Except for this experience, this came back with me.
This guide will give you the information you need to know in preparation for your visit to Las Vegas. From the moment you arrive at the airport it’s quite clear you’re in Vegas, as even the airport looks like a casino, also you couldn’t really miss this huge welcome sign!
Downtown Vegas, the original strip, also know as the best area for casinos according to many locals, so well worth a visit. The Mob Museum can be found here, where you can learn about the history of Vegas and how its foundations began, standard admission is around $26.95.
The Linq High Roller Observation Wheel
See Vegas from an entire different angle, with an unforgettable ride up, to 550 feet into the clouds. Lasting around 30 minutes and can be done both day or night, tickets start from around $22. The view is gorgeous, however it’s a challenge trying to get good pictures through the glass of the bubble.
Stroll around Caesar’s palace or stick around for the Bellagio fountain show which happens in every 30 minutes. The area is full of hotels, shops and casinos, if you venture further up the strip you will find the iconic Vegas sign, perfect for your next profile picture.
The Eiffel tower viewing deck, sitting at half the height of the actual Eiffel tower will provide a view of the Vegas from an incredible perspective. Tickets start at around $16, however they have great offers on several different packages, so worth checking for the best deal.
Vegas Strip at Night
Watch the sunset as it disappears behind the Bellagio to discover why it’s known as the city of lights. With many live entertainment shows and circus acts to watch there is always something to do, if nothing else you can try your luck in the casinos.
The Grand Canyon
Surround yourself in the spectacular landscapes of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Nothing will quite prepare you for the moment you first set your eyes on the canyon, a photo simply doesn’t do it justice. This unforgettable experience cost me around $120 including lunch and transport, worth every cent. A bus will collect you from your hotel and take you on the long drive to the Canyon. Stops on route usually include other tourist hot spots such as the Hoover dam and Route 66.
When booking the attractions, shop around as many websites offer you different packages, you can save a lot of money this way.
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Offering incredible views of the city both during the day and night, this hidden gem can be found on Taylor street.
2. Oakland Bay Bridge
Often forgotten as Golden gate bridge draws the crowd however defiantly worth
3. Rincorn Park
This waterfront park offers stunning views of Oakland bay bridge and has a sculpture of a giant bow and arrow, known as Cupids span.
4. Golden Gate Bridge
Can be seen from multiple view points such as West bluff picnic area, the visitors centre and Golden Gate view point check them all out to see the bridge from different perspectives.
5. Walk along Golden Gate bridge
Walking along the Golden gate bridge offers a great experience and an opportunity
to get away from the crowds.
6. Crissy field east beach
Walk along this sandy beach whilst soaking in the stunning views.
7. Visit Lambar Street
A famously unique street surrounded by beautiful flower beds.
8. Watch the sunset
On a clear day catch the Sunset, head to Municipal pier for the best view.
9. Pier 39
This pier offers lovely scenic views of the waterfront and Alcatraz island.
10. Fishermans wharf
Boasts an array of shops and restaurants this area brings in a crowd being one of the top tourist areas in San Francisco, if your lucky you might see the sea lions that often make an appearance along this waterfront.
Has it been your dream to visit California? Have you always thought that it was simply too expensive and put that dream aside? Perhaps you had no idea where to begin, or how to travel from one part to another?
If any of the above sounds like you, then keep on reading, as I reveal how I travelled from San Diego through Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 16 days without breaking the bank.
Within this blog I have detailed many key points that saved me money. If you would like to know exactly where I stayed, how long and what I did then just ask.
Where should you book your Flights?
Skyscanner has never let me down, I saved money by adjusting my start or end location.
If your plan was to start in San Francisco and travel south, you may save money by arriving in San Diego and travel north instead. This doesn’t always work, but if your start destination is flexible it’s certainly worth a look.
Where should you stay?
Hostels were the cheapest option
for me, some Airbnb’s came close, however they rarely offer breakfast within
the price. Hostels allow you to fill up on a great breakfast, whilst surrounded
by likeminded people, plus you have access to leaflets and posters advising you
where to eat and what to do. Don’t be put off by the cheap hostels, my
favourite hostel was situated in San Diego city centre, this was in fact the
cheapest hostel I have ever stayed in.
Make sure you have an idea of what you want to do and where it’s situated in relation to your accommodation. There might be accommodation that costs slightly more but allows you to walk everywhere, therefore you can justify spending a little more to save on transport costs.
How to get from one city to the next?
Greyhound bus services will get you from any major city in California to another for low prices. I went from San Diego to Los Angeles for around $15 and from Los Angeles to San Francisco for around $24.
In my experience booking last minute wasn’t difficult, buses were regular, and they operate through the night. The journey from LA to San Francisco is almost an 8-hour journey, as my time was precious and my budget tight, I took a bus overnight.
This saved me both time and money, as I didn’t need to pay for a hostel that night and I got an extra day to see the glorious San Francisco. The buses I used were spacious and comfy, plus they had phone charging ports and WiFi. So, both me and my phone could recharge.
Transport within the city?
My experience of American public transport is fairly small, as I didn’t use it much. When in new destinations I love to walk everywhere and get a real feel for the place.
However, at times walking isn’t an option so occasionally I used apps like Uber and LYFT, both are taxi operators that often have deals if you are new to signing up. The deal I got with LYFT was 5 free rides, this got me to where I couldn’t walk. Secondly, both Uber and LYFT offer a “shared ride service”, which gets cheaper rates. Often used by locals, so that is a great opportunity to gain more knowledge of the area. Lastly, when using the apps such as Uber and LYFT, move your desired destination pinpoint around. If you place it on a tourist attraction the price may be higher than if you place it a short walk away.
How to reduce your food spending?
Another reason hostels are a win in
my book is the breakfast. It usually consists of bagels with cream cheese,
porridge and some fruits, if you are like me then you are in paradise. My advice
here is to make the most of the breakfast, take a bagel and a piece of fruit,
save it for lunch or snack later.
Hostels often have deals for dinner like cheap BBQ’s or takeaways, so definitely worth checking. When I was in LA, the hostel had free Taco’s, far from the best Taco’s but it was food after all. Another point worth noting is that hostels have cooking facilities so don’t be in the mindset that you have to eat out every night, you can save money and eat well by purchasing food and cooking it yourself. Just be prepared for the endless signs saying, “Clean up after yourself”.
I often found bar style restaurants and takeaways that offered meals such as a pizza/burger and a drink for $10. This gives you the opportunity to sit aimlessly at a bar with a beer like you see in the movies, (something I did more often than I would like to admit).
Plan your day in advance
I spent at least 30 mins each day planning my next day attempting to minimize unnecessary costs. I achieved this by organizing my whole trip, what I want to see, what is nearby, so I aimed to complete different areas of the city each day. Sounds obvious I know but I was amazed how many people would get this one wrong and would waste time and money going back to places they had been because they missed something.
Now this can be a difficult one to follow as organisation and planning is the key as I have already pointed it out. However, there are ways to be organised yet remain flexible to change. My method of flexibility was to have a couple of hostels in mind and regularly check their website. Often hostels display the number of beds remaining for each day, by keeping an eye on this it meant I could postpone booking accommodation until I had a better idea of my travel plans.
I did this whilst in San Diego and I am so glad my plans were flexible as I fell in love with the city and found there was more to do than my time allowed. Plus, many locals told me the number of days I originally planned for Los Angeles was simply too many, I took their advice and it paid off.
As I hadn’t booked my LA hostel or travel yet, I was able to postpone going there and booked 2 last minute nights in San Diego. This gave me the time I needed to visit the famous San Diego Zoo, so I’m sure you can agree me when I say, “it was worth it”.
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