Here we go again! I am off to LA again on the 1st of June, ps sorry about the lateness of the post. I swear there are fewer hours in the day nowadays!
Anywho, I’ll stop whinging and get on with it!
The whole point of this post is to tell you what I did/ book before I left on my trip. What companies I use, how much they were and junk…. Just an FYI really… If anyone cares?!
Flights + why June
Well I’m a freelance photographer, and June in Australia is when winter is setting in, and as most of my work is outdoors, so it starts to slow down. Plus I hate the cold! June is also a reasonable time to travel, cost wise! I flew with Virgin and I only paid $1041.62 AUD return (Perth – LA) were if I went in July which is school holidays you could pay up to $2,000. NO THANKS!
I left Perth, Western Australia on the 1st of June. Stop over in Sydney for a few hours then a nice quick 14-hour flight to LA. Due to the time difference, I was in LA about 6 am on the 2nd of June. 15 hours behind Perth.
SO what’s the plan for my trip to LA + Vancouver?
I have booked a bunch of collaborations with bloggers, models, companies and so much more, in LA and Vancouver, my plan is to build my folio internationally. So over the next few months, you will see a lot of collaboration work and blog post of my adventures! Plus I think I am addicted to these cities! I also get to catch up with my friends!
Accommodation – Banana Bungalow
They have four hostels in America.
I stayed at the Banana Bungalow in West Hollywood on North Fairfax. A few reasons, it’s cheap! The rooms aren’t fantastic but hey what backpackers are? I think I paid about $35 US per night. I was in girls 4-bed dorm. I have stayed in a larger bed count and mixed dorms before, but I feel like guys don’t have any self-awareness and just make way to much noise and don’t know how to turn off lights!, also staying in a dorm room with more beds means more people coming and going at all hours of The day/ night. You do get free breaky and coffee daily, so that’s a good way to save some coin! Plus it’s so close to everything that I want/ need. You can walk to the Hollywood BLVD; Melrose is only a block away. There are awesome markets every Sunday on the corner of N Fairfax + Melrose Ave. The hostel also holds daily activities. Whether it’s going on a hike up to the Hollywood sign, or wine and cheese at night.
Major perks/ must haves for a hostel for me!
One // An effing lift!! I am so over walking three flights of stairs with my suitcases and bags… not fun!
Two // Breakfast + coffee, when I wake up I don’t want to get up, get dressed to find food, I go down in my trackies and jumper most times. (Ps don’t forget to buy new PJs or bring nice ones…. I remembered the first time I went traveling, and I was rocking hot pink plaid pjs…..not a good look!)
Three // 24-hour check in! You don’t think about it but when you arrive at 3 am, and you have been traveling for 20 hours the last thing you want to do is to bloody wait in the lobby for it to open! Side note, if you are flying into a city early (like me, landing at 6 am). I would suggest booking the bed/ room for the night before, I know it cost more but most places check-in isn’t until 2 pm and if I land at 6 am after 20 something hours of flying that’s the last thing you want to do is sit in reception waiting till 2 pm.
Four // I also like to have to bathroom/ toilet in the room, there have been times where I have forgotten my pants or a bra or something, and when the bathroom isn’t in the room it’s no fun having to walk back to your room in a towel…. Also, I feel like you have to wait as there are fewer bathrooms/ toilets compared to people staying in the hostel so sometimes your waiting or people are knocking on the door wanting you to hurry up!
Five // I also like to stay in hostels/ backpackers when I travel on my own as it’s an awesome way to meet new people, I have met people that way I am still friends with them today.
Six // Laundromat! I hate running out of clean clothes and having to google and walk to a damn laundromat!
A couple of tips for picking your bed (if you get that option)
Pick the bottom bunk ! Trust me you will get over going up and down from the top bunk.
Find the bed that is closest to a power point ! I hate when I’m trying to watch Netflix and my laptop dies and there is no charging point near me.
Last my but not least! Pick the bed furtherest from the door ! People will be coming and going all hours of the night and if you are a light sleeper this will make your stay hell!
I know some people don’t travel with travel insurance and thankfully *knock on wood* I have never had to use it/ make a claim. But God forbid something happened especially overseas you would be in big trouble, just little things like losing your passport, your flights get canceled or you miss them! needing to go to a hospital. These things can rack up to hundreds of thousands of dollars it’s not worth risking it! I have been traveling to America + Canada since 2015, and I have always gone with Virgin Travel Insurance. They seem to be the most cost efficient and have the best coverage, don’t forget if you are doing things like rock climbing or snowboarding to add that to your policy! The last thing you want is to break your leg snowboarding, and your policy doesn’t cover it!
My policy info
Comprehensive cover (single) – $137.22 AUD
Covered countries – Americas; Africa; Europe; Asia; Pacific; New Zealand; Australia
I also declared that I have a pre existing conditions (Epilepsy)
also with my travel dates, I always add two days extra on my insurance just in case a flight is delayed, or something happens, and I don’t leave the country on my intended day.
If you are Australian, you don’t need a visa for Canada as we are owned by the Queen like the UK. (we all sit under the Commonwealth)
America? Yes, you need one! I have been lucky; I only had to wait in the massive line once. Once you have done that once I think the visa is valid for two years as long as you don’t change/ renew your passport. Now when I go through customs in the US I just scan my passport, they take a pretty pic of me (all by machine) then pop over to see a customs officer get a new stamp and then I’m on my way. If it is your first time don’t forget to complete your visa online it only takes about 10 minutes. I think I did it the day before I left the first time.
My last tip, make sure you scan or take photos of all of your documents like your ID, tickets, accommodation, email confirmations. Upload it to dropbox, google drive or email it to yourself! Also, let someone from home have access as well. That way if anything happens, like losing your passport or you need your driver’s license number you have access to it all on your phone.