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Organising Free & Easy Trip to USA (LA &Vegas)

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  • Organising Free & Easy Trip to USA (LA &Vegas)

    Hi peeps,

    I will be flying to US this coming March and I will be solely organising my schedules in California (mainly Los Angeles & Las Vegas). The thing is this is my first time organising an overseas trip and moreover, it is a huge and foreign country which I've never ever been to. So I really need helps from cotters, especially those who have been to CA. Opinions are most welcome.

    I've decided to spend at least 3 full days at LA. The first day is probably a tour round LA to places like hollywood and Rodeo Drive etc. The second day will be at Universal Studio and the 3rd will be to Disney Land. But the problem is none of us drive so there is a problem with transportation.

    I've heard that cab fares are extremely expensive! Is it possible to rent a coach or something for grp of 4 to Universal Studio & Disney?
    Where can I book a coach? Or does public tpt makes it easier?

    The problem with transportation does poses a big headache to me

    Anyone knows of any affordable hotels in LA which is located near shopping malls or diner areas?

    Besides LA, can anyone recommand some of the "MUST" visit places in Las Vegas? For example, factory outlets and shopping malls or other attractions?

    Oh Is it a must to visit Grand Canyon at Las Vegas?

    Any hotels recommandations at Vegas which is near to the attractions/shopping malls?

    Oh, and one last thing, can anyone recommand me a reliable airline/website to book an internal flight from LA to Chicago?

    Sorry for so many questions and Thanks soo much if anyone bothers to reply

  • #2
    It's true that LA is not a "walking" kind of place but if you're just interested in the tourist attractions, why don't you book yourself on a group tour? Just ask the concierge at the hotel you're staying to help make the arrangements.

    As for factory outlets, try this website: http://www.outletbound.com/

    Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon is in Nevada (the state bordering northeast California). Do spend at least a night in Vegas! There's lots to see besides the casinos! The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder so it's good if you and your friends like the outdoors. Try horseback riding in the canyon!

    Have fun!
    P.S. Since you're in California, will you be going to San Francisco too? You should. It's a lovely city!

    Comment


    • #3
      Las Vegas is a 4 hour drive away from LA, or a one hour flight away, Grand Canyon is a 4 hours drive away from Las Vegas

      whether or not you want to go to grand canyon depends on how much you like nature and scenic places, granted i went to these places ard 10 years ago but it is a beautiful place to visit, esp during sunset cos thats when the colors in the canyon 'change'

      theres quite a few hotels in las vegas so take a look around, you might want to stay in one of the 'themed' hotels

      i'm sorry if i sound vague but i haven't been to these places since my childhood so i can't help much

      Comment


      • #4
        Getting around CA without a car is going to be a challenge, but it is possible. Like what 101mynxes said, you could join group tours. I recommend googling for the tour companies while still in SG and joining those tours. Typical tours are to Yosemite National Park, Carmel, Monterey, Grand Canyon, Napa Valley etc.

        San Francisco is alot more navigable without a car cos there's a lot to walk to. Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, alot of shopping etc. I didn't go to Alcatraz though. I spent most of my time in SF as I had a friend to bunk with at San Jose (Silicon Valley area). I joined an overnight camp tour to Yosemite. I loved Yosemite and I'm not a nature freak (which explains why I gave Grand Canyon a miss cos it was too expensive). There was a lot of walking around, climbing and interacting with people from other countries during the trip. I fell in love with guacamole after they prepared some so effortlessly. For SF city, 2-3 days should be sufficient. Yosemite another 2-3 days.

        As for LA, I didn't spend much time there. Didn't spot any stars. Overly hyped up IMO. Disneyland was ok. It's my first Disney and I'm not overwhelmed or anything. Just felt like revisiting my childhood with all the Disney characters. I'm more of a rides person, so unless you love Mickey, Winne and the works, Disney will be an expensive experience. Disneyland is also linked to a theme park, which I didn't visit. Your hotel will definitely have a shuttle to Disney. You can book from those pamphlets they give at the hotel. For LA, 1 day in the city and 1 day for each theme park is enough.

        I drove to Vegas but it's possible to take an internal flight I believe. Vegas is amazing. I reached there at 1-2AM and the place was still buzzing with life! All the lights, casinos, shows etc. There's alot of shopping to do in Vegas, alot of walking up and down the strip. Accom in Vegas is cheap. 3 days in Vegas should be enough.

        I also went to Lake Tahoe. As it was during the summer months, there was nothing to do. Really wasted my money flying there. In winter, Tahoe's great for skiing.

        I spent 3 weeks there in 2004 so I could travel at a leisurely pace and visit every nook and cranny with a car. Without a car, you have to depend alot on tours which can be expensive. How about going with a tour group instead? It will really save you alot of headache.

        Comment


        • #5
          You can almost plan anything online!

          Book your car, hotel and flights, go to www.mapquest.com and print out detailed driving directions of all the attractions you're planning to visit. Impossible to get lost in America. Just make sure to visit the local AAA (American automobile association i think) to get free detailed maps of the region.

          internal flights:
          www.jetblue.com
          www.southwest.com

          Car:
          www.budget.com has the cheapest IMO.

          All in one:
          www.orbitz.com

          If you're date/time flexi, try www.priceline.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh yes, Mapquest was a savior. It was so easy navigating the roads. I got my car from National. But they can't drive, Elaine.

            Comment


            • #7
              wow thanks for all the helps. I'll definitely check out the sites given.

              it's a bum without a car huh?

              initially, joining a tour group has been in our minds. we did asked around with the tour agencies and we realised that there ain't much tour groups to USA as compared to Asian countries. Guess partly because it is costly and far. The only one departing is during the March school holidays. However we wana leave in early March so i guess the time doesn't coincide with our plans.

              Oh but due to time constraint(flying to Chicago after a week in California), I won't be going to San Francisco but chewie, you made it sound so exciting! Now I'm having second thoughts I bet shopping rocks in SF huh

              May I know approximately how long is the journey(be it flight or vehicle) from LA to SF or Vegas to SF?

              elainetsai, thanks for all the links! ^^

              Comment


              • #8
                k1yang,
                It will be much more exciting to do it on your own then joining tour groups.

                If you don't mind spending more for comfort, you can hire limousines for private tours.
                http://www.americanlimos.org/privatetours.html

                Otherwise you can go for coach tours. Try this. They pickup from various hotels. But since there are 4 of you, the total cost may be comparable to hiring a limousine.
                http://www.starlinetours.com/

                LA to SF by flight is about 1 hour, driving is about 6 hours. About the same from LA to Vegas. I like Las Vegas because I am addicted to jackpot If you are not, then SF should be more interesting.

                For hotels, checkout the following.
                http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3...ia-Hotels.html

                The Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive is right on Rodeo Drive ! But not cheap. However try not to stay in any youth hostels or budget hotel in Los Angeles, could be very seedy and dangerous.
                Last edited by tamarind; 06-02-2006, 03:32 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by k1yang
                  .. (edited)
                  initially, joining a tour group has been in our minds. we did asked around with the tour agencies and we realised that there ain't much tour groups to USA as compared to Asian countries. Guess partly because it is costly and far. The only one departing is during the March school holidays. However we wana leave in early March so i guess the time doesn't coincide with our plans.
                  ... (edited)
                  I didn't mean joining a tour group that's deparing from Singapore! You wouldn't get to really "see" California that way!! .. I meant more like taking up different short 1-day or 2-3 days tours from different tour groups.

                  There are many such tours to choose from and they're pretty competitively priced. These tour groups have their own tour buses which pick you up from your hotel. You can sign up for such tours with the concierge or receptionist at the hotels you're staying.

                  I second what Chewie said .. San Francisco is lovely. You can spend 2-3 days just exploring the city on foot. Lots of good shopping and sights to see. I love riding the cable cars .. it's a really cool way of getting around when you're too lazy to walk!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    hi k1yang

                    how's your US trip?

                    I will also be going to Las Vegas & LA this coming Aug as my hubby will be @ LA to attend a course. Do you mind share your trip experience so I can have better planning?

                    I need help mainly on the LA side, e.g. where to stay. My main purpose of going LA is to shop and mostly becos we need to transit there, so hubby say might as well stopover for a few days.

                    Thanks in advance!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey,
                      will it be cheaper to book air tickets in advance or to book them 12mth before the date that I am flying?

                      Any local websites that sells last min tickets??

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you don't mind spending less for luxury transportation, try Nexus Limousine. Nexus Limousine services offer a convenient and comfortable way to travel through Los Angeles, to and from its many hotels, restaurants, airports, and venues. Nexus Limousine of Los Angeles offers you superlative limousine service at an affordable price.

                        www.nexuslimousine.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Try a Limousine!

                          If you don't mind spending less for luxury transportation, try Nexus Limousine. Nexus Limousine services offer a convenient and comfortable way to travel through Los Angeles, to and from its many hotels, restaurants, airports, and venues. Nexus Limousine of Los Angeles offers you superlative limousine service at an affordable price.

                          www.nexuslimousine.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi K1Yang,how r u?I just wanna ask if ur trip to the west coast was successful despite not driving to get around.And if u don't mind,how much is the damage per person?i am contemplating if I should join package tours that cost 3500+ per person or do it free and easy.I read a lot that it's not advisable to travel west coast without a car but came across ur page for the hope that I can get answers.

                            Thanks a lot in advance

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Query to free and easy west coast

                              Hi K1Yang,how r u?I just wanna ask if ur trip to the west coast was successful despite not driving to get around.And if u don't mind,how much is the damage per person?i am contemplating if I should join package tours that cost 3500+ per person or do it free and easy.I read a lot that it's not advisable to travel west coast without a car but came across ur page for the hope that I can get answers.

                              Thanks a lot in advance

                              Comment

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