Over the 2015/2016 holiday break, Michelle Adler travelled with her family to Los Angeles, San Diego, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley , Page – Antelope Canyon, Las Vegas in USA and
Playa Del Carmen and Cancun in Mexico. What an amazing trip! Check out what Michelle has to say about it all from the weather, to the hotels, the incredible views and also tasting Cactus Fries in Sedona!
What inspired you to travel to this particular destination?
As a family, we wanted to experience some of America’s natural beauty and we hadn’t travelled to these destinations before. After our touring in USA we were looking for a relaxing beach holiday – so we chose Cancun as it offers an amazingly beautiful beach experience.
Did you travel alone or with friends/family?
We took our kids with us – there were 2 adults and 2 children who were 15 and 17 yrs old
What piece of advice would you give to any families wanting to visit this destination?
Be prepared for varied weather conditions and pack accordingly.
What piece of advice would you give to a single traveller wanting to visit this destination?
If you’re travelling alone, it’s a good idea to take an organised tour for the USA portion if you are travelling the national parks. If you’re travelling alone to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, my suggestion would be to stay at a fully inclusive resort which offers daily activities and nightly entertainment.
Was transport easy to access/readily available?
We chose not to have a car in Los Angeles since we stayed in the Hollywood area as there is a very good subway system (most travellers don’t know it exists!). We found the subway was just perfect for our requirements, and it beats sitting in LA traffic for hours. Other times we took an Uber which was much cheaper than the normal taxi service and it was very reliable. Once we departed Los Angeles we hired a car for the rest of our time in America. Make sure you hire a vehicle with a Navigation system; it’s is a must!
What was your favourite experience within this country – what is the one thing you feel that travellers just cannot miss out on?
This is a hard question to answer as there were many highlights for us since the scenery is so different and magnificent; I loved Sedona, surrounded by spectacular red rocks and Antelope Canyon was sensational!
Least favourite thing about this destination? Weather, customs, food, heat, cold, etc?
The weather for sure! We encountered extremely cold weather in Arizona, but that didn’t stop us sightseeing! It is all part of travelling these days; you can never be sure of what weather conditions you will encounter anywhere – so you just have to be prepared for all different climate conditions!
If you weren’t a seasoned traveller – what piece of advice would you give to help make a trip more enjoyable or avoid a stressful situation?
Tipping: Tipping is mandatory everywhere in USA/Mexico, make sure you have a lot of small notes.
Packing: Due to the changing climate, ensure you pack layers of clothing. I always travel with a pashmina and a light weight rain coat – just in case!
What were the locals like? Were they friendly towards visitors. Did they know what experiences tourists are wanting?
Americans just love Australians – and what’s not to love about us? 🙂
Was the cuisine for the adventurous, or was there plenty of options available for the less adventurous also?
America has plenty of options although it can be quite difficult to find healthy food options when you are on a road trip.
Any recommendations for the adventurous ‘foodie’?
Sedona: Rattle snake burgers and Cactus fries. The Cactus fries were delicious!
Any recommendations for the more conservative palate?
Do your research on where to stop for meals or take plenty of fruit and snacks whilst driving.
Which hotels did you stay at that were standouts?
As we moved about every 2-3 days while in the USA, we stayed at lots of different hotels. A few of the standouts were:
- Roosevelt Hollywood
- View Hotel Monument Valley
- SLS Vegas
- Club Med Cancun
- Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica
What was the best things about your experience at these hotels?
All hotels were excellent in their different ways however,
- Iconic renovated hotel in the middle of Hollywood
- Many exciting movie premiers happening across the road
- Very happening pool area/restaurant
View Hotel Monument Valley
- Only hotel located in Monument Valley Tribal Park, surrounded by spectacular landscape
- Hotel is Navajo owned property
- Trendy style hotel located at the opposite end of the strip to the airport
- Hotel offers free shuttle into the centre of the strip and is also on the monorail system
- White décor, very bright rooms and bathrooms
- Good service and security
Club Med Cancun
- Spectacular beach location with direct access to Marine Park so you can take in a snorkelling experience direct from the resort
Apart from main restaurant, 2 a la carte dining options were available for a quieter dining experience
- Nightly entertainment is fantastic
- Great location in Santa Monica within walking distance to beach, pier and 3rd Street Promenade
MUST SEES & DON’T BOTHERS!
Absolute “must sees”? (If you go to this place, you absolutely can’t miss out on……..)
SEDONA: When you visit Sedona, make sure you visit the many Red Rock canyons that surround the area; they make Sedona one of the most beautiful places on earth!
PAGE, ANTELOPE CANYON: These “Slot canyons” are something to experience as part of a guided tour with a group of people. They are absolutely spectacular and should be one of the natural wonders of the world as they reveal the most incredible shapes and colours.
HORSESHOE BEND: Again, an amazing site. If you are scared of heights, perhaps you shouldn’t get too close to the edge!!
CANCUN: The turquoise water and crystal white sandy beaches are simply amazing!
Any “Don’t Bothers”? Is there an attraction or location that is hyped up or overrated in your opinion
PAGE: Spend one night only
OLD VEGAS: Can be quite seedy
What main benefit would you say using a travel agent has brought to your experience?
When you use a travel agent, you will have a much more fulfilling experience due to their firsthand experience, knowledge and you can take advantage of their wonderful contacts for hotels & touring to ensure you are well looked after.
Michelle can be contacted on +61 3 8573 0926 or firstname.lastname@example.org