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Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:58 am
by nonperson
Hi everyone. I know there are quite a few American/Canadian members here so I'm hoping for some advice.

Basic info - in less than a month I'm off to Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco for 2 weeks for my sister's wedding and a bit of a holiday.

I'm basically just in a panic. I feel like I don't want to go at all and am scared that I'll spend the entire time in tears because I'm somewhere I don't know with people I don't know, other than my sister, her soon-to-be husband and my Dad.

I'm not looking forward to the flight, it's a MUCH longer flight than I've been on before and the last time I went to Florida was in... 2014/15? Not looking forward to getting through customs with my Visa and hoping that my family won't clock that I have one and they don't. Dad keeps asking if I've done my Esta and I keep saying "Yeah, I'll do it soon" rather than "I don't need one".

Although we're travelling to the same places at the same times as a family, my sister and fiancé don't seem to want to do much together so it'll just be me and my Dad a lot of the time... and although that should be fine, he's just a bit old now and says embarrassing things and isn't as switched on as he used to be so I'll probably have to take charge of transport and organising everything. As it is, he's left me to book tickets for things we want to do and when I want his opinion on something he just says "I'll do whatever you want to do"... Not helpful!

So I'm going round in circles and getting myself stressed and basically wondering what is wrong with me because most people get excited about holidays and going to new places and seeing new things (like the Grand Canyon!) but I'm not.

For the last year everything has been leading up to this point and it seems like once this is over there is nothing. I haven't even considered that there is anything after February... I don't know if that makes sense but that is also stressing me out somehow.

Also... tipping and eating out and gambling and driving over there is freaking me out too. And my Mum is coming to stay in my house to look after the cat which is really freaking me out - total invasion of personal space, even though I'm not even going to be there. And I need to buy a suitcase and other things...

Basically everything about it is awful so I will stop typing now and, as usual, I don't seem to have asked any specific help questions but if anyone could reassure me or offer advice about travelling then that would be greatly appreciated. =/

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:10 am
by Spork.
I can't speak much for the travelling part because the last time I travelled to the US or Canada was even further back than your last time and a lot has changed since then.

I will say I understand the feeling of a holiday being a panic rather than something that I'm excited about which feels absolutely wrong but we feel the way we feel. It's a lot to handle when you're an anxious person. What I find personally helpful is organising as much as I can do before I have to leave to the point of checking out train station and airport maps, finding where the bathrooms and other important things are.

My Dad has been the Las Vegas though I believe he got a coach a lot of the way but I'll ask him about it and see whether he has any useful input for you :)

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:58 am
by Muir
I'm sorry it's so stressful and overwhelming. Are there any steps you can take in advance that might make things easier for you? Like Zoe has said about knowing where things are. If food out is overwhelming I know that you can buy certain cooked foods in the supermarkets there, or you can always order in.

The upside of him leaving you to plan is that you can make sure you have breaks and to do things that are manageable. Like shorter trips or places that are less likely to be busy.

I don't know how you'd feel about it with your family, but the sunflower lanyard might be an option? I know Nix did a blog post for it on TGL and there's a thread about it (if you haven't already heard of it).

Also, don't be too hard on yourself about how you're feeling. There's nothing wrong with you. For me, anxiety and excitement usually go hand in hand. It's like there's a part that wants to do the thing, but then all the worry and stress can take over. I think the two are actually quite similar, and it's pretty normal, but maybe a bit more amplified for some than others.

If you want any help looking at trips or things to do I can have a look for you. I'm planning holidays for everyone else at the moment so I'm on it if you want.

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:05 am
by nonperson
I think as well the problem is that my family thinks I'm a fully functioning adult but because I don't live with any of them and rarely see them all it's easier to hide. And they either don't know or pretend it didn't happen when it comes to the reason why had to get a full Visa the last time I went to the USA.

Sometimes if I look into things too much it makes me panic even more because I almost get too organised and work myself up, if you know what I mean.

I'd be very grateful if you could ask your dad for tips, Spork. =)

Ninja post, Muir...

I had forgotten about the sunflower lanyard but I don't think it would benefit me... See above. >.> I think I'll be fine with navigating the airport and stuff though, it's just the talking to people thing and not being able to picture new locations in my head that are worse.

There are two things I still need to arrange and that is a trip to Hoover Dam (don't know whether to get a coach tour there for half a day or hire a car for a day which is much cheaper and more flexible but is driving!) and a trip to the Grand Canyon (either West Rim for half a day or South Rim which would be better for a full day). Not sure if they're anything you can help with but I'd appreciate any input if you're willing. =)

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:08 am
by nonperson
I do understand what you mean about anxiety and excitement going hand in hand though. Sometimes I feel very vaguely excited and then the panic sets in.

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:13 am
by Spork.
My Dad has also been to the Grand Canyon and went from there to Las Vegas so hopefully if I get him to have a check in on this he'll have some input!

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:35 am
by Muir
I find using Google Maps to walk around can be helpful. Also I bet if you look up your hotel or any of the trips on youtube there will be people who have done a video tour/review type of thing.

I seen a mini trip to Hoover Dam, it's designed for people short on time. Would something like that be more manageable? Looks like a three hour tour. Someone said in the reviews they had been thinking about hiring a car but were glad they opted for that tour instead.

It might be worth having a little look at Airbnb experiences too. Sometimes there'll be some unusual or different things on there. Like apparently you can go smash stuff in a safe place, that'd be awesome if you get stressed out or someone annoys you.

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:38 am
by Muir
Also some of the Grand Canyon tours include Hoover Dam like this one ... cmp=gygurl

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:57 pm
by nonperson
It says 15 hour duration for that one!

But yeah, West Rim helicopter tours fly over Hoover Dam and there's another that stops on the bridge but we want to go inside so a separate tour is better. The South Rim tour is an airplane flight from Vegas and a helicopter tour and a bus tour and lunch or something. Maverick helicopters seem to be the best people to go with for that. Definitely want a helicopter tour, quite expensive but totally worth it.

There's a Gray Line Hoover Dam tour that I was looking at which is about 4 hours.

Haven't come across Airbnb things but I will have a look. Smashing stuff sounds great, haha. I also do use streetview on Google Maps quite a lot so will definitely be doing that.

Re: Travelling to USA

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:49 pm
by Muir
This is the mini one for Hoover Dam ... 84-65770P2

I was looking at the helicopter tours, I think they're pretty good value for money really when you compare to the buses. I would do helicopter/flight over 15 hours on a bus any day. Definitely worth extra to make it shorter and for that view!