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J1 Travel Destinations???

  • 09-09-2008 3:05pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ gavfly

    I was wondering if people could give me some feedback on J1 Destinations? I went to Chicago 2 years ago and really enjoyed it, but would like to do something a bit different if possible next Summer. Have got feedback on the usuals of New York, Boston and San Fran but was hoping some people out there have gone somewhere original. Thanks



  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ gavfly

    Anyone out there spent a summer living and working in New Jersey? If so it would be great to get some feedback.

  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭ lilyrose

    just back from florida it was amazing great weather and the people are fantastic headin back again next year !

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    Was in Huntington Beach California this year. Brilliant summer. You have the added bonus of being close to loads of places like LA, Hollywood, San Diego, Mexico and Las Vegas. We visited them all over the summer too. Highly Recommended!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ gavfly

    Did you work in LA? I heard jobs and accomadation is very hard to come by? It is the only thing that was turning me away from LA!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    DONT MOVE TO LA!!!! I wasnt in LA I was about 50 mins away in one of the beach cities. LA itself is grand for a visit but not to live. Even Hollywood is only worth a quick trip to have a look around but its a bit grotty and not hugely impressive. Anybody I met over there agrees with me.

    And yes trying to get jobs and accommodation in Cali is hard but it can be done and I highly recommend trying to organise both before you go. It is definatly worth the effort though where else do you get the beach life for the summer but still being so close to a load of famous places to visit! (trust me its worth it alone for a few days in Vegas:))

    If you email the businesses on the main streets of the cities your thinking of going to you shouldnt have too much problem if its done well enough in advance. Alot of them take on students. If you want any more info give me a PM or just post here (and hope I remember to check back here:)).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,230 spideog7

    I spent the past summer in the Twin-Cities in Minnesota. I had some friends there so I guess that helped a bit. I lived mostly in St. Paul and a little outside it on the Minnesota Wisconsin border. I had a great time, the area around there is really nice. The area in St. Paul where I was had lot's of Universities nearby, so getting a house with some students over the summer would help you settle in I'm sure.

    I thought the city of St. Paul was really nice, and if you had a car the countryside isn't that far away and it's beautiful too, I've been told Minneapolis is a little more culturally diverse and definitely more lively, I was only there a handful of times though.

    I couldn't find work unfortunately, but it might just have been the summer that was in it, apparently it wasn't great for work. If you had some experience in the restaurant trade I don't think there would be a real problem getting work, just get in there early and apply everywhere and if you're interested in working in Irish pubs there is loads of them, about 5 in the metropolitan area !!

    It's only a 1 hour flight from Chicago though so maybe you want to go further afield having been to Chicago, I'd thoroughly recommend going somewhere less common though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭ Chardee MacDennis

    i did a J1 in Lahaina in 2006 and it was amazing - a little bit on the expensive side but so worth it, to see things like the peak of volcanoes, gorgeous beaches, bambo forest and camoping in Hana and Pearl Harbor- there was so much more to see than when i did my J1 in SF!

    loads of resteraunt work and lots or rich americans, so you can make a bit with tips etc.

    overall i couldnt recommend it enough!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,639 PeakOutput

    i spent the past summer in maine working at a dropzone i visited boston and new york and would recommend both for different reasons

    if you are looking for something different to the usual work a **** job get pissed every night j1 experience then there are options like rafting companies in colorado who will train you up to be a rafting guide for the summer, there are other things along those lines too that i cant remember now.

    i cant express how glad i am that i didnt just go to huntington with my mates and do a ****ty job for the summer(they had a great time too no denying it its just not what i wanted)

    if i didnt know what i wanted to do now id go to hawaii with a stopover in cali or vegas or both

  • Registered Users Posts: 654 Arsenal1986

    was in ocean city maryland this last summer was absolulty class...tons of jobs my friends all got offered at least 3 jobs....i went looking for jobs for all of 10 mins an got one an then was offered another by sum1 i met in a bar.....nitelife is brilliant loadsa clubs an v nites for example 50 cent shots in one bar!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    I j1ed in huntington beach a couple summers ago, and while i still regard it as the best experience of my life, i wudnt j1 there again. There were quite a few irish ppl there and i'd like to sample more of "america" rather than just the irish in america.

    I was thinking about heading to north carolina. Its nicely situated between ny and florida and havent heard of to many ppl going there. I was just wondering had anyone j1ed or even holidayed there? I was considering going alone as well so anybody who has travelled alone in america i' love to know what they thought of it?

    Other places i was considering where colarado and texas, but am open to other suggestions. Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭ Chardee MacDennis

    well the good thing about NC is that if you go there and decide you dont like the american experience, you're not too far from Myrtle Beach in SC which is full of Irish, same for NYC, Florida and Boston. Again i would recommend Hawaii, i mean you probably will never pay so little for a trip to Hawaii then on a J1 so why not!

    a friend was in Texas a few years ago and he said the heat was unbearable but they love the irish accent over there ;) i know little about Colorado besides South Park and Columbine tbh!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    Yeah NC seems to be the most likely destination, but i dont wanna go to the other places cause i dont see the point really in living in america for 3 months surrounded by a load of irish!

    Texas is appealing although it does get crazy hot. Did ur friend j1 there or just a holiday? I wud like a place where they appreciate the irish accent a bit more as well haha ;) i mean it cudnt hurt right...

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭ Chardee MacDennis

    one friend was working there for a couple of weeks but it was spring/early summer before the heat got bad, tthe other went over in august. dont know anyone who has done there J1 there but i think USIT have numbers on each city to get an idea of the popularity, i'll post it up if i find it...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    ah ok cool, and did they reccomend it or say they'd ever go back? I'm really having a tough time choosing cause i'd like to find somewhere where being irish actually stills matters over there! That list of city popularity wud be a great help thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,822 tipp86

    Boston or New york? Anyone got any suggestion or advice?

    Surprised no one mentioned santa barbara was there for a week this summer really liked it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭ Chardee MacDennis

    ah ok cool, and did they reccomend it or say they'd ever go back? I'm really having a tough time choosing cause i'd like to find somewhere where being irish actually stills matters over there! That list of city popularity wud be a great help thanks

    from 2006

    i'll try find later ones...

  • Registered Users Posts: 508 itsjaybud

    For me its all down to what kind of lifestyle you want to live over the summer months. I worked in Manhattan and lived in Queens during the summer 06 and found it really enjoyable but also pretty hectic, NYC is great place to work but can be very demanding day in day out,

    on the other hand a small group of us travelled the west coast during the summer just gone, obviously the west coast is more relaxed and i would also strongly recommend Santa Barbara to any one thinking of goin there.

    A friend of mine done Hawai for the summer this year and only had good things to report! He really enjoyed the locals company!:)

    East (city life) or West (beach life) probably at a push i would hit the west coast again but only just!;)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    cheers for that bp, i think a lot more ppl went to hawaii this year but overall its probly a good rough estimate so cheers :cool:

    as for what lifestyle you'd wanna live then yeah west coast wud be more relaxed, but also you'll be fighting other irish for the best jobs/accom if you want to stay in the popular spots. I was hoping for a nice relaxed summer and hanging out with a few of the locals at the same time. I think i will hit the carolinas, something different and if i get to lonely i can always head to myrtle beach or nyc!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8 ✭✭✭ k-k-k-katie

    I also spent the summer in Lahaina, Maui and I couldnt recommend it more!! If ur looking for a stress free, chillaxed summer, its the spot to be. Probably one of the most laid back/beautiful places in the world.
    Its a small(ish) town so most of the irish there get to know each other and hang out at the same beach/house parties....theres drinks somewher everynight! Spent the whole summer on the beach, whether sunbathing, surfing(...more attempting to...) or partying! Between roadtripping to Hana, Sunrise on Haleakla crater, Snorkelling on molokini and lanai, camping on lanai beach, pub crawling in Honololu and skydiving over North Shore made for a pretty fantastic summer!

    Its NOT easy to get jobs though...if ur going get there early in the was very competitive this summer and next summer prob even more so!

    ...Despite loving it so very much, im in search of a new adventure this summer. San diago takes my fancy cause of the beach thing, the idea of a busy city doesnt do it for me much. Any one have any suggestions??

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭ Chardee MacDennis

    ...Despite loving it so very much, im in search of a new adventure this summer. San diago takes my fancy cause of the beach thing, the idea of a busy city doesnt do it for me much. Any one have any suggestions??

    berkeley is a very relaxed place and you have the option to work in berkeley or take the bart into san fransisco. you can rent a room in a frat house for the whole summer at about $600 a month that will fit 3 people with some room or 6 people in hawaii/san diego-esq squash! jobs are easy enough to get and SF has one of the highest minimum wages in the US. the twon is full of american students and irsh so you really get the best of both worlds and due to the fact there are americans staying in the frat houses too you really integrate with them all, and you get to catch the start of rush week which is awesome!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    ...Despite loving it so very much, im in search of a new adventure this summer. San diago takes my fancy cause of the beach thing, the idea of a busy city doesnt do it for me much. Any one have any suggestions??
    My suggestion earlier in the thread seems to suit you. The Huntington Beach/Newport beach area have GREAT beaches and they arent massive cities. They are very laid back areas. And you have the advantage of being close enough to visit San Diego, Mexico, LA, Hollywood, Las Vegas. Huntington also has a massive surf competion every year and huge 4th of july celebrations. Your also close enough to two big theme parks that make for a brilliant day out, Six Flags and Knotts Berry Farm.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    I would agree completely with CooperGuy on that one. I spent the summer in Huntington and absoluetly loved it. I think its getting more and more popular now so more Irish are going there, but still its one of the best places u cud live for a summer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ kazkiely

    Penguinssmell, we're thinking of Huntington for next summer but just weighing up the pros and cons with a few other places. We don't want to be stuck with only Irish all summer, so should we consider elsewhere? How hard/easy is it to come by jobs/accomodation?

    Anyone any opinions on Santa Monica? Or any place west coast really, just trying to suss it all out ;) Trying to steer clear of San Diego/Santa Barbara and heard San Fran gets boring after a while (someone else's words, not mine!)...opinions?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm a J1-virgin :P

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    There is plenty of americans around Huntington you can see as much or as little as you want of them. Make sure you have proper ID to get into the real american bars though. You'll find the bars that dont take ID as seriously have alot more Irish. Plus every bar started getting very strict towards the end of this summer.

    The places you said you were staying clear of, good choice! you can get big cities anywhere. They are good for a visit but to live I think its better to try somewhere else.

    In answer to the Jobs/Accomadation question: HARD. Definatly try get that organised before you go. Most apartments/houses want year long contracts or else rent week by week as a holiday rental and charge a fortune(though I do know one group who contacted the Landlord and negotiated a holiday home down from $8000 to $5000 per month by saying they would take it for the entire summer - still expensive though). We went out there without accomadation and were seriously considering moving down the coast to San Diego because we couldnt find anywhere to live. It worked out very well in the end though we got an apartment right by the beach and main street. Another advantage to organising before you go is you can get an apartment central, near the beach and main street. You dont want to be doing like alot of the J1ers and having to get the bus to go out at night or get to the beach. SOOOO much better to just walk a few blocks:D

    There are jobs available but you have to be on the ball and get out there straight away to find them. Again emailing before you go is best. All of the west coast is hard for jobs and accommodation though.

    I might see if I can find you some names of apartment complexes etc that took people this year.

    Everyone was a J1 virgin once any more questions just ask:D

  • Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ kazkiely

    Savage, that'd be great if you could ;)

    How did ye manage the apartment by main street/beach if ya don't mind me asking? :P Deffo not keen on getting buses everywhere, I get enough of that here at home.

    I heard elsewhere Huntington is rough? Prob just certain areas though?

    So many pros and cons to everywhere *sigh*

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    hey kazkiely, i wud again pretty much agree with cooperguy. If you dont want to hang with Irish all summer long in huntington then it is possible to make american friends. Just a few notes tho..

    There arent THAT many bars on huntington main street, which is where everyone goes out, so no matter which one you're in they're probly be other irish there too.

    In the bars in Hungington, evey1 is generally a bit older. Its not like its a bunch of 21 year olds just fresh with id's. Theres a lot of older americans in there.

    And yes accom is very hard to find there. We prebooked it before we went but we were also one of those groups getting the bus and taxis. You can get some decent jobs but i ended up workin in a supermarket for very little money.

    Now dont get me wrong i absoluetly loved it, it was easily one of the best things i've ever done. And i too was a j1 virgin going over. But if you're looking for a summer away from irish ppl and being irish is still a novelty, then huntington probly isnt an ideal destination. But also wudnt be the worst for it.

    Its a class area and a great place to road trip from as its in the centre of everything. I'd love to visit again soon, but personally now i'd rather try another spot for my next j1.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    Dont have time to post much now (damn shift work!) ill be back with more later I just had to reply to the bit about Huntington being rough!! Its FAR from it Huntington and Newport are one of the richest areas around. My first few weeks I was entertained by looking at all the crazily expensive sports cars (everything from Lambourgini to Ferrari) and Hummers. You regularly see limos driving around aswell. I dont remember seeing a single rough spot/person. After a while seeing them all isnt a novelty anymore though!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭✭ Penguinssmell

    Yeah just a word on that as well, i would guess that Huntington and Newport are two of the least rough places around. The police there are probly the roughest ppl around! And the amount of unreal cars is crazy. By the end of it you've seen so many they dont even impress u anymore!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ Oriana


    im thinkin of going on the j1 next summer as well. we are thinkin boston. i was just wondering what the story is with the social security number?? how long was everyone waiting for it. i heard ppl waiting for 5 weeks for it and not being able to work without it!!! does it have to do with where you go?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy

    Hey Oriana, bad news for you im afraid. It can take alot longer than 5 weeks to arrive. I know people who were waiting twice that for it this year. They went home about 2 weeks after they got it! Not everyone had to wait that long though.

    Basically you have to wait till you have been in the country 10 days and then go to the local social security office. Remember ALL your forms! They post out your card and number then when it has been processed. It depends on the company whether you can work without it or not. For example the Hyatt in Huntington beach will let you work as they have some form of tax agreement with the IRS however most companies wont leave you work without it. As far as I know it doesnt matter where you are the wait is the same.

    Kazkiely, the apartment we managed to get was pure luck by the time we got it we were homeless and desperate for anywhere and that day 2 different Landlords rang us offering us a place and the place we actually got was the best we looked at by far (who can complain about a pool and hottub by the beach:D)!! It was a case of covering loads of ground and ringing everybody we could (spent a fortune in credit it ridiculously expensive to call over there, all the networks even charge you to recieve calls!). You should do some of it by email before you go ( is a godsend and I think it where we found the apartment we actually rented). I think I still have my landlords number I could PM it to you, though I think she was selling it after we moved out. And its probably a bit too early to be ringing her yet!

    Oh and the Hyatt I mentioned above has a good few jobs going every year. Its GIGANTIC but they go quickly email them before you go over.
    And the amount of unreal cars is crazy. By the end of it you've seen so many they dont even impress u anymore!
    So true. Cars I was amazed by at the start of the summer were normal by the end of it!

    J1 summer is starting tonight, I must watch it see if it brings back any memories:D