LA is not only the entertainment capital of the world it is also the second-most-populous city in the US (right after New York). Your kids have been begging you to take them there to see Downtown Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory, Venice Beach, and, of course, the Hollywood Sign. Of course, you want to take them…but is it feasible? Today, we will go over some of the most pressing questions when planning an affordable family vacation in one of the most expensive cities in the US. We’ll look into pricing, budgeting, and things to do when you finally take that LA family trip.
How Much Does it Cost to Vacation in Los Angeles?
Now you’re wondering how much money you will need to put aside for your Los Angeles family trip. Normally, one adult person spends about $190 per day on average. The cost for children is less, but it is always a good idea to overestimate. This way you don’t get caught with unpleasant surprises.
How to Save on Your Family’s Trip to LA?
Start by picking the best time to go. From a temperature and crowd standpoint, the best months are March to May and September to November, the temperature and air quality are better and the crowds are smaller. This also means that there are fewer tourists which means better deals for you. Peak season is the summer, so we advise you to skip it – it will be hot and crowded. Kids are also out of school during this time, so Disney and the other theme parks will be full.
How much money do I need for a week in LA?
If we take the above number, then a 1 week trip to Los Angeles for two adults should cost give or take $2,660, so it would be prudent to set aside $100 per day per child just to be safe.
What is the Average Cost of a Meal in Los Angeles?
On average, the cost of meals in one day is between $35-40 with the average meal costing somewhere around $15. As a norm, breakfast is significantly cheaper than lunch or dinner…and there are some great ways to get deals while eating out with your family in Los Angeles. We will discuss that later.
How to Save on Eating out in Los Angeles?
Before you do anything, check out Los Angeles Restaurant Coupons and plan ahead on which ones you want to visit.
Another great way to save on food in LA, is to cook. Yup. Cook. If you book your family into an Airbnb or similar type of location, you can book a home with a kitchen so you can make breakfast and pack snacks at home. On top of this, you can have a more spacious place to stay at so that instead of being stuck in one room with the whole family, you can get a little privacy. Other perks of staying at this type of location, is that oftentimes there is free internet, washers, dryers and amenities that are not always available at a hotel.
If you do choose a hotel, choose smart. Find out if the hotel offers free breakfasts for kids or kids eat free. Is there a pool or game room where the kids can entertain themselves in case it rains? Sometimes it’s not so much about the savings, but the value provided by the lodgings you choose.
What’s the Cost of Transportation in Los Angeles?
The cost of transportation runs about $30 on average.
How to Save Money on Transportation in LA?
Los Angeles is known for traffic, so while you may think that renting a car will be a good idea, it is just going to add costs AND inconvenience on your family vacation. LA’s MTA is a fantastic way to get around. Fares are usually under $2 per trip and they have an all-day pass at $7. Better than that, the 7-day pass is just $25 (saving almost 50% on transportation).
MTA offers buses and trains that cut your dependence on those clogged highways. It’s important to check your intended locations for access to MTA service. The base fare is $1.75 USD, but an all-day pass is only $7. Even with the pass, you might be required to pay more if you travel between zones.
How to Save on Cost of Entry to Popular Los Angeles Attractions?
Check out the Go Card. The card gets you free admission at a bunch of local attractions. The cards start at $92 and run up to $400…which seems like a lot, but actually saves a lot of money. Just make sure to check out the attractions that are included so you can decide if this will be the best way to save for your family.
Another option is the City Pass. This is another pass that helps you save on getting into some of California’s most popular theme parks and attractions.
Is there Free Stuff to Do with Your Family In LA?
Of course. There are always free things to do with your family that are free. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Take a walk on Venice Beach
- Go to the beach.
- Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Go to the Getty Museum (it’s always free)
- Go to the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park (it’s always free and reachable by public transport)
- Go to a TV show taping. Many of them are free with a reservation.
- Check out the Forecourt of the Stars at TCL Chinese Theatre
- Take your kids to the California Science Center (admission is free, but you’ll have to pay if you want to see the IMAX experiences).
We hope this is a great starting point to help you plan your Los Angeles family vacation. If you have other questions, leave a comment. We’d love to know what else you’re curious about.