Monday, January 14, 2019

(Part 1) 2 weeks in Los Angeles (LA), Las Vegas (LV) and San Francisco (SF) for less than SGD5,500 each

Going to Los Angeles (LA), Las Vegas (LV) and San Francisco (SF)?

For Singaporean going to USA, you need to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) aka VISA.
Cost: USD14 per pax if you apply via

Due to the long 18 hours flight to LA, we decided not to comprise our journey experience. Thus, we opt for Singapore Airline (SQ) and transit via Japan.
Cost: SGD$2,596 for 2 pax (Economy)

- Flight tickets seem to be at its lowest when booked between 7 - 9 months before departure date
- Check the weather in the city you plan to visit before you book your flight. Weather can make your trip either enjoyable or unpleasant
- Tranit at Japan is recommended as the in-flight food menu for both leg (SG -> JP, JP -> LA) have super yummy Jap food to choose from. You can also shop around the Japan Airport to buy more Japan foods during transit.
- Do not plan or book expensive activity on the day you landed. If you encounter jet lag, that will be a bad start of your trip. Rest well instead on the day you landed.

Data Roaming SIM card
Given that data roaming is like oxygen nowadays, you would not want to travel to USA without internet connection on your phone.

Purchased StarHub Happy Roam Prepaid SIM $15.
Not only there is $15 credit in the sim card itself, its also come with 180 days 2.2GB local data.
Since we are in USA for 15 days, thus purchased the ''30 Days 1GB @ S$11" plan.

Download the "Happy Prepaid" App, insert the SIM card, purchase the plan and Hotspot to share the data - Sharing is Caring ;)
Cost: SGD$15

Day 1
Car Rental
USA is left hand drive.  Yes, LEFT HAND DRIVE.
We booked Hertz Economy Group A Car for 5 days.
Pickup at LA Airport and return at Vegas The Venetian IHG Hotel.

Although Hertz did not ask for my International Driving Permit (IDP), I do still highly recommend you to apply for it in case they checked.
What is $20 (cost of IDP) vs you get rejected for car rental + spoilting your holiday plan + the extra amount you need to fork out for Uber.

Cost: SGD$336 (Car rental exclude Fuel) + SGD$20 (IDP)

- Parking can be expensive in LA (Eg USD5 per 15mins block). Thus, try to park a few streets away for cheaper parking rate (Eg USD10 per entry).
- Petrol station in US required you to pay at the cashier first before the petrol is release to you (Totally opposite in Singapore). Try to top up USD10 for the first time to have a gauge the petrol you required as they will not refund you money if you needed less petrol than you had paid for.

We stayed near to Guirado Street due to the location, security, price and review.
Cost: SGD$714 for 5 nights
New to Airbnb: Sign up via my ref link here and you will get SGD$45 off your first trip.

- Personal safety is always the top priority when staying in Airbnb.
Thus, before you book your stay, always read all the reviews (if not the latest 30 reviews minimally).
To lower your risk, skip those airbnb host with less than 50 reviews.
- Choose the house with washing machine. You wouldn't want to fly over with half full luggage filling up with your clothing.
- If you are renting a car, ensure the Airbnb you are staying provide free parking space
- Book early. Price tend to get more expensive when nearer to stay date

Day 2
Universal Studios Hollywood + Universal CityWalk

Cost: SGD615 with 2 x USH Express pass + USD25 for Parking

- Purchase your ticket via to gain Early Park Admission entry (30 mins before Park opening time)
- Purchase Universal Express pass
Yes, it is very expensive. But 100% worth the money. Do YOLO when you go USH.
- Avoid peak season if you can as the ticket cost will be higher
- Must try attraction: Studio Tour
  Go behind the scenes of a real working movie studio!

 - Dont forget to try the Butterbeer

Day 3

If you love pancakes, you can try iHop.
We went to the outlet near Disneyland for our breakfast

Disneyland Park

Cost: SGD325 for 2 x Disneyland pass + USD 20 for 2 x Disney MaxPass + USD20 for Parking

- Purchase your ticket via Klook for cheaper price compare to Disney official ticket box
(New to Klook: Sign up via my ref link here and you will get S$4 off your first trip)
- Purchase Disney MaxPass so that you can book the attraction & download unlimited photos with animation taken by their official Disney photography via the phone apps. Say bye bye to those expensive professional photographer photos in the past.
- Purchasing 1 Day Park Hopper (Disneyland Park + Disney California Adventure Park) is not recommended as you wont have time to enjoy both the park fully in 1 day.
- Avoid peak season if you can as the ticket cost will be higher

Day 4
Grand Central Market
Food heaven!!!

We came here for breakfast.
The Q for Eggslut is estimate 1 hour long (Dont say I didnt warn you of the long Q time).

Angels Flight

Angels Flight is just located opposite from Grand Central Market. You can take the tram up to the top of the hill, else, just do the tourist way by taking a selfie with the tram :)

Japanese Village Plaza

This place is like a mini Japan. 
You can find Jap food, supermarket, stores and etc here.
It is located around 20mins walk from Angels Flight / Grand Central Market.
Remember to spot the tower.

Hollywood Sign
The famous Hollywood sign!!!

To get that million dollar photo, go to "The Last House on Mulholland" in google maps.
You can also have your pinic on the grass patch with the Hollywood sign in the background in "Lake Hollywood Park"

Lake Hollywood Park

Santa Monica Pier

Beach + Amusement park.
Free entry in case you are wondering.

Venice Canals Walkway

Welcome to my house *Dreaming*

We reached here abit too late, else the photos will look more clearer.
Basically, there is a small river in front of those houses and you can spotted small boat (sampang) in front of those houses.

How i wish i would retire in such a location.

Pink Hotdog

Day 5
Seaworld San Diego
This giant fatty can JUMP!!!!!!!

Main reason for going to Seaworld is to see ORCA!!!!
Of cos, there are dolphin, sea lion and thrill rides in SeaWorld.

Cost: SGD339 for 2 x "Single-Day Ticket + All Inclusive Experience"

- Since eating in USA is quite expensive, especially in tourist attraction area, thus, we bought the All Inclusive Experience aka VIP ticket
This include hourly dinning (Eat till you vomit) + Premier show seating + front of the line ride access

Others places in LA you can go are Citadel Factory Outlets, Walmart, 99cents store

Related post:
1) Hat Yai (Thailand)

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