How to do a whirlwind weekend trip to the USA

When you think of planning a long weekend away, usually a local trip comes to mind – or, at a stretch, maybe a quick trip across the ditch to New Zealand.

However, a recent invite to a wedding in California, coupled with a lack of annual leave, a super cheap flight, and an attitude of  ‘What the heck’ had me booking my way to a Friday-to-Monday long weekend in California.

Am I slightly crazy? Yes!  Would I do it again? Yes!

Wanna do something just as silly this year? Here’s how and why to make it happen:

1. Book a Friday morning flight from Australia to LA: Make the most of your time and hop on a Friday morning flight. Not only will you arrive into LAX early in the morning, ready for the day ahead, the time difference means you’ll go back in time to Friday AM (and get to feel smug knowing that you’ve bought yourself an extra day of long weekend). Extra tip: Avoid the risk of losing your luggage or wasting time waiting at the baggage carousel by only packing carry-on luggage. It is just four days, after all.

2. Hit the beach: One of the best things you can do after a long flight is adjust yourself to the local time by getting some vitamin D. Luckily, Southern California is one of the sunniest places in the world. So, whether you want to grab a car and cruise down the coast to San Diego, or hire a bike to check out Santa Monica Pier, make sure you pack your swimming gear for a quick dip when the jetlag starts to set in.

It may be the middle of the night back home, but you won’t feel that here.

3. Do something memorable: Whether it’s embracing your inner child with a visit to Disneyland, or taking a day trip somewhere off the beaten track, do something that you’ll look back on with a smile. If theme park rides aren’t your thing, Catalina Island – just an easy one-hour ferry from Dana Point (Orange County) – is well worth the journey.

4. Go guilt-free: One of the best parts about being in the USA for a mere four days is that you can only do so much damage to the credit card and diet! So drink that margarita, book that slightly more expensive hotel (looking at you, Mondrian Los Angeles), and say yes to In ‘N’ Out’s Animal Style fries… maybe even twice!

Margarita hour, no matter what hour

How can you resist this?

5. Night-time flight = sleep time: I’m not going to lie, the best sleep I had all weekend was on my flight home to Sydney – a record-breaking 11 sweet hours of shut-eye, economy seat and all. After a whirlwind four days, I was well and truly ready to switch off the in-flight entertainment, put on my eyemask, and snooze my way to Australia. When I arrived back in Sydney on a Tuesday morning, I was raring to go for a day of work and emails 😉

Get away to LA

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