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54

From a social standpoint, I wouldn't expect it to be a problem unless you make it a problem. The USA is incredibly diverse - people end up here from all sorts of places for all kinds of reasons - including many from countries that are ostensibly 'enemies' of the US. On top of that, as a Russian, you have the added advantage of not being visibly distinctive ...


53

Rent the car! Los Angeles is built for cars. It has some of the worst public transportation imaginable, ever since General Motors conspired to eliminate the city's trolley system. Yes, there are busses and taxis, but you will find that busses take forever (and get stuck in the same traffic), and taxis are hard to find and expensive. Only 11% of Los Angeles ...


33

My girlfriend who is Russian did a J-1 last year. Nothing special happened, she had great time there. Most Americans don't care whether you come from Russia or Peru. And if you don't talk politics with people you'll have no issue whatsoever(like everywhere). There was a lot of noise in the US media regarding Russia and Georgia when Russian troops invaded ...


28

I've been living in the LA area (in Long Beach, exactly) for 7 months, being there for studying abroad. I made the choice of not buying a car and solely relying on public transit. Well... as said earlier, LA is clearly made for cars. Most busses don't take the freeways and move rather slowly. It depends on which route and which agency. Also, even if Metro ...


27

In fact, your potential for scenic views will be higher on virtually any mode of transportation other than the bus (plane, train, private car, boat). There is quite stunning scenery along the coast. Amtrak's Coast Starlight follows some of it, between San Luis Obispo and Oxnard, and a seat can be had for as little as $60 coach. But keep in mind that this ...


22

what is expected of me while I stay there If someone carries your luggage to your room, they expect a tip ($1 to $2 per bag). It's also customary to leave a tip for the maid ($1 to $3 per day). Otherwise, it's really the other way round: it's the job of the hotel staff to meet your expectations (within reasonable bounds) - you're paying, after all. ...


17

It is possible to encounter prejudice, racism, and xenophobia in the US, but these things are not as common as they used to be, or as harsh and overt. They would tend to be directed toward specific groups who have historically been oppressed in the US. The realistic concerns for travelers would mainly be: A traveler of African descent might encounter ...


15

I have been to LA several times and have used different kinds of transportation: car, public transport, bicycle and walking. I experienced the city very differently depending on how I got around. I agree LA is a car city and I would recommend to drive around at least once to get a feel for it, but using a bike or walking is always better if you really want ...


14

Finally after almost a couple of weeks, the laptop reached LAX. What to do is simple, and here are the steps eliminating all the places I called unnecessarily. Call the Dubai Lost and Found department. Give them as much details of the item as possible. Having an airlines tag certainly helped. Once they located the item, you will be given a file reference ...


12

I live in Louisiana, in the heart of the south (ostensibly the heart of bigotry in the US), and I have two Russian friends. They have never had any problems dealing with other people beyond that of any other foreigner. Sometimes people will not be able to understand you because of your accent, but that is true of any foreign travel. To be quite honest; ...


11

A visit to the beach is certainly possible. In fact, LAX itself is situated on the coast, but the roads from the terminals are on the inland side, making it a bleak 5 mile/8km walk one-way to Playa Del Rey— and I would not recommend either the activity or the destination. Keep these things in mind: The U.S. does not have outbound passport control, but as ...


11

It depends on how you weight fast/cheap/comfortable and how far south you'd like to go. My suggestion would be to take the FlyAway bus to Union Station ($7, ~45 min), then take Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, which starts at $17 to Irvine (59 min) and $22 to San Clemente (88 min). The Pacific Surfliner is reliable and clean, and bypasses the 405 freeway's ...


10

Some thoughts: That 29 miles sounds like it came from someone in PR—Google maps puts it at over 35 miles and 60-80 minutes with traffic. Back when I lived there, I'd have estimated that drive at about 90 minutes without traffic. Do you know what your schedule will be like during the trip? Unless you know you're going no further than a few blocks away from ...


9

In general, the US is a safe place to travel as long as you are sensible and careful, and this goes for anyone, even US natives. If you're going to a big city like LA, there will be good and bad neighborhoods and a mix of friendly and unfriendly people, and a mix of open-minded and xenophobes and everything in between. My main advice is to avoid making ...


8

Yep, that's the nature of SuperShuttle... it takes twice as long and drives you batty, but it does save some money. Do you really have to fly to LAX? There are two commercial airports closer than LAX to Anaheim -- John Wayne and Long Beach -- both of which are pleasant, quieter airports.


7

Metro Los Angeles runs bus service to Disneyland in Anaheim from downtown Los Angeles. You can take Bus 460 from 5th/Grand to Disneyland. For detailed schedule and stops, you can refer to the timetable for 460.


7

Technically, you can. Practically, 4 hours is not that much time. If you're admitted to the US on arrival, you go out through the immigration and customs, and its up to you whether to turn left (connections) or right (exit), no-one forces you to go either way. I might have confused left and right, haven't been in LAX international arrivals for a while now. ...


6

With regard to finding a cab, you can always phone to request a pickup, rather than trying to hail a cab on the street. The phone numbers for the licensed taxi companies can be found here.


6

You can look up the maps/schedules of the relatively new LA Metro System to check if they cover any of your routes. Private car service in the US is referred to as limousine service. You can easily search for service providers in Los Angeles, and reserve one during your stay. Their rates are usually based on the duration or rental mileage. Is a car rental ...


6

In addition to handling the matter yourself depending on if you paid via a credit card, most of the major vendors include Lost Baggage insurance at no additional cost if you pay for your tickets with the card. I personally haven't used the protection myself as I don't fly often, but I've heard AmEx is top notch with assistance, and Visa also does a good job. ...


6

Hertz and Budget have an office there.


5

As it happened I did not go to Anaheim from LAX but to Carlsbad. However I have just taken the reverse trip. I booked a 5:05 shuttle from the Anaheim Hilton. We pulled out about 5:15 but proceeded to go back and forth from hotel to hotel and in fact drove past the Hilton for the last time about 6pm. We pulled onto airport property at 6:40, much to the ...


5

Yes, it is allowed, unless your transit visa restricts you to staying inside the airport. I don't know whether there are any such transit visas, and there wouldn't be anyone to check. In the US, airports have no international zone: you land, you pass immigration, even if you're flying away immediately afterwards. However, since you only have four hours, the ...


5

The page 'Malls and Shopping Centers - LAX Area' has various place close to LAX, the same site also has lists for other areas of LA. I haven't been to any of the ones around LAX, I guess they are pretty generic but maybe good enough for your needs. If you want to escape the malls, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is a nice enough pedestrian area, but ...


5

With public transportation the usual tradeoff is time versus money. If you have all day long to travel 40 mi/64 km, it can be done entirely with MTA and OCTA buses. I suspect you do not want to take all day, so adding a rail or taxi segment will help move things along. John Wayne/Orange County Airport is quite a distance from DTLA and, like most of Orange ...


4

Where exactly are you staying in LA? I did use the public transport between Hollywood and Downtown (and it was not that bad - i just would have the buses expected to run more frequently), and it was not much worse than the car simply because cars and buses all get stuck in the same traffic, none of them is much faster or slower at the end. Not sure about ...


4

Fairly obviously, yes, you will see more. There's the long road, the bits of the coast, the various small town you travel through or past. Then there's the passengers. I find you'll either get 'weirdos', or you'll meet some really interesting people to talk to. People seem more keen to chat on buses than on planes, for some reason. Trains even more so ...


4

I've used the FlyAway in both directions twice already. It's very convenient to get downtown reliably. Traffic doesn't seem to affect much the duration of trips (45min seems like a good estimate) as they ride on the freeway in the ExpressLanes, reserved for buses and people who pay for a special pass. My only complaint is that one time, the bus wasn't ...


4

Almost certainly the bus + hostel option will be cheapest, however don't rule out the possibility of flying - it won't be cheaper, but it will save you a lot of time. SFO/LAX/LAS are highly competitive routes for airlines, and it's not uncommon to find very cheap fares, especially if you can be a bit flexible in terms of which day you're traveling. For ...


4

Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle offer shared-ride vans between LAX and many cities around Los Angeles, including Irvine. The ride will probably take about an hour or so more than direct ride because of dropping people off in different parts of the city, though they usually do a good job of grouping people by location. I did a quick estimate for Super ...



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