Travel USA travel tips and tricks

Remove this Banner Ad

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
That’s the problem with Contiki in the USA, it’s just a full day of driving, get drunk at night and spend the rest of the day either hungover on the bus to the next destination or hungover at the hotel.

I think the Contiki style of tour is better suited to Europe where you stay in hotel closer to the action and there’s less driving.

There used to be a good company called Trek America that offered camping or budget lodging tours staying national parks, small group atmosphere and seeing a lot of cool places up close, but they went bust during Covid.

Intrepid and G Adventures offer a few of those style trips but not as wide a range as Trek America had.

I reckon if you’ve got 3 weeks instead of doing coast to coats just limit yourself to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. You can see all the national parks and Vegas. From Southern Utah/Grand Canyon and Colorado Rockies there’s nothing even remotely interesting until you hit Washington DC. Texas is boring, the south is, errr the south, Florida an overhyped tourist trap and New Orleans overrated. There’s a reason it’s called “fly over country”……..

Yeah good calls.

I am glad I did a contiki, as I went to a lot of places I will never visit, good and bad. Places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Durango, Amarillo and even the Grand Canyon.
But yeah looking back I feel there was just so much time wasted on buses. I want to get back ASAP.
 

Dirty Bird

Pokémon Master
Aug 1, 2010
33,162
20,461
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
#BostonStrong #RiseUp
whatever they had in LA and san diego - probably texmex, but its brilliant

taco tuesday for the win
TexMex is hit or miss.
I've had some in California - Absolutely amazing, I've had some in Nevada - Decent. I've had some in Texas - Average
But outright Mexican food? Only thing I'd even put in the same stratosphere is authentic Italian food.
 

Dirty Bird

Pokémon Master
Aug 1, 2010
33,162
20,461
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
#BostonStrong #RiseUp
Yeah good calls.

I am glad I did a contiki, as I went to a lot of places I will never visit, good and bad. Places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Durango, Amarillo and even the Grand Canyon.
But yeah looking back I feel there was just so much time wasted on buses. I want to get back ASAP.
I would only advise people to take contiki as their first trip to an area to get a taste of the region and find out what to do in depth later on.

Whether it's USA or Europe. Use the fast paced style to find out if you like a place or not, then when you have the time/money later on in life, do that deep dive into an area.

I did that with Western Europe and have no regrets. Got that taste of Europe in 2013. Went back to Berlin and Paris in 2015 and explored them more, then went back to Rome and Vienna in 2018 and explored them more.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I would only advise people to take contiki as their first trip to an area to get a taste of the region and find out what to do in depth later on.

Whether it's USA or Europe. Use the fast paced style to find out if you like a place or not, then when you have the time/money later on in life, do that deep dive into an area.

I did that with Western Europe and have no regrets. Got that taste of Europe in 2013. Went back to Berlin and Paris in 2015 and explored them more, then went back to Rome and Vienna in 2018 and explored them more.

Yeah absolutely mate. It was a lot of fun, and I don't regret it, but a part of me is annoyed I spent so much time on a bus when I was over in the States, which is stupid because obviously that's what I should expect. I'm really glad I got to see so many cities that I won't return to, and there's some that I hope to return to.
 

ohhhBigMalcho

Club Legend
Oct 18, 2008
1,248
1,886
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Aston Villa
Heading to San Fran late Sept til late Oct, a group starting with 3 school friends , ending in 5 as the trip reaches NYC.

Route is:

San Fran - Vancouver - Drive through Banff/jasper - fly Toronto - NYC - DC - Orlando - Austin TX - New Orleans - Vegas - hire car drive back through Yosemite to San Fran to leave to Melb. All this in about 37 days so its pretty busy...but we like it that way

we have a few things planned, SF Alcatraz and ride bikes along the GG bridge, road trip though Banff, a wedding in Toronto and Niagra, the main Historical monument stuff in DC, 2 days at universal in Orlando and some College football LSU V the Gators, Kill Tony live and F1 in Austin (Maybe cowboys in Dallas for a day trip) , staying Ceasars in Vegas with a Heli trip to the canyon, and likely smoking a ton of weed in Canada and staring at mountains.

any recommendations on things to do/see/eat during these places would be appreciated, but if you want to tell me the trip is too rushed, spare me :)
 

jerry springer

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 3, 2002
17,440
8,751
In a good place
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
NBA Winning Machines/Dallas Cowboys
Heading to San Fran late Sept til late Oct, a group starting with 3 school friends , ending in 5 as the trip reaches NYC.

Route is:

San Fran - Vancouver - Drive through Banff/jasper - fly Toronto - NYC - DC - Orlando - Austin TX - New Orleans - Vegas - hire car drive back through Yosemite to San Fran to leave to Melb. All this in about 37 days so its pretty busy...but we like it that way

we have a few things planned, SF Alcatraz and ride bikes along the GG bridge, road trip though Banff, a wedding in Toronto and Niagra, the main Historical monument stuff in DC, 2 days at universal in Orlando and some College football LSU V the Gators, Kill Tony live and F1 in Austin (Maybe cowboys in Dallas for a day trip) , staying Ceasars in Vegas with a Heli trip to the canyon, and likely smoking a ton of weed in Canada and staring at mountains.

any recommendations on things to do/see/eat during these places would be appreciated, but if you want to tell me the trip is too rushed, spare me :)


if going to a Dallas game dont take anything with you but your wallet and your phone, they don't let bags in, you can buy the clear plastic bags if you want to buy any merchandise

also i really recommend going this place before and after the game,its a 10 min walk to the stadium

 

BStaff17

Club Legend
Aug 1, 2016
2,231
4,934
Sydney
AFL Club
Fremantle
I highly recommend doing the Graceland tour in Memphis.

It's the best tour I have ever done.

From thr Elvis mansion to the museum and even the aeroplane it really is incredible how they have set everything up there on that property.
 

BStaff17

Club Legend
Aug 1, 2016
2,231
4,934
Sydney
AFL Club
Fremantle
Food is so over-rated in the states.

Like it's one thing you miss from Australia is a decent meal or steak.

It felt like most Breakfast options had to consist a burger.

I actually enjoyed the Mexican food and Cuban food more then when I had the traditional stuff at restaurants.

Not a fan of the mac and cheese either.
 

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Food is so over-rated in the states.

Like it's one thing you miss from Australia is a decent meal or steak.

It felt like most Breakfast options had to consist a burger.

I actually enjoyed the Mexican food and Cuban food more then when I had the traditional stuff at restaurants.

Not a fan of the mac and cheese either.

You didn't rate the food at that steakhouse in Amarillo?

Give us the rundown on the tour mate! I want to hear all about it, how was the group, any good sorts? Favorite cities, best foods. Come on!
 

BStaff17

Club Legend
Aug 1, 2016
2,231
4,934
Sydney
AFL Club
Fremantle
You didn't rate the food at that steakhouse in Amarillo?

Give us the rundown on the tour mate! I want to hear all about it, how was the group, any good sorts? Favorite cities, best foods. Come on!
The steak at the steakhouse was ok but it wasn't Australian quality.

Pretty awesome group actually everyone got on and looked out for each other wherever we went.

Having done a contiki in Europe and now the US you realise how Aussies and the English have more in common and just click a whole better.

Then say Australians and Americans on the same group together.

Obviously this one had around a dozen English and Scottish on tour where my previous one similar number of Americans.

LA - Shithole we were there when the protests were happening and them marching straight past the pub we were at on the day of the abortion case ruling in Texas.

Vegas - 3 hours sleep across the 2 nights. Feels like your in a different planet walking around Vegas and the casinos.

Grand Canyon - Stunning

Durango - Nice little town with karaoke bar.

Santa Fe - Mexican food was delicious. Didn't really have enough time to check town out.

Amarillo - Survived didn't get shot on the dance floor with the line dancing.

Fort Worth/Dallas - Stockyards was ok. Nice bars and restaurants. Enjoyed the JFK museum and tour in Dallas.

Memphis - Graceland incredible. Night life was a bit strange being a Monday/Tuesday night. Seemed dead and the blues music isn't really my type of music. Table service was also frustrating. Spend 45 mins waiting for the waiter to get you a drink instead of just walking to the bar like everywhere else and ordering one.

New Orleans - Survived a Hand Grenade both nights and certainly an experience. Have to keep your wits though.

Miami - Beautiful would go back there for a week and just lay on the beach or the pool if I had too. Plus I am miami fan in American sports so want to go back there for a NFL and NBA game.

It was a fun 3 weeks that's for sure. Plus weather was warm everywhere we went.
 

revo333

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 7, 2018
5,027
4,342
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Memphis - Graceland incredible. Night life was a bit strange being a Monday/Tuesday night. Seemed dead and the blues music isn't really my type of music. Table service was also frustrating. Spend 45 mins waiting for the waiter to get you a drink instead of just walking to the bar like everywhere else and ordering one.

New Orleans - Survived a Hand Grenade both nights and certainly an experience. Have to keep your wits though.

Yeah, once the sun went down in New Orleans the whole vibe changed for me.

With Memphis it was always looking over the shoulder and being very careful no matter what time. Graceland was great and so was a tour of the Gibson factory.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Yeah, once the sun went down in New Orleans the whole vibe changed for me.

With Memphis it was always looking over the shoulder and being very careful no matter what time. Graceland was great and so was a tour of the Gibson factory.

I didn't feel that in Nola, even though I went at a quiet time. A few blokes had some stuff stolen from woman, and I definitely wouldn't have walked across to my AirBnb on the other side of Canal St at night but Bourbon St was awesome at night.

Memphis I had a snow storm during, so don't think there was much chance of danger. My mate went a few years after me and said their guide told them not to go to certain areas as they will get mugged.
 

Cuzz09

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2004
30,096
17,528
Adel - SA - Aust - Earth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Norwood & Liverpool.
GF and I considering going to USA.

She is desperate to go to Disneyland so wanna do the 3 day package or something like that (not just 1 day)

We want to do say 7 days LA/7 days NYC.

How much do you think we need to have to have a good holiday without stressing about money?

Return flights $2k?
accommodation $4k?
spending $250min per day?

more or less?

On SM-S908E using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

HigginsHawk

All Australian
Jun 10, 2005
858
426
Kippax
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Belconnen/Nth Hobart
GF and I considering going to USA.

She is desperate to go to Disneyland so wanna do the 3 day package or something like that (not just 1 day)

We want to do say 7 days LA/7 days NYC.

How much do you think we need to have to have a good holiday without stressing about money?

Return flights $2k?
accommodation $4k?
spending $250min per day?

more or less?

On SM-S908E using BigFooty.com mobile app
Return flights are close to $2000 each at the moment, accomodation in NY and LA are probably close to the 2 most expensive places in the USA. Looking about $300-400 just for a basic 3-4* place. May find a bargain using airbnb. $250 each on spending money isn't a bad estimate except for Disney.

Your major problem is that the forex rate is hopeless at the moment. Official rate is around the 67c mark but after the banks or c/card company screw you over it's closer to about 63-64c. There are also still supply chain issues over there, so like our lettuce problem we had recently, some things will be more expensive due to their limited supply.

Also be aware that passports are taking forever to process at the moment as well. Hearing stories of people applying in in March/April still without their passports.
 

Smoooothy

TAKE THAT BACK!!
Jan 12, 2005
23,876
21,390
Brunswick
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
North Adelaide; ConeyIslandWarriors
She is desperate to go to Disneyland so wanna do the 3 day package or something like that (not just 1 day)
def do the 3 day package. there is a huge amount to see.

if you can, do knotts berry farm and 6 flags magic mountain while you're in the LA/Anaheim area. Both really good parks
 

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Just been kinda looking at trying to get to a Green Bay game in a few months. Flights to LA are whatever, around 2k which is expected, but from there to GB it looks like such a head*. Best option seems to be to fly to Milwaukee but then getting to either GB or Appleton would probably involve hiring a car and driving which I don't have a lot of confidence in plus in time consuming. Just seems too hard.
 

deck

Premiership Player
Aug 7, 2004
4,479
2,581
Melburn
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Liverpool, SF 49ers, FSU
GF and I considering going to USA.

She is desperate to go to Disneyland so wanna do the 3 day package or something like that (not just 1 day)

We want to do say 7 days LA/7 days NYC.

How much do you think we need to have to have a good holiday without stressing about money?

Return flights $2k?
accommodation $4k?
spending $250min per day?

more or less?

On SM-S908E using BigFooty.com mobile app
It depends on when you go. Go in late January/February you can save about half on accommodation in NY and probably in LA.

Staying in Anaheim for 3 or 4 nights rather than LA may save you a heap at the right time.

Also visiting Disneyland at non peak times will save time but at peak times 3 days might not be enough.
 

Cuzz09

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2004
30,096
17,528
Adel - SA - Aust - Earth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Norwood & Liverpool.
anyone here get married in vegas? (serious question :))
my sister did.

Had to organise stuff here first so it was legit here.

Was great and fun. Group of 8 of us went to VEgas then NY and then the married couple went from there on their own honeymoon

On SM-S908E using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

deck

Premiership Player
Aug 7, 2004
4,479
2,581
Melburn
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Liverpool, SF 49ers, FSU
Just been kinda looking at trying to get to a Green Bay game in a few months. Flights to LA are whatever, around 2k which is expected, but from there to GB it looks like such a head*. Best option seems to be to fly to Milwaukee but then getting to either GB or Appleton would probably involve hiring a car and driving which I don't have a lot of confidence in plus in time consuming. Just seems too hard.
You need to go to Chicago and from there fly into Green Bay. Smaller cities is a matter of finding out where flights come from as they are limited. Chicago and Atlanta are the 2 major hubs and a lot of smaller cities go through them.
 

offtherails9

Norm Smith Medallist
May 30, 2012
5,554
6,810
-
AFL Club
Hawthorn
You need to go to Chicago and from there fly into Green Bay. Smaller cities is a matter of finding out where flights come from as they are limited. Chicago and Atlanta are the 2 major hubs and a lot of smaller cities go through them.

Yeah, unfortunately that'll cost 1k for flights as opposed to 300 which is a bit *ed. Might have to just scrap it
 

deck

Premiership Player
Aug 7, 2004
4,479
2,581
Melburn
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Liverpool, SF 49ers, FSU
Yeah, unfortunately that'll cost 1k for flights as opposed to 300 which is a bit *ed. Might have to just scrap it
Where are you looking at flights? Expedia shows about $100 difference between Green Bay and Milwaukee from LAX.

Are you looking to fly in and fly out the same day? Probably a lot of people flying in and out on game day.

While driving itself is very easy Car hire isn't cheap and would add about $200-300 a day.
 

Remove this Banner Ad