Preparing for America Part #1

I thought I would do something a bit different on here and share a series of posts before I leave, about my preparation for my 6 week trip to the U.S with my best friend, Isabella. This is the first BIG trip I've planned by myself without my parents and it's actually been an very enjoyable process so far! I've done small trips around Asia but never more than a week and usually I have a travel agent plan my flights/hotels/etc.
This time, Bella and I are visiting quite a few cities across the massive country so we've done a lot of research, budgeting and comparing different travel options - money vs. time, as well as accommodation options.
This is pretty much our trip as we have planned so far:

Los Angeles - Yosemite - San Francisco - Denver/Breckenridge - Chicago - New York - Boston - New York - Los Angeles - Melbourne

I was pretty excited when I realised that we'll be in each of the time zones:
I will be flying to HK first for a few short days to spend time with my family before I fly to Los Angeles to meet Bella (who will be on a Melb to LA direct flight). We are landing an hour apart in LAX so that worked out pretty well! 
We're mostly staying at Air BnBs, with the exception of staying with Bella's family friend in Chicago and maybe Breckenridge as well. We'll be spending a week in LA then heading to Yosemite for a few days. Hoping to do some hiking and to see some waterfalls while we are there. 
After Yosemite, we will be spending a week in San Francisco and I'm so excited because on our last night, we'll be seeing A$AP Rocky + Tyler the Creator, and the venue is only a 7 min walk to and from our Air BnB.
To make our way to all of our destinations, we are riding on the Greyhound for the shorter journeys and taking either the AMTRAK or domestic flights with Delta for the longer journeys. 
From San Francisco to Chicago though, we decided to ride the California Zephyr AMTRAK from start to finish, stopping in Denver in the middle for a few days. While it is a 50+ hour train ride (that is with no delays), we didn't want to cross the whole country, missing everything in between. Looking on the journey guide, it seems that the train ride is really scenic and goes through many beautiful canyons, mountains and valleys including the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas. We're pretty excited and we've book a sleeper carriage which will be an experience in itself. 
While Denver wasn't originally in our plans, it seems silly to do the whole train ride without stopping, and Denver will be so different from all the big cities we are going to. Bella also has a family friend in Breckenridge so if all works out, we might go stay there for a night or two. It looks so cute, like a little Christmas town! Not sure if there will be snow yet when we go (might be too early) but we'll see :D After that we will be in Chicago for one week and New York for 2 weeks (with a few days in Boston in between). 

So far we have booked all of our journeys and accommodation except for New York to Boston and Boston back to New York and our Air BnBs in those places too. We've been really happy with our budgeting so far, averaging $50-60 per person per night for accommodation and we have found some real gems. Our flights from Chicago to New York and New York to LA, wasn't nearly as expensive as we thought they were going to be. The most expensive journey has been the California Zephyr, but neither of us have really done anything like that so I think it'll be really worth it and different. 
There's a bunch of not so fun stuff that I really have to get onto as well - Like my visa waiver, travel card options and travel insurance. The exchange rate is so bad right now as well, I'm so sad :c

We haven't really looked into what we actually want to do when we are there, if you have any recommendations for any of the places I'll be visiting, please do share! I'd love to hear your suggestions. 
I'm not sure if this is interesting to read but I really hope it was somewhat enjoyable! Please let me know if you like seeing travel posts such as this one? On the next part of my America posts, I will be sharing some of the things I have bought in preparation for my trip :) 



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