During President’s Day weekend I went to L.A. with my exchange friends, and for most of us it was our first time in that city. In my case it was the “second” because the first time I just did a quick visit by car. We took the Metrolink and to our surprise, the price was only $10, which is the price for the weekend pass. You can also travel on the buses and metro of LA from Friday to Sunday midnight, and here I saved $10 because the day pass cost $5.
So we arrived around 9 am in LA and we went directly to the hotel to leave our things. The hotel cost $60 per person for 2 nights including “breakfast” (doughnuts, cereal, juice, coffee and bananas…enough for me). Then we went to Hollywood Blvd, watch the stars, and the Kodak theater. I was tempted by the mall stores, but they are the same in all malls and I couldn´t find any different, except Zara, but I have it in Mexico, so I was not really as attracted to it as my friends were from New Zealand.
Some of the people in the group visited the Wax Musseum of Madame Tussaud, which I already went in London, so there was no interest for me there. I preferred to search for the “hot spots” and of course I had buy some souvenirs, just little pins, key chains, and t shirts which cost about $16. After, I made my way to Pinks, the famous hot dogs in LA where I bought a chili dog and soda for less than $7. Later, we went to Rodeo Drive, but of course non of us could afford to buy anything from those stores, so we just walked on the street and didn’t go into any of the stores.
At 8pm they were hungry AGAIN, so we went to Beverly Drive to the Cheesecake Factory, mainly because it was the most affordable restaurant in the area. I wasn’t really hungry so I order a “Skinny meal.” They confused my order and brought me shrimp instead of salmon. When I tried to return it the waiter almost forced me to eat it, but then I told him I’m allergic to uncooked seafood and they changed my meal very quickly and even the manager came to apologize for the mistake (I think they were scared that I could sue them for giving me the meal that could killed me). For dessert I shared a Hershey’s cheesecake with my friend. My dinner plus the split cheesecake cost me around $18. After dinner, I went back to the hotel with a part of my group, and the rest went to a frat-house-party. Final expenses for day 1 : $100 +/-
Still using the weekend pass for “free ” rides for the bus and Metro in LA, I went to the Getty Center and the best part was that the entrance was free and totally worth it. We saw the view of the city and coast, and also beautiful pieces of art. After a couple of hours there, we went to lunch at Santa Monica Pier. I got another delicious Nathan hotdog and a soda for $6. After walking on the beach up to Venice beach, I came back to Hollywood Blvd because I have a tradition that in every city I visit I must have a meal in the Hard Rock and of course buy a souvenir. So back in Hollywood Blvd I had my HRC dinner, legendary burger and beer with souvenir glass which came out to $26 (I found a coupon that gave me a 10% discount). Finall amount of the day: $32
Just a quick visit to La Brea tar pits, I missed the museum, because of the long line and I had to catch the 1:15 back to Riverside. Now I had to buy the day pass ticket, mainly because I was going to ride the bus and metro more than 4 times, so I went to La Brea tar pits, to Downtown LA, Disney Concert Hall and I had the pleasure of being inside the Concert Hall. After that I had to run to LA Union Station, and the good news was it was 2 for the price of 1, so along with a friend we bought the student ticket that cost us $5.25 each, half and half. I spend only $ 10. 25 that day. Finally I arrived home with money in my pocket still. In total I spend around $150 for three days. I ate good food, bought souvenirs, visited some of the most important places. Some final advice: when you want to save money when you travel,bring little snacks like granola bars, cookies or gummies, and also bring your own water bottle and refill it on the hotel. With the money I “saved” I’ll probably keep it for Spring Break.