Reason for the trip: I bought tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream months ago, and figured we'd make a trip out of it when the time came.
How we got there: BACK STORY: Back in September 2016, American was offering $500 a ticket to get bumped off a flight from Palm Springs to Dallas (we were then connecting on to Oklahoma). We were on a tight schedule as is, so didn't think we could do it, BUT always check! We were shuttled to LAX and put on a direct flight that got us in earlier than our original ticket, PLUS $1000 in credit! We had a small bit of that left over, and Rich had some credit with Virgin America for a cancelled flight a few months ago. Same thing, he got the standard automatic credit when a flight is cancelled, but called in and explained we had to find extra care for our dogs, and miss work, so they offered him additional credit. Always ask! With all the left over credit we had, we only ended up paying $6 for the flights!
Flight booking note: I track flights on Hopper (I like their notification system), but then I check final prices on Kayak, because they offer the "hacker fare" so 2 one ways from different airlines that end up being cheaper than a round trip.
We rented a car: Use Kayak to check average prices per day for your dates/city. Then go to Priceline and name your own price for $5-$10/day cheaper than that average price. You may have to try a few times, but often we can get a car for cheaper this way!
We stayed in an Airbnb: Also using credit! We got a $100 gift card as a wedding present, and used Airbnb on a business trip so got a $50 credit. LA is vast, so deciding where to stay ultimately depends on what cool Airbnb's we could find. Our first pick was already booked, but our second was accepted only after a warning that it was "really small". We were up in the hills of Silverlake! (I lived in the next neighborhood over during college, Echo Park)
Sadly our top choice wasn't available.
From there, I researched where to eat, and looked up all the shops I follow on Instagram and saved them all on my Google map for easy reference when we were out and about. I usually search "travel guide ___" on Pinterest as well and find some good gems!
It was a 4 day trip, and we fortunately had a great friend stay at the house to watch the pups for us.
Next Up: A week off to drive ourselves, pups and all belongings to our new home in Issaquah, WA!