20 year old on holiday in Los Angeles ?

there's a thread about a 20 yr old male going to New York on holiday - so guys help me out with this one, 20 yr old girl going overseas on her own for the first time and is going to Los Angeles (groan....from parents)

Ideas please to make it a success? (other than staying at home)
I guess it totally depends on the person.

I have two daughters who have approached transfers with LAX completely differently. The older one used her international roaming ($1 pm) to ask what she had to do at each step.

The younger one just went and did it. No questions, just did the transfer.

It was a matter, I think, of self confidence.

The older one is now on a trip through Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. She's doing well.

By all means give international roaming as an option.

But DO NOT encourage its use. It's for emergencies only.

Get voicemail switched off.

Roaming costs the recipient $1pm just to receive calls.

And if they have an iPhone tell them to leave it at home.

I have just paid a phone bill of $1300 for my daughter just to be able to use her phone again. Even after it was cut off she has has another $209 from received calls. Paying us back may well cut a few months off her time OS.
I'm sure she'll be fine. Communication with the locals should be easy as everyone speaks English, the signs are in English (some are also in Spanish) and the culture is very similar to our own. No culture shock here. Lots of tourist stuff to do, good public transport and plenty of cheap accomodation. It would take a real dimwit to stuff it up (not saying your daughter is) so i wouldn't be too concerned.
The main thing is to get her to do some research and figure out a rough itinerary.
Do research of course.

But try not to worry about her.

If you dont' know where to look, Lonely Plnet guide books, from the little I know, would not be a bad place to start
What are her plans? What is she planning on doing?

What type of stuff do you need info on? (oher than how to talk her out of it);)

Why LA? Rodeo drive? Movie stars?

I'm not an LA fan but I guess you should go there once.

San Francisco has much more character.

It is a worry when your kids go overseas but it's a great experience. My son is 21 and has gained so much confidence since he started traveling (still not organised though):( He definitely doesn't take after me in that department.

Join facebook. I would never have known where my son was or what he was doing while he traveled around Europe (then America) for months, without it.
there's a thread about a 20 yr old male going to New York on holiday - so guys help me out with this one, 20 yr old girl going overseas on her own for the first time and is going to Los Angeles (groan....from parents)

Ideas please to make it a success? (other than staying at home)

Tell her not to arrange to go anywhere that is not a public place on her own with someone she doesn't know. She would probably need a car. Rentals are fairly cheap for basic vehicles. I used Dollar Rentals a few times.

Base herself in west L.A - not downtown. I wouldn't even go downtown - nothing of any great relevence to a 20 year old, other than maybe the Disney Centre. Stay somewhere like Beverly Hills or Hollywood itself. Hollywood is pretty tacky, but cheap, and is fairly central to most things.

Places to see;

1. Griffith Observatory and Planetarium - buses leave from just near the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd every hour or so. The walk from the Observatory up to the summit of Mt.Hollywood is unreal - about 30 mins. Go on a clear day. The sign is not on this hill - it's on the one next to it.

2. After returning by bus to the blvd, do the "walk" along it and that'll get it out of her system. This'll take about an hour without going into every shop along the way. She'll want to go into the Virgin Megastore on the cnr of Hollywood and Highland (or Vine?). Most of the hotspot nightclubs are in this are - on Sunset blvd.

3. Rodeo drive - Takes about an hour to walk it, and it's out of the system. pretty uneventful unless you spot a star. Good luck.

3. Catalina Island - ferries leave from Marina Del Rey, I reckon you could get buses down to there from L.A. Ferry ride is about 2 hours; can stay overnight in various accom. Must see the Casino Building - not a gambling casino. Great trip for a w'end.

4. Santa Monica Pier - starting point for a great area. Can get buses there from Hollywood. The beach, the concrete waking/skating riding path on the sand can take you down to Venice beach, and north up to Malibu. Hiring bikes is easy and costs about $6 per hour from memory. Have some shrimp at BubbaGump's on the pier.

5. Disneyland and Universal Studios. I would do the Studios as a preference, and much closer to Hollywood. Lots of rides. Must do the tour.

6. Las Vegas - you can fly there from LAX, or from Burbank. Burbank is harder to get to without a car, but the flights are about $50 each way. Driving is about 4.5 hours from L.A.

7. Melrose Drive for shopping - more likely to see a star there than at Rodeo Drive. But not cheap as a rule.

8. Cheap clothes - Kohls, Ross - "dress for less", TJ Maxx.

9. Santa Barbara - one of my favourite places, about 2 hours drive north along the PCH. You can get the Amtrak train there as well (and Amtrak south to San Diego - full day trip though).

10. The Grove - if you are staying in Hollywood, it's not far to "The Grove" - Farmer's Market, NBC Studios are right behind it, lots of great shops, movies and eateries and just a really nice mall to go to. Often see stars there too. On the cnr of Third and Fairfax. There is a Ross store across the road on 6th street. Go to the "Wholefoods" supermarket next door to Ross and Target. Walk down to the La Brea Tarpits and L.A Art Museum from here - about 10 mins walk south down Fairfax.

11. Another nice visit is Newport south of L.A on the PCH to the Harbor Freeway. Slow due to traffic, but very interesting and Newport is a playground for the Rich and Famous. Two more hours south and your in San Diego. A faster run coming home is on the 405 freeway.

12. Santa Ynez Valley, inland from Santa Barbara, is also a nice drive for a day.

With all car travel in L.A, avoid peak hour at all costs. Best advice; get out town REALLY early in the day - before 6.00am, and come back well after dinner time - about 10.00pm. This is how we did our trips.

If you are driving around L.A during the day, try to do it between 10.00am and 2.00pm, and carry lots of small notes and change for parking. There is no free parking in most places.

Tipping is expected for everything, allow about 10% on top. Tipping for valet parking is $2-$5.

There are no trains in L.A as such; either bus or car. Get a timetable here: http://www.metro.net/index.asp
Buses are depressing; only the down and out and working class (read; very poor) use them generally. But, you'll see the "warts and all" version of L.A.

ATM's are everywhere, so don't need to carry loads of cash for no reason - about $200 at any given time. Don't use ATM's that are not in full view and wait until there are other people at them before going near them. Most supermarkets will give cash out with a purchase; this is how we accessed our cash - much safer.

"Ralphs" is their equivalent of our Coles, and are everywhere.

Better to use the c/c as much as poss and worry about it when you get back.

If you want to see the "real" USA, go to the Walmart in Crenshaw for a laugh (and a shock). :eek:
where in los angeles and for what timeframe[with a frind of by herself]?

One of the most incredibly liveable places I have been to in my life. I have been fortunate to holiday there three times and look forward to purchasing a property there in the coming years.

Unfortunately it's very different to good 'ol Australia. In general metro australia has wonderful longterm living conditions, unlike america which conforms more to an 80/20 rule :) Without being too harsh, it can be disgusting, dangerous and difficult to leave the house...

but from a tourist standpoint, most people generally only visit the 'tourist areas'... for that, it is incredible.

you could spend weeks in santa monica/hollywood/downtown la/etc/etc without getting bored... and as a 20 year old girl, there a million nightspots there for her to visit as well[generally they are safe as houses too as a lot of celebs are there ie cameras/security/etc]

i love the place...and if ponting hadn't just got out, i would just keep talking and talking... :)
I'm sure she will be fine.

gosh, my parents weren't that concerned about me but then I am very independent. I just caught the local bus everywhere.

She may have friends you are not aware of? I met up with quite a few internet friends in the US and then met more friends through friends etc Although I traveleld on my own..I was rarely alone.

I don't know what her interests are besides all the normal tourist attractions.

For me, I attented a lot of parties and got to know the local scene well. I did work and travel USA for about 4 mths when I was 21 all paid for by myself.