three weeks - california, vegas, mexico...suggestions?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Feb 7, 2013 3:10 PM Last Post By: max_mexico
Feb 5, 2013 11:16 AM
three weeks - california, vegas, mexico...suggestions?hi all,
a friend and i are planning on spending three weeks travelling in the US and mexico, I'm currently based near Los Angeles until she meets me here in early may. Were both 25, from australia (and know little about the US), we want to party a bit but also see the sights etc. We were thinking of doing a bit of california (maybe san fran and the theme parks), vegas for a few nights and then a week in mexico, maybe cancun, before heading back to LA to fly home. Can anyone recommend any good places to visit (even out of california), hotels and things to do? we were thinking budget hotels, even hostels with $2000 spending money each after accommodation has been payed.
Feb 5, 2013 12:38 PM
Feb 5, 2013 2:25 PM
2Cancun is bloody horrible. If you must fly there, get off the plane and on a bus (and boat) to Isla Holbox. Lovely little island, peaceful if you want it but plenty of places to party as well. Great sunsets and beach. You can see hundreds of flamingos, swim with whale sharks, and generally have a very pleasant time.
Feb 5, 2013 2:48 PM
3Welcome to Thorn Tree.
A. How are you traveling around the US? Mexico?
B. That $4000 (US?) works out to less than $100 per day per person. What does it _include_? If it includes food, air travel, rental car, theme parks, Las Vegas, Cancun, San Francisco, etc. I'm not sure it will cover 3 weeks.
C. What "sights" do you want to see? If they include some of the outstanding National Parks in southern California and surrounding states, a car is mandatory. A car is also mandatory in Los Angeles as far as I am concerned.
D. Since you don't seem to know where you are staying, how do you know how much you will spend on accommodations? Outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco you will find somewhere between very few and no hostels. Americans use the "budget motels" you find along Interstate highways.
E. Again, what do you want to see? You can travel inside Greater Los Angeles for more than 100 miles in a random straight line and never leave it. National parks include Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Death Valley, Bryce, Zion, and Joshua Tree.
Have a great time, but you need to do a little more research.
Feb 5, 2013 3:16 PM
4Zelda is correct that $4,000 for three weeks is less than $100 each per day, but not much less. $4,000 for 21-days = $190/day for both of you which, if you stay in hostels and be very careful of your tavelling expenses, you could make it. That means no rental car, limited partying, no fancy restaurants and limiting your number of destinations.
Since you sound like partiers, starting in Los Angeles I'd check out the Venice Beach scene maybe shoot some pool at Barney's Beanery in Hollywood. Sight seeing - check out Long Beach and the Queen Mary vintage oceanliner, maybe take a day cruise over to Catalina Island (but your funds may limit you from that). Some of the local bars in Santa Monica and West Hollywood have pretty good live music for reasonable cover charge - check venues on-line.
You can get to San Francisco fairly reasonably on the AMTRAK train or by flying if regional air carriers are running specials (Allegiant Air, Alaska). Once there you'll find plenty to do.
Las Vegas - there are often air specials for weekend getaways to Vegas from Los Angeles. Check Horizon Air, Allegiant Air, Delta and Alaska Air for specials. From Las Vegas you can arrange a tour of the Grand Canyon.
Now, for Mexico: Since you are interested in partying I'd say Cancun may be to your liking. Personally I avoid the place like the plague except as an inexpensive point of entry into Mexico, but you may like it. From Cancun you could do day-trips to some Mayan ruins such as Chitzen Itza or Tulum. Search on-line for all-inclusive deals for Mexico. We booked four days all-inclusive a Cabo San Lucas last year for $1,500 which included round trip air fare for the two of us from Seattle Washington, all the food and booze you could hold once there (which wasn't much in our case), and a pretty nice hotel on the beach. Since then I've seen much better deals than that for Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San lucas and Matzatlan. Most coastal areas in Mexico will be hot and humid in May except for Cabo which is dry desert (not humid) and the heat is held at bay by constant ocean breezes.
Feb 5, 2013 4:29 PM
Feb 5, 2013 8:02 PM
6Will you be driving a car? There is an incredible amount of things to see around and between LA and Las Vegas, if you are interested in nature. Browse the forum, this is discussed every week at least.
The Cancun area is your best bet in Mexico IMO. Others would be Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. I hate Cancun too and would leave it ASAP, but if you like partying it might be for you.
Feb 6, 2013 7:56 AM
7I'm planning on flying to Cancun in May and right now nonstop air from LA is running $533 so holding off hoping for a price drop (check Bing Flight Predictor), so you might want to look into Puerto Vallarta or keep an eye on the airfare. Connecting flights are not that much cheaper $501 and have mostly crummy schedules.
Feb 6, 2013 11:39 AM
- Why Cancun? You're on the west coast, so it's easier and faster to try to the Pacific coast of Mexico. Though, I don't really understand why you'd want to go to a resort town. It's all concrete hotels. You could be anywhere. Won't really know you're in Mexico. If you want to actually see some of Mexico and hang out in a cool city, go to Mexico City.
- Theme parks cost $70-100 per person per day nowdays. With your budget, I'd be very picky about which you go to.
- You can technically see a lot of California without a car. So you can save some money on that. Of course, it's more convenient with a car. Don't need a car in SF or Vegas.
- I'd go to Vegas first before it gets too hot. You should also fit in an overnight trip to the Grand Canyon from there.
- Also, consider backpacker bus tours organized by Green Tortoise Hostel out of SF. Check out their site. This might be a good option for you.
Feb 6, 2013 12:05 PM
That's pricy! Look into flying from Santa Ana. I see Frontier flying for $407 with a tight connection in Denver.
Puerto Vallarta comes back MORE expensive for me, while Cabo is much cheaper. In my opinion, pay the extra money and go to Cancun!!
I hate the city of Cancun, but I still think Cancun would be a fantastic option for OP. Beaches are amazing, haven't seen anything like it in the US (not even in Florida or Hawaii). Huge party city. Food is great and can be had for cheap. And no reason to stay in the city: so many excursions to beautiful and exotic places.
Feb 6, 2013 12:09 PM
10I'm all for partying, but the majority of people there in May will be 18 on their graduation trips from high school. And it's ugly with tons of concrete resorts. There are much more beautiful places in the world for partying. Chichen Itza is a worthwhile trip a few hours away to see the ruins. But still don't think it's worth $500+ on just the flight. Can get a package with a hotel included for that elsewhere.
Feb 7, 2013 6:35 AM
11Thanks max, but I only do nonstop these days and I am only flying into Cancun, will be staying with friends on Isla Mujeres, Tulum and lastly my fave, Akumal with a condo on Half Moon Bay.
Hope the OP has a fabulous trip, and you want a car for LA, really. Yes the transit is better than it used to be, but it still takes forever to get most places. I got out of jury duty a few months ago because I would have had to take 3 buses to get there (I lied and said I did not have a car).
Feb 7, 2013 3:10 PM
NP. The flight was into Cancun actually, but out of Santa Ana airport in LA. But not non-stop, no! Haha, I prefer the opposite, as many stops as possible to maximize the miles!
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