Los Angeles is a frequent destination for travelers from all over the world. That’s because Los Angeles is such a multi-faceted city. The L. A. area is home to lots of different industries. It’s also an entertainment and leisure destination without equal in the whole world. If you’re coming to Los Angeles for the first time, the city can be a little intimidating. It’s much more spread out than other cities in the United States. Visitors from countries with densely packed cities will be especially surprised to see how far apart local landmarks can be. If you want to get the most from your trip to the City of Angels, you’ll need more than just affordable car rental and a map. Check out this list of travel tips that will save you time and money when you visit Los Angeles.
A Shorter Stay Isn’t Necessarily Cheaper
It might seem crazy, but a longer stay in Los Angeles might be cheaper than zipping in and out. Many airlines hotels, motels, and affordable car rental companies offer big discounts for longer stays. It’s more logical than it sounds if you look at it from the point of view of the hotel or other service. Turnover costs money. Checking people in and out of a hotel or similar business is time-intensive. Businesses will offer premium rates to customers with longer term deals that require the same amount of paperwork and other administration as shorter stays.
Airlines also charge a premium for short term stays in a city. You might find that you can save so much money on airfare by extending your stay that it pays for the additional cost of things like accommodations and affordable car rental.
If you’ve never been to Los Angeles, simply driving around can be intimidating. Many foreign visitors are amazed at how wide open the roads are, and how easy it is to find parking compared to other cities. That’s the good stuff. Unfortunately, those roads are packed during certain times of the day, and certain days of the week.
Los Angeles isn’t the kind of city where you can hop on a subway, day or night, and predict how long it will take to arrive at your destination. Affordable car rental is your first priority if you want to travel to multiple destinations in the city. It’s smart to plan your excursions well in advance to avoid needless delays in traffic.
Embrace the Offbeat Food Culture
Eating out in Los Angeles has a different vibe than any other city in the world. Los Angeles was built on car culture and the entertainment business. That’s spilled over into its local food scene. You’re just as likely to get an amazing meal from a food truck in Los Angeles as you’d get from a four-star restaurant in a more traditional city. And if you’re open to offbeat food combinations served in somewhat theatrical eateries, you’ll find some of the best eating in the United States.
L. A. Has Outdoor Activities Most Cities Lack
The weather in Los Angeles is glorious almost every month of the year. There’s no reason to hole up inside when you visit, whether it’s winter or summer. Another surprising detail about the city is how rural a lot of it can be. You can schedule activities like hiking or horseback riding near Griffith Park, or even kayaking on the L.A. River to get great views of the city that others miss. Of course you can always visit one of the local beaches if your idea of fun tends more to swimming, surfing, or suntanning.
All the Beaches Aren’t the Same
If you’re new to Los Angeles, all the sparkling blue water and sand can look the same from beach to beach. You’ll find that each beach on the map has a different vibe, and will be crowded at different times of the day, week, month, and year. Different beaches also cater to different activities. If you’re into people watching, you’ll love Venice Beach. If you’re a novice surfer, you might prefer Malibu or Topanga. Ask around to find out the best beach for you.
Save Money By Avoiding All-Inclusive Vacations
If you’re headed to vacation destinations like Disneyland, you might want to rethink that all-in-one vacation package. If you’re trapped inside the park, you’ll pay more for things like lodging and food than you would if you stayed outside the park and visited every day. You’ll also be able to avoid the worst lines at rides and at restaurants by coming and going to the park when it’s convenient for you.
Photo of the approach to LAX airport courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division