Many people are still feeling the impact of a credit crunch on their pockets, hence, planning a holiday in the USA that won’t break the bank could be a tricky balancing act. How do we avoid spending more than planned and still manage to get a great holiday? The answer is often a mixture of bargain-hunting, timing, thorough research and a good dose of creativity.
Choosing your dates and location
They say that any time is good to book your Los Angeles flights, but the best time pretty much depends on what type of holiday you have in mind. Most people arrive between June and September, when accommodation is scarce and pricey, and where touristy places are crowded with people. However, if you want to spend less, the shoulder season – March to May and September to November, bring smaller crows and more importantly - affordable prices!
Another option is to look for accommodation either on the outskirts, or outside the city – if you are travelling to Los Angeles, you could try Thousand Oaks or Santa Clarita – similar landscape and climate with a good connection to Los Angeles downtown, but at a reduced price.
If you are more adventurous, you can opt for camping. There are many great places outside Los Angeles to go camping; some of them offer luxury adventure tents where you can be get a feel of a 5 star hotel without breaking the bank.
Buy from farmers markets
You don’t need to spend fortune on restaurants to get good quality food. Los Angeles is well-known for its farmers markets. The most popular ones are open on Sundays, including the Original Farmers Market located at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue. Other fresh produce heavens include Hollywood Farmers' Market, Grand Central Market, or Hermosa Beach Farmers' Market - all offering a great selection of tasty local produce.
If you want to meet new people, or maybe get involved in doing something positive for the environment, you should try Treepleople. This non-profit organisation spreads the idea of ecotourism by offering numerous opportunities for visitors to help caring for trees as well as educating people about environment.
Be part of a live audience
However, if you are not an eco-warrior, and if you prefer to add a ‘commercial’ flavour to your stay, you can opt to be a part of a live studio audience. On Camera Audiences offers free tickets to popular shows such as Dancing with the Stars or American Idol – a great way to meet new people, or a few celebrities if you’re lucky!
Visit Hollywood on a budget
A trip to LA could not be done without going to Hollywood. The best way to save money if you’re visiting Hollywood is to buy Hollywood tour pass. It’s valid for nine days, and it includes admission to Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Hollywood Museum, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and many more. There many operators selling Hollywood CityPass, with some offering up to 50% discount on major attractions.
LA is a great place, and no matter how limited your budget is, there is always something to do there.
Bio: Mandy Michel is a nature lover and passionate frugal traveller looking for ways to experience the world for less.