Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States, and as such prices in LA are often higher than the national average. The price of gas is about $1/gallon higher than the national average. Also, restaurant meals cost about $10 more than the national average, even though the price for groceries in LA is higher than it is nationally. So what does that mean for your vacation plans? Before embarking on a tour of the City of Angels, you need to stop and analyze the cost of traveling in LA and estimate the amount you’ll need for your trip to Los Angeles. 

Although LA’s public transportation is economical, using Uber or Cabs may cost more than usual in other cities. And you may also end up spending more on meals and drinks. Hence, you need a proper travel plan and budget for your trip to Los Angeles, so you don’t end up in a tight situation you didn’t plan for.

How much do I need to budget for a trip to Los Angeles?

For a trip to Los Angeles, you should plan to spend around $190 per day. This is the average daily price based on the analysis of the expenses of other visitors to LA. 

The analysis shows that travelers spend an average of $35 on meals for a single day, and $29 on local transportation around the city. The average cost of hotel accommodations in Los Angeles for a couple is $222 per night. 

Therefore, if you’re planning a couple’s vacation to LA for a week, you should budget at least $2,655. But if you’re visiting LA without a partner, then you can cut your budget to about $1,328 for a week. 

A two weeks trip to Los Angeles for a couple costs around $5,311. Are you planning on taking your family on a vacation to LA? If you have a family of three or four, then the price will go down because kids’ tickets are usually cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. 

If you choose to travel slower over a longer period of time, then your estimated daily budget will go down. In Los Angeles, two people traveling together for one month can have a lower daily budget per person than when compared to one person traveling alone for a week.

Traveling to Los Angeles by Plane

Most visitors travel to Los Angeles by air and arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, known as LAX. Although the airport is enormous, it is surprisingly easy to navigate and the terminals are connected with free shuttle buses. LAX is located just a few minutes from Santa Monica. There are several car rental agencies in the neighborhood surrounding LAX, and each of these rental companies offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. 

There are other smaller airports which you could use depending on if it’s more favorable to you. The Bob Hope Airport is much closer to Hollywood and downtown L.A., or you could use the Long Beach Municipal Airport, south of LAX on there Long Beach close to Orange County. However, if you’re planning on a family vacation to Disneyland, then you may want to book a flight to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.

Traveling to Los Angeles by Car

The City of Angels is a car-centric city that is connected to several major highways in the United States. If you’re coming from the north, you will likely take I-5 or U.S. 101 also known as the Hollywood freeway. From the east, you’ll take I-10, which continues through downtown and ends at the beach. While if you’re coming from the south, you’ll have to drive north on I-5, merging onto I-405 if your destination is the beach communities.

Traveling to Los Angeles by Train

Amtrak services Los Angeles from over 500 U.S. cities. The Los Angeles train terminal is located on the northern edge of Downtown and is known as Union Station. From the Union station, you can hop on one of the many taxis lined up outside and board the Metro Red Line to Hollywood, or take a Metrolink commuter train to San Fernando Valley.


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