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1 month holiday advice please

henderson1977
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 31-07-2007

1 month holiday advice please

Hi all
My partner and I have booked the month of May 2008 as holiday and we're trying to put together a holiday plan.  Our budget is moderate and we not too keen on backpacking.  We were originally planning to travel Europe by rail but couldn't agree on a route and we're tempted by Oz, Asia and South America but we're now pretty much set on travelling USA.  We've never been to USA before so need some guidance.  One suggestion has been to:
1) fly to New York (4-5 days)
2) fly to California --> hire car and drive around California's hotspots (Los Angeles & San Francisco) --> drive/fly to Las Vegas & see Grand Canyon (2 weeks)
3) fly to Florida (1 week)

Is this realistic?  Are we trying to do too much or achieve too little?  Any advice on the proposed places above?  Have we missed any obvious hotspots?
Thanks in advance.
Scott
24 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
Thanks: 191
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

That's a great itinerary.  My first visit to NY was for a week and that allowed me to see all the attractions in that great city.  Allow plenty of time for sightseeing because some of the attractions will have very long queues.  If, for example, you want to go to the very top of the Statue of Liberty that could eat into half a day. (I am assuming you can still go to the top with security issues as they are). 
NY is also a good starting point because you will be able to get some very cheap airfares into the city from the UK. If you use the same airline into NY and for your return from Florida that will also keep your costs down.
Internally, have a look at 2 of their budget airlines that will offer good prices:
www.southwest.com ; and  www.jetblue.com ;
As with our own budget airlines the prices are better the earlier you book.
Your West Coast plans seem a little ambitious but go for it.  San Diago is another great city on that coast and you can get over the Mexican border from there for a visit.
Finally, Florida.  I spend up to 10 weeks a year in this great State.  You will need to relax a bit after NY and CA and there's no better place than Florida.  I love the West Coast of Florida.  It's so laid back and easy going.  If you want a little more life go to the East coast around Miami.
I'm back to Fl in April and looking forward to it.
Regards,
Art.
[Moderator's note by Peter (PJ): Please do not quote the previous post in full as per the Forum Rules]
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

I think the best parts of the USA are the 'natural' parts. It may sound like heresy but I would give New York a miss.
Why don't you google USA tourism ?
You could if you are a member of the AA get information from the American AA (AAA), they have free maps and brochures etc.
The difficulty is that many of the attractions are aimed at children, (even the 'senior' children).
It of course depends on your interests. It may not be for you but many people hire a motor-home (RV).
You will of course realise that perhaps a couple of years may be required.
We spent three years travelling in a motor-home in USA, Canada and Mexico etc. It was a good way to meet the people who live there, you don't usually meet them in their homes any other way.
Whatever you do you will find Americans very hospitable, but they have a different outlook on life to people in this country. The 'society' and outlook is very different. Most Americans are quite religious.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please


I have just come back from a week in Las Vegas and a week in Portland, it was on business but not all the time.
You can 'do' Las Vegas it self in about 3 days, there are lots of shows, shopping and eating and of course gambling. For me, one stay in Las Vegas was enough for my lifetime. Eating can be fairly cheap $10/main if you go for the normal places, the shows are in the $50-$90 range if you get to the DiscountTickets booth at 10AM. Also see the 'Old Vegas' by going to downtown Freemont Street which has The Golden Nugget. If that sounds great to you go for it ... otherwise head for the hills.
For a day trip out one day I did this day trip kayaking from the base of the Hoover Dam (http://www.kayaklasvegas.com/kayakhooverdam.html) it was great and you do not need to be particularly fit to enjoy the day out. This is £80/person well spent, I would do it again, and you will not stop Kylie the guide talking at all!
Why not drive from Las Vegas overnight around the Grand Canyon and then onto Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Francisco on Highway 1? Or drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, drop the car, stay in LA for a day or two and then fly to San Francisco.
Use Southwest airlines if possible for internal flights, the staff are generally OK, the advantage being if you have ticket for a flight that day, if there is an earlier or later flight than the one you booked for they will put you on it.
SW.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

The area around Portland is great, did you get chance to see Mount St Helens?
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

Yes, did see Mt St Helens, when you view it from a nearby hill , itr looks quite evil.
In my view some the best scenery is over to the West The Rockies are indeed spectacular.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please


Yep, the area is pretty good around Portland, also up through Washington State and Seattle and up the coast to Vancouver BC is all very nice too, would expect it to be great in May when the OP is thinking of going to the US.
SW.
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Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

You could do worse than have a look at Jasper to Banff.
chino
Grafter
Posts: 446
Registered: 27-06-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

I have done some backpacking.. if your thinking of asia then i might have some points for you as i have backpacked through (not all of each country before people start flaming  Embarrassed ):
Singapore - shopping / nice stop over
Malaysia - nice islands and a chill out place
Thailand - party and good beachs
Cambodia - great! / got a knife pulled out on me
Vietnam - ok / got robbed twice
China - WOW - will go again (been twice)
Japan - good / once only
Korea (south) - will go again ... strange but good
India - WOW been 14 times will go back again and again
Philippines - WOW been twice and back again in March.... be careful though!
Hongkong - shopping / nice stop over
I not a fan on the states so could not guide you much advise, though Asia i should be able to help  Wink (plus a bit of Oz / Nz / pacific islands)
I know this is really not a guide and very very brief though asia is great and once you go .... you will go back again
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

I think the best scenery I have seen is on a golf resort in a place called Bucaramanga, Colombia.
It's suspended between two mountain ranges, it's totally breath taking.
N/A

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

So, thats the venue for the PN expensed Mods v Comms Golf Trip sorted then...
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

Works for me.
Nice picture Smiley
http://www.bucaramangacity.com/
henderson1977
Grafter
Posts: 191
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

Thanks all for your replies and suggestions, much appreciated!
As you can imagine, we are taking advice from different sources and change our plans slightly as time goes by.
We're pretty set on visiting USA, but have reduced our time to 2.5 weeks and plan to fly to New York for 4 nights then fly to Florida for 1.5-2 weeks. But, considering costs/weather/etc, we are not sure whether it's better to go in May or September/October.
What are your suggestions please?
Thanks
Scott
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

Quote
fly to Florida for 1.5-2 weeks. But, considering costs/weather/etc, we are not sure whether it's better to go in May or September/October.

Be careful, I think the hurricane season is in Sept-Oct in Florida. Check first.
http://help.nws.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/doit.cgi?204:533:a45357270997fb57948d43c30e39ff5fabf0a5c319a934572c...
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
Thanks: 191
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: 1 month holiday advice please

I go to Florida for a month each September and I love it.  It is a very quiet time there and the prices are very good.  On the downside it is a very humid month with temperatures over 90° so beware if you can't stand heat and humidity.
The State is also on hurricane watch which lasts from May to October.  Having said this it has rarely caused me any problems. 
I also spend April and early May in Florida and this can be a really lovely time.  Temperatures in the 80°s with long sunny days.