Community_discussions_small  

Question

Wild Western 7th March 2012

10 Oct 2011 steph40172 asked

steph40172

Hi there, anyone else booked on this tour??
im a 23 yr old girl from sydney traveling solo first time ever overseas would love a travel buddy!

  • 10 Oct 2011 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    hey there, i am a 21 guy from the gold coast and am doing this tour. 1st time contiki for me. Im getting to LA on the 5th. I am adding on a few extra days in L.A after the tour to do a moviestars homes tour, universal studios etc. Very excited but also nervous travelling alone. See you there. I was starting to think no-one was doing this tour.

  • 10 Oct 2011 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    excellent!! i havn’t booked my flights yet, nervous to do so until the tour is confirmed… there are some really good deals at the moment thru qantas… but ill be getting in on the 5th and maybe staying a few days in LA after aswell thinking disneyland/studios etc… then off to NY after that! stoked to have a reply so soon! :)

  • 10 Oct 2011 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    yeh, im holding off on the plane ticket too. i want a direct flight from bris-la probably with virgin. the flight im looking at gets in around 7am so that will give me a day to recover, haha. i would like to see disney afterwards but probably wont have enough time. keen to see santa monica, venice beach. my parents did a starline tour last year, good value for money, about $60 and they take you through beverly hills, santa monica,bel air, sunset strip etc all in the day, a bit rushed but enough to get a peek , take some photos .
    keep in touch, NY would be mad

  • 10 Oct 2011 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    yeah im starting to think disneyland would be a bit ambitious as i’m keen to do a bit of shopping/celeb spotting also…. yeah definately keep in touch :) are you a snowboarding fan? the 3 nights in the snow is the part im most nervous about… but excited to try something new … so looks like there is at least 3 others on here so far?

  • 10 Oct 2011 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    ive only been snowboarding once at perisher and it was cool, easy to pick up but then i was right into skateboarding then so that probably helped. there seems to be heaps to do at lake tahoe if your over the snowboarding. plenty of clubs, shopping , bars .
    the celeb tours can be booked at the hotel we’re are staying at in l.a and they pick you up from the hotel, and drop you off. i was keen to see a lakers basketball game too , walking distance from the hotel, but apparently there isnt a basketball season now next year. not enough time in san francisco but im going to try to do the alcatraz tour for sure.

  • 11 Oct 2011 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    i might try ice skating?? haha… hey how much luggage can we take do you know? lol.. such a girl question..
    ohhh a basketball game would have been right up my ally! thats such a shame… yes i am keen for the alcatraz too… i want to go to the hippy part of san fran haight ashbury i’ve heard thats really great….
    i want to try and see a show in vegas too.. i wonder if theres any good bands that are going to be there at the same time? have you started converting your money yet? (im worried about the $$ dropping too far) ive got a travelex card…

  • 11 Oct 2011 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    yeah the dollar would have to drop now wouldnt it..haha. im getting an amex travel card, no fees, ill take some us dollars as well. and my anz debit card will work over there although its fees are a bit.
    i think contiki say 20 kg , but im going to take an extra bag so i can shop in l.a after the tour, qantas lets you have 32 kg .
    my parents went to haight /ashbury last year and said its like byron bay, hahaha.without the beach . not enough time in san fran for sure,
    i want to check out the guitar centre in vegas, its not far from our hotel and they would know about any bands playing.

  • 12 Oct 2011 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    cool i think that card is similar to my mastercard travelex thing… you load your own money on it right? and i’m taking my credit card just incase.. i got my passport in the mail today and im so excited now :)
    20kg is hard to stick to huh? especially as we will be taking mostly heavier clothing for the weather.
    but i spose we will be able to do laundry.. im definately taking an extra bag too… well i shall come with you to the guitar centre.. i checked out the website for las vegas shows… ill do it closer to the time too.. elton john is there at the moment haha…
    oh yeah and are you going to take a phone? i’ve looked into it and i think its cheapest to unlock my iphone and get a prepaid sim (theres a link on the FAQ on here) i want to be able to contact the rents…

  • 12 Oct 2011 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    th place im getting my travelcard has international sim cards, there called atlas currency exchange.you might have one near you, my branch is in byron. ive only got a crappy phone so maybe it wont even work there, haha. i still dont know whether to take my laptop? some of the hotels charge for wifi, but not starbucks , lol

  • 12 Oct 2011 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    lol… well, i am having the same debate with my camera.. i have a really good digital slr but its quite big and bulky. plus i would be devo if something happened to it… and the thought of lugging that around everywhere…. ugh…so i think i’ll just bring my little digital. im sure there are internet cafe’s everywhere if you chose not to bring it

  • 14 Jan 2012 MarkCbr said

    MarkCbr

    How are you two going with your planning? Got your flights organised yet? I’m looking forward to Tahoe the most, know already I’m picking up the 2 day lift pass and spending the days skiing. If you’re nervous about snowboarding Steph you could always try skiing, easier to pick up especially if you’ve done some ice/roller skating before.

  • 15 Jan 2012 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    hey mark, yep flights booked , get in march 5th. 2 days to chill before the tour starts.Just found out that if we want to see Alcatraz in san fran we have to book it ourselves. Its not an optional extra that you can book through the contiki guide.Tahoe will be awesome, cant wait to meet everyone

  • 15 Jan 2012 MarkCbr said

    MarkCbr

    Would be happy to organise that if you’re interested. Phoenix NHL team also playing the night we’re there, if you’d like to see a game could book tickets

  • 16 Jan 2012 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    yeh i noticed the hockey games , one in phoenix and one in la at staples after the tour . a lakers game is on the 23rd but i fly back that night…bit devo that ill miss that..are you booking the nhl game online..? should we book the alcatraz you reckon or just take our chances when we are there..?my folks did alcatraz in 2010, they just got to the pier early and had no trouble getting over there…im happy to prebook though, let us know what you want to do

  • 17 Jan 2012 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    yes fights are all booked… everything paid and finalised just saving madly for spending money :)
    I havn’t got my package yet ? I booked mine through an agent so I’ll have to go and pester him for it. I’m sad that Alcatraz is not included, and definately want to go there!!
    I’m also keen to catch an American game of, well anything really :) I’m staying one night when the tour ends then flying to NY for a week :)

  • 18 Jan 2012 MarkCbr said

    MarkCbr

    Alcatraz tours available from https://www.alcatrazcruises.com/index.aspx, night tour looks best but depends if we’d want to give up doing other things (not sure if anything else planned, haven’t studied the itinerary too hard yet). Day trip looks cool, costs $26. We could book it individually for the same time and go together. NHL game in Phoenix would be good, I don’t think there’s much else to do in Phoenix. Could leave the tickets to that until the night and see who else wants to go, Phoenix haven’t been getting big crowds because there’s rumours the team will move to Quebec City at the end of the season. If you want to guarantee tickets together though I can easily get them, cost from around $20 to $75 for good seats. I’ve got a ticket to the Kings game the night we get back, if you want to come along I can tell you how I got the tickets but may not be able to sit together. The ticket I got cost $115, third row back at centre ice :o) !!! Steph – if you don’t get your paperwork in the next week or so you should definitely hassle your agent. Remember to register your visit on the homeland security website as well, don’t want either of you getting turned away at the border!!

  • 18 Jan 2012 steph40172 said

    steph40172

    homeland security? this has never been mentioned to me… I’ll ask my travel agent when I go and hassle him :)
    I’m easy on the Alcatraz tour, day or night… It is something I definately want to do, but don’t want to miss out on anything else either. when I get my paperwork i’ll have a little study and see what times look best. I’m sure there are heaps of people doing the same thing. I do want to have an explore of san fran too… I wish we had longer thats the only part of the trip I would change, just one more night.

  • 19 Jan 2012 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    yeah Steph , you have to register for a visa waiver onlne, just google ‘’ esta’’ and try to find one that doesnt cost alot of money as some sites vary from $13 to $55….Mark I can tell you that the night trips to Alcatraz are very popular but they are very cold and windy and alot of people say they dont enjoy it as much because it is just freezing too much.My parents did Alcatraz in the day and loved it. The weather in San Fran is all over the place…..You can stay on the island for as long as you want as its a self paced tour with audio headphones that you can stop and start as you wish….The ferry goes back and forth all day and is included in the price. I think my folks said it took about 3 hours all up…..It is an easy to navigate , you buy 1 day Muni tickets that let you get on all cable cars, bus, trams etc….Good value considering that a single cable car ride is $6, and I think the 1 day is $ 15…Im going to leavethe NHL tickets in Phoenix til the night but Im definately going to it..Ok well lets decide on a time for Alcatraz and book it individually, The earlier the better so we get the rest of the day to look around…….cabs are cheap and we could all throw in to get us to the pier bright and early….Pick and time Mark and Steph and let me know and Ill get onto it…

  • 19 Jan 2012 MarkCbr said

    MarkCbr

    There is NO variation to the cost of the estas, they are $14! My sister worked at a travel agent and said there are a lot of scams around with these – websites that look the real deal but overcharge you and don’t actually get you anything. Make sure you use the right website, it’s on the smarttraveller website and in your Contiki paperwork.

    Thinking 10-11 in the morning for Alcatraz would be good…leaves plenty of time to do other things during the arvo. What is the date that we’ll be there? Sounds like a plan with the Phoenix game too.

  • 19 Jan 2012 Marlon1273909 said

    Marlon1273909

    i think the 19th, which is sunday, ok, im booking the 11 oclock one, sounds good,.oh yeah the esta thing , you are right , theyre lots of scam ones out there

Questions?

x

Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.