I am currently planning to spend a month in the US before I head down to Mexico and I am just looking for some general advice.
I will be travelling with my sister and her boyfriend for most of the time although we will spend Christmas with our parents.
Currently the plan is to fly into LA about Dec 1 and spend 3 weeks in the California area. Is this enough? What is there to see and do? Places to stay? Preferably cheap as am poor student! And how easy is it to get around? I will be the oldest of the group at 23 so renting a car isn't ideal but we were considering it.
Then we are heading to Orlando and meeting our parents for Christmas. Followed by a jaunt up to NY for New Years. same kind of questions for NY.
Any help would be appreciated. Have no idea about travel in the US except I am guessing it is very different to travel in Asia.
Thanks in advance.
Sounds like you have a really cool trip planned! If you're going to stay in California for 3 weeks, I'd recommend seeing San Francisco and Los Angeles. I don't know about San Fran but a car is a must in L.A., particularly if you are not staying near most of the main attractions. Perhaps someone who knows the transportation situation can help you better on that one, but I'd say that if you stay close to Hollywood, then you might be able to get a taxi for cheaper.
There are plenty of stuff to do in California, especially in the three cities I've mentionned. L.A. has all the attractions like the Hollywood stuff, and there are the beaches nearby. San Fransisco is somewhere I've never been but have wanted to go to, so I couldn't suggest really what you can do there. One thing I thought was pretty cool though was the Tactile Dome, which is a maze cloaked in darkness, so that the people who go through it have to feel their way through. I've been to a similar maze in Florida, and it was a lot of fun. Other than that, I'd say Alcatraz and the vineyards (closeby) are big attractions. The architecure is very unique and interesting as well. The Golden Gate bridge is probably the most recognizable structure there. But this site will give you more info on San Fran: http://www.sanfrancisco.com/. There is a similar site for L.A.: http://www.losangeles.com/.
If you have the time, I would highly suggest a short trip to Las Vegas. It's really something to see and it's not that far from L.A. (about 4 hours drive). You can get cheap flights to Las Vegas from L.A. (somewhere about 100 - 150 USD, perhaps cheaper), or even try the Greyhound bus (which is about 50 USD with many restrictions or 100 USD without).
As for cheap accomodations, you can check out the hostels in the L.A. area and they seem to offer a few very convenient services like transport to and from popular destinations. Same goes for San Fran.
I hope that helps for the California portion of your trip! Good luck!
I put up a post not too long ago called "things to do in NYC" do a quick forum search and that will likely help you with a lot of ideas for your NYC trip.
As for places to stay, (I know I am a little biased) I have been finding really good deals for my upcoming trip to Europe in the booking section of this website... (in the "tools" section).