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Old 10-21-2006, 09:57 PM   #1
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Hi, Just thought I’d post my itinerary up and see what people thought. I’ve never been to the US. I haven’t booked anything yet – haven’t even bought my flight to the US but will very soon.

05-Jan Atlanta
06-Jan Atlanta then bus to Orlando
07-Jan Orlando
08-Jan Orlando then fly to Cayman Islands
09-Jan Caymans (I have a friend there, so no accommodation costs etc)
10-Jan Caymans
11-Jan Caymans
12-Jan Caymans
13-Jan Caymans
14-Jan Caymans then fly back to Orlando
15-Jan Orlando
16-Jan Orlando
17-Jan Orlando then drive down to Miami
18-Jan Miami
19-Jan Miami
20-Jan Miami
21-Jan Miami then fly to Washington DC
22-Jan Washington
23-Jan Washington then bus to New York
24-Jan New York
25-Jan New York
26-Jan New York
27-Jan New York
28-Jan New York
29-Jan New York then bus to Boston
30-Jan Boston
31-Jan Boston
1-Feb Boston then bus back to NY and then fly to LA
2-Feb LA
3-Feb LA
4-Fed LA then fly back home to Sydney.

Any opinions? Doable?

I've estimated this trip will cost US$10k doing the normal touristy stuff (and also a skydive in Orlando and learning the scuba-dive in Caymans) and staying in cheap hotels or hostels.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:42 AM   #2
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Looks pretty do-able, though you need to check the bus schedules, cause some of those legs (like Atlanta to Orlando, I think you're pushing it if you want to do anything at all in Orlando besides hit the airport)

You're also gonna have to be careful about jet lag for the first few days, though... might mess up your time in atlanta...

Price wise, $10k makes that itinerary pretty comfy, I'd say....
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #3
 
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Skip ATL. I live here and unless it's just a place to go down to FL I wouldn't go. There's really nothing to see here. Haha
Quote:
05-Jan Atlanta
06-Jan Atlanta then bus to Orlando[/b]

Oh yea and the buses are really scary in these parts of the country. Especially the one in Downtown. I seriously thought I was going to get mugged and we left our car for 5 minutes and I thought it was going to be gone. Scary Scary. I would think about flying directly to Orlando, West Palm, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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I disagree. I lived there for 5 years...

You can hit all of the sites in one day, though.

World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center (next to Coca-Cola) and the ML King Memorial all reside in Atlanta. The new aquarium is also the biggest in the WORLD (with a whale shark!) and can be done in a couple hours.

Other than that, have fun in FL

Foo



<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(glitterhairdye @ Oct 22 2006, 02:22 PM) [snapback]143044[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Skip ATL. I live here and unless it's just a place to go down to FL I wouldn't go. There's really nothing to see here. Haha
Oh yea and the buses are really scary in these parts of the country. Especially the one in Downtown. I seriously thought I was going to get mugged and we left our car for 5 minutes and I thought it was going to be gone. Scary Scary. I would think about flying directly to Orlando, West Palm, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale
[/b]
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
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unless washington is really really something you want to do and you've got your days planned you can do that in just one day really... i spent 3 there with school and i think we could of done it in a day for the most part. you can always take a night train to new york from there.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:38 AM   #6
 
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Flying right now between is pricing at $138, while the lowest bus prices at $55. Now, I've taken Greyhound all too often and it is not the most pleasant of experiences in most of the US, but if you took an overnight bus and tried to sleep, you'd probably make out fine.
BUT...believe it or not, it's pricing out CHEAPER to fly from Atlanta to Grand Cayman and then back to Orlando than it is to fly roundtrip from Orlando ($514 versus $541, both on American Airlines) - so if I were you, I'd bump up arriving in the Caymans a day or two earlier and just skip the bus down to Orlando altogether. If you need instructions on how to book that type of flight, let me know. Definitely do Atlanta, it's worth a day. There's the things foofiter mentioned, plus Atlanta was also the site of the '96 Summer Olympics.

In Orlando, the one hostel there was a really great time - I posted a review in the Recommended section, so check it out. Since I'm guessing you're traveling solo, it's a great way to meet people because otherwise if you book into a hotel it's more difficult to find people to "hang out with." The pub down the way, Coconut Willy's, IS frequented by people who work at the various parks in Orlando too, so you can make friends and then might get you in free if you want to do Disney, Universal, etc.

Between Orlando and Miami, you say that you're driving...are you driving with someone? Renting a car?

Between Miami and DC, it would cost slightly more to take the train ($113 versus $75), but it can be a very scenic & comfortable ride and adds another facet to your trip.

You might consider adding Chicago for even just a day or two. By cutting out the first Orlando stop by flying directly to Grand Cayman and bumping that up a few days, that'll give you more time later in your schedule that could be used to go to Chicago. You can catch a cheap flight from the NY area to Chicago for around $80 and half of that would have been spent on the price difference between flying to LA from NY versus Chicago ($150 versus $110).

All in all, just suggestions but your itinerary looks great. Enjoy your time in the US!
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:06 PM   #7
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Sounds like a decent itinerary though xanthuos makes some good points about flying between ATL and Cayman or Florida. Definitely check out AirTran. They fly to nearly all the places you mentioned and are usually the cheapest airline.

Also, another Atlantan here just wondering why a Sydneysider is first flying into Atlanta? Just makes the most sense starting on the east coast and going to the Caribbean? Very curious. It always seems weird to me when I'm in the Atlanta airport and I hear foreigners around me.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for everyone's responses (especially xanthuos)! All good points. I'll be refining my itinerary in the next week or so. I have so much studying to do for exams in November... but yeah, I don't want to leave booking the main airfare tickets too late.

The reason why I choose Atlanta? My dates for Caymans are fixed to my friend's holidays so I thought if I get to the US a little earlier I could see Atlanta (especially great American icons of Coca Cola World and CNN Studios) as it's part of / close to US departure points for Caymans.

I've been discussing my itinerary with friends and colleagues and they're quite concerned about some aspects of my travel plans - in particular when I'm travelling by myself. I'll be with other friends for 2nd Orlando visit, Miami, Washington and NY only. But they're concerned about travelling alone in cities like Atlanta, Chicago and any other city which I may add to my list and are telling some pretty scary stories about being robbed. I'm a 25 year old guy - but I'm no tough guy. I've been to Europe & Canada - it may just be the fact we are saturated with American crime TV shows - but now I must admit I'm actually feeling nervous about travelling by myself. I know every city in the world has "bad" areas... but the stories I'm hearing are like "I won't make it out without getting mugged", "you can't compare US cities to European cities" and "you'll be eaten alive in cities like Chicago and Atlanta".

Sorry if I rambled on... I need some sleep. Thanks again!
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:29 AM   #9
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You'll be fine. I agree; if I were a foreigner, based on the media I would probably think every American owns a gun and I couldn't set foot in the country alone.

Basically just use common sense and you shouldn't have any problems.

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Old 10-25-2006, 06:59 AM   #10
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(foofiter @ Oct 22 2006, 04:40 PM) [snapback]143051[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
The new aquarium is also the biggest in the WORLD (with a whale shark!) and can be done in a couple hours.
[/b]
Thank God *someone* is talking sense! Three cheers for Foo - I LOVED ATL. And I only went because I have a friend going to law school in Athens so we took an excursion. The whale shark is CLUTCH. I swear, I talked about it for months like a 5 year old. You can go right under the aquarium where the world's biggest species of fish is swimming above your head! And AirTran is pretty awesome - I have friends who think it's beneath them, but I am a bit of a princess and found nothing wrong with it.
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jaboba46 @ Oct 22 2006, 07:16 PM) [snapback]143070[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
unless washington is really really something you want to do and you've got your days planned you can do that in just one day really... i spent 3 there with school and i think we could of done it in a day for the most part. you can always take a night train to new york from there.
[/b]
I disagree a bit - I've lived here going on 6 years and I still haven't seen everything - but if you're set on doing it in a day or two, prioritize! There's so much cool "touristy" stuff even that goes beyond what you think about when you think about the city. The Chinatown to Chinatown bus is pretty good (and cheap) - doesn't drop you off anywhere shady. Unless you think Chinatowns are shady. And, aw crap, I thought this used to be a better deal and picked you up right downtown, but I just looked it up and the routes/prices changed. It may change back by the time you're here though Vamoose Bus

Overall, looks like a good trip!
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:56 PM   #11
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chicago isn't scary... its nice downtown and by the lake... i've never had problems.... so come on by and have fun....
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:40 AM   #12
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Obiter @ Oct 22 2006, 05:57 AM) [snapback]143014[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
I've estimated this trip will cost US$10k doing the normal touristy stuff (and also a skydive in Orlando and learning the scuba-dive in Caymans) and staying in cheap hotels or hostels.
[/b]
Definitely go to "Skycive Z-Hills" in Zephyrhills do do a skydive, that place is amazing, and so much more friendly than other places near orlando. Or if youre gonna go to the Nasa Spacecenter, theres a dropzone right by it which is really nice too - you get a great view of Cape Canaverel and the coast from the air. That one is in Titusville.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:02 AM   #13
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So many days in NYC...why not spend at least one in Philadelphia. Break up that bus ride from Wash to NYC. There is tons of stuff, the National Constitution Center, Franklin Institute, South Street, City Hall, Penn's Landing, Art Museum to name a few. I'm telling you, the Iladelph is worth at least a day.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:23 PM   #14
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jaboba46 @ Oct 22 2006, 06:16 PM) [snapback]143070[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
unless washington is really really something you want to do and you've got your days planned you can do that in just one day really... i spent 3 there with school and i think we could of done it in a day for the most part. you can always take a night train to new york from there.
[/b]

not if you like museums!
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