Travel USA travel tips and tricks

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Nate7

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Sep 3, 2012
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Another huge fan of Chicago, Seattle is also magic!

Savannah and Charleston if you want the best southern feel.
 

Seeds

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Sep 15, 2007
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I don't know
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Why is chicago magical?

it doesnt have many interesting sites. It looks just like a boring western city and it has terrible weather. Im not criticising it Im just very confused. What have i missed?
 

Sttew

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Oct 28, 2006
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Why is chicago magical?

it doesnt have many interesting sites. It looks just like a boring western city and it has terrible weather. Im not criticising it Im just very confused. What have i missed?
Melbourne doesn’t exactly have the best weather! I haven’t been to Chicago, but it’s on my list. A city is only boring if you don’t immerse yourself
 

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Seeds

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Sep 15, 2007
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Melbourne doesn’t exactly have the best weather! I haven’t been to Chicago, but it’s on my list. A city is only boring if you don’t immerse yourself
And melbourne isnt magical either. Its quite a boring city with some nice sports events.
 

EFL Boy

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May 17, 2008
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Why is chicago magical?

it doesnt have many interesting sites. It looks just like a boring western city and it has terrible weather. Im not criticising it Im just very confused. What have i missed?
The river through the city, the buildings themselves, Wrigleyville, the subway running above the roads, the drawbridges, right on Lake Michigan... favourite city in the states.
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

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Oct 2, 2004
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couple of friends and i are looking at a little Vancouver-Banff trip early OCT before we have a wedding in Toronto on OCT 8

anyone have any experiences or recommendations on how to approach this? i have looked up the rocky mountaineer and the last train of the season is OCT 3 which is kind of fitting, i know it can be pricey but i am sure its amazing and memorable.

looking at arriving in Vancouver maybe OCT 1
Via Rail train is much cheaper than Rocky Mountaineer. Its a sleeper. Take the train from Vancouver to Jasper. Then take bus from Jasper to Banff.

I recommend that you see Lake Louise on the way. Even as an overnight stop to breakup the trip
 

Nelso

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May 7, 2012
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couple of friends and i are looking at a little Vancouver-Banff trip early OCT before we have a wedding in Toronto on OCT 8

anyone have any experiences or recommendations on how to approach this? i have looked up the rocky mountaineer and the last train of the season is OCT 3 which is kind of fitting, i know it can be pricey but i am sure its amazing and memorable.

looking at arriving in Vancouver maybe OCT 1
You are much better off driving between Vancouver and Banff as you can stop anywhere you want to see the wildlife.

Rocky Mountaineer would be amazing but so expensive for a 2 day train trip.

I did it 10 years ago in October and it was easy drive. Drove one day from Vancouver to Kamploops and stayed overnight. Then the next day was Kamloops to Banff via Jasper and Lake Louise. I then finished off by driving to Calgary which is only 90 minutes from Banff to drop the car off.

Send me a PM if you want some further info.
 

revo333

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Jan 7, 2018
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Another huge fan of Chicago, Seattle is also magic!

Savannah and Charleston if you want the best southern feel.

Seattle is a city I thought I would really enjoy but it just didn't do anything for me, I enjoyed my time in Portland more.
 

JDC!

Premiership Player
Jan 14, 2005
3,220
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Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
 

Elvis

Team Captain
Oct 5, 2004
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nfl schedule should come out in May, NBA in August, NHL in June. I'm going in November and im waiting til schedules to come out before making any bookings.
Biggest tip is NYC is huge, dont try and cram too much in any day.
Times I've gone, seeing NBA at Brooklyn is cheaper than Knicks at MSG. But go to MSG at least once though. Stubhub is your friend when buying tix, and buying on day a few hours out will get you good seats at reasonable prices, and even if more expensive than you like, dont worry about it. In a few years time you wont remember what you paid, but you will remember the experience (and take passport if you want to drink)
and that time of year, make sure you have gloves and scarf.
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 2, 2004
5,875
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Collingwood
Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
Tipping is mandatory for pretty much everything except fast food resturants.
Going out to dinner, taking a taxi add another 15-20% to the bill on top. For resturants study the receipt as the tip may already be added. If you give your bags to a Bellhop/valet to take to your room or hail a taxi for you. They are going to expect a couple of dollars in return. Singles are important to keep.

For buying items, you have to be wary of taxes. Sometimes the tax isn't quoted and is added on later at the register.

As a first time traveller get a map of the major cities including public transport / subway. In New York City you can pretty much get to most places by subway and a little walking.

For sports tickets, i would stick to the proper 'offical' market if you are a first timer unless you are familar with secondary markets like Stubhub work. Make sure you check vaxxed status and what proof of vaxxed the stadiums require.

Stadium tours should be easy to book via stadium website or sports team website.

If your going to be out late at night. Have a plan on where you want to go, how are you are going to get there and how you are going to return. Stay in well lit places, avoid walking down dark allies and parks at night where homeless may lurk.

Don't be affraid to pay a bit extra and go on a tour with a local on day 1 or 2. Rather than trying to do it yourself. You may have a better experience and it helps you learn the city, get your bearings before venturing out on your own.

One last tip is don't pack a full suitcase. Save some room to bring stuff back home. Clothes are so much more cheaper in US compared to Australia prices. I would allocate a day just purely to go shopping. New York is a great place to shop.
 
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EFL Boy

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May 17, 2008
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Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
You should be able to catch a Giants/Jets game. Tickets are more expensive for a Giants game. Try to get to the stadium a few hours early. Would take a bit of effort, but you could find some fan groups online and let them know you're from Aus and coming to the game, I'm sure they'd welcome you to the tailgate. It's a great experience and something I wish we had back home.

Whilst the experience of Madison Square Garden is probably a must-do, go to the Prudential Center (NJ Devils) to see a hockey game. Tix are exponentially cheaper there and the atmosphere is a bit rowdier. Even an Islanders game would be a lot cheaper, and a brand new arena which would be great.

Over the Christmas period there's a bunch of College Football Bowl games. There's one played every year at Yankee Stadium (Pinstripe Bowl), that's usually just before NYE. Would be cold as hell but a good experience.

Utilise the subway for sure. Can be a bit tricky and confusing at first, but is super easy and much cheaper to get around.

Rockefeller Center is a much better view than the Empire State IMO. Try to walk through Times Square of a day and night. Be careful not to get sucked into people trying to gift you a CD, or take a photo with you. They'll make it very difficult to not give cash to. Walk around as much as possible, grab a bagel for breakfast from a corner store, have a slice of pizza from a corner pizza joint. The city is enormous and the options are endless.

Do you have a rough idea of cities/places you're going to go or wanting to go to?
 

revo333

Premiership Player
Jan 7, 2018
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Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

I saw a Knicks game at MSG in 2018 (great experience!), I notice they are still rubbish so you might be able to get a good seat for a good price. I'd check both the official seller and stub hub. I've used stub hub many times for US sports and never had issue.

NHL is a great sport to watch at the venue.

Especially for New York I think it's worth spending the extra $50-100 a night for a hotel in a central location as possible.

Be prepared for homeless people and being asked for money.
 
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Sttew

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 28, 2006
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nfl schedule should come out in May, NBA in August, NHL in June. I'm going in November and im waiting til schedules to come out before making any bookings.
Biggest tip is NYC is huge, dont try and cram too much in any day.
Times I've gone, seeing NBA at Brooklyn is cheaper than Knicks at MSG. But go to MSG at least once though. Stubhub is your friend when buying tix, and buying on day a few hours out will get you good seats at reasonable prices, and even if more expensive than you like, dont worry about it. In a few years time you wont remember what you paid, but you will remember the experience (and take passport if you want to drink)
and that time of year, make sure you have gloves and scarf.
If it gets really cold buy some thermals at Uniqlo. There are several shops in Manhattan. Dirt cheap
 

phantom13

Moderator
Sep 12, 2007
23,684
32,729
Melbourne
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Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
Go anywhere else to watch football. Metlife is an absolute nightmare to get to and do the tour of Yankee stadium, its a proper modern day Colosseum.

If youre into it go for a run in central park, youll see alot of the different parts of the city from the exterior running track.
 

Dirty Bird

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Aug 1, 2010
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Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
Just on New York - Be prepared for higher costs. If you're going on a budget, New York will either suck as you can't find anything to do in your budget. Or it'll stretch it. If you have a deep budget, you should enjoy it though.

ps. I've had mates that have done the times square new years eve. They've said it's the worst new years experience they've ever done. Packed in like sardines. Can't move, if you leave to go to the toilet, you probably wont get back. So half the group of mates just went back to the hotel room.

pps. I've also had other mates do it for christmas as well as family do it for christmas. They have high recommendations for that period. It's just the actually New Years celebrations that I'm yet to hear good reviews of.
 

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
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Just on New York - Be prepared for higher costs. If you're going on a budget, New York will either suck as you can't find anything to do in your budget. Or it'll stretch it. If you have a deep budget, you should enjoy it though.

ps. I've had mates that have done the times square new years eve. They've said it's the worst new years experience they've ever done. Packed in like sardines. Can't move, if you leave to go to the toilet, you probably wont get back. So half the group of mates just went back to the hotel room.

pps. I've also had other mates do it for christmas as well as family do it for christmas. They have high recommendations for that period. It's just the actually New Years celebrations that I'm yet to hear good reviews of.

What did they do for Christmas out of interest? Just find a restaurant that does a Christmas lunch?
 

nWo

Senior List
Nov 18, 2003
174
68
Mars
My advice re any American sport - buy cheap seats and go to them. Watch the first five mins and locate better seats. Walk to those seats and walk straight in and sit down. If someone asks you look at your ticket and apologise and move. No ushers ever stopped me at MSG or any other venues. I had $39 nose bleed section tickets at MSG and spent most of the game in the $500 section.
 

revo333

Premiership Player
Jan 7, 2018
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ps. I've had mates that have done the times square new years eve. They've said it's the worst new years experience they've ever done. Packed in like sardines.Can't move, if you leave to go to the toilet, you probably wont get back. So half the group of mates just went back to the hotel room.

I was in Las Vegas for one NYE and it was one of the most forgettable ones I ever had, no matter how good a place is if it's packed and you can't move anywhere you probably won't have a good time.

I know a few people who said New York at Christmas time is great though.
 

Suspense

AOC + 3
Mar 28, 2006
7,885
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Collingwood
Hi,

First time traveller and planning to go to the United States for around a month over the Christmas period.

I know this is a broad question, but is there anything you’d recommend to a first-timer / inexperienced traveller that they may overlook or forget?

I am going with a mate of similar interests and we don’t have detailed plan as of yet.

We’re pretty sold on New York City over New Years Eve and I am a sports fan so I’ll try to get to some games of NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.

Have an interest in sports history, stadiums and also plan on soaking in the US culture, so may look at visiting some less obvious, touristy places.

Any tips / tricks / advice would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you!
While you are in US north east, I recommend at least three/four nights in both Boston and Washington DC. You can do it via Amtrak (train) which avoids the hassle of internal flights (and the countryside was beautiful - at least in fall). I went DC > NYC > Boston (about 4 hrs per trip) but you could easily do it the other way. The train drops you right at Grand Central Station in NYC - so you don't have to * around with getting to/from an airport either.

In NYC, any days that you are tired or just a bit seedy from the night before, I recommend just jumping on those touristy hop-on / hop-off buses - which cover most of NYC (uptown/downtown/bronx/brooklyn). I found that I appreciated the city more once I had my geographical bearings on the place.
 

revo333

Premiership Player
Jan 7, 2018
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With Australia getting rid of the pre test before departure to enter hopefully it means the US might get rid of it soon as well.
 

nWo

Senior List
Nov 18, 2003
174
68
Mars
While you are in US north east, I recommend at least three/four nights in both Boston and Washington DC. You can do it via Amtrak (train) which avoids the hassle of internal flights (and the countryside was beautiful - at least in fall). I went DC > NYC > Boston (about 4 hrs per trip) but you could easily do it the other way. The train drops you right at Grand Central Station in NYC - so you don't have to fu** around with getting to/from an airport either.

In NYC, any days that you are tired or just a bit seedy from the night before, I recommend just jumping on those touristy hop-on / hop-off buses - which cover most of NYC (uptown/downtown/bronx/brooklyn). I found that I appreciated the city more once I had my geographical bearings on the place.
This post could have been written by me - we went from Boston to Washington overnight. It saved a night in accomodation costs.
 

BStaff17

Club Legend
Aug 1, 2016
1,933
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Fremantle
With Australia getting rid of the pre test before departure to enter hopefully it means the US might get rid of it soon as well.
Bloody annoying I leave to the US in 2 weeks for a holiday and they still haven't removed it.

Looking at an extra $300 for a covid test.
 

revo333

Premiership Player
Jan 7, 2018
4,805
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Bloody annoying I leave to the US in 2 weeks for a holiday and they still haven't removed it.

Looking at an extra $300 for a covid test.

I'm in the US at the moment and it's like Australia, no one cares anymore and no one is enforcing any rules. No masks required at airports or on domestic flights.

Makes no sense to keep doing it if they are not bothered with containing it at all.
 

GoodesStuff

Club Legend
Apr 27, 2008
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Just on New York - Be prepared for higher costs. If you're going on a budget, New York will either suck as you can't find anything to do in your budget. Or it'll stretch it. If you have a deep budget, you should enjoy it though.

ps. I've had mates that have done the times square new years eve. They've said it's the worst new years experience they've ever done. Packed in like sardines. Can't move, if you leave to go to the toilet, you probably wont get back. So half the group of mates just went back to the hotel room.

pps. I've also had other mates do it for christmas as well as family do it for christmas. They have high recommendations for that period. It's just the actually New Years celebrations that I'm yet to hear good reviews of.

Yeah I was originally going to do NYE in NY but went there for a Christmas instead and it was great then.

Ended up going New Orleans for NYE and I highly recommend it, best New Years I’ve ever had.
 

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