9 August 2018

Planning a Holiday to Los Angeles.

With only 43 days to go until Glenn and I board a plane headed for LAX, I thought it was time to talk about our planning process, who we booked with and all that jazz. Obviously the first thing to get sorted before heading to the US is your ESTA application. After that, you're good to get booking.

We booked our flights before anything else. We originally looked at Norwegian air as I'd heard that they did pretty cheap flights. The reviews for the airline were all over the place and it definitely put us off. We checked out Virgin Atlantic next and that was out of our budget. We ended up booking with British Airways which was more or less the same price as Norwegian. We also booked our car hire with our flights.

We looked into hotels, but the ones in our price range didn't suit us or weren't in a nice area and we all also had to factor in extra parking costs. A much better idea and the way we ended up doing it, was booking an AirBnB for the first 9 nights. The one we chose has off street parking and is in a residential area of Eagle Rock, about a twenty minute drive from Downtown LA.

For the last five nights, we'll be staying in one of Disneyland's Good Partner hotels in Anaheim. There's plenty of hotels within walking distance if you're planning on hitting the original Disney park on a SoCal trip. We filtered the choice by looking at which hotels offered free parking and weren't too pricey. We'll be staying in the Wyndham Gardens Anaheim which was recently refurbished from a Ramada Plaza Hotel. It's so close that you can see parts of Disney California Adventure from some rooms.

When it came to buying tickets for places we wanted to visit on our trip, we used Attraction Tickets Direct. I used the same company last year for PortAventura tickets and it was one of the cheapest places I found for those. This time we bought 5-day Disneyland park hopper tickets and 5 day Go Los Angeles cards. The Go Los Angeles are print at home tickets and the Disney tickets were posted to us quickly. The Go Los Angeles cards are a great money saving way to hitting up multiple attractions as there's about 40 to choose from. You can visit more than one attraction in the same day as long as you enter before 5:30pm. Some require making reservations beforehand, but I found ringing ahead easy and was sent email confirmations straight away. The passes are available in 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 day options, with Universal Studios Hollywood only included on passes or 3 days or more. Aswell as Universal, we will be using our passes to go whale watching and visiting Warner Brothers studio, Sony Pictures studio, The Queen Mary, Long Beach Aquarium, San Diego Zoo and maybe some of the smaller attractions if we have time.

We've also applied for tickets to watch The Late Late show with James Corden being filmed but haven't heard if we've been successful yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

We've been changing some money every month instead of doing it in one go before we leave. I use MoneySavingExpert.com to find where has the best exchange rates on those days. I've found Tui to be the most convenient for us, as it's local and has one of the better rates. 

I'll definitely be doing some posts once our trip is over, probably a couple of hauls as the idea of shopping at Sephora and Ulta has me pretty excited already. 

Have you visited LA? Do you have any tips or recommendations?


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