimate in laid back lifestyle. Make sure to see the impressive Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Monica Pier and the national parks like Yosemite.
Iconic for culture and music, the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is an excellent part of the USA to explore. Starting in Nashville, the home of country music, enjoy attractions like the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Then head on to Memphis, Tennessee to discover more musical history, before driving onto New Orleans and the lively streets of this incredible city and the home of jazz.
Famous for its magnificent colours in the autumn, the north eastern states of New England, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine are an excellent fly-drive holiday. Fly into Boston and then head north to explore the various towns and outdoor spaces to admire the beauty of this part of the United States.
Also great for exploring in the spring and summer, there are lots of state parks to discover, as well as the many fishing towns along the Atlantic coastline. You might also want to consider and twin centre trip, combining Boston with NYC.
Such a diverse country means lots of different holiday types available. Here are a few of our favourites for holidays to the USA.
Being the vast country that it is, the United States of America offers lots of options for twin centre holidays. From combining a city break with beach towns, to exploring several areas like New York, Florida and Las Vegas on a multi-centre trip. The flight network in the US is excellent so you'll have plenty of choice when it comes to travelling internally. You can also think about train journeys such as between NY and Boston and Washington DC.
If you're planning a trip to Florida's awesome theme parks, check out the villas on offer in and around Orlando. These holiday homes can provide all you need for the family, often including a private pool and are generally within easy driving distance to International Drive and the various parks.
You can book your flight and villa together as a package and with several tour operators, you can also include the cost of park tickets to Disney and many others. Sometimes the holiday villas can be situated in gated communities, meaning more safety and security for your peace of mind.
Florida is well known at the theme park capital of the world. Walt Disney World Resort, Universal, Busch Gardens, and Disney's Blizzard Beach are just a few of the attractions on offer in Florida, with many visitors enjoying a two week stay just to try and get in as many of the parks. There's also lots of other attractions like the Kennedy Space Center and Discovery Cove.
America is great for a road trip or fly drive. Whether you want to hire a car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey and San Francisco, a trip through the Rocky Mountains, or head from Miami down to the Florida Keys, road trips in the US are incredibly exciting. You can pick up a car hire at all airports and they range from budget, compact cars, to luxury SUVs and convertibles. Some people also like to combine a break in the USA with a few nights in Canada.
Motorhomes are another way to see the country in fabulous style. Giving you the freedom to drive wherever you want in the comfort of your own home. You only have to unpack once, and if you do fancy a treat, you can always organise a night or two in a hotel. Driving large motorhomes in cities is not recommended. While many of the roads in the US are wide, city streets and traffic aren't always the best of friends with an RV (Recreational Vehicle).
Florida is often referred to as the sunshine state with an average of 8 hours of sun a day, so it's no wonder the Americans choose to enjoy the beaches here on vacation. Combine the city with the sand at Miami Beach, or for some luxurious seclusion, head down to the Keys to enjoy stunning scenery of these islands. North and South Carolina also have some fabulous beaches to enjoy, especially in the summer months, while the southern states of Texas and Louisiana enjoy the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Europe is far closer for a ski holiday, but the slopes in America are often on a skiier's bucketlist. Home of The Rockies, Colorado and Utah have some incredible scenic resorts including Vail, Aspen, Park City and Snowbird. US ski holiday prices can be much higher than the likes of Austria and France, as the flights cost more, but if you can stretch the budget, it's well worth the trip.
America is so vast that the right time to go can vary significantly depending on where you plan to visit and what sort of break you are after. For example, New York goes from the extreme colds of winter but a magical time to spend exploring the city, especially around Christmas, to the sweltering summer when enjoying picnics in the park are ideal.
The summer months of June, July and August are often the busiest time to visit, with both domestic and international families on their vacations, and can also be more expensive during the school hols, but it can also be the best time. With warmer weather, the US is perfect for enjoying the outdoors, especially discovering the incredible national parks, and the numerous hiking trails.
On the flip site, city breaks in Las Vegas for example in Jul/Aug can be unbelievably hot, with temperatures reaching into the 40s. If you do visit, most hotels have pools and air conditioning, so you might find you retreating to your room to escape the heat sometimes.
Many people visit the USA in the fall to enjoy the famous rich colours of nature. New England and Maine are a prime example of this. It's a great part of the country in summer but the cooler weather in September, October and November brings out the beautiful reds and oranges of the trees.
In the winter months of December, January and February, many head south for the warmer weather to Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Key Largo and San Diego. Then there's also Hawaii, a collection of stunning islands in the Pacific Ocean which is a favourite for holidaymakers.
Spring time can be a wonderful time of year to explore the States. As the weather starts warming up, many of the country's cities are perfect for exploring, and heading out into the countryside can be great too.
The company or tour operator you choose to go with will really depending on the sort of holiday you are after. There are USA specialists out there like American Sky and North America Travel Service, while travel agents like Kuoni and Trailfinders can also offer packages.
With lots of flights to the US, Virgin Holidays is certainly an option worth looking at, particularly the cities like Boston, NYC and Las Vegas, as well as jam packed destinations like Orlando and Los Angeles. What's more, they are ATOL protected to ensure your money is safe when booking with them and cater really well for all the family.
If you prefer an escorted tour and everything being arranged for you, Travelsphere provides guided tours across the US, from the East Coast to the Deep South. Tours start on specific dates but you can add on a few days before and after to help make the most of your time away.
Another great family option is TUI, who provide regular flights into the US, particularly Orlando, and even direct flights from regional airports including Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester. Not only that, they can include extras like early park admission to your package, and often have deals like resort credit too.