Alex and I are Departing Melbourne and on the trip of a lifetime, spending 5 weeks travelling around the United States of America.
Our trip will include two weeks in fabulous New York, a weekend in Washington and five days each in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
We have a budget of AUD$6,000 each and so far have spent half of our budget on the flights (including internal flights), accommodation (excluding New York where we are staying with a relative) and our travel insurance and USA travel waiver visa.
So…. of our remaining budget we have AUD $3000 each to blow, hopefully not all in Vegas. The exchange rate to buy USD currency was $0.87.
A bit of a cost break up goes like this:
Flights (per person):
AUD $1,180 – United Airlines flight to New York (returning from Los Angeles)
AUD $115 – Virgin America Washington to Vegas
AUD $140 – AirTran Airways Vegas to San Francisco
AUD $100 – Virgin America San Francisco to Los Angeles
All of our accommodation is basically 3star and clean, centrally located and booked through Agoda, thereby earning me points to redeem on other accommodation. Average nightly cost is AUD$130 (or $65 per person).
It has been a lot of work researching flights, where to stay and the most cost and time effective way to get around the huge country that is the USA (yes poor me), but sitting on my United Airlines flight, with 13 hours to go to our transit at Los Angeles, and of course with Alex sitting next to me, it is all worthwhile.
But before we go forward, lets just backtrack to this morning… last night we pre booked our limousine to the airport… well if you happen to think a Holden Caprice falls into the category of “limousine”?
Living a distance from Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, a taxi can be about AUD$120, depending on traffic. A friend suggested to pre book a “limousine” and the cost is fixed and the ride is a lot more comfortable. For a return airport trip we got a fixed price of AUD$105 each way. I think they will even have a sign with our name on it when we return to Melbourne and are collected by our limousine driver… Alex never does that!
Anyway, we are in the limousine on the freeway and there is an accident which has caused traffic to bank up… I am beginning to think bad thoughts about being late for our plane but Mr Limousine Driver assures us he can use the emergency lane as he is a commercial vehicle… what a scam and a lifesaver, time to relax again. We make the airport in good time.
Our flight to New York has 3 flights components. Flight number 1 is a one hour flight from Melbourne to Sydney. No more than 20 minutes into our flight, having just been given a drink during drink service, Alex knocks over his drink onto his tray and over his jeans. For whatever reason, I do find it amusing, but Alex doesn’t seem to find it as funny. The attendant offers Alex 2 rationed serviettes… then sees he needs some more and 3 more rationed serviettes are dispatched to Alex who eventually wipes everything clean(ish).
“Alex, your causing more trouble than that little baby… well its true!”
With no further incidents (by Alex) we end our first flight landing in Sydney.
The plane is emptied and we are all moved to the airport terminal only to then be put back on the same plane, having to again queue and show our boarding passes for our second and longest leg of our flight, 13 hours to Los Angeles.
So… back to where I began, with Alex next to me and looking to depart from Sydney, for our 13 hours to Los Angeles.
The TV screen tells us our journey ahead:
Time to Destination: 13 hours
Outside Temperature :18 degrees
Ground speed: 0kph
The onboard screen runs an ad for United Airlines… huh… I don’t quite get the point… considering we have already bought tickets for your airline, and even without seeing the ad first!
Ok Mr Pilot, we are ready for take off….[showmyads]
For next USA series see Arriving in America