Handbook

TRAVEL

The United States is a very large and diverse country. There are sites and scenes for every type of traveler, from cities to mountains, beach to national parks, you will want to take advantage of the amazing landscape and culture the United States has to offer. We have compiled some helpful tips, information, and links in order to assist you with arranging your travel plans. Please take a minute to look at the following resources and safe travels!

Travel Restrictions for Students and Scholars

For F-1 Visa Students and Scholars

F-1 students and scholars have restrictions when traveling. Please visit the link below for further information regarding F-1 Visa travel restrictions BEFORE you begin your travels.
http://www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu/home/F1Visa/71/144/travelauth


For J-1 Visa Students

J-1 students and scholars have restrictions when traveling. Please visit the link below for further information regarding J-1 visa travel restrictions BEFORE you begin your travels.
http://www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu/home/J1Visa/74/75/Overview#divTravel


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Getting to/from LAX airport

LAX FlyAway

This airport shuttle picksup up in Westwood every hour on the hour starting at 6AM and ending at 10PM daily. Transportation from Westwood to LAX is $10. The Westwood stop is located on Kinross Avenue between Veteran Gayley Avenue (next to Parking Structure 32). The FlyAway also picks up passengers outside terminal 1 every hour on the hour, and times may vary for terminals 2-7, based on traffic conditions in the Central Terminal Area. Simply exit your terminal and you will see a sign for the Flyaway on one of the nearby traffic islands. Tickets may be purchased on the bus with Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit or debit cards.

Primetime Shuttle

This shared van service picks you up at your address of preference to go to LAX or can take you from LAX airport to your residence. As this is a shared-ride van shuttle, it may stop at different locations before and after picking you up. The benefit of using Primetime Shuttle, however, is that it is much cheaper than using a regular taxi cab, however, it will take you longer to get to your destination as there will be multiple stops. When you arrive at LAX it is easy to find your shuttle. Simply exit your terminal and look for the PRIME TIME agent waiting to assist you on your shuttle from LAX to your destination.Click here for a 10% discount on your shuttle cost.

Lyft/Uber

In order to use these services, you must download their app on your mobile phone and connect your credit/debit card. These share ride services allow you to ride to and from the airport by yourself, in groups, or by carpooling. The prices vary based on distance, time and mileage. Prices are sometimes higher due to popular demand at certain times. These services use your location services to find you at the exact place that you are located at. Compared to a normal cab service, ride shares are normally a much cheaper option. To find your Lyft/Uber driver you will need to go upstairs to the upper departure level.

Cab

Taking a cab from the airport is another common option. There are many cabs at the airport, and there is almost no wait time. Cabs are always ready for passengers outside of the airport baggage terminal, and are ready for you after you disembark your plane. The average cost of a cab from LAX to UCLA is about $35 - $40, depending on traffic at the airport and on the road.

Lodging

Camping sites

Camping sites are very common in the US, especially in California. Many camp grounds need a reservation and fill up months in advance, while other camping sites do not need reservations, and are on a first-come first-served based. For more information on fees and registration on camp grounds in California, please visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation website. If you are interested in camping sites in other states please visit the National Parks Service website.

Hotels

Hotels are very common in the US. Most offer room service, complimentary breakfast, and other deals. Prices depend on location and how soon you book your reservation. A one night stay for an average hotel ranges between $80 - $150, while the price for a top tier is $150 or above. Click here for more information regarding hotels in the United States.

Motels

Motels are roadside accommodations and offer travelers with lodging and free parking. Motel rooms are usually for people traveling by car and people taking road trips. Motels tend to be much cheaper than hotels and can range is price from about $30 - $100.

Air Bnb

This website allows you to search the web and find lodging with a local host at their apartment or home. You can choose to rent out a room or the entire apartment or home. Air Air Bnb is often times a more economical choice than hotels and your host can be a helpful in providing you with tips on all of the local sites. For more information on Air Bnb, visit their website.

Hostels

Hostels in the United States are not as widespread as in other places around the world, but are still an option when traveling in the US. Hostels can be found in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago and are a great way to meet other travelers to book tours! The price of staying at a hostel for one night can usually range from about $20 to $50, depending on your choice of dorm style or private room. To book a room visit Hostel.com and Hostelworld.com www.hostelworld.com to get more information.

How to get around

The United States is a very large country and you may need to use a variety of transportation modes to get to your final destination! The following is information regarding bus, train, plane, and car rentals. These different modes of transportation differ in prices and travel time, but can get you to your final destination.


MegaBus

MegaBus is a safe, convenient, low cost bus service when traveling the United States, or even Canada. MegaBus has trips on double decker buses with wifi available. Popular bus routes from Los Angeles include trips to San Francisco and Las Vegas. The MegaBus terminal is located in Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. To book a trip on MegaBus click here.


Amtrak (Train/Bus)

Amtrak offers railroad and bus service to over 500 destinations in the USA and Canada. Amtrak offers certain services, such as sleeping accommodations, meals and dining, Wi-Fi, and more. A common train route from Los Angeles is Pacific Surfliner which can take you north to San Luis Obispo or south to San Diego. If you are interested in using Amtrak and want more information, please visit their website .

Plane

Flying in the United States is the fastest way to get around when traveling to a distant location or out of the country. Airfare varies in destination, time of your travel, and how soon you book your tickets. LAX is the main airport hub in the Los Angeles area, however, there are three other smaller airports that also service many destinations around the United States including Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Ontario International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Irvine.

Car Rental

In many cases the best form of transportation may be by car. There are many car rental companies available in the United States. When renting a car, remember that the Untied States is very large and destination may take longer than expected to arrive. For instance, getting through all California could take an entire day to accomplish! To drive a car you must have a valid driver’s license and car rental companies usually have specific regulations based on age. Some of the main car rental companies include:

Travel Apps, Websites and Blogs

GasBuddy

With this app you can find gas stations around you with the cheapest prices, and compare them to other higher priced fuel locations.

Groupon

Get great deals and daily offers with this app/website at restaurants, retailers and service providers. They even offer great vacation package deals!

Plane

There are variety of travel search engines in the US that allow you to purchase airline tickets, rent cars, read reviews, book hotel rooms and cruises, and more! A few of the most popular search engines include:

TripAdvisor

This websites provides insights and reviews of travel-related content, such as hotels, restaurant, etc. TripAdvisor also lets you write reviews of places you have visited and experienced.

Yelp

This application gives you crowd-sourced ratings and reviews on local businesses, such as restaurants, stores, coffee shops, etc. Yelp also allows you to search eateries, services, and shopping centers near you.



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