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Question

Cost of Grand southern tour??????

19 Sep 2006 Nikki asked

Nikki
Hey
Anyone out there from Australia who's been on the Grand Southern tour.... Can youplease tell me approx how much it cost you for the whole trip (flights, tour, accomm before and after the tour and spending money). I am going on a tour next year and was wondering how much I would need. I've done a few calculations and come up with around 10,000, but I was wondering if anyone else who has actually been on the trip could give me some advice. Thanks!
  • 19 Nov 2006 PinaI said

    PinaI

    I spent just over $12000 all up including 5 nights in a LA hostel before the tour and 9 nights in NY after the trip.

    It probably would have been about $10k but I booked myself into the ridiculously disgusting YMCA in NY and wanted out of there before I even got in. Being December 26th it wasn’t exactly easy to find another room for 9 nights at late notice. Luckily the Contiki Hotel (Beacon) got me a room but they charged me $225 per night for it…OUCH!

  • 19 Nov 2006 Nikki said

    Nikki

    Thanks heaps for your advice guys! If you have any other advice on the trip from what to take to what you did, and you have the time to write it all down then it would be great to hear from you! Looking forward to this trip next year!!!!
    Thanks again.

  • 20 Nov 2006 PinaI said

    PinaI

    What time of the year are you going? That might help with what to take. Winter = thermals!

    Whatever you do, don’t overpack! I know guys probably don’t have this problem as much as girls but regardless, I can’t stree enough that you really won’t wear half of what you put in your suitcase, at all!

    Here’s ome info I’ve posted in other threads, general and optionals based, that might help:

    My best advice is to go with an open mind and take everything you see and do as a new experience. Don’t expect anything and you can’t be disappointed!

    Also, do everything you want to do while you get the chance. I made the mistake of not going to Disneyland in LA because I knew we were going to have 3-days in Orlando on our tour in which to see the sights. Unfortunately in Orland I got struck down with bronchitis and a chest infection so I only got 4hrs at Disneyland as opposed to 3-days! I still got to see enought of Disneyland in that time, the main part, but I didn’t get to go to any of the other ‘Disney Worlds’ which was a real shame.

    Buy you want when you see it too, don’t think you will find it better somewhere or cheaper, it’s inevitable that you won’t!

    My fav places and things to do were:
    Memphis – Graceland and Sun Studios (even if you’re not an Elvis fan, you will be spellbound…get that tingley feeling and all)

    New York – one of the best cities in the World and now, I understany why! I’m not sure what tour you’re doing in New York after the trip but I’m not sure it would be necessary. Heaps of people from your bus will stay on for a few days at least (who wouldn’t) and you can see most of the city with them and in your own good time. New York is really easy to get around, both on foot and by subway and you will know what you want to see there without needing a bus and tour guide to tell you so!

    Disneyland – of course, it really is the happiest place on earth!

    Grand Canyon – Breathtaking. Do the helicopter ride, even if it’s just the short 30minute one. It’s amazing.

    Vegas – Party capital. Awesome casino’s. Great fun.



    Have you checked out the optional extra’s and costs too? That will give you more of an idea of how much extra to take so that you can do the ones that you want. I’ve just had a look at what’s available and although, there seems to be a few changes, here’s what they offer and what I did:

    Splash Cabaret in Vegas: US$37.00 – I didn’t go to the show, had seen cabarets many times before so opted to spend the night with some of the tour people roaming around the casinos instead!

    IMAX Movie at Grand Canyon: US$9.00 – Again, didn’t do this one. Some people said it was good, others said it was boring.

    Helicopter Flights: From US$135.00/$195.00 – brilliant! I did the shorter tour which lasted about 30 minutes and it was well worth it. There is a longer tour which is the $195 and then an all day tour which is some $500 and takes you down into the Canyon for lunch. Everyone loved this and I would highly recommed doing one of these options.

    River Rafting in Durango: US$25.00 (seasonal) – out of season for us so we didn’t do it.

    Outlaw Jeep Tours: US$46.00 (seasonal) – we did this in the snow. It was damn cold and most people who came back hated it because it was uncomfortable and freezing.

    Hot Air Ballooning in Albuqurque: US$130.00 – This was a great experience but again, very, very cold and a very early start as you had to be up before 5am! Rug up and take your camera!

    Dallas Mesquite Rodeo & real Texas BBQ: US$20.25 Rodeo only: US$10.00 (seasonal) – again, not an option for us.

    Your choice in New Orleans: – Mississippi Cruise: US$46.00 – our tour didn’t go to New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina so I can’t help here!

    Airboat Swamp Tour: US$57.00 – again, Hurricane Katrina.

    Your choice in Orlando: Disneyworld 1 Day Pass: US$55.00 (per day). A given. Go. It’s a great day. I had Bronchitis and a chest infection by the time we got to Orlando but still went along. There was no way I was missing out. Turns out I only lasted 4 hours and then spent the next 3 days in bed which really sucks but I’m glad I got a chance to see something, at least.

    Your choice in St. Augustine – Ghost Tour: US$7.00. We didn’t have this either!

    Your choice in Savannah – Pirate’s House Dinner: US$33.00 – Nope, not this either!

    Your choice in New York – New York City Pass: US$58.00 – I spent nine days in New York and didn’t get the NY city pass. I think you can get around NY very easily by yourself and you might not use everything you get as part of the pass anyway.

    A tip, the lines are killer in NY…we went to the Empire State and had a three-hour wait ahead of us. Needless to say we left and went back first thing in the morning! It also took us the best part of half a day to get over the Statue of Liberty, check it and get back so allow time for things like that.

    Also, with Statue of Liberty BIG NOTE: You have to ring up and book your place to climb Liberty the day before you want to go over. I got my ticket to go to Liberty Island as part of the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour of NY and that DOES NOT include the ticket to the top of Ms Liberty herself. Just a word of warning there!

    Your choice in Contiki Souvenirs – Group Photo: US$17.00 Contiki Shirts: From US$15.00 – We didn’t have shirts made but got a photo, it’s a cool thing to have. Get one.



    Hope this helps a bit more, if you have any questions, just ask!

  • 22 Nov 2006 Nikki said

    Nikki

    Hey again,
    Thanks heaps for your advice. I’ll take it on board! I’m going in the summer months, June/July, so it will be very hot! Did you leave plenty of space for anything you bought while you were over there? I’m a bit of a Souvenir freak so I think I might leave some space for that. what sort of clothes did you wear when you went to clubs and stuff? i was in New York in 2004, but I can’t really remember what stuff I wore to clubs then.I think mainly jeans and a nice top, same as what i would wear here.
    I think that’s it for now, but no doubt i will have more questions for you!
    Thanks again,
    Nikki Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 10 Jan 2007 PinaI said

    PinaI

    A separate bag for souvenious is a good idea. I bought an Elvis bag at Graceland and then left that on the bus with all my souveniours in it. Each day when I bought something new I added it to the bag and that way I didn’t have to lug all those extra kilo’s around with me!

    As for tipping, generally it’s a minimum of 10% of your bill but most of the time you should really add 15%-20%. You can either leave this on your table, with the money for your meal/drinks, give it to your waitsperson or put it in the little jar at the cashier.

    Take note though, some bills will have the tip automatically included in what you need to pay – you don’t need to add any more in this case.

    Also worth remembering, it’s not good to be tight – if you’re going to eat out in America make sure you can afford to leave a few extra bucks for the tip, if you can’t don’t go. Americans waiters are on minimum wage and they really do rely on their tips. You’ll find that the service is pretty good in most places and the tip warranted anyway.

    Also worth noting, if you’re in a bar and buy a drink or two and leave a dollar or two as tip, the barman will be back to serve you again and again and again. If you don’t tip – well, you might end up a bit thirsty!

    Hope this helps!

  • 19 Feb 2007 Charltz said

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    hey guys looks like the tour is well worth doing. Just hondering how expensive drinks r over there

    thankyou

  • 20 Feb 2007 Nikki said

    Nikki

    hey
    When i was over there in 2004 the drinks were about the same price as here, about 5 or 6 for a spirit in a glass, a bit more for the equivalent of a cruiser or a UDL here. beer was about the same as Australia if I remember correctly, i don’t drink beer so not 100% sure on that one.
    Hope this helps.

  • 20 Feb 2008 Explorer1090481 said

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    It seems most of you are saying 10,000 for one person in total, but what about a couple? Our flights + contiki seems to be about 15,000 NZ. How much spending money would a couple need for the Grand Southern on top of that?

  • 20 Feb 2008 David said

    David

    hey ,
    We just booked and payed for our trip, flights and accomodation and that cost us $13000 (the flights are dearer as we are going in peak time july. You might want to think about that when booking as the date really depends on how much you pay for your flights, august/ september are cheaper and it is the last of their summer too.) We are going to $5000 for spending money.

  • 21 Feb 2008 Princessvixen said

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    Hi
    This question is impossible to answer as no 2 people are the same! However i woul,d safely budget for $100 usd per day but if you like to shop and or party heaps double that!
    Hope this helps
    lisa

  • 21 Feb 2008 Crawf33 said

    Crawf33

    I may be way off here…but $100/day for what exactly? Your accommodation and at least one meal a day on the tour are paid for…so what are you spending the rest on?

    I personally won’t be spending money on souvenirs and junk that I have to carry around – the majority of my money will go to optional extras (which aren’t every day) and night-time drinking, which I imagine won’t even top $50 or $60.

  • 22 Feb 2008 Wayde from Shepp. said

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    I’ve got my tour booked (which covered airfares, pre-tour accommodation in Anaheim for a night, post-tour accommodation for two nights in New York, the tour, and stop over accommodation in Hawaii), and that equaled A$6790.

    I’m yet to book travel insurance (which would be about A$275-$350), but it seems that the average amount spent per person on these is around $10,000 , which is what I’ve got now, and by now until May 2nd (when I arrive in LAX), I should have enough to tide me over, and then some.

  • 26 Mar 2008 Ky1987 said

    Ky1987

    Im doing the La Scene then have 3 days on my own then im doing the grand southern and go straight to Big apple explorer and then i have to fly back to la to come home my tours and the 3 days in between are costing about 4500 ish not including flights from and back to perth and from NY-LA, Im really worried that i wont have enough money, im hopefully going to have like 5000 spending.

  • 26 Mar 2008 said

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    I just came back three months ago and I took 5000 Australian which was enough for me to pay my New York accommodation (around 500ish), do A LOT of shopping and all the optionals. Adrian, there is a lot of little stuff which adds up on a trip- taxis, snacks, drinks etc. But I found $5000, especially with the good exchange rate, was enough for me to live pretty well Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 4 Apr 2008 Keiranh said

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    I did this trip in Jan/Feb this year; all in all, the entire trip cost me AUD$13800.

    This included flights, accommodation before including a week in SF/LA before the tour and a week after the tour in NYC, optionals and spending money.

    This could have been reduced significantly if:

    - I didn’t pay a single supplement
    - Stayed in hostel accomodation before and after tour (always stayed in hotels which are going to work out more exxy)
    - Didn’t stay in the Hotel Beacon for 5 nights in NYC (ripoff)
    - Have to readjust all my flights home due to weather (saga probably cost me ~$500) and;
    - I didn’t drink like a fish the entire way around the country Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Hope that helps.

  • 5 Apr 2008 Crawf33 said

    Crawf33
    quote:
    Originally posted by Keiranh:
    I did this trip in Jan/Feb this year; all in all, the entire trip cost me AUD$13800.

    This included flights, accommodation before including a week in SF/LA before the tour and a week after the tour in NYC, optionals and spending money.

    This could have been reduced significantly if:

    - I didn’t pay a single supplement
    - Stayed in hostel accomodation before and after tour (always stayed in hotels which are going to work out more exxy)
    - Didn’t stay in the Hotel Beacon for 5 nights in NYC (ripoff)
    - Have to readjust all my flights home due to weather (saga probably cost me ~$500) and;
    - I didn’t drink like a fish the entire way around the country Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Hope that helps.



    That actually helps a lot mate – I’ve been wondering how people are spending $10k+ on this trip without staying much afterwards, but that clears it up.

    I’ve paid my tour and flights in full (~$6k), and I’m staying in the US for three weeks after the tour in about 8 different cities, and after doing a lot of pre-planning, there’s no way I can see myself spending another $6k+ on top of that while I’m over there!

    Of course, you stayed in hotels (whereas I’m going hostels almost all the way) and I’m staying double on the tour – single stay would have bumped the price up considerably. Also, I’m working to pay off a lot of my internal travel (domestic flights etc) before I go, so I spend less money when I’m there Wink<!--graemlin:;)-->

  • 5 Sep 2008 JoaNne89 said

    JoaNne89
    quote:
    Originally posted by AussieAdrian:
    I may be way off here…but $100/day for what exactly? Your accommodation and at least one meal a day on the tour are paid for…so what are you spending the rest on?

    I personally won’t be spending money on souvenirs and junk that I have to carry around – the majority of my money will go to optional extras (which aren’t every day) and night-time drinking, which I imagine won’t even top $50 or $60.



    yeah same here i cant imagine spending 100/day i got separate money for shopping but 100/day on normal expenses I just cant quite imagine. LIke food would be $20 a day max surely.

  • 6 Sep 2008 Rebecca said

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    I did the below tours and was gone for 36 days, I spent $9,000.00 on tours, flights and $6,000.00 spending money.
    I did everything, and bought everything that I wanted.
    Didn’t do any optional extras, as none of them appealed to me.

  • 7 Sep 2008 PinaI said

    PinaI
    quote:
    Originally posted by JoaNne89:
    LIke food would be $20 a day max surely.



    Depends where and what you eat! If it’s a day where you’re needing to buy lunch and dinner then $20 definitely won’t do it. Lunch at some stops can be about $10 but if you go into a cafe or the like it will be more. Add to that water, drinks, snacks etc and you’ll top $20, no problems!

    It’s all relative though. If you want to live off subway or maccas you could do it, I guess.

  • 7 Sep 2008 ptooma said

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    … or save some $ and experience some fine local American cuisine from the McDonald’s Dollar Menu Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    - Vic

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