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  1. #1

    Taking a trip to America (have some questions)

    So, as the title says i plan to take a 2 week trip to America in the next month or so. I plan to spend 5-7 days in New York then fly to LA and spend a week there. My questions are as followed,

    1. What is the travel like IN New York in regards to getting around from place to place? Is using the subway the easiest (do they even have a subway) and if so is it expensive at all? (this is purely for me just wanting to go and see different places, ground zero, rockafeller, empire state etc)

    2. Where is the best place to try and find a hotel in New York. I know there is all different disctricts to the city but what would be a nice area to look without it being STUPIDLY expensive?

    3. How expensive is stuff in america? I got told food and drink can be quite pricey and yet clothing is cheap? Travel expensive?

    Thanks to anybody who can help me here, if you have any other bits of advice such as where to go and what to see then please feel free to have your input.

    Thanks.

    ps. Im british so can talk perfect english (so it should make my life easier right?)

  2. #2
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    First off, I recommend against LA. Go to San Francisco and the surrounding areas instead if you want to hit up the left coast. It's 1000% nicer all around.

    Now to your questions:

    1) I have no idea, never been there

    2) I'd recommend looking for a hostel, I bet you can find one fairly cheap on Manhattan.

    3) The beer index is between $2 for a crappy domestic to $12 in a fancy club for a nice beer. Like most places, if you're looking for a cheap meal, you can find it, and if you're looking for a pricey meal, you can find that too.
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  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral Anyael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    So, as the title says i plan to take a 2 week trip to America in the next month or so. I plan to spend 5-7 days in New York then fly to LA and spend a week there. My questions are as followed,

    1. What is the travel like IN New York in regards to getting around from place to place? Is using the subway the easiest (do they even have a subway) and if so is it expensive at all? (this is purely for me just wanting to go and see different places, ground zero, rockafeller, empire state etc)

    2. Where is the best place to try and find a hotel in New York. I know there is all different disctricts to the city but what would be a nice area to look without it being STUPIDLY expensive?

    3. How expensive is stuff in america? I got told food and drink can be quite pricey and yet clothing is cheap? Travel expensive?

    Thanks to anybody who can help me here, if you have any other bits of advice such as where to go and what to see then please feel free to have your input.

    Thanks.

    ps. Im british so can talk perfect english (so it should make my life easier right?)
    1. the New York subway can be hell for people who aren't used to it. There are a bunch of lines, Uptown or Downtown is the direction, and some of them seem like they might as well be the same train. The only thing you really need to be cautious about is whether or not you want an Express train - the opposite is local. If you take the wrong one, it is a pain.

    2. I honestly wouldn't know, try a hostel.

    3. New York City is very expensive, and California is also very expensive. Street food isn't too bad though, like anywhere.

    I don't know what you're interested in based on this short post, but make sure to visit the Museum of Natural History - I think it is the greatest museum on earth, but that's just me.

    And LA is awful, from personal experience, you'd be better off taking an amtrak to Washington D.C., seeing the monuments and (free!) museums there.
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  4. #4
    Warchief Hubcap's Avatar
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    New York is expensive.

    I would start in New Orleans, rent a car, drive to Austin, visit every national park along the way, go to Boulder and smoke some weed, drive to Las Vegas and go to a legal whore house and do some gambling. Get tickets for a live audience TV show in LA and go to that.

    Hang out on the beach in Venice Beach.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    ps. Im british so can talk perfect english (so it should make my life easier right?)
    If you make a mistake using a pencil. Ask for an eraser, not a rubber.

  6. #6
    The Unstoppable Force RICH816's Avatar
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    Learn to tip, Americans expect it.

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    Stood in the Fire Pabzi's Avatar
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    1) NEW YORK CITY: I sometimes commute to an Internship in the NYC but using the subway is the fastest way to travel.
    (do not take taxi's or travel in a car, a lot of taxi drivers love to take long routes and scam unsuspecting tourists)
    (also cars never move in the city X.X, well.. it sure feels like it.. its like Snail travel)
    Price for Transport: NYC it costs around $2.75? for a subway ticket, its not roundtrip.. I suggest buying a metro card instead (metrocard isn't roundtrip either) you save a few bucks.

    1) L.A: In some parts of California, you have public transportation like bus.. but in others.. its you have a Car or Taxi or you need to walk

    2) If you want a nice place to stay but don't wanna spend all your vacation money on Hotels, just go to one of those hotel websites that rent out good rooms that were never booked (since hotel places want to book every room, no book rooms = 0 dollars, they'd rather get some than none at all)

    3) Food is actually very well priced. IF you want a quick meal, i would suggest trying the famous new york pizza. If you want fine dining, its def worth every penny for the fast service and amazing meals. Do you like or know Gordon Ramsay? He has like 2 restaurants in NYC. Clothing is a bit more expensive but its worth it because you have almost infinite choices, all of the most well known brands are there.. also some exclusive NYC independent clothing stores are located there.

    Places To Visit: Nintendo Store, The Seinfeld Diner, The Love Sign, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park.

    Plaeces to visit in California: Why not Blizzard HQ?
    Last edited by Pabzi; 2014-09-02 at 10:03 PM.
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  8. #8
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipstick View Post
    New York is expensive.

    I would start in New Orleans, rent a car, drive to Austin, visit every national park along the way, go to Boulder and smoke some weed, drive to Las Vegas and go to a legal whore house and do some gambling. Get tickets for a live audience TV show in LA and go to that.

    Hang out on the beach in Venice Beach.
    San Francisco, do the city first,






    then wine country,



    then redwood forests.



    That's all within a 15 minute drive. After that, go to Yosemite, the most beautiful place on the planet:



    Then drive either north or south on Highway 1 to your destination, which is either San Diego or Seattle. Here's Highway 1:



    If you go south, stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea



    or maybe the Monterrey Bay Aquarium



    Glide through LA without stopping, unless you're dead set on Disneyland or something. Finish in beautiful San Diego:



    Or go north, stopping at some of the beautiful volcanoes



    and Portland, home of the super crazy liberal funkytown



    Maybe stop at a rainforest, perhaps the Olympic Peninsula



    before ending up in beautiful Seattle:



    That's my recommendation for a USA vacation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RICH816 View Post
    Learn to tip, Americans expect it.
    15% minimum, 20% better.
    Last edited by Reeve; 2014-09-02 at 10:06 PM.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
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  9. #9
    Stood in the Fire Njorn's Avatar
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    Obviously you need to visit Detroit
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  10. #10
    If you're walking around some of LA's esteemed neighborhoods, be sure to wear bright blue or bright red colors to show solidarity with local Dodgers or Angels fans.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Njorn View Post
    Obviously you need to visit Detroit
    Come to Detroit for the beer and crumbling architecture.

    Stay in Detroit because someone stole your passport.
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  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Lenonis's Avatar
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    Oy these forums. How about instead of telling the poor girl/guy how s/he planned his whole trip wrong you actually answer her/his questions?

    I haven't been to New York so I can't give you specifics -- however I just got back fairly recently from a trip that included both LA and San Francisco.

    My general recommendations are this:
    - As mentioned earlier read up on US tipping. We have very weird rules about gratuities and how much is expected when. The rule of thumb is to basically tip everyone providing you a service -- the waiter, the taxi driver, tour guides, etc. People can and will get very belligerent if you don't tip as it's expected.

    - Read up on both where to go -- and where not to go. New York and LA both have areas of the city that aren't safe, especially at night. Generally tourist areas will be ok (but watch for pickpockets and such). Be careful of scams -- generally don't believe anyone on the street selling stuff, especially tickets or tours. Go to established businesses for that.

    - Feel free to ask for advice from the hotel staff about places to see and places to eat.

    - Public transportation in the US in general leaves a lot to be desired and is often confusing to navigate. If you feel comfortable giving it a shot go for it, but you can use Taxis to get around everywhere if you are willing to spend the cash. If you will have data on your phone you can consider downloading the Uber app -- it's like cabs but cheaper.

    - It can be a lot of fun to try to find the places off the beaten path to see. But you won't do wrong going to the standby tourist attractions if its your first time.

    - Americans will likely be charmed by your accent. Feel free to use that to whatever advantage you desire.

    EDIT -- Any hotels in the tourist areas will be crazy expensive. If you think you will spend large chunks of time in one area per day, it's far better to get a hotel further out that's cheaper and take a cab or public transportation in.

    Food isn't really that expensive unless you eat at fine dining restaurants. You can make do with delis and cheaper neighborhood joints for decent food at decent prices. Alcohol can be a bit expensive if you like to drink.

    Clothing is generally considered crazy cheap here compared to Europe. Leave some extra space in your suitcase.
    Last edited by Lenonis; 2014-09-02 at 10:38 PM.

  13. #13
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rethul Ur No View Post
    If you're walking around some of LA's esteemed neighborhoods, be sure to wear bright blue or bright red colors to show solidarity with local Dodgers or Angels fans.
    Do not do this. These are gang colors and will get you shot.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
    Because you look so fine
    And I really wanna make you mine

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Do not do this. These are gang colors and will get you shot.
    You might get robbed, but the South LA gangs tend to keep the shooting of foreign white people to a minimum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    So, as the title says i plan to take a 2 week trip to America in the next month or so. I plan to spend 5-7 days in New York then fly to LA and spend a week there. My questions are as followed
    I'm going to assume that you're itinerary is already set on NY and Los Angeles, so I'm not going to toss out unnecessary insults.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    1. What is the travel like IN New York in regards to getting around from place to place? Is using the subway the easiest (do they even have a subway) and if so is it expensive at all? (this is purely for me just wanting to go and see different places, ground zero, rockafeller, empire state etc)

    2. Where is the best place to try and find a hotel in New York. I know there is all different disctricts to the city but what would be a nice area to look without it being STUPIDLY expensive?
    1. New York is very easy to get around. I usually use the subway or walk when I visit. If you take the trains into Grand Central Station it's pretty easy to walk or get a cab from there.
    2. You can probably find some decent deals on Travelocity or some such site. You may also want to look into staying someplace that isn't in Manhattan. Look for hotels in the areas outside the island. Almost every town has a train station that goes into Grand Central. Just do some research into how safe the towns are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    3. How expensive is stuff in america? I got told food and drink can be quite pricey and yet clothing is cheap? Travel expensive?

    1. Don't listen to them about Los Angeles. I've lived in both Los Angeles/Southern California and San Francisco/northern California and there are good and bad sides to both (Yosemite is only an hour further away from LA than SF). There are beaches, forests, deserts, and mountains all within 1 hour of the city. I would even suggest avoiding Downtown LA or Hollywood unless you are going to be doing something specific there. Stay in one of the beach cities. You can find a range of hotels at a range of prices. Again, look into cities outside of Hollywood and Downtown that might be just over the hill from where you want to go.

    2. Plan on renting a car. The public transportation in Los Angeles is bad. If you can't rent a car, get a cab or use Uber (Don't use it at night though, they'll upcharge your ass into bankruptcy).

    3. I don't know what the expense of food translates to in the UK, but you can eat on a budget in both NY and LA. Look for as many hole in the wall places you can find in New York and Los Angeles. Avoid places like Carnegie Deli and Pink's and you'll be fine.

    4. Check out r/LosAngeles and r/nyc subreddits

    5. You're British, people in Los Angeles will love you.

    6. Tip
    Last edited by Maltah; 2014-09-02 at 10:52 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Do not do this. These are gang colors and will get you shot.
    Yeah, on second thought I didn't think this through.

    Better idea: Wear San Francisco Giants gear in LA because the orange and black are really hard to confuse with red or blue.

  16. #16
    Titan Themius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkeeee View Post
    So, as the title says i plan to take a 2 week trip to America in the next month or so. I plan to spend 5-7 days in New York then fly to LA and spend a week there. My questions are as followed,

    1. What is the travel like IN New York in regards to getting around from place to place? Is using the subway the easiest (do they even have a subway) and if so is it expensive at all? (this is purely for me just wanting to go and see different places, ground zero, rockafeller, empire state etc)

    2. Where is the best place to try and find a hotel in New York. I know there is all different disctricts to the city but what would be a nice area to look without it being STUPIDLY expensive?

    3. How expensive is stuff in america? I got told food and drink can be quite pricey and yet clothing is cheap? Travel expensive?

    Thanks to anybody who can help me here, if you have any other bits of advice such as where to go and what to see then please feel free to have your input.

    Thanks.

    ps. Im british so can talk perfect english (so it should make my life easier right?)
    1)New York Subways... one thing I miss about New York. They're efficient but some of the stations are dirty and smelly. I remember 59th on the 6 smelled like cat food for a while (dry food)

    2) Best place to find a hotel in New York....no where if you want a nice room for relatively low price. Don't get a hotel in New York, too expensive frankly, unless you're willing to settle. If you want to be able to get a good price and easy travel try Jersey City.

    There are a number of hotels by the water where you can walk out and get a nice view of the city.



    This is downtown Jersey City - Exchange, across from the world trade. Just on the left there is a large hotel (Hyatt) and the building (circular) is the path station that's 1 stop to the world trade, roughly 5 minutes. It's a walk to another train that takes you up to 34th street in New York.

    There is also a W hotel and Marriott 1 mile down from that place that's located next door to a path train that also goes to New York.

    Food and drink isn't that expensive depending where you are going. New York can be cheap or it can be outrageous.

    Clothing same deal.
    Last edited by Themius; 2014-09-02 at 10:57 PM.
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    Uh...huh

  17. #17
    Im gonna echo some of the responses. LA is horrible - go to SF instead.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Olo View Post
    Im gonna echo some of the responses. LA is horrible - go to SF instead.
    You're doing it wrong...








  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH816 View Post
    Learn to tip, Americans expect it.
    No situation that he presented is associated with tipping.
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  20. #20
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    This just in: Reeve reveals his true calling as a personal travel assistant.

    But ya, definitely agree with going with San Francisco over LA; LA really just sticks out as a sprawling urban nightmare.

    for your questions: 1) It's a straightforward subway system; if its the first time using a metro subway system, it will be hard, but it isn't close to as hard as other major ones like the Moscow Metro or London. It isn't that expensive, as long as you plan out where you're going and don't mind walking shorter distances above ground. Use it for longer travel only.

    2) For not horribly expensive, probably somewhere in Brooklyn.

    3) Everything in New York is expensive. Everything. If you stay too long, it will burn your money away. Food is pretty inexpensive elsewhere, though. One thing to keep in mind, though; New York has one of the best selections of food in the entire world, if you have money to spend and know where to go.

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