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United States of America Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 20, 2017
Travel advice in East Coast  (14 Answers)

Hello Everyone,

Thank you very much for your feedback back in 2015 regarding west coast travel advice. My trip to USA was memorable and its because of your feedback.

Now I will be going to the east coast this year. My tentative travel date is from 26 May - 18 June. I wish to see the east coast. I don't want this trip to be a hectic one so I want to see important places and spend some time in New York just taking it easy. I know this sounds a little vague because you may ask how many days you want to spend where and so on. But I want you to guide me here as you know how many days (approx) I would have in hand. The last few days I want to do some shopping.

I think I should at least go to Boston, New York, DC and Niagara falls. I also wish to visit few good universities there as I wish to pursue a masters in the futue.

Your advice will be appreciated.

Thank you.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 13, 2017
Best site for renting house or Condo Short term?  (8 Answers)

Figured I had better ask this now, as can't later. My husband and I generally travel with a 5-th wheel trailer, but are considering maybe trying out staying in a condo, apartment, house, etc. short term instead in the coming years. This would be for a 2 - 3 week stay in the US. So far I have found HomeAway and VRBO as possible helpful sources. I would appreciate any advice as to if these are the best ones, and/or are there others that are also valuable sources.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 12, 2017
Rental Car GPS replacement  (8 Answers)

We will rent a car in fall 2017 in the USA for about 3 Weeks.

I noticed that all the rental companies want to charge arount 150-500$ for a Navigation System. This is really much, compared to the 1500$ rental cost!!

They will use these standart "window mount" navigation devices i guess.
We don't want to pay that much, so i was looking for options.

Would you reccomend buying a GPS in an eletronic store?
I saw a lot of them for like 80-120$, and if you once have one, you can use it on all your future travels in us

Since where not from us, a device that tells us the current speed limit would be nice!:)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 08, 2017
Between Tallahassee Florida and Summerville SC  (2 Answers)

I have a gap of about 4 days between my grandson's graduation in Tallahassee on Friday or Saturday and my granddaughter's wedding in Summerville SC on the following Saturday. Where can I go and stay for four days that is somewhat between Tallahassee and Summerville. I thought of Jekyll Island, St. Simons' Island, or St. Augustine, but I have been to all those places a couple of times. I've also stayed in Hilton Head for a week (hated it), and visited Savannah. I'd rather be in a small place than a big city.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 17, 2016
Duty fee at the airport / leaving US  (7 Answers)

Hi there!

I keep looking for answers to not to be surprised at the airport, but couldn't have found anything specific. I've been living in US almost 2 years on cultural exchange, and during that time I bought here couple electronic goods like Mac, DSLR camera, 3 lenses, graphic tablet, I am going back to my country (Poland) in 4 months and wanted also purchase here Iphone and gimbal stabilizer (DJI ronin) for my camera. Now my question is.. since is only for my usage, unpacked, not in foil and any labels, If I pack it all in my camera bag as personal item, plus this stabilizer taken apart in my carry on, would I be checked and duty charged?

Thank you,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 12, 2016
The Grand Canyon -Solo  (10 Answers)

Have always dreamed of doing the Canyon on my own. Except that I can't drive. I refuse the 3 day tours on a bus filled with tourists. Has anyone done it alone who could recommend what to do and where to stay in detail? If not, is there an adventure tour that is more appropriate for nature lovers who like some independence to walk around and meditate and not be rushed or feel lost in crowds? I'm planning to be there in April. How many days will I need?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 12, 2016
Crossing the Atlantic by Ship or Cruiser  (11 Answers)

I'd like to go from Lisbon to Miami (one way) by sea in February or March. To arrive in Cancun or Cuba would be ok. Anyone know of a cheaper means to do it? Has anyone gone from some Western European port to the US or Canada that you recommend? Or, it could also be just from the US/Canada to Lisbon late spring 2017.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 25, 2016
American vacation Living  (2 Answers)

Has anyone used this company? Are they legit? Experiences? Thank you!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 23, 2016
Vegas to San Francisco March 2017  (6 Answers)

My wife and I are flying to Las Vegas in March 2017. we are then hiring a car and driving to San Francisco with two stop offs in Death Valley and Yosemite.

Is there going to be issues with routes and will we require snow chains?

Do hire companies provide snow chains?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 15, 2016
how much it will cost my friend to travel from Texas to Gambia?  (4 Answers)

My Friend in Texas want to visit Gambia but we like to know how much it will cost.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 14, 2016
NJ Shore and New River Gorge OR New Hampshire beaches and Massachusetts  (11 Answers)

We are a German/Dutch family (kids aged 13 & 9) and plan to visit the US east coast this summer. And we need some help from the real experts! What we already know is that we arrive in 23rd August around 3pm and leave Sept 8th in the evening – fly in fly out Newark.
Our plan is to relax the first few days at a beach, then to head inlands to explore some nature (hiking but incl. some fun stuff for the kids such as river rafting etc. to keep them motivated). We would like to visit 2 cities – one is definitely NYC – I thought it may be wise to visit NYC the 4 days before we leave.
I am a bit uncertain if we should do the (1) New England route including NH and Boston or rather the (2) NJ, West Virginia tour incl. Washington D.C.?
Route 1 would be:
- 2-3 days Connecticut / Rhode Island beach, 2-3 hrs from Newark (Wednesday afternoon)?
- 3-4 days “nature adventure”: hiking and whitewater rafting: MA, NH or Vermont? Deerfield River?
- 2 days Boston
- 1-3 days: no plan / open
- 4 days NYC
Route 2 would be:
- 2-3 days NJ shore, 2-3 hrs from Newark (Wednesday afternoon) – could we make Cape May? Liked the pics I saw on the internet
- 2 days Washington D.C.
- 3-4 days “nature adventure”: New River Gorge – worth the trip of 8+h?
- 1-3 days: no plan / open
- 4 days NYC

Which route would you prefer?
I know …. a lot of questions…… I would be very grateful for your help. Two additional questions:
- is the weather very different in NH (assuming we will not head really north) and NJ or West Virginia?
- And what about Greenheads? Is it high season for these monsters?

Thanks a lot from Munich!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 27, 2016
New York to the South (Towns to visit)  (5 Answers)

Hi guys,

Travelling to USA in this coming January, and I've got a spare 2 weeks in which I want to travel from New York down to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans by either bus or train before flying home from LA.... I was wondering about towns/cities that are worth stopping into for a night or two? Whilst I enjoy getting out and seeing the sites, I enjoy meeting friendly locals and having a beer or 2 so places with a nightlife preferably...

Thanks all!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 13, 2016
Healthy Food  (25 Answers)

Intend to visit America next year but a little apprehensive.
We both eat very healthy.
A friend returned today from ten days in the states having put on seven pounds.
He said not just the portions but the high fat content was a problem with no healthy alternative.
It's the no healthy alternative that bothers us.
We would be going to Florida in the winter.
We now winter in Tenerife for a few months but fancied a change.
Comments would be helpful.
Kind Regards

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 07, 2016
Nature photography workshops  (3 Answers)

I want to hear suggestions for the best nature photography workshops as I love nature photography and want to grow as the nature photographer. I am in Los Angeles and ready to travel for the workshops.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 27, 2016
tours for young adults  (15 Answers)

Hi -- I have 2 daughters-- aged 22 who would like to do a tour in europe (or maybe USA)over dec/jan.We are from Australia.They have only ever travelled with the family before-- They are not too well travelled and somewhat unsure of themselves getting around etc.They would think a bus tour would be the way to go -- not sure if the contiki or topdeck thing the their scene -- would not enjoy continual late party nights ,drinking and such that seem to be the scene on these tours --- is that the right assumption ?-- is there any alternatives out there for their age group ?--- thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 16, 2016
Hiring a motor home  (20 Answers)


my wife and I are planning to visit the US Jan/Feb 2017. We're interested in hiring a motor home for three weeks and travelling in the south west. There seem to be a great number of companies hiring motorhomes and we're a little confused about what's on offer. We need (1) a motorhome with good backup if it breaks down (2) good insurance so that is someone crashes into us we won't end up paying a fortune (3) an established, honest, company with good testimonials (4) a reliable vehicle. If anyone has any experience with hiring motorhomes in the Staes (we're from the UK) I'd very much appreciate them sharing it with us - any advice gratefully received!

Many thanks


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 13, 2016
Photography tours to USA  (7 Answers)

Can anyone recommend an individual or company that might be able to offer photography tours to USA?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 02, 2016
Firstname and lastname reverse on flight ticket for USA  (8 Answers)

Hello everyone,

I'm getting really really worried as I realized my firstname and lastname were reversed on my flight tickets from Geneva (Switzerland) to Boston (USA). I tried to call the website from which I got the ticket (opodo UK), and the airline company (TAP Portugal): both are saying they can't change these names and ask me to see with each other. I tried 3 times each so I'm becoming crazy!!!! Finally Opodo told me they'll check with the company and will le me know in 3 days if it's possible or not.

My flight is leaving in 5 days so I really don't know what to do. Do I need to buy another ticket? It'll cost a lot but I'm thinking it's my last option... Is it really risky to travel with reversed firstname and lastname? If it won't be for the USA I'll me a bit more quiet, but it's not the case :-(

Thanks in advance for your help.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 23, 2016
Travel Insurance for Round the World Trip  (2 Answers)

Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a good value for money travel insurance which will cover us for 3 days of skiing? Most companies I've found will only do snow sports cover for the whole trip which makes it insanely expensive, especially given we only need the cover for three days out of our 4 week trip.

Any suggestions??

We are based in Australia in case that makes a difference.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 15, 2016
National Parks in Alabama  (1 Answer)

Hi all,

Can you give me a few Nat'l Parks, very nice ones, for Alabama? I will be camping the gulf coast this winter.

I like to stick along the shores as much as possible, but don't have to. I am looking for something diverse with marshes, good birding, a lot of beauty. If the are inland, that will have to do.

I understand it will be cold most likely.

Thanks for the help..

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 14, 2016
How do you securely deposit cash in the US  (10 Answers)

I've been working in Ohio for the last 10 weeks and have another 30 days on my visa to travel around the US :) To my shock, I was paid cash for my work how can I deposit my wage securely but still have access to it whilst I'm travelling. I don't have a US bank account.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 10, 2016
San Fran / Dallas journey  (10 Answers)

My wife and I plan to travel from San Francisco to Dallas for our 60th. We both share the exact date of birth.
We plan on 3 weeks and will fly to San Fran for couple of days then 3 days at Sequoia national park. We then wish to spend 7 days to get to Dallas.
Are we better driving, flying or train. What would be the best most interesting towns to stay on route.
Thanking you in advance

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 17, 2016
Aussie travellers need help  (16 Answers)

We are planning on travelling to the US for the first time in Oct/Nov from Sydney for approx 6 weeks. We are committed to spend 2 weeks in Florida during our visit. We would also love to see New York, New Orleans San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Hawaii. We need advice on the best way to get from one place to another. Should we fly to New York first then to Florida then road trip in motorhome to LA then fly to Hawaii then back to Sydney. Is this the best way and will six weeks total be long enough. Open to other suggestons. Thanx in advance


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 07, 2016
Where to go from Portland to Lax  (17 Answers)

I have visited LA many times..But next years trip has got a Touch more exciting...
Arrive in lAX ( from Australia)
Santa Monica ( I night)
Solvang ( 2 nights)
Carme (1 night)
Sanoma /Napa 2-3 nights...
Fly from Oakland to Portland...( winery too, of course!
From there my friends will return....what is the best place to stay an extra 2-3 nights , between
Portland and LAX while my friends leave

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 17, 2016
Wine tastings/winery in Austin?  (1 Answer)

Can someone give me any recommendations on wineries/winery restaurants/wine tasting venues in Austin, TX? Anything details on specific wines from/popular in the region or ambience/decor of a certain venue would be appreciated? Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 12, 2016
California, Nevada, Arizona  (13 Answers)

I am looking to do 3-4 weeks visiting these states from mid December.

I have several questions:

1) Can you get from Vegas to Yosemite by Road in Dec/Jan?
2) Also from Vegas to South Rim GC?
3) Any other areas I should know of that are a big no go due to bad weather or road closures?
4) We are going to be on a budget so looking for alternative options of places to stay in LA and San Fran with good transport connections - to compare, we visited NYC and have stayed in Long Island City and Brooklyn as it's a fraction of the cost and the the transport was good! We don't mind driving somewhat but not sure on parking option in DT LA and I know San Fran is always expensive.
5) Realistically how long is the drive from Vegas to LA Airport? Is it doable in 1 go or should we consider an over night somewhere?
6) Has anyone recently not booked hotels in advance and just stopped at motels etc and got a good price? I did this with my grandparents for years but as a travel agent we are told by tourist boards that those days are long gone and inevitably you end up paying more as you pay rack rate!
I'm sure there's exclusions to this rule and but thought I'd check and see if anyone had done it.
7) If you can just stop on route, how much would you budget for motels per night - I'm not expecting the ritz but clean and smoke free rooms with no bed bugs is always a good thing, lol
We are happy with BW Plus, Holiday inns etc.
8) What temperatures are we looking at at this time of year in each area?

I'm sure i'll have more questions but this will give me a good start - thanks in advance for your feedback

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 28, 2016
How to turn off subscribe to all  (1 Answer)

This morning I am suddenly flooded with emails of every post, not just mine

Where exactly do I go to unsubscribe to all of these?

Thanks greatly...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 19, 2016
non tsa airports  (17 Answers)

what airports use non-tsa security?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 18, 2016
First time traveling to USA  (9 Answers)

My girlfriend and I, We are planning to travel to USA, in Oct'.
It will be our first time traveling to USA, and i have couple of questions,
I'll start from number of conditions.. haha :)
first of all we must visit family, at New Jersey and San Diego.
second we cant miss Las Vegas, New York, Hollywood,
1. we flying from Europe, so where to start, east or west.?
2. what should be our main route, points and cities?
3. many friends told me that I must visit Mexico at least for a week, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, is it possible and how to combine it in our trip?
4. Any other usefull information..

Thank you very much!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 08, 2016
Maine New England  (5 Answers)

Will be coming from Scotland in October to see foliage and do sight seeing for 10 days. Will fly into Boston and looking to drive up to bar harbour ,was wondering if there is a lot of places on route worth going to see and could there be another route back that would be pretty . Couple in our 60s like sightseeing wandering about small towns and villages shopping chilling out etc. Thought about middle 2 weeks in October or would that be to late could go any time in October. Thanks

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