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overseas trip help

posted 25-7-2010 @ 04:01 PM www
overseas trip help

Our winning trip is just 6 weeks away to LA, Las Vegas and San Diego.

It seems a few compers are heading over that way in the next few months. Just wondering if maybe we could start a thread to answer questions as there is lots of holiday comps and yay, lots of winners on here.

Who else is heading over there? I know you are misskittykat, love reading your updates.

Just a few questions to start with, several more to come. lol
Does anyone have any good website for travelling tips?
Whats the cheapest and easiest way to contact family whilst over there?
How much luggage can I take?

Would really appreciate some help.




posted 25-7-2010 @ 04:09 PM www


Pack plenty of knickers and clothes that will mix and match, comfy shoes and buy what you need. Take a packet of panadol and a prescibed antibiotic "just incase". I had to get son some meds for upset tummy in Ireland and was shocked to see it had opiate in it :mad:
Hope you get some good tips :)
posted 25-7-2010 @ 04:16 PM www


A great travel website is tripadvisor.com
I used it a lot to plan my holiday to the USA, the forums are great as well, if you have any questions.

I know when we travelled with QANTAS we were allowed 2 suitcase each (there was 4 of us and we filled our 8 suitcases:):))

You will have a wonderful time, I absolutely loved Disneyland and Las Vegas.
posted 25-7-2010 @ 04:44 PM www


Apparently the outlet malls in Vegas are fabulous, a shuttle bus runs down the strip to the south one. Handy to have the two cases to take back home, my brother assured me we'd need it!!

As stated Tripadvisor is an invaluable source. Grand Canyon a must for when in Vegas too.
posted 25-7-2010 @ 05:05 PM www


Quote:
Originally posted by alcal
I know when we travelled with QANTAS we were allowed 2 suitcase each (there was 4 of us and we filled our 8 suitcases:):))


hahaaaaaaa.... 8 suitcases.... love it :P

Yes we are going to the Grand Canyon, thank you I will check out the tripadvisor site




posted 25-7-2010 @ 05:08 PM www


We're doing a simlar trip soon.

Does anyone have car hire recommendations? We plan to go from LA up to Santa Cruz maybe San Fran and back down to San Diego.

Have driven over there and am quite comfortable...just wondering about Hire Car stories
posted 25-7-2010 @ 05:47 PM www


just a suggestion on too many suitcases - make sure they fit into a car (if travelling/transferring by car) or you may need two (cars that is)
posted 25-7-2010 @ 05:53 PM www


When I lived in the USA I used phone cards to call on, use to buy one called penny crusher for $5 and got 300 min talk time and just use it on a landline you can buy easily at most gas stations :)
posted 25-7-2010 @ 05:55 PM www


I third trip advisor

Pack very very light and yes with Qantas on the way back your allowed 2 suitcases both no more than 20kg and trust me thats alot of shopping fun. In the past I went over to the US with 18 kg and came back with alomst 60kg I just made sure it was evenly distrubuted but still it was 2 suitcases + backpack + huge handbag + laptop bag the second time I went over with 17kg and came back with 30kg in just one checked suitcae plus a 10kg hand luggage case (luckily they didnt weigh it) + huge hand bag + laptop bag and again I got it back but barely. The only problem there might be if you have an internal flight from Sydney onwards especialy if its not with Qantas. Take one suitcase over and buy another there if needed. You will love the shopping. I found the more you go to the less touristy areas the better the prices and shopping.

Keeping in touch with family I found was easiest via my laptop and Skype as every hotel has internet connections some are free some cost a few dollars but I found if you go to Starbucks and get a red coffee credit card load it with a few $$ use it once to activate it will entitle you to 1 hour free internet per day at any starbucks in the USA. Use the stores or hotels address to register. Plus lots of places also have free internet you just need to ask nicely or go sit in a bookstore as all the major bookstores have free wireless.

Panadol is cheaper in the USA its called Tylanol and I actually stock up as I find it better than our version but thats just me.

Car Hire we went through Hertz when we were in Houston and they were fab and we even got a navman included.




posted 25-7-2010 @ 06:02 PM www


Quote:
Originally posted by Awinnah
Our winning trip is just 6 weeks away to LA, Las Vegas and San Diego.

It seems a few compers are heading over that way in the next few months. Just wondering if maybe we could start a thread to answer questions as there is lots of holiday comps and yay, lots of winners on here.

Who else is heading over there? I know you are misskittykat, love reading your updates.

Just a few questions to start with, several more to come. lol
Does anyone have any good website for travelling tips?
Whats the cheapest and easiest way to contact family whilst over there?
How much luggage can I take?

Would really appreciate some help.


Just a couple of thoughts:

The seasons are opposite to what we have here so pack accordingly.

Clothing is generally cheaper in the US so take little & buy lots (its fun too)

Take your laptop iPad/iPhone and find a hot spot (many motels have them) and talk with your msn or web cam or Skype to all of us back here and make us green with envy.

IMPORTANT: Tipping is the norm in America so get used to it and do do it as it is how many of the workers augment their poor salary.

If you take prescription medicine take a letter from your quack as well just to avoid trouble with customs/police.

cheers,
Michael
posted 25-7-2010 @ 06:09 PM www


Quote:
Originally posted by magwheels
We're doing a simlar trip soon.

Does anyone have car hire recommendations? We plan to go from LA up to Santa Cruz maybe San Fran and back down to San Diego.

Have driven over there and am quite comfortable...just wondering about Hire Car stories


I booked all my car hire through http://www.traveljigsaw.com.au/ and found them to be the cheapest and we had no problem with our bookings
posted 25-7-2010 @ 06:30 PM www


Hi ... I agree with above comments ... we're in our 50's and took far too many clothes so take a few clothes and buy the rest over there pretty cheap ... we emailed daily with pics.
Vegas has great bargain malls ... catch bus up and down strip runs regularly ... go to a show at Caesars Palace we saw Celine Dion and she was fabulous ... buy a cocktail at the steets stalls and wander in and out of all the hotels ... check out the foyer of Bilagio (cant spell it sorry)
Grand Canyon ... take a helicopter flight over it!!!! or if time raft down the Colorado River (very safe) or take a mule ride down into the canyon itself (you get a sore bum though) ... just wonderful!!
San Francisco ... go to a baseball game and have garlic chips with the locals, walk over the Golden Gate, go to Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Haight Ashbury and buy a pizza (the best we've ever had), ride a cable car, and have an Irish coffee where the cable cars drop you off to go to Pier Nine once there enjoy the strawberries and have some seafood chowder!!
Enjoy we had a wonderful time.
posted 25-7-2010 @ 06:36 PM www


Just another quick tip if you want to go to Alcatraz book now as they sell out way in advance.
We went and loved it if you book an evening tour you get a few extras included plus a lovely sunset ride back across the harbour

http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/




posted 25-7-2010 @ 08:49 PM www


When travelling overseas, I work on three tops, three bottoms e.g. pants , skirts, one good outfit, one waterproof jacket, nightwear, and a week's supply of underwear.
As mentioned , tripadvisor is great for travel tips.
Noticed that some members have mentioned 2x 20knly allow 20kgs plus 7kgs hand luggage, (although the hand luggage never seems to be weighed), plus handbag, laptop, jacket.
I'm sure if you go to the airlines website, you will find out exactly what you can take.
Have a great time
:)
posted 25-7-2010 @ 09:46 PM www


Dont guess on the weightof your bags, buy a cheap 'fishing scale" from kmart and you wont get hitfor excess baggage.

To contact home we always take our laptop, most hotels have free internet access Disney is the exception that mouse gives nothing away.
Cheapest and best car hire is National car hire, they will come pick you up from most hotels. Us is hot at this time of year and i do mean hot.

We spend 3-4 weeks in the US each year normallyat disneyland and or walt disney world in florida.

disneyland closes its gates at capacity, so weekends youcan find youcant getin, tickets or not, youcan always head over toDCA, it rarely closes cept in the evenings as they have a new show called the world of color which is stilldrawing huge crowds.
Many of the rides are great at night so dont rush, the rides also have shorter queues during parades and shos. if you have little kids hit fantasyland as earlyas you can the lines can be enormous there, otherwise head straight down the back to the haunted mansion. mickey's toontown does not open for an hour after the rest of the park so use that time elsewhere.
chech the disney web site, chechthe days youwill bre there and times for all entertainment and parades, for a good possyat a parade be prepared to find a position early, and stay there.
anyone can u2u me if you have specific questions, we love disney, and usually spend 3 weeks a year there, can also show you some great places toshopand eat.
posted 25-7-2010 @ 09:49 PM www


beware with trip advisor and similar sites, remember people are much more likely to leave a comment when they have something to complain about than if they have nothing to complain about.
posted 26-7-2010 @ 01:21 AM www


I use Trip Advisor so often, I can tell where the 'complainers' come from even b4 I see their name and country:) You have to take some of the complaints with a grain of salt. They make something out to be really, really bad, when it actual fact, it's not THAT bad, it's just they have a certain level of expectation, that we Aussies do not.

Do a google search on US car rentals and sign up to a few of their deals/newsletters, to get an idea of what prices are going to be, for what you're looking for in a vehicle. I ended up selecting Alamo, who had the best rates for our requirements.
posted 26-7-2010 @ 10:18 PM www


Pack light. The LA airport luggage claim carousel is very wide and angled down - it's incredibly difficult to get a heavy suitcase off. Make sure you fill in your immigration forms perfectly or you'll be sent to the back of the queue to redo them. If in doubt which forms you need when they're handed out on the plane, ask for the whole set and fill them all in just to make sure you'll get through first time. All luggage must be claimed on entering the States (some overseas check-ins will tell you otherwise) so always check the carousel on arriving in the US. A US visa obtained online prior to travel is a must.
posted 26-7-2010 @ 10:37 PM www


If you buy lots of stuff and worried about how to get it home, post it to yourself, you can use pre paid USPS boxes that have a set price no matter what the weight of the items are:0)
posted 26-7-2010 @ 10:43 PM www


I agree , pack lightly as it will still be quite warm over there that time of year anyway, and my sister is over there at the moment doing the same kind of tour, and they are having one of the biggest heat waves in years.

Shes been calling me every few days, going on and on about all the cheap ROXY and Billabong clothing she has been buying, $15 to $20 for jackets, tad jealous I may say. Sounds like you will have a wonderful trip.:)
posted 26-7-2010 @ 10:59 PM www


I always book and pay for excursions etc on www.viator.com You print off a voucher at home and simply hand it over at the other end.

Make sure you ring your credit card provider and tell them you are going overseas. They will ask where and when so that they are clued up in case your card is suddenly used out of Australia. Make sure you take your mobile phone as well and that the credit card provider has your phone number in case they phone to check if it was you who made a particular purchase. Otherwise your credit card could be suspended while you are away which is very inconvenient.
posted 26-7-2010 @ 11:29 PM www


Maybe you could pack a slightly smaller suitcase inside a bigger one on the way over for all your extra shopping- I have done that before. My advise is to pack light as heavy suitcases are a nightmare.

We took our old sandshoes and replaced them with new at the Nike factory outlet. They take your old shoes for recycling and then no more space in suitcase needed.

Public transport in LA is very cheap if you are going to the main highlights. There is a phone number you can ring and a person will explain what you need to catch and where from etc. They are actually faster than cars to places like Universal studios. They don't cater for cross town excursions and we had a couple of limousines for those- set price ( $150 approx) remember tipping always adds the extra you didn't budget on when you calculated prices- e.g $20 onto Taxi fare etc.
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