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    • #2636


      Hi everyone, I was hoping to plan a trip to the good ol’ USA sometime next year. Since this will be my first time in the USA and my first time overseas, I just wanted to get as much planning out of the way as soon as possible. I am planning on making a few stops so I wanted to get as much information as I could about maybe each place or just travel in general. Any help would be greatly appreciated

      Which airline is the best/worst for travel within the country?
      I hoping to visit Austin, Vegas, Boston, and NYC. Any tips on places to visit or even places to avoid in each of those cities?
      Best way to ensure a safe trip? (i.e. keeping a secret stash of money, things to look out for, not use dodgy establishments)

      Would I need to rent a car to travel in those places or would public transport be fine in the metro areas?

      Such a noob tourist question list I know, but I just want to make sure I have the most fun possible, involving the most alcohol I can consume.

    • #2637


      Vegas and NYC you can definitely rely on cabs/public transport, Austin you would be better off renting a car and concerning Boston, I’ve never been so I can’t offer any advice.

      Regarding NYC, I love it every time I go, the city gets a bad rap (mainly in movies) but I’ve always found the people to be friendly and the overall experience awesome. I would move there if I could afford it. Concerning safety, I wouldn’t worry about NYC at all as long as you’re staying within the Manhattan area. FYI, best steak I’ve ever had in my life, Michael Jordan’s restaurant which is quite elegant and sits on the upper level of Grand Central Station.

    • #2638


      I did some travelling in the us a few years back, stayed in some nice hostels if your looking to save some money. The best way to make cabs cheap is to split with someone, nobody you know want to join you?

      Vegas you can just stand still and all the escalators will take you to the next casino!

    • #2639


      If you have a temper, whatever you do, keep cool with the TSA guys 🙂

      I’ve travelled to and through the USA a couple of times, and once you are in, it’s a great country.

      But getting in is a PITA. All TSA people seem to be rude and horrible, at least that’s my experience 🙂

    • #2640


      Boston has a good rail system. Boston drivers (actually all Mass. drivers) are among the worst IMO. A red light means go 🙂

    • #2641


      One of the best air carriers is Southwest, good service and fair prices. The worst, in my experience, is US Air, expensive and they seem to run behind schedule.

      Travel in NYC is cheaper by the subway, but more fun traveling in cabs, though the cost can add up. If you pick a centrally located hotel walking is not bad. There are many, many great places to eat in NYC.

      Boston has good public transport, you can get nearly anywhere easily and quickly. Plus lots of wonderful Irish pubs.

      Vegas is a world unto itself. Transportation is available through out the city, traffic can get bad though. Walking around the Strip is a good way to see the sites. Check out the downtown and Fremont Street.

      I haven’t been to Austin in years, but I have read great reviews about the night life and the music scene.

      As far as entering the country, just have your passport and identification readily available, be polite and patient, in my experience the TSA agents will respond in like-kind.

      I hope you have a fun and safe trip. 🙂

    • #2642


      I’ve always had good experiences flying Delta… I think the flights might be a little more, but the service is good.

      If you use the Atlanta airport at all, do not be surprised if there are delays. They do what they can, but it’s a HUGE hub and I more often than not had flight delays through there. Plan accordingly and don’t leave yourself short stopovers (this is good advice in general when flying, better to have extra time for relaxing with a beer than rushing through a crowded airport trying to make a tight connection).

      I don’t think you can find it in Aus, but as soon as you get to the US, I’d very much recommend going to a pharmacy and finding a sleep-aid called melatonin (my favourite is a dissolvable tablet called Mid-Nite, in a dark blue box, if you can find it). It’s a form of the natural sleep hormone your body creates, and if you take it at bedtime it should help you get your body’s circadian rhythm adjusted to the new place faster. It isn’t like sleeping tablets that make you drowsy and can cause weird side effects–it just makes you feel naturally tired and it’s safe to take even if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to get back to sleep. Jet lag can be miserable–not only are you tired at weird times but it can make you feel nauseated or have digestive issues, more susceptible to getting sick, etc, and doing this will help reduce it by days, at least in my experience. Which reminds me, don’t plan any big events that require a lot of walking or long hours in the first couple of days. Give yourself time to recover first so you can enjoy it 🙂

      Public transport is good when you can find it, but most areas of the US do not have it, and where they do it is limited. Taxis are rather expensive. If you can drive and are planning to cover a lot of ground, consider renting cars. I always like to find someone local when I can to show me around, some are even happy to provide a place to stay or transport for less than you’d pay for a hotel or a car hire–I’ve even found a couple of people here to meet up with, lol.

      Most of my time in the US was spent in the south, where people are more laid-back and friendly and outside of a few big urban cities, safety really wasn’t a concern. I mean, obviously you want to be diligent, but most places won’t be scary. I hear the north is different, and that’s where most of the places you mentioned are. Just keep an eye on your things, don’t wave money around or pull out more than you need to use at a till, and you should be fine.

      Also, remember to tip when dining out, or ordering in and having food delivered. Food is much cheaper in the US, so you’ll often find that even with the standard 15-20% tip added, you’re still paying less than you would in Australia. If you’re eating with a large group, the tip may already been added on–check for a “gratuity” line on the bill and if it’s already on there, you don’t need to worry about giving more. The service is generally much better there because they know the tip is going directly to them and the amount can be affected by how well they treat you, so I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

      Most people find foreigners intriguing–you’ll get heaps of questions about your accent and where you are from, and some may ask about silly stereotypes. They aren’t being intentionally thick, it’s just that the culture in the US is much less worldly and some of them may never have any exposure to Australians aside from cheesy TV programs, ads, or movies. Be friendly and you will almost certainly reap the benefits. I’ve had people recommend the best food or local beers (I’m a craft-beer lover), and sometimes even buy you a drink. 🙂

      Language difference: “thongs” are “flip-flops” there. If you say thong, they will assume you mean the skimpy type of ladies underwear. This may or may not lead to awkward and/or hilarious situations. Otherwise there will be some differences in terms, but people will understand most of what you say (for example, rubbish/trash or garbage can/bin, may not be the word they use but they will know what you mean). I know there are others but I can’t think of them now! I might edit this later if I do remember one. Also they are a bit more sensitive about swear words. You should be fine, but I’d avoid a certain popular “c” word, it’s much more offensive there. The “f” word is also stronger there.

      And last, have fun! Don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t be squeamish about new foods or whatever–dive in and enjoy taking part in a new culture. Some people travel the world but only eat the same foods they can get at home, only stick to the big cities that are just like every other big city, turn up their noses at anything they perceive as “weird”, never stray off the beaten path and they never really experience anything about the place. Take advantage of the chance while you’re there. I hope you have a great time!

      **If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me. I’ve lived in both the US and Aus, and have travelled a lot in general, so perhaps I can be of assistance.**

    • #2643


      OK here is a quick breakdown:

      Atlanta – the area near the airport, Buckhead is nice place to eat – anywhere else and you will be robbed, then shot, then robbed again.

      I can tell you anything you want to know about Austin – I went to school there, and will move back there next year. So if you wantany good intel, PM me.

      For quick reference –

      Food and night life is excellent – nightlife is around 4th St – 6th street in downtown – the Holiday Inn @ Towne Lake is nice and right on the river.
      During the day, anywhere near the river is pretty cool for hanging out, concerts, events, etc.
      Outside of the loop (MOPAC) – is where the “Hill Country” starts – absolutely beautiful area- rent a nice little car and drive around Barton Creek Country Club, or out west of Austin

      Actually, there is too much to list – so just PM me 😉

      If you happen to be there during college football season – go to a game – on Saturday during home games – that place is nuts – drinking in the streets in not only legal, its encouraged (ProTip: wear burnt orange)

    • #2644


      And in Texas, ALL soft drinks are referred to as coke, collectively. So, be aware if someone asks you if you “want a coke ?”

    • #2645

      Ricky m

      Just do not even joke about bombs or anything in the airports. They’re very touchy about it. :s at the security checkpoints and TSA interactions it’s best to just keep your mouth shut and smile and move on through. Even the most obvious sarcasm is likely to net you an extra search at least, and an arrest at worst.

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