The Travel Guides Tour L.A. and Vegas

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The Travel Guides Tour L.A. and Vegas

11th June 2024

Our latest @TravelGuides recap is live on our blog now! Last week, the Guides hit up Hollywood. From star-spotting to snake massage (yes, really!) they got the full L.A. experience. Plus, they went on a road trip to the bright lights of Las Vegas. You can tune into #TravelGuides Sundays at 7pm on @Channel9 and @9Now. We're on board for the adventure – @TravelMoneyOz is the official currency card of the show!

Episode two of Travel Guides has dropped and the Guides are heading to the USA! Of course, Travel Money Oz is here for their American adventure as the Official Currency Card of Travel Guides! The Guides have loaded up their Currency Pass with US dollars and are ready to take off to the west coast of the US.

From the City of Angels to Sin City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have a whole lot to offer. You can travel to both destinations all year round, although temperatures in Vegas regularly soar into to the 40s over summer – it is the desert, after all! Their spring and autumn – March to May and September to November ¬– are an ideal time to travel. L.A. has a milder climate, so there’s no real off-season. However, if you want to hit up the famous L.A. beaches, it’s best to head over in their sunnier seasons.

If you’re dreaming of strolling the Sunset Strip or the Vegas Strip, then read on because we’ve got the Travel Guides full itinerary.

Your complete Travel Guides Itinerary for Los Angeles and Las Vegas

The Guides set off to L.A. on Delta Airlines from Sydney International Airport. While Matt and Brett are excited by the prospect of travelling to “two of America’s tackiest cities” – their words, not ours – Kevin and Janetta seem less enthused. Despite flying in the upscale Delta One suite, Kevin says their destination has no history and no mystery. Dorian and Teng are one teammate down for the trip with Kev bundled up in bed with a case of the man flu.

Costs
Flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Delta Airlines: Economy from $2466 return.

Stop one: Los Angeles

 

After 14 hours in the air, the Guides touch down in Los Angeles, a sprawling city of 12 million people. They’re staying half an hour from Hollywood in the seaside suburb of Santa Monica.

Their accommodation delivers a serious dose of Hollywood glam from the get go. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows has plenty of famous former guests on its books, including Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart… and now they can add the Travel Guides to their hall of fame. The 300-suite hotel boasts two high-end restaurants, a pool and a day spa, just moments away from Santa Monica State Beach. All the Guides are suitably wowed.

The first stop on their L.A. tour is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which honours icons of the entertainment industry. The 15 blocks of sidewalk are embedded with over 2700 stars. While Kevin and Janetta aren’t impressed with their star-studded stroll, claiming it’s “just people’s names on a footpath”, the Fren Family are thrilled. Victoria takes the opportunity to get up close and personal with Britney Spears – well, with her star anyway.

Next up on the Guides’ star-gazing adventure is a celebrity homes tour with Ultimate Hollywood Tours. It’s effectively a 2-hour drive past the fancy front gates of Hollywood, but Bri and Karly are over the moon when they see Rhianna’s house from a distance. Understandably, Matt and Brett wonder if the homes’ occupants are fact checked.

To get a thrilling insight into how Hollywood movies are made, the Guides go to Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Visited by nine million visitors a year, its newest attraction is Super Nintendo World, which is a childhood dream come true for Mario fans, Dorian and Teng. Kevin and Janetta’s review is somewhat different: “it’s like someone has eaten packets of Fruit Tingles and thrown up”. The Guides also explore Jurassic World and take the Studio Backlot Tour, which is a behind-the-scenes peek at where major movies and TV shows are filmed. From Psycho to Desperate Housewives to Jaws, it’s a true Hollywood insider experience.

Next up is a visit to what Cathy Fren labels “the Newcastle foreshore on steroids” – A.K.A. Venice Beach. Keeping in the showbiz theme, Karly and Bri lace up their roller skates to learn a dance routine from 2023’s biggest box office hit, Barbie. Venice Beach was featured in the flick. The private class is run by LA Roller Crew, if you too have a burning desire to channel your inner Barbie or Ken.

To cap off their trip, the Guides dip into L.A.’s booming health and wellness scene. The Fren Family head to Pause Studio, Brentwood for a hit of nutrients, care of IV Vitamin Therapy. Meanwhile, Dorian and Teng and Matt and Brett try out a far less clinical wellness treatment with professional snake wrangler, Cujo. His immersive massage experience uses snakes to achieve ultimate relaxation, but it seems to have the opposite effect on the Guides. The price is almost as terrifying as the treatments, with massages starting at a startling $1022 per person.

Costs

Stop two: Las Vegas

 

The Guides leave the stars (and snakes) of Hollywood behind and head off on a road trip to Las Vegas. It’s a four-hour trip across the desert and is known as one of America’s most famous drives. There’s only one hitch – Bri and Karly are struggling to drive on the right side of the road.

Thankfully, they all arrive in one piece and check in to The Strat Hotel on the famous Vegas Strip. Dorian and Teng have an extra upgrade in their room – Kev is on the mend and has arrived for the Vegas leg of their tour.

Along with 2429 rooms, The Strat has two thrilling rides perched on the top of its distinctive tower. It’s the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, so the Guides are in for an adventure. After a hearty breakfast at The Strat Café, Teng and Kev and the Fren Family strap in for the stomach-churning X-Scream, a rollercoaster that propels riders over the edge of the tower. No one seems to open their eyes for the duration of the ride.

Along with casinos, Vegas is known for its array of shows, so Karly and Bri and Kevin and Janetta get tickets to Banachek’s Mind Games. Banachek is touted as the world’s greatest mind reader, but Kevin is definitely a sceptic. Karly and Bri, on the other hand, are enchanted by the magic.

The next day, the Guides head 45 minutes south to Adrenaline Mountain ¬– an extreme adventure park where people go to drive monster trucks and blow things up. Kevin and Janetta seamlessly pay for their monster truck experience with their Currency Pass, Kev gets behind a machine gun and the Fren Family use sniper rifles to blow up a car. It’s a thoroughly all-American experience that you certainly wouldn’t get back home.

Along with its big guns, the U.S.A. is known for its big buffets and the spread at Caesar’s Palace doesn’t disappoint. The Bacchanal Buffet is the largest buffet in Las Vegas with hundreds of dishes available to enjoy within a 90-minute dining limit. For Matt and Brett though, it’s the bottomless mimosas that seem to hold the most appeal.

After the Fren Family fuel up at the buffet, they head out for another classic Vegas experience. Over 120,000 couples come to Vegas each year to get married and the Elvis-themed Graceland Wedding Chapel is the most famous place to get hitched. Mark and Cathy take the opportunity to renew their vows in true rock and roll style.

No trip to Vegas would be complete without a trip two hours east to one of the natural wonders of the world – the Grand Canyon. At 400kms long and 30kms wide, it’s hard not to be blown away by the sheer scale of this 6-million-year-old canyon. Kevin and Janetta, Bri and Karly and the Fren Family head to the Skywalk located at the west rim, to get a crystal-clear view of the canyon floor 1200m below. Matt and Brett and Kev, Dorian and Teng choose to admire the 360 degree views from the serene Guano Point – even if Kev’s lingering cough does disrupt the zen a little!

Costs

As they gaze out over the canyon, the Guides give their final rating for their trip to L.A. and Las Vegas…

Kevin and Janetta: 3/5
Bri and Karly: 5/5
The Fren Family: 5/5
Brett and Matt: 4/5
Dorian, Kev and Teng: 4.5/5

Top Travel Money Oz Tips for Los Angeles and Las Vegas

If you’re keen to hit the west of the US, we have a few travel money tips to check out before you head off:

• Our Currency Pass is the perfect travel partner for your U.S.A. adventure. You can use it just like a regular bank card while you’re over there – just always select to pay in local currency. Load US Dollars, lock in your exchange rate and enjoy no conversion fees.
Get some US Dollars before you go – you can buy USD at any of our Travel Money stores. We also offer click and collect and same day delivery
• Tipping is common and expected in the US, so having local currency ready will be helpful – try to have some smaller denominations on hand.
• Make sure you try our Holiday Budget Calculator for the U.S.A. so you know how much spending money you’ll need.
• Read our Travel Guide to the U.S.A. for more tips and tricks.

Win a $20,000 Holiday Pack with Travel Money Oz!

Don’t miss your chance to travel like the Travel Guides! We’re giving away a $20,000 holiday pack – the winner will score a $10,000 Flight Centre gift card and a $10,000 Travel Money Oz Currency Pass to spend on your dream holiday. Get more details here!

 

Make sure you tune in to Travel Guides for more travel inspiration – Sundays at 7pm on Channel Nine and 9Now.

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