Thursday, April 02, 2015

Travel Tips NY to SFO

Here goes a little schedule if it works else, I will modify it ! Would you be able to push your flight for Sydney from 25 to 26 ? Basically, this will borrow me a day more (sunday). If your booking is firm, its OK.

What I am thinking at the moment is : You take a flight to SFO from NY on 16th & I fly to SFO from LA on 16th too. We will then travel from 16th, 17th & 18th before I fly back to LA on 19th.

You will spend few more days in SFO 19th & 20th and fly/take a bus to LA & arrive here on 21st. From 21st to 24th we shall explore LA & on 25th we shall either go to San Diego or Vegas. On 26th you would fly back to Australia.
Let me know if the plan works.

Travel Tips :-

1. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. Discover & Capital One normally waive off foreign transaction fee for their credit card. Do check for yours. This will save you some money.

2. Before leaving give a call to your bank & tell them not to lock your credit card because you would be travelling & would be doing transactions abroad.

3. Get a backup credit card. Sometimes the card may not work or the magnetic stripes may get destroyed out of some reason. Its always a good idea to have a credit card from another vendor.

4. Have few 1 dollar bill with you when you are travelling in US. may be 20-30 1 dollar bills. You may have to tip at places, It will save you some money when you need to tip & you only have bigger bills.

5. Have a tablet/smart phone with some useful apps like Yelp, Uber, Google Maps etc. You will need these for sure.

6. Don't forget to carry a Sunscreen while you travel :D. I am pretty much sure you will. Let me know what plans do you have regarding accommodation in New York city. Its the most expensive city in US & California is in the race as well. It ranks at number 2 :)

7. Book your flights in advance may be 20-30 days before, This will save you a lot of money.

8. Besides your Passport, Bring some other photo id with you. Your driving License works best & some states would even allow you to drive with Australian License. For instance New Jersey I guess. In NY city & San francisco there are subways/trams so public transportation is nice. But LA does not have good public transportation. If you are thinking of driving a car do bring your license.

8. Americans normally tip when they receive some service. For instance : at restaurents, bars, cabs etc. You don't have to tip if you don't receive service or the service is poor. You don't have to tip at places like mcDonalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle etc where you stand & order for things.

9. Sep-Oct is a nice time to travel. It would be fall time in & around east coast so you can enjoy Fall colors at some places there. Weather would be nice. It wont be that cold but do bring a jacket in any case.

10. Weather in west coast especially California is always awesome. We don't see fall colors here but you could literally smell water in the breeze when you walk. The coastal weather is just awesome. San Francisco will be little bit on the cold side around SEP-OCT but not that cold either.

11. New York : You will need at least a month to explore most of the things that NY city has to offer. Dont forget the Niagra Falls, I think we cannot go there in winter because it would be freezing may be from November. But SEP-OCT should be fine but I guess It will be cold out there in OCT itself. It wont snow though.

12. Los Angeles : I am in LA right now, half an hour away. After New York it is the second largest city in USA so you would need a month at least if you want to explore everything that LA has to offer. But, Hollywood, Universal Studios, DisneyLand, Hall of Fame, Ripleys Believe or Not, Griffith Observatory etc are few places to go. There are many more.

13. San Francisco : Its a nice city. I havent been there but few of my frens live there & its always been in my list of places I wanted to go. I suggest Yosemite National Park which is 3.5 hours away from SFO. Its a beautiful place. My recommendation without any doubt. Napa valley is just an hour away from SFO. Its popular for its vineyards and wine. There is RedWood forest home to some of the largest trees in the world but pretty far from san francisco around 5 hours drive. If you had more time, I would have suggested this place as well. Alcatrez island is another place to go but you have to book weeks prior to visiting there because it's pretty much crowded all throughout.

Tip : Normally, when people think of USA, the first impression they get is its cosmopolitan cities like New York or Los Angeles or San francisco. These are indeed great cities with tons of things to see & experience. I was of the same impression when I first came to US. Since then, I have got a chance to travel around few places & my impression has changed drastically. I believe & its true in fact that there is another side of US which is more natural, pristine, untouched (semi-untouched sadly) & unlike its general impression quite different & calm.

Because it's such a big country it is pretty much rich naturally & I personally suggest travelers to experience its other side together with the diversity that its major cities bring forth. YellowStone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Alaskan summer, Great Lakes, Niagra Falls, Death ValleyLake Tahoe, Mount Rainier are amongst the few places I would suggest visitors to explore.