It's been a pretty crazy couple of weeks here in the ol' debt lodge. After we killed off the last of the credit cards (RIP?) we focused our energy on Keri's student loan; a whopping $7,575. At the same time we needed to find a way to get our broke asses out to Los Angeles for a college graduation. Being broke(ish) and putting every silly dime on our debt while also planning a mini vacation was trying, but luckily we found several cost effective ways to get to the Golden State without losing focus on saving money.
The internet is amazing, right? We're able to connect with people, see places we would never see, cyber-bully! It's incredible, especially when it comes to booking a vacation. We used the "Internet" to book almost every aspect of our little getaway, and found super cheap ways to keep busy. We used Airbnb. We used Flight Car. We used a hotel pool. We cooked most of our own food. We found free/cheap entertainment.
To go into more detail on our money saving trip tips, we can start by talking about Airbnb. If you haven't already heard of this site we recommend checking it out. It's a way to schack up for cheap without having to stay in a crummy old motel. We searched the site for a place under $80 a night in LA and found an adorable guest house in Eagle Rock equipped with a kitchen, outdoor hangout and more charm than we thought possible. We felt right at home and saved a ton of cash. Much better than spending $200/night for a hotel.
We utilized the kitchen and made breakfast each morning. Nothing is better than sitting outside in the summer munching on avocado toast with a side of fresh cut fruit. For other meals we hunted out the best vegan spots around LA. We weren't looking for glam, so we spent relatively little to eat delicious and healthy sandwiches and power salads.
We got around town in our rented, white Honda Fit from FlightCar. The site gives travelers free airport parking if they agree to rent out their car to visitors. So for literally half the price of other rentals... we got to drive up to 90 miles a day for just $15 a day! Noice!
As for entertainment, we spent some good quality time with family and hung out in the pool at THEIR nice hotel. Most hotel's won't stop you from just walking into their pools. We did this without a reservation or a key and even without having anyone there to point to as a guest. On our own time we walked some trails at Griffith's Observatory (see photo above) We were even able to hit up the UCB theater a few times which is either free or $5.00 a show. UCB was incredible. Keri got to see her crush, Zach Woods (photo left), live in person. Dylan got to see his crush, Wil Anderson, live in person. Win-Win!
We had no real urge to shop while in LA. It seemed like such a Pretty Woman thing to do. Except for when we were at Amoeba Records where Dylan was overwhelmed by choice for the first time in his life. Oh yeah, we also hung out at the Arcade at Santa Monica Pier.... 50 cents per game!
A couple of other tips are to bring some airplane snacks of your own, and an empty water bottle to keep filling... it's insane to spend $8.00 on trailmix after you get through security.
All in all we had a great time in LA. The college graduation was a trip. Watching all these kids celebrating the next chapter of their lives, with no clue the amount of debt that is in front of them. I wanted to grab them and say "DON'T GO OUT AND BUY 10 JAGER BOMBS TONIGHT! SAVE YOUR MONEY! YOU'RE GOING TO NEED IT!" But we let them have their day. It's no secret that will be in debt. It seems to be all that anyone is talking about.. or maybe Google's targeting is better than we ever imagined.