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A globally important centre of culture, business and tourism, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US. Yet this urban area is fringed by mountains, deserts and beautiful beaches.
As the centre of the biggest film industry in the world, it’s easy to feel familiar with LA - but being there in the flesh is another thing entirely.
Blessed with year-round warm weather and sunshine, there is no real holiday season in LA as such. And its main attractions also have a permanent appeal. You can go star spotting on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hang out on the beach at Malibu, or enjoy a family day out at a choice of world-class theme parks at any time of year.
However, if you are planning on visiting Disneyland or Universal Studios, then it is probably best to book flights well in advance. As popular family holiday destinations, flights are busiest during the school holidays. But, for many of the city’s other attractions, you can travel at any time. Go celeb spotting in Beverly Hills, watch the performers down on Venice Beach or sip cocktails on the Sunset Strip throughout the calendar year.
The real secret to booking cheap flights to LA is knowing how to get the best out of your Expedia search. By learning a few tricks, you can vastly improve your chances of getting flights to Los Angeles at a great rate.
Firstly, make sure that you’re utilising the ‘Nearby Airports’ option when you search. This will give you a bigger selection of relevant arrival or departure destinations.
If possible, try and be a little flexible about when you travel, looking at the days either side of your chosen departure and return. Click the ‘Show flexible dates’ button and you will open up a whole new range of flight options, with many coming in cheaper than your original results.
Los Angeles International Airport, better known as LAX, is a gigantic travel hub and one of the world’s largest airports. There are regular flights to LAX from the UK, as well as a many connecting destinations. There is a relatively good public transport service to the airport, with the LAX FlyAway direct buses from numerous places around the city.
Other airports include Long Beach, Bob Hope (Burbank), John Wayne and LA/Ontario, which all have international arrivals and departures. Almost all the airports lack comprehensive direct train access but there are excellent car rental facilities in each of them.
Indirect and direct flights to Los Angeles are available from a number of different carriers.
Public transport in LA, as in most US cities, leaves something to be desired. Although there is an extensive bus and underground network, considering the city’s size it is in need of some redevelopment.
Even if you can catch a bus, you should expect a walk at either end as they tend to stick to the main thoroughfares rather than serving individual neighbourhoods.
Which explains why the car is king in LA. Car rental options in LA are plentiful and generally good value - as is petrol. And a comprehensive road network (including several major freeways) traverses the city.
Travelling further afield, a fairly good long-distance rail network and good domestic flight options make getting around relatively straightforward.
Los Angeles is less a city and more a huge metropolitan area - home to 17 million people. Check out the world-famous neighbourhoods of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, keeping your eyes peeled for the homes of the stars. Mingle with the rock gods down on the Sunset Strip or grab your surfboard and head out to the coast.
The Downtown area has seen a revival in recent years, home to a new hip scene full of bars and chic vintage shops.
Hollywood is the place movie magic is made and Venice Beach is where street performers ply their trade.
As Frank Lloyd Wright once said: ‘Tip the world on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles’.