Los Angeles, California is one of the best vacation destinations on Earth. People come from all over the world to get glimpses of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Santa Monica and the hundreds upon hundreds of tourist attractions. Visiting the City of Angels is an experience like no other.
But it’s well known that Southern California is not always an affordable place to visit. While Super Cheap Car Rental definitely has the Los Angeles inexpensive car rental you’ll need while you’re here, there are plenty of other ways to save your cash during your vacation. Check out our Los Angeles car rental packages to find the right ride, then use some of our other tips to ensure your vacation stays budget-friendly.
- Consider AirBnB, VRBO or HomeAway for your accommodations.
While it’s not impossible to find budget-friendly hotels in the Los Angeles area, you can often save more money if you consider renting someone’s private apartment or guesthouse instead. Companies like AirBnB offer some very impressive rentals, including luxury beachfront condos and high rise apartments in the heart of Beverly Hills.
But if housekeeping services are a must, sites like Hotwire and Kayak will save you money on hotel rooms. And remember, booking rooms during the week will probably get you a lower rate than a weekend stay.
- Plan ahead and make a budget.
Before you begin your trip, research the Los Angeles area and decide what you’d really like to do. By prioritizing your must-see attractions versus things you would enjoy but that aren’t mandatory, you’ll be able to budget accordingly. Knowing where to splurge and where to save is important.
- Save money on your meals by researching neighborhood happy hours and specials.
Los Angeles restaurants and bar have some excellent happy hours. If you’re near the beach on a Taco Tuesday, you can enjoy a taco feast for a fraction of the normal cost. The best part of planning ahead is that you will be able to research the restaurants in your neighborhood of choice. You may find that a breakfast joint near your hotel offers a weekly all-you-can-eat pancake feast that your whole family can enjoy.
Also, check the events calendar on a site like Discover Los Angeles for food festivals and events. For example, DineL.A. is a 15-day event that takes place twice a year and is meant to showcase some of L.A.’s finest restaurants by offering a reduced price prixe fixe menu.Over 300 local restaurants participate, and the next DineL.A. event is July 14-28.
- Prepare your own food when you can.
Another benefit to renting an AirBnB is the full kitchen you’ll have. Dining out is part of the Los Angeles vacation experience, but the cost of three restaurant meals a day can really add up. Go grocery shopping and buy the basics, and check out the neighborhood Farmers’ Market for local meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’re staying at a hotel, fill your mini fridge or cooler with fruit, veggies and yogurt, and stock up on easy to store snacks like popcorn. Treating yourself to a few nice meals is essential when you visit L.A., but it will be much easier to stick to your budget if you have snacks on hand and eat at “home” a few times.
- Embrace all the free attractions around you.
It seems that the phrase “the best things in life are free” is especially true in Los Angeles. Some of L.A.’s top free attractions include Griffith Park and the infamous Griffith Observatory, The Getty Center, cruising down Rodeo Drive and walking down the Santa Monica Pier.
Some of Hollywood’s top attraction, like the Walk of Fame, require nothing more than your own two feet to enjoy. Runyon Canyon Park is a great place to go to get a little free exercise. Unless you want your Los Angeles vacation to be nothing but theme parks, the entertainment should be the most affordable part of your trip.
- Hit the beach.
By law, the beaches in California are all public. And by luck, Los Angeles County has a few that are spectacular. The Venice Beach and Santa Monica communities each have their own unique character, and Malibu is laid back and stunning. Hermosa Beach, Long Beach and Manhattan Beach are also beautiful options.
While you’ll find gift shops, restaurants and other attractions in every beach town, spending time on the beach itself doesn’t cost a thing. And since part of the point of taking a vacation is having some downtime, we highly recommend staking out a spot by the ocean and spending a day by the sea sunbathing, reading a good book or playing some beach volleyball. Just don’t forget to invest in some sunscreen.
- Experience the arts.
Los Angeles is a mecca of arts and culture. And believe it or not, most of their museums are affordable to explore – some, like the Getty Center and the Hollywood Bowl Museum, are free. Others have discounted dates or at least one free day per month.
Los Angeles might be the land of the rich and the famous, but it’s entirely possible to enjoy a luxurious vacation here without breaking the bank. We look forward to helping you make that happen.