We only booked the flight and the first day accommodation as our touch-down time is 730pm at night that day. Will be going in autumn this year. The rest will be book as we go along since we will be there during the low-peak season.
As for the weather, Dec is a bit too cold. Instead Nov night temp is already unbearable.
Wool gloves and heat pad in pocket is a MUST.
Layers yourself is best.
There are others more exciting shows beside cirus cirus which you are ablee to watch in Singapore. Can watch others when you are there. You have friends in LAX or SFO? Can stay overnight there. Save on accommodation.
We are targeting abt $3K each for a 20D trip. Now the flight alone already toke up half. Will see how things go.
Yalor! Good to stay over their place. Can save up. Good to go LV during mid-week, but you have to check if there is any event at LV. Better to book ahead of time.
I'm trying to book online, but the accommodation is very expensive during the period I'm going.
I'm rushing my project for the past 2 weeks, so MIA. Nothing much except for sending out invitations and tidy our room.
Any link to recommend for cheaper and good accommodation at SF and LV?
for gloves, it's not just the material but also the thickness n design. past a certain thickness, suede n leather r both usually windproof, but their design must allow u to keep warm air inside n cold air out. try to find a glove that allows u to tie around the wrist. if u can find double layer gloves (e.g. with thinsulate inner layer), those trap heat better too. i find it quite important to hv inner layer that absorbs moisture, cos my hands tend to sweat inside gloves, n if i hv to remove the gloves to take pictures, the sweat will make my hands freeze.
thanks for your sharing. my suede do allows me to tie ard the wrist. but i am not sure mine is double layer or single. hv to check. i hate to go washroom cos i hv to take out my gloves. gosh, the water is freezing
hi, has anyone stayed over at 'bright angel lodge' nearby grand canyon? how's the experience?
hubby and i are thinking of staying over 1 nite nearby grand canyon now.. and still wondering where to stay. the lodging there is so so expensive. gosh... we have a car and we don't mind driving for about 30 mins or so to get to the south rim. just want a nice and clean place to stay.
hi...just wondering if i can find out from you guys whether a self-planned trip will be more costly conpared to me taking a tour package? 13d hawaii + west america about $3300 without taxes.. coz my wedding's in 2 months' time, dun really have time to research and do all the homework, though i'll deifnitely prefer a free n easy! scared we dunno how to travel if we go on our own...thanks..
hi blue ginger, i initially booked holiday inn express, but later, we decided to book a small motel in williams. if you're driving, you might want to consider booking a place either at williams or flagstaff. it's around 1 hour or so away from grand canyon. it's definitely cheaper.
for LV, we're staying at bally's. we managed to get quite cheap rooms there for usd75 per nite. with taxes, it comes up to about usd80 or so.
don't know where tropicana is... should try staying in the middle of the strip though.
So you didn't book the motel at William? I was thinking of looking for the hotel when I get there. At least I have a look at where I stay before paying for it. =)
Tropicana is around NYNY, Excalibur. Not sure they are located at the mid or south strip. But it is offering a room at $46/night (with 2for1 show ticket) while excalibur offered $62/night (with $25 diner credit, $30 match play and 2 spa admission). KInda attracted to Excalibur, but we are on-budget basis, hence don't wanna over-spent.
we booked the motel at Williams in the end cos we'll be driving in late. i read the online reviews about the place and the reviews were pretty good. since it's only for 1 nite, we decided to give it a try.
i saw the LV strip map and tropicanan is around south strip. the price you got is really cheap.
may i know where did u find the hotel deals for LV? i'm gg LV for my honeymoon in endOct and am looking around for hotels. so far, the price for excalibur is abt what u mentioned but without the freebies leh. we're also on budget..
Hmm... We got it at Tropicana online webbies. Just went up to take a look again. This time the prices had increased to $50.95 for Garden area standard Room. Which isn't worth it if you include the tax and service charge, etc. http://www.tropicanalv.com
I would suggest you take excalibur hotel, they have "Veg*s adventure" & "Stay & Play" package
Their offical webbies: http://www.excalibur.com/
Other than that, you might wanna consider the outskirt for cheaper accommodation.
you might want to visit this website. it's www.visitlasveg*as.com. go under the 'special offers' tab there. i used it to sort of scout around for cheap hotels in lv. it's really good. i got bally's for only S$75 per nite including some freebies.
thanks so much for all the useful info provided here. I'm planning my honeymoon to the US in mid-Dec, and need some advice (apologies if these questions have been asked, I tried to read through all the posts but this thread is really too long!)
my tentative itinerary:
- LA (4 days)
- Grand Canyon (1 day, overnight)
- LV (2.5 days)
- Hawaii (4 days)
- did I allocate too little/too much time for each stop?
- are there other places of interests that I â€˜die-dieâ€™ should not skip in these stops (so far only confirmed going to Universal & Disney in LA)?
- do I need to join a tour for Grand Canyon or can DIY? Also interested in taking a helicopter ride, is that recommended?
- Which part of LA would be good to stay in plus easy to get around with public transport?
- Which part of Hawaii is good for honeymooning couples? romantic beach-type resorts, not too crowded/noisy but not too far from the action too? Any recommended hotels?
- what is the best way to travel from LV to Hawaii to LA (for my flight back home)? checked out domestic flights on priceline and expedia.com but it costs about US$600/person for the 2 flights. is that about right or too expensive?
- excluding shopping, how much should i put aside for expenses? (public transport, food, shows in LV etc)
sorry Iâ€™ve so many questions. any other advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much for your help!!!
hi blueginger & krispy,
thks for the info, will check out the websites. i'm heading to LV on 1-2 nov.
so far, i've been to LA and LV so here's what i can offer. your time allocated for LA and LV seems ok. in LA, you may want to check out Hollywood walk of fame (although it's looks better in postcard than actual) but hey, it's Hollywood! There're also Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, Griffin Park Observatory. Also in LA, it's better to drive cos public transport is very tough as the attractions are quite far apart. If you're a typical singaporean, then maybe you may want to squeeze in some shopping at an outlet, the one at Palm Springs is good for branded stuff. If got time, can also drive south to San Diego and/or Coronado island. Do bear in mind that Universal and Disneyland are full-day events, and you will be quite exhausted so do pace yourselves.
as for LV, unless you're a hardcore gambler, 2.5 days is enough to get a feel of the place. Try to watch some shows cos there're solid performances in LV that can't be found elsewhere. There're Cirque du Soleil shows, Phantom of the Opera, La Reve etc. Try to book online early (some even months ahead) cos they sold out quite fast, if you're too late for that, then can go to the theatre and queue for cancellation tickets.
although i've never been to Grand Canyon, i think better not take the helicopter ride there.. heard from friends that it's quite dangerous. don't do risky stuff during your honeymoon lah.
hope this info helps. btw, when are you planning to go LA and LV?
I was back from USA last sat. Din really enjoy LA, jammed in the city for 2-3hrs when I went to dinesyland, walk of fame, and Unviersal Studio. There was a town nearby LA called Santa Babara, highly recommended as a romantics place with lovely beach and nice food. A lots of hollywood stars stay there. You might spot a few when you lazing along the beach.
LV is good. I learned to be a gambler there within 2 days. Walking along the 'STRIP' taking lots of pictures, from hotel to hotel. I watched 'O' Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio. It was awesome, but expensive too. You might wanna watch La Reve at Wynn which is similar to 'O' (Dancing and performance in water). You can get the ticket at the ticket office at fashion mall or many office along the strip.
For shopping, I'm not looking for expensive stuffs like COACH, LV, Tommy etc. Hence, fashion mall isn't my type. I enjoy my shopping at LV fashion outlet which is near to south strip at I-15, exit 33. They have Levis, Timberland, Guess, GAP, Ninewest, etc. Give yourself 0.5days if you are a quick shopper. For relax shopping, give yourself a day at the outlet. If you cannot get cheap hotel stay at the strip, you might wanna consider Primm which is 30 mins from LV. Accommodation is abt $40 including tax. and they have offered for dinner after 10pm which go as the price of USD$7 for 2ppl.
I stayed in Bright Angel Lodge at GC. Very nice accommodation with shared bathroom at USD$58. But GC wasn't that grand after 2days of stay and hike. Suggested to take the helicopter trip for panamoric view of GC if you can afford it. Otherwise, other national parks like Bryce NP is more worth of the 'WOW'ing effect.
Dec isn't a safe time to drive at GC. I was there early Nov and morning was 0degC, very sunny though. Our car was coated with a thin layer of frost. Fortunately, the road wasn't. otherwise we might have to buy chains for our wheels. Not sure if GC South Rim will have snow during Dec. You might wanna check with the visitor center over there (by email or call). GC North Rim and Bryce will be snowing in Dec.
I flew to SFO. LA is just part of my trip.
It will be better to book online. I din stay in LA cos I'm mad with the traffic jam there. The population in LA is abt 4millions or 40millions. I think it is far too crazy to drive in LA. You might wanna just used their public transports instead. BTW, you need to pay for parking lots in LA.
I travelled interstate from California, Neveda, Utah, Arizona and back to California in 20 days. We din book our accommodation and give more flexible to our trip. It is great.
When you are going there? What kinda things you wanna see?
hi everyone, we're back from the states. came back about 2 weeks ago but only found the time now to write about it.
hey blue ginger,
we didn't really enjoy LA as well. the traffic jam was horrible. the first day there, we didn't know it's not advisable to pass thru I-5 on the way down south. we were stuck in the jam downtown for 2 hours!!! the thing was, we didn't know anaheim was so so far away from downtown LA and everything else (except disneyland), so we had to drive up and down for at least an hour one way every day. gosh... and LA drivers drive so so fast. the lanes are really small too. would never wanna drive in LA again.
we picked up the car from LA airport and drove everywhere. however, i wouldn't recommend using their public transports unless you really have a lot of time on your hands. the buses there are hard to find but the metro is ok. if possible, it'd be advisable to drive cos most places are pretty hard to get to. also, suggest you stay somewhere downtown, like hollywood or santa monica where it's at least nearer to universal studios (to the north), camarillo factory outlet (to the west) and disneyland (to the south). we stayed in the south and everyday, you'd see us travelling up north.
from sfo to la, we took the greyhound bus. not too bad actually, but couldn't really sleep on the bus cos they keep on switching on the lights to pick ppl up from the smaller towns. from la to lv, we took a southwest flight. fast and easy.
after that, we drove from lv to grand canyon. it's an easy drive.. only 1 part at the hoover dam is all curvy and steep. other than that, it's mostly straight. beautiful mountains too.
let us know how else we can help you in planning your trip.
I'm also back quite a while back from US... hehe..
Yeah, me too, didnt like LA.. disney wasn't really my kind of stuff. Only enjoyed Universal studios, other than that, nothing much in LA. The city didnt seemed safe at night too.
SF and GC is really beautiful. Yosemite is nice too!
We went to many factory outlets!! haha... From Gilroy, Desert Hill Premium outlet, Barstow, LV premium outlet, Primm....
Do go to the red rock canyon too. it's ard 15min away from LV Strip... not too bad, quite nice views too.
I think it's wise to stay within GC lodges. Otherwise flagstaff & william are really far away, think 1hr or more so not advisable actually if u wanna spend more time at GC. Do note that immediately when sunsets, the weather turned really cold... winds are very strong at night too...
My husband and I are planning a trip to SF-LA-LV in June 07. I see that your itinerary is somewhat similar to what weâ€™ve in mind. Would you mind to share your itinerary with me please? My husband is not very confident to drive in States (most probably will drive in LA only since I read that it is almost imperative to have a car to travel around) and so we will most likely take domestic flights which can be pretty expensive if we add them together. May I know how much you paid for the greyhound bus from SF to LA? How long was the journey? Is this the website to book the tickets http://www.greyhound.com/home.asp? Do you have to book way in advance?
Also, how long in advance did you book the Southwest flights from LA to LV? How was the rates and from which airport?
Iâ€™m sorry to ask so many questions and thanks in advance for your help.
Hi KrispyKreme & Ginn,
I was told to avoid I-5, but still cause in traffic jam at the other highway. *$@#$@$*&
If your hb can drive in LA, he can do it anyway else. That's the worst city for driving.
We were scared of driving on the opposite drive initially. In fact, we were against the traffic when we first drove the rented car out of its garage. It took us 5mins to get used to their traffic and caught by the traffic police twice in rural area. And everything is fine for the rest of our journey. Hee! Hee! hee!
We drove through night and overtaking on double-yellow line. It was fun driving at 160km/h (75MPH)
One advise if you are driving from LA to SF on Hwy 1 (scenic Hwy), spend more days to enjoy and explore each town along the ways.
Jetlag all depends on individual. For my case, I used to have it when I flew to Canada, but not for this trip.
Grand Canyon must see its sunset and sunrise.
I thought you are planning trip to Tasmania?
Hi Blue Ginger
I also donâ€™t know if he can drive in LAâ€¦ also, we are not familiar with the routes from SF-LA followed by LA-LV and lastly LV-SF (assuming we are taking up the SQ two-to-go promotion deal so have to return to SF). My husband is petrified of the long hours driving and the fact that I canâ€™t drive yet and definitely not a good navigator really donâ€™t help. Could you share your itinerary please? How was your trip like?
We are also considering taking United Airlines so we can add multi-city i.e SG-SF then take domestic flight from SF-LV then at LV drive to LA and take the return flight to SG from LA. but we are also concern that the car rental charges might be more since we are renting the car from LV and drop at LA. Is this itinerary feasible? hmmm..sorry if I sound confusing coz I am indeed perplexed.
NO worry. Just relaxed.
Driving is easier in USA than in Singapore.
Most of their road is straight and wider. American are friendly driver. When you signed, they will give way. They will give way to pedestrain when you are on the road. It is compulsory under american drive rules. Stay in the car when the police stop you. Wait for him to come to you.
City like SF, LV, LA are a bit tense as there are more cars and lots of traffic lights. You would rather take their subway (trains) than to drive. In SF, you can park your car at the outskirt and take BART. In LA, Metro. In LV, monorail and mainly walking. Along strip (main street in LV) you will definitely stop at every traffic lights you meet. Hence I hate driving in city.
We din have a proper map since we travel through 4 states. Our best friend are Gas stations (petrol kisok), hotels and visitor centres. We get informations, maps from the staffs there. They are very precise in terms of directions and the travelling hours.
Since you and your hb is petrified to long distance driving, I would suggest you take flight for LV to SF or vice versa. That'll be the longest and time-consuming road (abt 10 hrs drive, we travel through nights.)
Driving is exciting cos you are able to see things along the way. We saw coyote, deers, rabbit, etc. You'll know where are the nice town to stop from the ppl you met along the way. Flying take you to your destination faster, but you don't see much along the way.
And if you have time, read through SB archives. Ppl in this forum are very helpful and the informations are reliable. I gathered info from ppl like KrispyKreme, Ginn, Kean, Och, etc.
I flew to SF, drive from SF,Yosemite NP, Zion NP, LV, Bryce NP, SCB, Page, GC, LV, LA, Santa babara, Solvang, Montrery, SFO. 20days duration.
wow.. didn't expect the thread to be so active all of a sudden.
let me try to get back to everyone one by one.
we didn't get to stay in gc. really sad about that. we only decided to drive to gc at the very last minute, so we stayed at williams for a nite. it was really great. the hotels there are so so cheap.. we stayed at one for less than usd40 per nite including taxes. and more importantly, it was clean.
the drive to gc was about an hour from there. we drove just as the sun came up, really nice.
btw, williams is a very small town, but it's nearer to gc than flagstaff.
we didn't experience that bad a jetlag. we touched down at sf around 7pm and only reached our hotel at union square at around 8pm. we slept around 11pm cos the flight is super tiring and we woke up at 4am. hahahaha... was so hungry when we woke up but don't dare go out to get food cos lots of homeless in sf. however, we didn't feel sleepy at all the next day... probably too excited with all the sights and sounds. sf is a very beautiful city. even the slopes are nice.. haha. i can say that now but when we were climbing up and down it, we were busy complaining.
here's my itinerary.
Day 1 - 3 San Francisco
Day 4 - 10 Los Angeles
Day 11 Fremont Street, LV
Day 12 - 13 Grand Canyon
Day 14 - 15 LV Strip.
but it really depends on where you're interested in going and what you want to do. we spent a lot of days at LA cos we went to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags Magic Mountain. And also a lot of shopping there. hehe.
you're at the right website. the tickets for greyhound cost us usd75 for 2 tickets from sf to la. there's a 50% discount for the 2nd person. oh... you've gotta tick the box which says 'Companion Fare'. our southwest tickets cost about usd 200 for round trip from LA to LV. the airports were lax (LA) to the LV one. there's only 1 airport in LV, i think, south of the strip. we booked quite far in advance... about 2-3 months i think. can't really remember. but, if there are cheap tickets available, you should book it asap. we got the internet promotion fare.
hi blue ginger and ginn,
we were taking I-40 all the way after that. we stayed at anaheim all the way. the 2 hour drives were killer. thank goodness our room there was great. big and comfy room (the best for our whole trip), even better than bally's and about 100 tv channels. hahahaha... we had fun. felt like home after a while.
the roads in LA are actually rather scary. we drove in the carpool lane and the glare from the cars coming in the opposite direction was horrible. after driving a while, my eyes got very tired and irritated. i only drove once in a while, can't imagine how it must be for hubby.
the car rental prices will be about usd200 - usd300 if you drop it off at another state. it's for the drop-off charges. actually, if you don't mind, i'd recommend you take china airlines. it's cheap and the service wasn't that bad. the seats are sq size as well. we got our tics for about sgd1317 per person including taxes and we got to touchdown at sf and depart from lax. i think the promo was about sgd1200 for return tics for either sin-sfo-sin / sin-lax-sin. when we asked to change it to open jaw, they just added an additional sgd100.
I took china air as well. Got promotion fare $2600/2pax including tax. This is the best deals at the time we booked.
Ya! Their service is good. But the flight to/fro Taipei and SF is one of the oldest carrier in ChinaAir. No individual TV for 10hrs. Super boring. Luckily, it was a night flight, so we sleep at the way. By the time we landed, wide awake. BTW, Taipei airport T2 have free internet surf, so we spent our transit time surf internet loh! That's not so bad. Love the flight to/fro SIN and Taipei, flight is like SQ. But time is short, I oso able to catch 3 movies onboard.
WOW! You spent a lot of time in LA.Is the shopping good? What did you buy? Just curious. Frankly speaking, the traffic jam spoilt my moods, so we din wanna do anything in LA. Did you go to the town called Solvang? It is a lovely Danish town. I love shopping there. Lots of country style crafts.
hi blue ginger,
we didn't know there was free internet at taipei's T2. we were so so bored during transit time when we were on the way to sfo. i think we got the same as you, no tv for the long long flight to sfo from taipei. a friend of mine actually got tv for that flight. so lucky. we spent the time playing cards. hahahaha.. got so so bored. we got to watch some shows on the tv in front of each cabin section as well. don't get to choose our own shows, but at least got something to watch. hahaha.
we spent 3 of the 7 days in LA going to universal studios, disneyland and six flags. 1 more day was spent in camarillo shopping. 1 more walking hollywood and just enjoying ourselves at the chinese mann theatre and farmers market. another day exploring anaheim. saw the crystal cathedral (so so amazing) and shopping at the grove@orange. met up with my cousin for dinner in town after that and had drinks at this place called 'the standard'. very cool place. it's on top of an office building right in the LA cbd. there's a fireplace there, a pool and even water beds. really nice and chilly at nite.
we checked out after that and took a flight to lv in the morning, so can't really be called 7 days. hehe...
we didn't even know there was a town called solvang. wow.. danish town. i wished we had known. we could have dropped by. i find US is very fun. there are so many things to see and do. just wish we had more time there to drive around and just look look see see.
Thanks for the tips. Btw, just wondering, why did you not take domestic flight from SF to LA instead but choose to take greyhound since the journey from SF to LA is so long? And you took domestic flight from LA to LV when the journey is shorter right? Any reason? Hehe..
May I know which hotel you stay in Anaheim, LA? so u drove to universal studio and hollywood from there? How was the drive to these places?
We are definitely open to other carriers. Would appreciate it if you girls could keep me informed if you chance upon any airline promotions..
Iâ€™ve been flipping the papers everyday..hee..
Wow, you drove to so many places! Iâ€™m impressed. Was it your first trip to USA? Now the husband told me that he doesnâ€™t mind to drive..faint but I still donâ€™t feel quite safe.
Yes, I've read through all the archives..took me few days to finish all posts but its no doubt very helpful.
Lastly, how much in total did you gals spend for the trip?
we decided to take greyhound cos there was no internet promotion for flights from sfo to la then. we compared the costs and decided this was the cheapest way. also, by taking the bus throughout the nite, we saved on 1 nite's lodging at sf. our lodging in sf was was of the most expensive ones throughout the trip and yet, the smallest room and not very nice decor.
we stayed at Best Western Stovall's Inn in anaheim. it's within walking distance to disneyland. but, if you're going to visit Hollywood, Universal and all, you should consider staying somewhere in town. we were really tired with the long drives from anaheim to town and back again. the drive can take anywhere from 45mins to 1.5 hours depending on traffic. the driving in LA is quite different from singapore cos the cars all drive really really fast, and we personally think the car pool lane is very small. also, if you're driving at nite, the glare from the cars in the opposite lanes are extremely distracting and tiring to the eyes.
the drive to hollywood and universal was ok once you get used to it. but i still think the whole drive is much too long. so, i wouldn't recommend staying in anaheim for the entire trip.