The following list is by no means complete or exhaustive of everything one needs to know to travel in the USA. This is a list of stuff I learnt in the last 1 year of travelling around USA. These I share with you now and will regularly update as I learn more and any corrections along the way.
- Use a “SuperShuttle” to and from the airport. http://www.supershuttle.com/it’s a shared taxi van of around 9 people. It’s dirt cheap vs. crazy taxi fares and you get to see more of the area as they drop off people around town.
- If you live in the valley and have your own car and are taking a short trip of around a week it is cheaper esp. with a coupon & more convenient to leave your car at any of the available airport parking companies. Some which are further away from the airport have shuttle buses that take you to the airport and back for free so don’t worry if it’s 5 minutes outside the airport.
- If flying out of Oakland International we use Park ‘N Fly and use this coupon to get a discount on parking.
- If flying out of SFO International we use SkyPark and use this coupon to get a discount on parking.
- Don’t be shy with the coupons. Everyone in America uses coupons to bring the price down even further!
- If you are arriving to the USA don’t bother bringing your wardrobe. Clothes here are cheap. Dirt cheap. Brands and all. Especially during public holidays like Thanks Giving or Christmas time by average 50% off.
- If you need to rent a car do it through Enterprise. I find them the most reliable and mostly the cheapest. Sign up on their website to receive regular coupons to bring that price down and don’t forget to read my post on car rental hidden costs to save even further.
- For accommodation I highly recommend AirBnB. Airbnb is an online service that matches people seeking vacation rentals and other short-term accommodations globally with locals with rooms to rent. It’s fun, cheaper than hotels, you can be very selective on location (not restricted by hotels location), meet interesting people and live like a local. It works really well in big cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. We only use AirBnB now when travelling. Why spend big $$$ on a hotel when all you need is a place to sleep and store your luggage. Use the money you save to buy some fashion!
- Americans drive fast on freeways that stretch up to 5 lanes each way. Get ready. Either hire a GPS or bring your own so you’re not slowing traffic down. As long as you’re not doing anything dangerous on the road you will be fine to keep up with the communal speed limit. I’ve seen police sway across all lanes to slow traffic down when it gets too fast.
- The only dangerous creatures are Bears (especially Grizzly) & Mountain Lions. You wont see poisonous spiders, snakes or crazy insects.
- For more tips visit each of the places mentioned below. The posts include their own unique tips.
Some of the great places we have visited
- New York City (Manhattan) – The city that never sleeps. My favorite! One of the most densely populated areas in the world. Known for its financial and fashion center of both the United States and the world.
- Los Angeles – West Hollywood. Home of the movie industry.
- San Francisco – Home of the high-tech scene and area known as Silicon Valley.
- Hawaii – Made up entirely of islands like Big Island, Maui etc. Natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches and oceanic surrounding, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists.
- Monterey – 1-hr drive south of the valley. A beautiful coastal city.
- Carmel-by-the-sea – a hidden gem round the corner from Monterey. The beachy town is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history.
- Yosemite National Park – Designated a World Heritage Site recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.
- Yellowstone National Park – a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features.
- Las Vegas – The Strip. Internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, partying (clubs) and fine dining.
I will be posting individual posts to each of those locations with photos so come back soon.