Things are heating up and your girl plans on hitting all of the hot spots this year for sure! I just got back from Los Angeles, California for my college friend’s bachelorette and this was definitely a trip to remember! I’m not going to keep y’all waiting so let’s jump into all of the juicy details of the trip!
When my friend, the future bride, said that she wanted to go on her bachelorette in LA, I honestly was a little hesitant at first because I was like, LA in 2022?!? Not to mention, right after she told us, the gas prices went up and I was one of the ones who hadn’t booked my flight yet! So for me the most expensive part of the trip ended up being the flight. Actually, this was the most expensive flight I’ve ever purchased in my travel history including Dubai! I was the only one travelling from Richmond, VA so I ended up paying $249 for my flight going to LA and $328 for my flight flying from LA. Before they announced the spike in gas prices, flights were just a little bit cheaper but the only reason I didn’t buy my flight at that time is because the flight times did not work for me. One thing I was mad about was the fact that my flight going to LA dropped to $163 two weeks prior to the trip. I called United and they weren’t willing to give me a credit for a cheaper flight. Before I get mad all over again….let me jump into the good details of the trip.
I went to LA from April 22, 2022 – April 25, 2022 for my friend’s bachelorette, as I said above. There were eight (8) ladies which was key for budgeting purposes for this trip! First things first, let’s talk about where eight ladies stayed for a three day weekend! We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Los Angeles Monteray Park. We reserved one suite and a regular room with two beds! This hotel was new and it was the best hotel I’ve stayed in, in a long time! Five (5) people stayed in the suite and there were two (2) large bathrooms. Three of the ladies stayed in the other room. We paid $210 per person! So as you can see step 1 to trying to stay within budget for this trip was to not stay directly in the city which accompanied everyone’s budget. We rented two (2) SUVs at the airport from Thrifty Budget Rental for $63 a piece. Four people to a car and we were ready to go! Ok now that I’ve gotten the logistics out of the way…let’s get into details of the trip!
Everyone made it to LA at least by 4:30pm on Friday, so once we were able to get the rental cars we headed to the hotel! Before you even ask, you already know we ran into LA rush hour traffic! It took us a little over 1 hour to get to the hotel which only should have taken 30 minutes. We had reservations that night for DAMA’s an LA staple in the Fashion District. However, things don’t always go as planned when you’re traveling, so we ended up ordering small plates at the hotel restaurant. We shared the food and then we split the bill at the end! The food and drinks at the hotel were very good! After dinner we headed upstairs to get ready to head to the Rooftop at the Ace Hotel! This rooftop was free to get in and was definitely a vibe! Drinks were reasonably priced as well! The DJ was on point too, but I can’t remember what his name was. We found a section right by the fireplace to fit all 8 of us and then we partied the night away until almost 2am which is when the rooftop closed.
It’s no secret that we all were ready to catch up on some sleep after a day of travel and partying on Friday, so Saturday we woke up at a reasonable time and ate breakfast downstairs at the hotel and then we headed out to the Griffith Observatory to hike one mile to see the Hollywood sign! The parking was free and so was the hike and the views! You’ll need to search for free parking, because there are definitely places around the trail where you’ll have to pay. Also, this is definitely something that you’ll want to do early in your day or else you’ll be too tired to get to it later on in the day! However, this is definitely a MUST if this is your first time to Hollywood like it was for some of us! After the hike we headed to Downtown Hollywood for our lunch with a view at Mama’s Shelter. The lunch Menu did not a have a whole lot to choose from, but the food was definitely good! Once again we split the check because we were able to split our food, so we ended up paying $55 per person for our food, drinks and gratuity.
Major Key Alert: Most of the restaurants were not willing to print out separate checks for large parties, so if you’re one of those people who want to just pay for what you’ve ordered, you may want to take this into consideration.
After lunch we walked Hollywood Boulevard/ Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is probably the strip where you want to get your souvenirs from. Let me point you in the direction of the lavish and thrifty store where everything is $5 except for the sweatshirts which are $10. The store was right past the Dolby Theatre on the same side. You may find some stores on the strip that will have magnets, shot glasses and key chains for cheaper than $5 and by all means, please purchase these items at those stores! I purchased some tee-shirts and sweatshirts from the $5 store and everything was quality. Remember that it doesn’t cost anything to walk the strip though, people watch and take pictures! There’s plenty of things to do on this strip though so please take your time and pace yourself!
When we left Hollywood Boulevard we headed back to the hotel to rest for a little bit and then we got ready for our dinner reservations at Beauty and Essex…this was a family style dinner. We all decided on a couple of small plates to order and we split the check. This was a very nice and beautiful dinner spot the vibes were spot on! We valeted for $12. Once we left Beauty and Essex, we headed to the Classic Cat on Sunset Boulevard where we also had table reservations. The table cost $1000 which included two bottles. This was not bad price for 8 of us to split! We loved this place and the vibes were just right, and once again the DJ was on point. This club closed at 2am as well.
On Sunday we slept in once again and took a ride to the Marathon store to see Nipsey Hussle’s mural which was closed off to the public. After that we drove to Venice Beach to have brunch at Neighbor Abbott Kinney. Once again the food did not miss! The split was $55 per person. Once we were done eating we walked the Boardwalk at Venice Beach and then took a short drive to Malibu. We purchased a bottle from Rosemary Winery for $50 and then we set on the beach, talked and watched the sunset. Once we left we purchased gas to fill up before returning the car the next day. Gas was almost $6 for regular and I have to add that we did a lot of driving and the rental cars were actually great on gas as that was the only time we went to the gas station! Everyone was super tired from the weekend and we ended up just going to get In & Out and heading back to the hotel to prepare for our flights the next day!
This trip had a lot of potential to cost even more than what we paid! However, here are a few takeaways:
Purchase a hotel outside of the main city.
Search for deals on the rental cars
Split food for large plates…our rooms did not have a microwave so there was no point in getting a to go box
Plan ahead but be be flexible…everything is not going to go as planned. Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
I haven’t been on a group trip like this in a very long time so I was skeptical about how it was going to go! To be completely honest this was the perfect girls trip and it couldn't have come at a better time! I'll definitely be going to back to LA as there is still a lot I want to see and experience.
So what do y’all think?! Was this lavish and thrifty or more lavish than thrifty?!? I think we budgeted as much as we could for LA in order to have fun and be safe! It’s LA in 2022 so you have to be ready to spend money!