by Garrett McKay
Whether it’s your first trip to the US or one of many, Los Angeles makes a perfect destination. As one of the largest cities in the U.S., close to and full of famous, one-of-a-kind attractions, Los Angeles has much to offer people traveling alone, with a loved one or with the entire family. Before you go, brush up on what you can expect when you get there, where you might want to go and finding the best Los Angeles hotels at which to stay.
Los Angeles has a fairly steady climate year-round. Expect temperatures between 10 and 28 degrees Celsius year-round, with the hottest temperatures in July and August. If you’re traveling between November and March, you might want to pack an umbrella or a light jacket with a hood—it’s rainy season.
Service workers in the U.S. rely on tips to make a living; some are even paid below minimum wage because their employers expect them to make tips. Whether you are at hotels or at restaurants around town, be prepared to tip. Food and drink tips should total between 15 and 20 percent of the total bill, before tax, and tips for people such as maids, bellhops and taxi drivers should be between $1 and $2 for each service.
Although you’re probably not intending to visit the doctor while touring Los Angeles, emergencies may occur. As a precaution, take out travel health insurance before you go. The American health care system relies heavily on health insurance, and it likely won’t accept any home insurance you have, other than travel insurance. If you don’t plan ahead, you could be stuck with a bill totaling many hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
What you plan to do in L.A. depends entirely on your tastes and who you’ve got with you, but you may be interested in some of these popular stops:
• Mann Chinese Theatre: Here you’ll find the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• Getty Center: A world-famous art museum with free admission.
• Dodgers Stadium: See the L.A. Dodgers play a game at this iconic ballpark if it’s baseball season during your visit.
• Griffith Park: Take a timeout from the hubbub in the city at this picturesque place for picnics, gold panning, horseback riding and hiking.
• Nokia Theatre: See who’s playing at the Nokia Theatre; acts include singers, bands and award shows.
When it comes to Los Angeles hotels, you probably want to balance price with quality. It’s true that staying in Los Angeles can be expensive, but it’s safest to stick with the highest-rated hotels. Look into deals for staying long periods, or book through a third party travel site to see if you can save a few bucks. Some of the best hotels in Los Angeles include:
• Los Angeles International Airport Hotels: The hotels right in the vicinity of the airport are among the best in the area and are especially suited for those staying in L.A. for a limited time who don’t want to stray too far from the airport area. These hotels include: the Hilton, Four Points, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Travelodge, and the Radisson Inn. More affordable options include Super 8 and Days Inn—just before you book the airport location.
• Bed and breakfasts: There’s nothing like experiencing Los Angeles like some of the locals do; staying at a bed and breakfast can offer you that opportunity. Some of the highest-rated bed and breakfast Los Angeles hotels include Hollywood Bed & Breakfast, Cinema Suites Bed & Breakfast, and the Inn at Playa del Rey.
• Luxury hotels: If you’re really going all out for your Los Angeles stay, why not stay at the very best? Some of the highest-rated luxury LA hotels include Hotel Bel-Air, W Hollywood, and the Redbury at Hollywood and Vine.
Garrett McKay is a contributing writer and Perth native who has lived in Los Angeles for the last ten years. Some of his favorite spots in his adopted city include the Malibu beaches and Hollywood Boulevard.