The United States is a very large and diverse country. There are sites and scenes for every type of traveler. From cities to mountains, beaches to national parks, you will want to take advantage of the amazing landscape and culture the United States has to offer. We have compiled some helpful tips, information, and links in order to assist you with arranging your travel plans. Please take a minute to look at the following resources and safe travels!
For F-1 Visa Students and Scholars
F-1 students and scholars have restrictions when traveling. Please visit the F-1 page for further information regarding travel restrictions BEFORE you begin your travels.
For J-1 Visa Students
J-1 students and scholars have restrictions when traveling. Please visit the J-1 page for further information regarding travel restrictions BEFORE you begin your travels.
Getting to/from LAX airport
FlyAway is a shuttle bus service that transports passengers non-stop to and from Los Angeles International Airport. Check out more information on LAX FlyAway.
In order to use these services, you must download their app on your mobile phone and connect your credit/debit card. These share ride services allow you to ride to and from the airport by yourself, in groups, or by carpooling. The prices vary based on distance, time and mileage. Prices are sometimes higher due to popular demand at certain times. These services use your location services to find you at the exact place that you are located at. Compared to a normal cab service, ride shares are normally a much cheaper option. To find your Lyft/Uber driver you will need to go upstairs to the upper departure level.
Taking a cab from the airport is another common option. There are many cabs at the airport, and there is almost no wait time. Cabs are always ready for passengers outside of the airport baggage terminal, and are ready for you after you disembark your plane. The average cost of a cab from LAX to UCLA is about $35 - $40, depending on traffic at the airport and on the road.
Camping sites are very common in the US, especially in California. Many camp grounds need a reservation and fill up months in advance, while other camping sites do not need reservations, and are on a first-come first-served based. For more information on fees and registration on camp grounds in California, please visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation website. If you are interested in camping sites in other states please visit the National Parks Service website.
Hotels are very common in the US. Most offer room service, complimentary breakfast, and other deals. Prices depend on location and how soon you book your reservation.
Motels are roadside accommodations and offer travelers with lodging and free parking. Motel rooms are usually for people traveling by car and people taking road trips. Motels tend to be much cheaper than hotels.
This website allows you to search the web and find lodging with a local host at their apartment or home. You can choose to rent out a room or the entire apartment or home. Airbnb is often times a more economical choice than hotels and your host can be a helpful in providing you with tips on all of the local sites. View more information on Airbnb.
Hostels in the United States are not as widespread as in other places around the world, but are still an option when traveling in the US. Hostels can be found in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago and are a great way to meet other travelers to book tours! The price of staying at a hostel for one night ranges depending on your choice of dorm style or private room.
How to get around
The United States is a very large country and you may need to use a variety of transportation modes to get to your final destination! The following is information regarding bus, train, plane, and car rentals. These different modes of transportation differ in prices and travel time, but can get you to your final destination.
MegaBus is a low cost bus service when traveling the United States, or even Canada. MegaBus has trips on double decker buses with wifi available. Popular bus routes from Los Angeles include trips to San Francisco and Las Vegas. The MegaBus terminal is located in Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. View more information on MegaBus.
Amtrak offers railroad and bus service to over 500 destinations in the USA and Canada. Amtrak offers certain services, such as sleeping accommodations, meals and dining, Wi-Fi, and more. A common train route from Los Angeles is Pacific Surfliner which can take you north to San Luis Obispo or south to San Diego. View more information on Amtrak.
Flying in the United States is the fastest way to get around when traveling to a distant location or out of the country. Airfare varies in destination, time of your travel, and how soon you book your tickets. LAX is the main airport hub in the Los Angeles area, however, there are three other smaller airports that also service many destinations around the United States including Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Ontario International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Irvine.
In many cases the best form of transportation may be by car. There are many car rental companies available in the United States. When renting a car, remember that the United States is very large and destination may take longer than expected to arrive. For instance, getting through all California could take an entire day to accomplish! To drive a car you must have a valid driver’s license and car rental companies usually have specific regulations based on age.