Japan in a Week!
Get a JR Railpass http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/ at least a week before you leave for your trip. It…
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After completing this great adventure with a friend , I keep getting requests of how we did it for other people to copy so I thought I would document the trip!
Out starting point was from the UK, so we booked a Single Flight to New York and a Return Flight from LA with British Airways
As we didn’t want to clock up huge phone bills we ordered 2 Pay As You go TMobile Sims ( From their US Website ) and got them ordered to our friends in NY. We activated these on an unlocked UK phone , however one of our phones was not unlocked , so we paid 40$ for a Nokia 2610 from the T-Mobile Shop
After landing we arrived at JFK airport and got a taxi to a friends who we where staying with. Unlike London where Taxi drivers have The Knowledge , New York cabbies have a much larger area to cover without GPS, so our journey had loads of pit stops while the driver asked around for directions ! On arrival we quickly got rushed off into the city to check out Times Square , Trump Towers , Salty Pretzels and a few Mojito’s. We then made our way to the NYC Meatpacking District to start a night on the town! A casual awakening the next morning still buzzing from the night before , we headed to Canal Street to pick up a load of sunglasses, shirts and food for the road trip!
We had organised our car to be picked up from Newark Airport due to high tax’s charged by renting a car inside of New York. We wanted to do the road trip in a convertible. After searching high and low for hire companies we came across Care Hire 3000 which resold and packaged Dollar Car Hire for people in the UK. Our chosen chariot was a Blue Chrysler Sebring. The total cost of this for 16 Days was £420. As we where both under the Age of 25 , there is an extra surcharge in each American country of $25 per driver called a “young drivers surcharge”. This bumped the cost up by £200 but was necessary and the good news was the car had no excess! I had organised each of the main stops on Google maps, and had TomTom mobile installed on my Nokia E51 with the North American Maps loaded for directions. GPS was also available from the hire company for $10 a Day.
After picking up the car we set off to our next destination Boston. Travel tip No.1 Don’t stroll into Boston after a Red Sox game expecting to find a hotel room the same night! After a 3 Hour search we finally found one that had a spare room luckily! Due to the time spent finding a hotel we had no time out in bars in Boston so … until next time! Due to our issues spending the whole night finding a hotel , we changed our plan to blagging a hotel room the same night to book a night ahead each day!
Montreal – 310 Miles – 6 Hours
Hotel : Auberge de Paris ( Hostel ) 46.00 CAD for 2 People in a 12 Person Mixed Room
Arriving in Montreal was eye opening , we arrived around 11pm but driving through the city we saw this city wasn’t shutting up any time soon! After dumping our stuff in the Hostel , we walked into the city centre and after a few drinks in a few bars practising our Franglais , we ended up in the Queue for Club Seven. Due to the strict dress code we where bounced due to my friend having trainers on! However we found plenty of other bars, and had a late night session with the bar owner and his friends!
Things to try :
After driving from Montreal to Toronto we saw such a different side to Canada! Unfortuneately we had arrived in town on a Bank Holiday , so quite a few of the bars where closed. We spent the night chatting to locals in the Hotel Bar and eventually ended up at the Therapy Ultra Lounge The night was topped off by finding a Foot long Lobster Subway for $15.50!
Hotel : Toronto Holiday Inn ( Cost $100 for a double romm )
Places to Visit
Chicago – 11 Hours 635 Miles
Hotel : Chinatown Hotel Sro Ltd ( Cost $60 for a double room , 10 Minute Taxi into the Center )
Omaha – Nebraska- 6 Hours – 334 Miles
We rolled into Omaha at Midnight and it turns out most of the bars/clubs close around this sort of time. The lady at reception offered to call up a Casino to drive us across the state line for free to IOWA to there casino which would close at 2am. The drive would take us half an hour so it wasn’t really worth it , so we took advantage and got our first early sober night since Boston!
Hotel : Days Inn Omaha
So the orginal plan was to go the Colorado Springs as I had heard a few good things about the city, however due to our dissapointing night before I was determined to have a fun filled night the next day. After a simple Google search we found out which city was the true winner!
Salt Lake City – 9 Hours 600 Miles
We arrived at Salt Lake City at 11pm. We where pretty sceptical about the night like here after being told how Mormon the town is, however after 10 minutes of walking the streets we found a Buzzing Mexican bar! After Dos Jose Cuervo and Dos Corono’s we where partaking in friendly salsa dancing until the early hours!
San Francisco – 11 Hours 736 Miles
After driving over the famous Golden Gate Bridge , we arrived in San Fran to meet 2 more of our friends. We booked into the Albergo Verona which was in the heart of China Town. We asked a taxi driver to recommend a place , and we ended up at the Holy Cow Bar . The next day we went to tuck into a Clam Chowder Bread Bowl and watch the Crazy Busy Man terroise the local tourists!. We wanted to get over to Alcatraz , but unfortunately you have to book this up in advance. So we ended up in the Hard Rock Cafe where after purchasing a Hard Rock Cafe Glass you could get 3$ Refills of Cocktails!
Hotel : Albergo Verona $99 for a Quad Room
Places to Visit
It took the whole day to drive from San Franciso to Los Angeles , luckily we got into the city just before rush hour , and arrived at a friend who lives in Orange Country. After meeting up with another friend we spent the night at The Saddle Ranch , boy did those bar staff deserve their tip that night!
Things to do :
After a 5 Hour Drive through the desert we arrived at Sin City.After performing the Twenty Dollar Trick we got to our rooms overlooking the vegas strip. Our first night was out to a club called TAO in the Venetian Hotel. Due to a crowd of four blokes who wearn’t going to drop thousands on a table to get VIP we thought the only way to garantee entry was to book a table with bottle service. There was a minimum bottle count of 2 and they cost around $400 each plus 20% Gratuity and 7.25% Sales Tax. Randomoly Jay-Z was there the same night so TAO beech was a good laugh!
The second night after spending the day drinking flasks of cocktails in the MGM pool all day , and ended up in at the Tabu After Party ( 3am – 7am ) with complementary drinks courteous of some MGM Promoters we met in the lobby! Vegas never sleeps , and it is surreal grabbing some food straight out of the club at the MGM buffet with people who have just checked in for the day!
Hotel : MGM Grand