Emma Clark, one of many USA experts and enthusiasts at First Class Holidays, shares her favourite US experiences and top tips with us in our latest Ask the Expert guest blog.
How long have you worked for First Class Holidays?
What is your job/position?
Sales & Agency Marketing
Where is your personal favourite place you’ve visited in the USA and why?
Boston, Massachusetts. It’s one of the most historic, lively and friendly places I’ve ever visited.
What is your most memorable US experience?
I loved driving from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico; the sights, sounds and smells along the way were incredible!
East vs West or what about the middle?
West has always been best to me as I love the huge variety you get up and down the coast, from Seattle and Montana right down to Arizona.
What’s your favourite state?
My family lives in California, so I will always love there above all.
What three things do you think everyone should do in California?
I would say hiking up to Griffith Observatory, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge and refuelling with many ‘In-N-Out’* burgers is essential!
(*In-N-Out is a famous and well-loved fast-food chain in the US.)
What are your top three iconic US road trips?
- The golden triangle, which is Vegas to San Diego, up through Los Angeles, and then on to either Yosemite, or along the coast to San Francisco.
- Driving through New England in the fall, you won’t see colours like it anywhere else!
- We also feature Eagle Rider motorcycle tours including Route 66, which is definitely on my bucket list – it would be an amazing experience!
Rail vs river – what are your recommendations?
Rail is my favourite; the Amtrak sleeper cars are fab – literally called a roomette. They also have swivel seats where you can sit and watch the world go by through huge windows, meaning you don’t miss a thing on your way across the states. I would love to do a Memphis to New Orleans River Cruise as the Mississippi river on a steamboat is iconic – I’d feel like Huckleberry Finn!
Are motorhome road trips better than hiring a car? What are the pros and cons of each?
Personally, I love a motorhome as you get to drive about without having to pack and unpack your things. If you don’t get a big enough car, you can be dwarfed on the highways and it’s a little intimidating when you first get there. However, a lush hotel right at the end of the trip is always a must as you do get a little cabin fever! Watch out for one-way fees as rentals sometimes charge these depending on where you pick up and drop off.
Any top travel tips for people thinking of booking a trip to the USA?
If you don’t mind a stop, clearing customs in Dublin and flying with Aer Lingus is a great way to do it, saving you time and hassle in the US and meaning you can get straight on with your holiday. Use a specialist (as there are so many pit falls!) and don’t try and do too much in one trip, there is so much to see in every state. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals, they love an English accent. Finally, say no to doggy bags if you want to fit on the plane home!
To find out more about booking a holiday in the US with First Class Holidays, speak to our personal travel experts on 0191 285 9321, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our store on Gosforth High Street.