Being based in Los Angeles, I am often asked for tips from fellow kiwis about visiting Los Angeles. I have teamed up with Visa to bring you a few blogs with some of my best advice to help you when planning your next trip to America.
It’s time to get schooled LA style! Check out my top five tips when visiting LA.
1. Don’t waste money on a hotel – there is great accommodation in LA that will save you money (more for hitting Rodeo Drive). My recommendation is to base yourself in Santa Monica, West Hollywood or The Valley aka Studio City.
Try Gypsy Housing West Coast and look for subletting or Air B&B.
2. You will need a car. The biggest mistake that people make coming to LA is not realising how spread out everything is. You can use Uber or Uber pool but try not to plan your days that require too much travelling – trust me. You haven’t experienced traffic till you have seen LA traffic.
3. Download this amazing life changing app that accounts for all traffic as it happens and continuously updates your ETA. Its slogan is ‘outsmarting traffic, together’ and it is a game changer.
4. Tipping – New Zealanders and Australians are known for not being great at tipping. I think it is possibly because it isn’t commonplace at home and we don’t really know how.
So how do you tip? If you look at your bill when you eat out, look at the TAX on the bill. Rule of thumb is to basically double the number you are charged for tax and that is how much you should tip or more if you are feeling generous. The service in the US is pretty amazing and the staff work hard for tips.
5. Don’t drink water from the tap! Bottled water is very affordable – you can usually buy a tray of 12 bottles for under $5 or a fridge filter jug for the same price.
Those are my five essential tips to settling into LA like you’re a local and #notatourist. Bonus tip, pack your Visa and if you ever happen to lose it or have it stolen (hey these things happen) – they’ll replace it, even while you’re travelling. For more travel inspiration head here.