Travelling can be expensive. It can also be horrible if you cheap out on a lot of experiences. So, whether you want to see the Hollywood sign, dine out at popular restaurants or be adventurous and go paddle boarding in the pacific coastline, it will all come at a price.
If you are planning to make a trip down to LA, here are some apps you can use to help you save money while travelling to this hot tourist spot.
I’m currently in Los Angeles for the next 3 months. And I wanted to figure out how I can save as much as possible while travelling abroad. This isn’t the first time I’ve come down here, so I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way that I wanted to share with anyone who was thinking of visiting California.
I’ll be sharing 4 apps that will help with the following topics: Stay, Commuting, Fun and Food.
Finding a Place to Stay in LA
If you’re looking to stay for a longer period of time or just for a weekend and you don’t want to bust your wallet then I would highly recommend Airbnb. By now, you’ve probably heard of the rent lodging service. If you haven’t, it can be summed up as a room or full apartment/home that you can rent at a fair price – when compared to hotel prices.
With the Airbnb app, you can search through thousands of rental properties that hosts have posted. You can read the reviews on rooms/apartments, view pictures and see what amenities come with each place.
These are normal homes/apartments and the hosts are everyday people. This gives you an opportunity to mingle with the host and inquire about the hotspots in LA that blogs and books miss out on.
The reason why I recommend staying with Airbnb is because it is far less than staying at a hotel. While visiting L.A, hotel prices can be as much as $200 a night for a 4-star hotel.
Every time I’ve visited LA, I’ve stayed in a room that I found through Airbnb. And I’ve always used the app to book it.
Here is a Pro-tip: If you are looking to stay for a longer time in the Golden State, then simply ask the host for a monthly cost. This will be far less than selecting the dates of your stay. Some hosts have already listed a monthly cost, however, most don’t. You can message the host and ask if you can get a speciality pricing at $_____ a month. He or she will then send you an invite to the new price adjustment. At this point, you can accept the invite and you’re on your way to staying with the host at a discounted price. (These requests are easier to handle through a computer.)
Commuting around LA
Travelling within LA is very difficult. I found this out the hard way. I wanted to get from North Hollywood to Santa Monica and I realised that public transportation here is a joke. The Metro is very limited. You will have to transfer onto different buses, hop on to trains and walk most of the way if you are travelling long distances. Getting around downtown gets easier with the Metro subway lines. However, travelling outside of the city you will be stuck with buses and your good-old-feet (bring sneakers).
The locals here in Los Angels all drive cars. The traffic here can be nuts. However, there is a good solution to getting from point A to point B. Ride Share apps! More commonly known as Uber and Lyft!
Taxis, as usual, can be expensive, depending on where you’re going. Heck, Ubers slogan is: “Better than a Taxi“. If you want to save money while commuting in LA then I would recommend a mix of using the Metro and using Uber or Lyft app.
With Ride sharing apps, travellers will be able to get to tourist attractions and not have to worry about parking or driving. Ride-sharing services cost have risen the last few years, but it is still a great option when comparing to the alternatives.
Here is a promo code for UBER ( uberLAXride -Your First Ride is Free up to $20!)
And here is promo code for Lyft (LYFTPROMOCODE)
Whether you want to use UBER or LYFT you can usually save on your first ride through their app.
Having Fun while Visiting LA
There are thousands and thousands of fun activities to do in LA. If you’re a beachgoer then Santa Monica and Malibu are your best choices. If you want to go hiking, then the famous Runyon Canyon would be your best bet. You might even run into celebrities along the way. To be honest, if you are adventurous then the greater city of LA has plenty of fun activities you can do that won’t cost you a penny. Hiking, sight seeing and swimming are in most cases – FREE!
However, if you want to go on celebrity bus tour or go kayaking in Marine Del Ray or rent a bike and ride through Venice beach, it all comes at a price.
Here is another app that will help you save money on activities that are popular among tourists in LA.
The Groupon app gives users the ability to purchase various deals at a discounted price. Each offer is only available for a limited time but, it will definitely help you save money while on vacation.
Groupon offers multiple deals, everything from food to spas and even concerts.
Here are a few links that will show how much money you would save if you would purchase through Groupon. When comparing to the regular prices you will notice that most of the deals are literally half off. This will help your wallet quite a bit!
Kayaking in LA – https://www.groupon.com/deals/marina-paddle-1
Biking in Catalina – https://www.groupon.com/deals/tour-catalina-1
Bus Tours – https://www.groupon.com/deals/la-scene-tours
Eating in LA
Now let’s talk about one my favourite topics, food. When travelling to a new place, you want to experience authentic cuisine and really immerse yourself in the culture. California has a large population of Hispanics, so you will definitely have to try the various dishes to get a true taste of LA food. If you like street food then all you would need is a few dollars on hand, especially if you’re craving some delicious tacos.
If Chinese food is more of your taste than San Gabriel Valley offers one the largest selection of authentic Asian cuisine. Or if you want to try a local joint there a plenty of hip places to dine at.
Whether it be tacos or burgers you can still save yourself money while dining out by using GrubHub app.
GrubHub allows you to buy dishes straight from their app. The food will be directly delivered to you, or you can go pick it up and dine at the restaurant.
So, this is how it works. You first have to select a restaurant that meets your cravings. For this example, let’s say I want some Thai food. I can simply filter out the search results based on my options. From this point, I’ll select a restaurant that seems good and browse their menu items. After that, I’ll add it to my cart. Enter in my credit card details and either pick it up or have it delivered.
And as usual, you can also save on your first order by using the promo code below.
Save $10 on your first order on GrubHub by using the promo code yum10.
If your planning to come to this beautiful city make sure to download the following apps: Groupon, Airbnb, Uber/lyft and Grubhub.
You can now eat, stay, commute and have fun all while saving money while travelling in Los Angeles.