Last month, I finally made my dream come true and went on a trip to California. It was a spontaneous decision: a friend of mine said she was going, and she offered me to go with her and her friend. I wasn’t thinking much, I just said Yes. I got my plane ticket two days later.
The brief plan for the trip was LA – Catalina Island – San Diego – LA. I landed two days after the two girls, so I didn’t see much of LA. We slept in LA and then we took a ferry to Catalina Island the next day. We spent the whole day there and then we went to San Diego, where we stayed for two days. Then we came back to LA for the last two days.
I just want to briefly get you familiar with a cost of the trip like that in case you wanted to go by yourselves one day (and I hope you will). A plane ticket from NY varies from $350 to $680. It depends on what day you choose to travel. Buying a ticket between Thursday and Sunday will be always pricier; the best idea is to buy a ticket for Tuesday or Wednesday. Renting a car for a week is around $400, gas is really cheap, so it’s not something you should worry about (we filled up for only $20!). We didn’t reserve hotels ahead, we just called them an hour before we were getting close to our destination. There were three of us, so we always booked one room with two queen size beds (of course); two people can easily sleep on one bed. I learned that trick from the girls: hotel people don’t care how many people stay in the room, so you can make it cheaper for yourself. The cost of the room is from $120 up, usually around $160 (weekends are more expensive). I’m not talking about fancy hotels, of course; I mean the regular ones like Best Western or La Quinta. Breakfast is included (cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, bagels, scrambled eggs, waffles). We also explored a bit, so there was an additional cost – we took a ferry to Catalina Island ($70), went to San Diego ZOO ($55 – the largest ZOO in the United States), we did Warner Brothers Studio Tour in LA ($68). To sum all this up, you would need at least $1000 for a week like that. The price of the food was the same as it is in NY, so I didn’t feel like I was spending more (usually, it hovered around $20 a day).
I love road trips and everything that comes with them – driving (I prefer to be a passenger, though), coffee breaks, exploring new places, not knowing what route you will take the following day. Not to mention the company and the music in the car, plus the incredible views passing behind the car windows. There’s the kind of freedom you feel while you’re doing a road trip. And I love this feeling. That’s why I’m planning on doing it a few times every year.