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Ultimate USA holiday

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Wanting to go for 2-3 weeks but need advice on whats good! :)
3 years ago, January 2nd 2011 No: 1 Msg: #125684  
B Posts: 42
My partner and I wanna travel to a few places in the near future, and are deciding were to go. As i wanna be a travel agent any were i go will also be a bonus
Theres some places we wanna go, and some not, and usa has always been a big one on my list. but i always thought canada is usa.. but apparently not.

Is canada anygood? worth going and seeing if we go to the usa? (im from aust)

any advice on the usa?

we wanna go to las vegas, LA, hollywood, san diego(for the zoo apparently its awesome), new york, and washington dc to see the white house etc..theres a few more
but cant think on the top of my head.. like.. niagra falls.. and the grand canyon..

Im not a "clubbing" .. "party" person. So if we did tours they'd have to be tours that dont focus on partying so not like contiki for example.
We also DONT wanna back-pack it either. Prefer hotels..than hostels..
Can anyone give me adivce on the top places weather they are worth going?..
Were into sight seeing.. so museums, old jails, art gallaries aquariums, zoos.. etc.. not sure if these places have these, but yeah.
Also wanna see hot spots.


Any advice?.. whens a good time to go.. wheres not a good place to go?..

we wanna go in the warmer weather

Thanks in advance!! Reply to this

3 years ago, January 2nd 2011 No: 2 Msg: #125721  
B Posts: 42
I can't seem to edit my origional post, but i remembered a few more things i wanna do.

Mt.rushmore(i think thats what its called).
empire st building
ground zero
statue of libery
Most stuff in NY really..

I REALLY wanna see a ellen degeneres show!!



I've had a look at some tours.. but they don't seem to cover EVERYTHING.. and if they do cover some stuff, its missed out on stuff.. and tours sometimes arn't that great as you cant do your own thing.

Is the USA safe to travel alone? (when i mean alone, i mean me and my partner.).. im 20 he's 23.

i've been told the USA is HUGE!! and can be costly getting from one place to another..
Are trains/planes expesnive domestic.. what do you suggest is the safest way to travel around.? The one thing i liked about the tours, is it included a coach bus to get to the destinations.

As a rough idea.. we wanna visit;

LA, Las Vegas, San Diego, san francisco.. (ive seen alot of tourist attractions that id like to see there).. so california i think this is???

Hawaii (which is close to california ive been told)


They're all on west side i beleive.. correct me if im wrong?.. and then on the east side;

New York, Washington DC.

So basically.. complete oppopsite sides of the country but i really wanna do everything we wanna.



Sorry if my posts are long, just trying to explain everything

Reply to this

3 years ago, January 3rd 2011 No: 3 Msg: #125780  


Good Morning and Happy Holidays to you.

It looks like you have done some research but have some questions about distance and cost. I will do my best to answer some of the questions for you. Feel free to contact us via private message for more specific questions. We will help you in any way we can.

Going coast to coast in the US is a great idea but you are talking a lot of miles from NYC to LA is about 2500 miles. Sydney to Perth is roughly the same distance. Hopefully, that will put things in perspective for you. If you have the money you should rent a car and drive from SF to LA. It is well worth the time and money to experience this in your own car and stop along the way.

In my opinion your trip will be limited only by time and money.

Hawaii is a 6 hour flight from LA. You may want to stop there first if you are going to include that into your trip.

Many travelers come to America and stick to the major cities just as you have outlined because of limited time. Since time may not be a factor for you I would recommend seeing a couple of our National Parks and a couple of smaller cities. To get a true feel for America you must see some of our smaller towns.

Sadly, America does not have enough trains but it is a great way to explore and can be done. If you google train travel across America some maps will pop up. You should be able to see a great deal via bus or train.

If you want warm summer temperatures for the east coast you will need to travel in May, June, July and August...... The temperatures in California will fine when ever you come.

Have you made a list of the things you want to see in each of those towns? If so post them here or send us a message and we can make certain you haven't forgotten any thing really fun or important. What are your hobbies and interest? That will allow us to recommend things that you may want to see that you are unaware of. Music, art, nature, sports, dancing, history, politics?



If you look through some of our blogs we have written a few on things in the US-- Boston, Washington DC, NYC, Denver, Seattle and area. Our first couple are a two month road trip from Seattle to Ohio and back taking different routes.
D MJ Binkley Take a look at our road trip US.

Canada is part of North America but is a separate country from the US. Canada is beautiful and a must see. I don't know if you'll have time for both in one trip as Canada is as large as the US. Canada has some beautiful cities and amazing country side. I will allow a Canadian to answer what they think you should do in their country.

America will be safe for you to travel together. As always when traveling don't go into seedy parts of town after dark and don't flash money or valuables. Don't leave cameras or computers in the hotel rooms.

As for hotels-- there are some inexpensive hotel chains that cross America. You can google each of them yourself and check their prices. The prices will vary from town to town. Motel 6 and Super 8will be the cheapest most times. Others on the low end but a little nicer are Red Roof Inn or Quality Inn. You will pay at least $40- $70 night.

I would recommend 5 to 7 days for the larger cities like LA and NYC. San Francisco is beautiful so you may want to add it to your list. You can probably do San Diego is 3 days but yes they have a world class zoo. You will want to google San Diego Zoo to check prices. I know it has gone up in the past few years.

You can see most of Las Vegas in 3 days.
Mt. Rushmore is well worth the trip but you can see it in a few hours. There are a couple of western towns nearby where you might want to spend the night. Very beautiful area.

Washington DC has so much to see-- I'd think you need 4 days minimum. It is lovely.


You will not see all that you have listed in two or three weeks. I think you might want to consider focusing on either the east coast or the west coast for this trip. With your limited amount of time you will have to make some choices and decide what is your priority.

MJ Reply to this

3 years ago, January 3rd 2011 No: 4 Msg: #125782  
B Posts: 42
Thanks for your reply!!

I'm not sure if my boyfriend wants to drive, as the road rules are all different there. We don't mind taking a plane.. or coach buses etc..and some mini tours im hoping we can catch planes etc.. not so worried about money.. but the times etc.. were actually traveling our own country end of this year, and have our itinery basically, waking up in the morning, getting the plane from sydney to perth, and then relaxing for the rest of the day. So we are allowing the time there, meaing we spend the extra night in a hotel.

Thanks, i wasnt sure how long it would take, and im thinking it would be lodgic to go to hawaii when were in L.A rather than new york and trace all the way back!! We might put that on the first thing we do

We have a friend in rockchester and she recommened may as well .. we just dont want to go in winter.. as much as id LOVE to see a snowey USA winter, id rather do all the sighseeing in nicer weather. we have mentioned doing a second trip even for a week in our favourite place which we enjoyed in winter .

basicaally.. were not "clubbing" .. "party" people. We also DONT wanna back-pack it either. Prefer hotels..than hostels..
Were into sight seeing.. so museums, old jails, art gallaries aquariums, theme parks.. zoos.. etc.. Also wanna see hot spots.
I've written a basic list, ill go over it, and write it on here.

Thanks, ill check out your blog!

If we did canada, we would put it seperate. We were thinking 3 weeks all up in USA and 1 week in canada.. to look a tthe major places, but i guess we'll see .. as the usa and canada is HUGE!

why not leaving laptops in hotel rooms? would they not be safe?.. i thought it would be safe if we did.. and maybe put it in one of our bags? does the workers there steal stuff.. or?

40-70 a night????? are they like basic basic hotels?.. we are prefering to look at nice hotels.. nothing too fancy (although we do want to have a few nights in fancier ones). we thought about $150-200 a night?.. is usa cheap with hotels? or are these like hostels/cheap hotels?

we were on the lines of 1 week in NY and 1 week in LA.

we arnt gambeling people.. but cant go to usa without seeing las vegas!! so 3 days would be plenty

seems we might need longer.. we were going to go to europe as well.. but to be honest, i think we may give europe a miss, as i would prfer to see USA then europe.

Unfortionatly, this may be the only time we can travel for a long time, as we want to start our family after this holiday. So we wanna try and see most of it in this trip. We can go for longer.. but i thought 2-3 weeks would be enough, but obviously not.. woops.. lol..

ill write a list of everything so far we wanna do/see and were we wanna go and post it here to get a basic idea.

Thanks for your help!




Reply to this

3 years ago, January 3rd 2011 No: 5 Msg: #125788  
Yes, the hotel prices I gave you are bottom rate hotels. They are not hostels but are low end hotels. If you a planning to spend $150 or $200 a night you will want to look at the Hilton Hotels, Marriott or Sheraton Hotels. They are nice and will provide amenities.
Candlewood Suites are nice and give you a kitchen if you want to do a little cooking.

Only you can make a decision about driving vs. buses, trains and planes. Southwest airlines and Jet Blue give lower rates for airfare.

If you stay in a Hilton, Marriott or Sheraton they will have safes in the room and you can lock up your belongings. I believe most staff are honest by why take the chance. Safety first always.

Europe is a long flight from the US. I would recommend staying in US and Canada. How much time were you saving for Europe?

My suggestion for a 30 day trip-

Hawaii-- 5 days (although you could easily stay there 30 days-- there are 5 islands so you have to decide which one you want to explore.
LA - 5 days
San Francisco- 5 days
San Diego- 3 days
Las Vegas- 3 days
Washington DC 3 days
NYC - 6 days

From San Francisco you could head North and do 3 days in Seattle and 3 to 5 days in Vancouver, Canada.
A beautiful, beautiful city.

I'm sure others will have suggestions for you. Reply to this

3 years ago, January 3rd 2011 No: 6 Msg: #125793  
B Posts: 42
Thanks again!!

Yep that sounds good .. over here in AUSTRALIA we have hilton, marriott and sheraton hotels.. in Sydney they are the decent ones .. so i'd prefer to stay in hotels we know would be ok..

We hadn't figured out an order, but we wanted to go to, USA/canada, Iceland, England, europe(germany,egypt,france,italy), China, NZ, Antarctica/Artic cruise.

My boyfriend actually said he thought we'd need more like 6 weeks, and laughed when i said 2 weeks.. wooppsie! lol)

I'd prefer to do everyting we wanted in the USA than see europe. as much as id love to go there, id prefer to see usa. so we may cut europe out of it.. so we can spend longer in the usa. Theres no particular time frame, but we cant be gone for too long as we have jobs etc.. also we cant afford to be gone for months on end.



I think overall, as much as we'd like to travel to all of those places i mentioned, id be a happy person if i can just travel to the USA. And like i said, id prfer to skip europe than only see parts of the US. NZ and china are close to AUST and reasonably cheap also.. so we can do that anytime.. but while were all the way over in USA may as well do everything on our list!!

Thanks for the basic time frames! .. ill work out tomorrow what we wanted to see and see how my timeline goes.

Reply to this

3 years ago, January 4th 2011 No: 7 Msg: #125840  
B Posts: 42
Ok, i've found my list and added a few things to it.. all i can say is... EEK!
Longer than i thought, so im assuming we are going to add longer to this trip!!

I've divided it up into the areas they are.. (if ive gotten it in the correct area).. im not sure how close or far apart some are.. like, in new york some may be further away i havent researched distance etc yet.
Also, wanna have 1-2 days in each to do what ever and just walk around basically.. but hopefully i havent forgotten anything. its long enough! O.o

Here we go;

NEW YORK

statue of liberty
empire state building
ripleys beleive it or not
Ground zero
tenement museum
Broadway show
central park
central park zoo
time square
museum of jewish herritage
new york fire museum
tribute WTC visitor centre
American Museum of Natural History
Museum of the City of New York
King Tut and the golden age of pharoahs exhibition
New York Aquarium
Bronx Zoo
Brooklyn Bridge
5th Avenue
niagra falls

WASHINGTON DC

white house
lincoln memorial
jefferson memorial
national aquarium washington dc

FLORIDA/MIAMI/ORLADO

Disney World orlando
Universal Studios orlando
Sea World Orlando
miami zoo
the florida aquarium
Miami Seaquarium
Jungle Island miami
Gatorland: The Alligator Capital of the World oralando
WonderWorks- orlando
Kennedy Space Center- florida


LAS VEGAS
hoover dam
grand canyon
wedding chapel lil
VEGAS STRIP
sky zone
zero g


SAN DIEGO

LegoLand California (it says its in san diego)
San Diego Wild Animal Park
San Diego Zoo
Sea World San Diego

SAN FRANCISCO

Alcatraz
Aquarium of the Bay
see golden gate bridge

LA

Universal Studios Hollywood
Los Angeles Zoo
Aquarium of the Pacific
Disneyland
Hollywood sign thing
hollywood walk of fame
Hollywood tussauds.. wax museum?
hollywood museum
hollywood guiness world records museum
Kodak Theatre Guided Tour
lego land
warner bros. studio vip tour


HAWAII

Havent worked that out just yet..


We also wanna see mt.rushmore, but it says its located in the middle, and theres nothing else there we would see/ are going to see.

Reply to this

3 years ago, January 4th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #125878  
I'd say you need at least 6 weeks for this type of itinerary. Two weeks won't come close to letting you do half of what you want to do, and you'd spend almost all that time in transit.

I would give yourself at least 4-5 days to see all that you want to sight-see in New York, plus an additional 1-2 days if you want to have some time to wander and explore. And that's at a pretty brisk sight-seeing pace. Lines and transportation to the Statue of Liberty, for example, will take a minimum of 4 hours. It can easily take 2-3 hours to get to the Empire State Building too depending on what day/time you arrive. The Tenement Museum also only runs on guided tours so you'll need to plan in about 2-3 hours for that as well.

Other sites, like Central Park, Times Square, Ground Zero - since they are just open spaces can take as little as five minutes but for museums, you'll want to plan some time around them.

Almost all of the places you want to see in NYC are on the island of Manhattan and very easy to get to either by walking or subway. The Bronx Zoo is the only one I'm not familiar with, but I'm pretty sure you can get there on the subway pretty easily.

Niagara Falls is not in New York City, but several hours north outside Buffalo in New York State. There are probably bus tours that you can arrange to get you there and back, but that is at least a day trip in itself.

Also, you will be happy to know it is very easy (and quick and cheap!) to get from NYC to Washington D.C. Takes about 4 hours by bus, depending on traffic, and there are numerous cheap bus-chains that provide transportation. I've used the Megabus company before and it was quick and clean, with wifi on-board for $9. Can't beat that!

You'll want to fly between D.C and Florida, and Florida and Las Vegas. It's a short drive between Vegas and L.A so you might be able to find a bus service. It's another 2-3 hours between L.A and San Diego (which is south) and then from San Diego it's about a ten hour drive up to San Francisco (north). Then you'd need a flight out of either L.A or San Francisco to Hawaii (and you'd probably fly into Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Once you get there it's pretty self-contained and the public buses I think are pretty good).

Some of the places you want to visit in L.A aren't right downtown, but since you said you like tours and such it won't be a problem to sign up with a tourbus group to get to places like Disneyland or Universal Studios.

Mt Rushmore is in "the middle of nowhere" basically - I'm not even sure how you would arrange a bus or tour to get there if you weren't driving yourself, and even then it's a good 1-2 days drive away from Vegas, the nearest city on your itinerary. If you needed to cut something, that would be it. We've been there (and you can read about our experiences there in the blog if you like) and found it somewhere anti-climactic to say the least.

Also about valuables in hotels, most mid-range hotels have in-room safes so you can leave your valuables in those. I've never had a problem with theft in American hotels, and we usually stay in those in the $80-100 range, so that's not to say it doesn't happen, but maybe we've just been fortunate.
Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 9 Msg: #125909  
B Posts: 42
thanks, and yes i agree! When ive told my partner he just laughed at me, i didnt know the usa was so big, like i knew it was, but i didnt know to get to one side of ny to the other its hours and hours. lol.. we were going to do europe to, but we have cut europe off now, so we can enjoy the usa and do everything we wanna. gives us more time in usa too.

oh wow thats crazy, i didnt think you'd wait that long! O.o

Yeah, i wasnt sure about niagra falls, but we were proably going to do a tour thing with that anyways..

oh thats cool, i thought you needed a plane to DC from NY so thats awesome!!

yep, im thinking that to, we may not include mt rushmore, it is out the way and to be honest i dont wanna travel 2 days to see one thing..


im going to try and work out a rough itinery now.. because somewhat i see we may need longer than 6 weeks. NYC alone seems i may need a fair bit.., especially if it takes a few hours to get into places.. Maybe a good thing is to ster away during school holiday times?..

thanks heaps for your help!!


Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #125912  
Well, you won't necessarily be waiting in line that entire time, but the last time I was at the Statue of Liberty, the line took about at least 45 minutes to wait and get through security, then you have the ferry ride over there, and you have to wait at least a 15 minutes in line to take the ferry back, so that's 2 hours of just "transit" time which doesn't include the time it took you to get to the dock, look around, and get back, so yes it's a 4 hour excursion minimum. That ticket also gets you into the museum on Ellis Island so you may want to budget some time to spend there too.

And the line at the Empire State Building can take hours. I've never seen such long lines. Get there early or late.

It's always best to avoid the tourist sites during school holidays, especially kid-friendly places like Disneyland and theme parks. NYC... eh, there are almost always tourists here from somewhere. Summer is busiest, and American school kids have their spring breaks usually the 2nd or 3rd week in April. NYC public schools have their break April 18 - 26th this year so you can expect the museums to be busier then. Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 11 Msg: #125913  
B Posts: 42
oh right i get it, sorry i thought you meant 4 hours waiting just to get into the statue liberty..

Oh well, its all worth it isnt it. I mean, your waiting because you want to see it, so its the joys of it really.

we were thinking of going in May...

I remember when we went to Sydney(were from adelaide) in Australia, and we went on a holiday 2nd january.. right smack in the middle of school holidays.. and i must say, it did suck!! the aquarium line was so long it wasn't funny, possibly about 40mins-1hr wait.. lucky for us, we had booked our holiday pre-paid.. so we had paid all the attractions etc prior to going and had vouchers for it.. which was recommened by the travel agent, and thank goodness i say!! when we got to the aquarium there was a seperate line for pre-paid/vouchers and there was a line of about 3 or 4 people! definatly doing that again when we do our all around AUST. holiday. Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 12 Msg: #125915  
I can't wait to read your blogs and impressions of America. You have a lot on your to do list. I'm excited for you.

Miami, Florida is a 4 hour drive to Orlando, Florida-- they are not close to one another.

Recommendation:
While in NYC take the helicopter ride over the city. Awesome views!
Washington, DC is a beautiful city. You will love it.
While in Florida you may want to go to Key West for a day. It is fun.
Just south of San Francisco is something you may want to do-- 17 Mile Drive. Beautiful beaches and scenery. I still say you should rent a car and drive yourself between San Francisco and LA. It is great. You could stop in San Louis Obispo and tour the Hearst Castle.


Have a great trip. Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #125918  
B Posts: 42
thank-you.

I can't wait to do it!!


Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #125950  
I just created an account just to reply to your post, lol. I just finished a road trip that included some of the regions you were interested in, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Francisco, then driving down the coast to Los Angeles. We also did a lot of Arizona / Utah. I went with two friends that are from France. I am actually from the Los Angeles area though.

Since it is getting way too late for me now, reply if you had any particular questions about San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, etc. I took a look at your things to see list in SF / LA / SD and could add to that tremendously, and recommend removing some things as well.

Harry Reply to this

3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #125955  
B Posts: 42
thanks for replying!!

what do you recommened adding/removing? ..and why? i'd like peoples opinions so i can do all the best things!! Reply to this

3 years ago, January 6th 2011 No: 16 Msg: #126057  
B Posts: 42
I've worked out a rough idea/ basic intinery. worked our roughly if planes/ buses etc go there.. havent done it properly just yet.. so not sure if i should visit some places before others, and not sure if i can fit more into the days/remove some.

sydney- LAX:

1. LAX to Hollywood via Taxi. 20min drive.. relax day from jet lag.

2. Kodak Theatre Guided Tour.
Hollywood sign.
Hollywood walk of fame.
Hollywood guiness world record
Hollywood tussauds. wax museum

3. Universal Studios Hollywood.

4. Disney Adventure Park/ Disneyland. 3-day hopper combo ticket

5. Disney Adventure Park/ Disneyland

6. Disney Adventure Park/Disneyland

7. What ever day

8. Leave for San Francisco. Plane.
---------------------------------------------------------------

8. Sight seeing. golden gate bridge

9. Alcatraz.

10. Aquarium of the Bay

----------------------------------------------------------------

10. Leave for Las Vegas. Plane. Vegas Strip

11. Hoover Dam + Grand Canyon combo tour

12. Las Vegas Strip

13. What ever day

14. Leave for San Diego.

----------------------------------------------------------------

14. Arrive in San Diego. Chill for the day.

15. San Diego Seaworld.

16. San Diego Zoo.

17. LegoLand L.A.

18. San Diego Wild Animal Park.

19. What ever day

20. Depart San Diego for Orlando

------------------------------------------------------------------

20. Arrive in Orlando. Wonderworks

21. Disney world.

22. Universal Studios

23. seaworld orlando studios

24. What ever day

-------------------------------------------------------------------

24. Arrive in Miami. Relax.

25. Miami seaquarium

26. Miami Zoo

27. Miami jungle island

28. Leave Miami for Washington DC

---------------------------------------------------------------------

28. Arrive in Washington DC. See white house/ relax day.

29. lincoln memorial

30. national aquarium

31. Depart Washington DC for New York.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

31. Arrive in New York. See times square.

32. Central Park. Central Park Zoo.

33. Niagra falls tour

34. Museum of the city of new york. see david letterman studio. American museum of natural history

35. Relax Day

36. Statue of liberty. tenement museum

37. new york city fire museum. New york aquarium. Broadway show.

38. Relax Day

39. empire state building. ripleys beleive it or not

40. Ground Zero. tribute WTC visitor centre. museum of jewish herritage

41. See friend.(other side NY)

42. See friend. (other side NY)- depart for Hawaii

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

42. Hawaii

43. Hawaii

44. Hawaii

45. Hawaii

46. Hawaii

47. Depart for home.


6 weeks 5 days.
Reply to this

3 years ago, January 7th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #126118  
D Posts: 1
Hi,

You can try California trip. u likes Hollywood Disneyland Wine Tours and many more....
u can also try to roadrunner shuttle website for help to tours. Reply to this

3 years ago, January 7th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #126152  
Your itinerary for NYC looks good - you'll have plenty of to do but won't feel so rushed or have to stress out if the crowds are more than you anticipated. Looks fun! Reply to this

3 years ago, January 8th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #126200  
B Posts: 42
thanks! .. im hoping that its good.. were going to go to a travel agent and they'll help finalise it all.. but i basically looked at google maps to see were everything is.. and tried doing stuff that are near each other, or the big ones just keeping to a min day. now time to work out how much its going to hit the budget! lol

i had a look at hotels last night and found a really nice one.. but it said it was 3 and a half stars for $179 a night???

over here in australia, 3 stars are crappy hotels/motels... maybe usa works their starts out differently? Reply to this

3 years ago, January 12th 2011 No: 20 Msg: #126473  
N Posts: 1
Hi,

WOW, you are going to be very busy. Im also from Australia and have been to the USA a few times. Looks like you have a good amount of time for New York. Ive been there twice, both for 5 nights and both times feel like I cpuld have easily spent doucle the time there. A hint for the empire state building, If you go later in the afternoon the lines tend to be smaller and I went up just before sunset so I got to see the city in the day and when all the lights were on at night. Also I was there in September last year and we pre-purchased our tickets before we went so we saved a bit of time when we were there.

I have also been to Disney world, and Disney land. If you are going to Disney land in LA you dont nee to go to the Magic Kingdom in Dsney world as they are the same. However Disney world has many many parks to visit, such as EPCOT and MGM studios etc... We spent a week just at Disney world and didnt get to all the parks.

As for hotels, we stayed in ones in the same price range as you and found them all pretty good. You will notice the service in the US is generally of a higher standard than in Oz because of the tipping system. This goes for restaurants as well. Dont forget to tip when you are over there, it takes a little bit to get used to, but a lot of the workers rely on their tips as they dont get paid as well as the service industry in Oz.

Im planning on going back with my boyfriend next year for a 2 month road trip going to a lot of the same places as you, so let me know how you go.


Have a great time! Reply to this

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