Here in the U.S.A. service stations don't have uniformed attendants like they used to.
It's all self-service now.
So next time you pull in for a fill-up and a hotdog, take a couple minutes and ...
1. Look at the coolant overflow tank (Never remove the radiator cap; escaping steam could burn you). Top up to the fill line as necessary with a mix of coolant and water.
2. Check engine oil.
3. Look at the side of the brake fluid reservoir to monitor fluid level. And wipe the cap clean before removing it to keep contamination out.
4. Battery terminals should be free of corrosion.
5. Check the power steering and transmission fluids, you'll need to start the engine. The power steering fluid dipstick (inside the reservoir cap) registers levels for cold or hot engine. Transmission fluid should be checked only when the vehicle is warm, while the engine is running and the gearshift in the "park" position.
6. Check the tires. Ideally, air pressure should be checked when the tires are cold—before you've driven more than a mile or so, but that's not always practical. Add or bleed air from the tire to meet the air pressure recommended for your car. If the tires are warm, adjust pressure only when it is well below the recommended pressure.
7. Wash all windows and mirrors. Examine wiper blades.
8. Wipe your headlights and tail lights.
Well if you want to get away from North America then consider this Canadian charter airline. Airtransat has the most affordable prices that I have ever seen. Consider that the American dollar is worth more and the prices are even better. Many Americans come North to get to South and Central America
1. Quebec City to Paris France for 8 or 15 nights including return air fare AND accomodation is 1200 Cdn dollars!!! Departures on the 14th, 21st, and 28th.
2. Montreal to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Rebublic, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela
3. Vancouver to the Dominican Republic and Mexico
4. Moncton to the Dominican
5. Edmonton to Cuba, the Dominican, and Mexico
6. Saskatoon to the Dominican
7. Toronto to Las Vegas and Florida(Olando/St. Petursburg/ Fort Lauderdale), Europe, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Marten, Venezuela.
Prices do change and can rise or fall. Expect prices to peak two weeks before and then they WILL drop again IF the flight is not at full capacity. I was watching prices to London prior to Christmas, and the prices changed up and down four times!!! Booking early does not alway get you the best price, sometimes the best price is last minute, but it is a gamble.
Like any city, you get a mix of old and new. In New York, NY, you find modern subway signs and less modern subway signs. Here is an art deco sign.
As you travel the subway, look beyond the dirt, beyond the hustle and bustle of humanity and you wil see many styles of architecture.
Flying into major airports in Canada and the U.S. can be difficult if you do not prepare for some delays especially today in the aftermath of September 11th. Be sure to leave plenty of time after you first arrive before you schedule the next leg(s) of your trip.
Public transportation is very uneven and automobile travel is the major way of getting around. Many U.S. airports are under almost constant expansion plans such as New York's Kennedy (JFK) and New Jersey's Newark (EWR), as well as Los Angeles, California (LAX).
I would like to say that trains are the best bet for getting around, however, if you are used to Britrail and Eurorail, you will find that the US and Canada versions are crude by comparison. AM Trak along the Northeast corridor from Boston to Washington is good, as is the West Coast variety in both the US and Canada, however connections from the train to busses and other rail connections is spotty at best and not well coordinated, especially in comparison to Europe. I enjoy train travel too, but if you decide to fly or take a train to your destination area, you would be well advised to rent a car for travel around areas outside of cities. If you are going to be in a city for your entire trip, forget the car and take plane, train or other public transportation. Even the subway (underground) systems are more complicated than say London or Paris, but you can get familiar with them in a day or two. One of the exceptions to this is the subway systewms in Washington (The Metro) and in San Francisco (BART) they are really easy to use, comfortable and clean. New Tork's subway system is better than it had been 10 years ago and I actually enjoy it now, as it is almost completely grafetti-free.
If you are from another country , fly here and rent a car . Public transportation is only good in a few big cities , and then only mostly safe at best . You must have all your visas and papers and ID in order , we are essentially at war , and we collectively are no longer taking any crap from anyone . So be organized and ready to wait a LONG time at the airport .
Again , our national highway system is excellent , and you can travel freely ( once we let you in ) between the lower 48 states . This is a HUGE place . Most Americans never even see all 50 states , it's just too big . It's better to pick an area that sound interesting and go there .
The best way to get around the US is by car! Sure, it's quicker to take a plane, but if you drive you get to see how beautiful the states really are, and come to realize the size of this wonderful country!
I believe the preference of how to travel to America depends on how much time you have. If you don't get sea sick and have some extra time I think a cruise is a great relaxing way to go. There is plenty to keep most people entertained and many ships stop in ports of call along the way. If you want to get to the U.S. quick, obviously fly, and take the Concord if it happens to fly from where you are departing. You can take it into New York and Washington D.C. and possibly others.
If you are visiting a major city like Chicago, then I would travel by cab or by the cities 'L' transit system. Many cities have excellent subways and transit systems. It is best to check on your particular city to see if 'light-rail' or subway travel if offered as many cities rely on a public transportation system consisting mainly of busses and shuttles. There are plenty of options for people who want to drive. Rental a car is easy in this country and very affordable. There are Rental Agencies at almost every US Airport as well as many city locations. There are also rental car agencies who will pick you up at your location and then drive you to their office to do the rental agreement paperwork.
Well it depends on where you are coming from. If you are in a different country I would recommend flying to a major city on either the East or West coast and from there taking another flight to where ever you are wishing to explore.
The easiest way to travel is by car, truck or any other vehicular mode that one would wish. You can get by on bike or by walking, depending on what city you choose to make as your base but to really get to some of the places you need to drive. In some cases, like in Portland, Oregon the bus system is good enough that you can get around with that and likely in other larger citys as well. But driving truly gives you a feel of the country = Trust one who has driven a -lot- while trave)ling
In San Francisco you must remember that most streets are ONE WAY! so make sure you are driving the right way down a one way street! You will probably drive into SF from 101 from the North or South or 580 from the East. Traffic is horrible in the mornings and the afternoons, so please allow yourself extra time to get where you need to go. The same can be said for Los Angeles. Traffic is worse here in L.A. simply because the roads aren't in as good of condition as they are up in the S.F. area.
If you are staying in the San Francisco East Bay area, my recommendation is to take BART. BART is VERY safe and is a very comfortable ride. Also, when you are in SF if you have the chance, take BART rather than MUNI, the bus. MUNI is nowhere near as reliable as BART, but MUNI has, for obvious reasons, better accessibility. Of course you could walk in SF, but remember we have lots of hills and distances may be farther than they appear.
The entire continent is very car-oriented. With the exception of some large cities in the US and Canada, it's impossible to see everything using public transportation. If a car is not an option I would recommend you fly unless you have plenty of free time.
Get ther how ever you can:Train....The Greyhound...Your own car....Never take a plane unless your short on time!!!!!!!Fly in in the morning fly out at night!!!! You'll have more time!!!
If your a risk taker and want to prove your faith in God and man...Hitchhick...be careful and be prepared for ANYTHING!!! I've had all GREAT experiences!!!HONESTLY - Mom ,it was fine!!!
BACKPACK and your thumb...make a sign:with your destination and Know where your going...check it out first on the internet!
Places to stay,Taxi numbers,tours,a nice resturant and just common sense things! Contact the Chamber of Commerce!!!!
This undated picture shows a group of Nez Perce women and children (maybe also some young warriors) riding their ponies. Although they look as traveling very light in this particular image, when on the move for long distances they carried many of their pertenences in travoises attached to their horses. In their flight from the Army, in the Sumer of 1877, they were accompanied by a herd of nearly 2000 ponies (their most valued possesion), cattle and hundreds of dogs.
Although they were carrying papooses (babies), old people and pregnant women, they were traveling much faster with all their possesions than the US Army cavalery and infantery following them.
Photograph from: 'Following the Nez Perce Trail', Cheryl Wilfong
Getting around by car is the best way to experience everything. Bus is ok as well as it is quite cheap.
You will find by car at your own pace is the best way as there is a lot of territory to cover. If you are travelling from state to state, catch a plane, especialy if you have limited time.
When in Hawaii, use the local bus service. It is really cheap and very convienient, much better than any of the expensive shuttel buses and things the tour companies and hotels offer. In 99 when I was there you could get a ticket that took you fulll circle around the island of Oahu for $1! You can stay on the bus for a few hours and pass mountains,pineapple plantations and glorious beaches for $1 or get of by a remote looking beach and spend the day there as I used to. After 9 pm the transport it goes a bit stale though so don't plan any nights out using it.
train/rent car......hitchhiking isn't what it used to be, the world isn't what it used to be, but don't ignore the possibility of hitching rides...there is no better way to really get to know Americans
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