Seth Kugel, The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler, recently set out to spend one week in Los Angeles on $100 per day. To meet this objective, he had to forgo renting a car and instead got around by bike and public transportation. He also saved money by staying in an inexpensive Santa Monica hostel.
While visiting Los Angeles in this way is not for everyone, Mr. Kugel demonstrates what many who live in the region already know; namely, that with a little effort much of the city is accessible without a car. He also extols the virtues of experiencing the city person to person and shares some of the serendipitous experiences that unfold during his explorations. As he explains at the end of his article.
What I had really liked were the moments in between [sightseeing]: the strangers who shared secrets on the buses, the dog walkers and Dutch tourists who stopped to chat with me along Rodeo Drive, the aspiring actor I struck up a conversation with on Santa Monica Boulevard, as he cycled to an audition and I cycled to pick up my U.C.L.A. football ticket. These were true Los Angeles moments — moments that most visitors, stuck in freeway traffic behind the steering wheel of their rental car, never get to experience. Or, at most, happen only when they stop their car at a taco or banh mi truck.
I can relate to this perspective because whether I’m traveling away from home or exploring my own backyard, I enjoy myself most when I make personal connections with the places that I visit and the people I meet along the way. As I’ve said in previous posts, this is why I created Curating Los Angeles – to inspire tourists and locals alike to venture out and experience all that Los Angeles has to offer.