Here’s a fun fact: in 2016, over 47 million people visited Los Angeles, a city that routinely breaks its own records for number of tourists in a year.
There’s a good reason why LA attracts so many domestic and international travelers. It’s a hotbed of American culture: from its restaurants to its businesses, and most especially to the glamor of Hollywood. Celebrity sightings, shopping malls, and historic landmarks are just the tip of the iceberg, as the city promises a host of opportunities for visitors to find their fortunes during casting surges like pilot season.
The city has its bases covered in the way of bringing people in, but whether or not it can provide them with convenient and affordable accomodations has been up to debate. That is, until recent trends emerged along with what looks to be a prominent new player in the rental industry.
Read on to find out why extended nightly stays might be the best option for tourists looking for a brief trip to the City of Angels.
Image borrowed from energy106.ca
1. Total Immersion
Nobody enjoys being a tourist. Between the looks they receive from locals to the inauthenticity of the tourist’s experience, it’s finally fallen out of fashion. In its place is experiential travel, which is defined by the visitor’s immersion into local culture and exposure to everyday living in the locale of their choice.
In fact, if given the choice, a growing number of people would choose experiential travel over the detachment of traditional booking. A solid majority of younger visitors would prefer to plan their itineraries alongside locals, rather than through websites or agencies.
It formed a large part of the appeal of the business model of companies like AirBnB (which, sadly, appear to have begun their fall from the good graces of both the public and city administrators). Second perhaps to cost-efficiency, renting an apartment for a night or two allows visitors to feel like they belong in the communities hosting them.
Extended nightly stays are an innovation of the short-term rental model. They’re a feature offered by medium-term rental businesses, which in turn provide an agreeable middle ground between hosts who want to capitalize on the tourist appeal of their locations and locals who need stable housing arrangements.
Listings are typically available for a minimum term of 30 days, though some units offer travelers the option to book for a minimum of seven nights. This is a big deal for the traveler who wants a more authentic go at experiencing the LA way of life, as these units are often nestled in urban hubs. The amenities included are homely enough to beat the hotel vibe, without sacrificing any of the comfort that comes with a decent place to lay your head.
Image borrowed from britannica.com
Extended nightly stay units are fully furnished and typically come with a range of essential amenities (e.g. in-house washers, kitchen space, WiFi). Beyond the immersive appeal these provide, they’re also very convenient. Travelers don’t have to worry about finding a decent connection to call home or book their itineraries, nor do they have to bear the cost of hotel laundry rates.
What’s more, these units are often quite spacious—far more so than hotel rooms that charge multiple times an extended nightly stay unit’s average nightly rates. They reject myth that experiential travel means cloistering oneself away in a cramped living space; it might be the case for backpackers on an extremely tight budget, but the average traveler can rest easy where this new rental format is concerned.
Comfort during one’s travels is important—if not for the peace of mind it brings, then for the distractions it prevents. The city of LA can be plenty stressful on its own, so the added inconvenience of being a stranger in need of a clean bed, stable internet connection, or clean clothes is definitely something to avoid.
The final reason why your trip to LA should involve an extended nightly stay booking is also the most significant: the cost.
The average cost of a night at a Los Angeles hotel was roughly $220 back in 2016. Likewise, many have noticed that short-term rentals, which used to be the go-to alternative for travelers looking for visits shorter than a month, have been increasing their prices to the point where the difference between a unit and a hotel room is practically negligible.
This is all in stark contrast to the offers presently being made by extended nightly stay hosts. A good number of fully furnished units for rent in the Hollywood area are available starting from a little over $80 per night. When you have a Hollywood apartment unit being offered at under 40% of the average price for an LA hotel, calling it a bargain would be a vast understatement.
If saving money for its own sake isn’t enough of an incentive, you should know that every dime saved on your accommodations means access to more of the attractions that the city has to offer.
Booking at the rates offered by extended nightly stay hosts means travelers have more resources to spend on experiencing LA. Whether it’s an extra side of onion rings at Pink’s or movie night at the ArcLight, the city has a lot to offer those who’ve planned their budgets wisely. You can find countless guides online for the places you have to visit and the things you have to do while you’re there, which should put your savings from booking an extended nightly stay into perspective.
Finally, saving cash on your accommodations means the freedom to extend your stay. Your bases are covered if you fall in love with the city, or decide to try your hand at catching a big break during pilot season.
Image borrowed from rantnow.com
No matter how unique the city of Los Angeles might be for a traveler looking to experience it, some cardinal rules about travel stay the same. Go local when you can, know the law of the land, and look for a great deal on reliable accommodations.
Memorable trips happen when you don’t have to worry about your sleeping arrangements, and trust us, you’ll want to remember everything about your trip to LA. After all, stars in the sky are a dime a dozen—we’ve only got a handful on Earth, and they all live in Los Angeles.
Visiting LA anytime soon? Check out these apartments for a hip but affordable Hollywood experience.