We’ve come up with some basic dos and don’ts for traveling in and around Los Angeles. Of course, using your common sense would be your biggest DO! First of all, you will get most out of your stay in LA and for that matter any major destination, when you prepare well. Read our articles on the highlights, the tour around Los Angeles, shopping, nightlife and more. You will have more fun, because you will know where to go, how to get around and where to stay, without losing valuable time.
If you are a travel-as-you-go type and you would like to get last-minute accommodation depending on the location you are at that moment, you will have a lot of options. This will give you flexibility, however, it will not mean you will save money or time. To enjoy your stay more, find and book some hotels before you go. You will we able to travel more relaxed, spending less time each day searching for a place to sleep, you can take more time to explore the area since you won’t have to check-in that early with guaranteed reservation and it could even save you money! Definitely get a pre-booked hotel on your first day and check out our where-to-stay chapter for more details. You can search for and compare hotels, hostel rates at our TravelDesk section.
Some more Dos and Don’ts of L.A. Travel
Do These Things When Visiting Los Angeles
- Check with the US Embassy or US Consulate in your country for the
most recent updates on visa requirements for your Nationality as
they may change from day today.
- Get Full Insurance on your Rental-Car.
- Fill up your gas tank before you drive into the desert and fill it up every time you have the possibility to do so. You do not want to get stuck in the desert!
- Switch off you’re A/C when the desert temperature gets too high and/or you have to drive uphill during extremely hot weather to avoid engine overheating.
- Always bring at least one gallon (3.8 liters) of water per person with you, when driving into the desert.
- In most cases, you are allowed to turn right at a red traffic light when it is safe to do so (but check for signs).
- Do visit Giffith Park Observatory in Hollywood at night for an amazing view over Los Angeles.
- Do take a tour around LA, you will be glad you did.
- Do book at least your first hotel at every stop you make, in advance.
- Make sure your passport is valid for a period longer than 6 months.
- Make sure you have at least a machine-readable passport. Read our information about entering the USA.
- Do at least visit Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Hermosa Beach. Read more.
Don’t Do These Things in Los Angeles
- Don’t drink alcohol before or during your drive!
- In California drinking alcohol outside in public is not allowed.
- On Santa Monica Beach smoking is not allowed.
- When in Los Angeles avoid areas, such as Compton, East LA, Inglewood, South Central. Visiting Downtown LA during the day (including weekends) is fine. Park where the people are.
- Don’t forget to give tips for the service given to you in hotels, restaurants, and bars. The normal amount would be between 15 and 20% of the total amount, depending on the level of service.
- Don’t stay in one area only explore this city! Explore!