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help is needed

Travel Forums North America help is needed

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1. Posted by clear (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

clear has indicated that this thread is about USA

i am 18 years old and looking to travel to california at the start of the new year
and i would be ever so greatful if any one would care to help as i would like to be out there for around 2 to 3 months and its all been so confusing with accommodation
if any one has any ideas of the cheapest way to be out there for that time i would be very thankful

2. Posted by pschwerdt (Budding Member 26 posts) 11y

Where are you thinking about going in California? It's a big state! That would help.

3. Posted by clear (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

los angeles is my main destination

4. Posted by garyrbeck (Budding Member 56 posts) 11y


I suggest at your age and not needing much in the way of comfort...a bed, warm spot, running clean water for shower, lock on door, that hostels would be the route to go. I am north of your projected area but go to

Type in 'hostels Los Angeles'

A list should come up, make copies of any which interest you, location, spacing between the places and map out your plan. They may have monthly rates so if you find one particularly good, you could stay a while and get a better rate for your budget.

Use the Internet to research a lot...museums, cheap eats, festivals, surfing, bus trips, hiking areas, etc., great place to immerse yourself. One day try for a trip up here as I am very partial to this are over So Cal.

San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.


No self-promotional website links are allowed in the forums.

[ Edit: Removed website links. ]

5. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hey Stephen,

YOu should consider San Fransisco - its a great city, has a really warm, cosy atmosphere I think. It's a good base to branch out and see a lot of California. I dont think you'd have any problem finding accomodation there - especially out around Berkley, near the university.

California is great, very laid back atmosphere in any of the places I visited. I'm looking fwd to going back some day soon. ;)

Good luck with your planning. :)


6. Posted by clear (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

thank you ever so much for taking the time to give me some help
i will look into all that has been sed it looks as if i have many hours of reserch ahead of me :)

thank you again

7. Posted by garyrbeck (Budding Member 56 posts) 11y

Quoting clear

thank you ever so much for taking the time to give me some help
i will look into all that has been sed it looks as if i have many hours of reserch ahead of me :)

thank you again

A little bit of research beforehand will make your sojourn all the more memorable. You can easily access the internet at the myriad of cafes all over but of course there is the added expense. Keep in touch.

8. Posted by pschwerdt (Budding Member 26 posts) 11y

Personal preference... skip LA and focus on Northern California. San Francisco, Yosemite, Marin, Napa, etc...

9. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 11y

I live in las Vegas, but would also vote Northern Calif. over L.A. Unless you simply must see Universal Studios or Disneyland, pass on L.A. It is just one big urban sprawl with too many people and too many autos. Northern calif. has much more to see and do, less congested. You will need a car to do all the sights outside of SF. Public transport to Napa, Muir Woods, Sequoia, Yosemite, Lassen, Monterey, Hearst Castle would be difficult at best. One suggestion is to buy a used Dodge Caravan. They are easy to drive, get decent gas milage and are big enough to sleep in. That way you take your bed with you. A $1,000 Caravan may pay for itself by saving the $20-25/night that hostels charge. Add in the the bus, train, taxi fare you avoid by drivng yourself. Perhaps you can buy a decent running van and sell it back to the car lot when your holiday is over. Just food for thought. You will have to decide what makes sense to you. Good Luck.

10. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 11y

I live in northern California, but I think too many people are shortchanging southern California too quickly. The beaches (and beach cities) in southern California are THE place for a young guy growing up to be. Check out Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach near San Diego, Huntington Beach, Venice Beach or Santa Monica near Los Angeles, or Summerland near Santa Barbara. None of these places are cheap, but there are hostels nearby. Also in northern California check out the Monterey/Santa Cruz area as well as San Francisco.

There are some beach campsites especially between LA and Ventura and between Santa Cruz and San Francisco where you can camp out for next to nothing if you bring your own tent. The key is get out of the greater metropolitan areas to find these empty spots. You might get asked to move on by the police if it's not a regular campsite. But if you book ahead, the charge to stay at even the regular campsites are about $5 to $10 a day. Look on the internet under California State Parks for a list of these. There's also a hostel near the Pigeon Point Lighthouse about 40 miles south of San Francisco that's really cheap.