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Old 06-28-2017, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,344 posts, read 7,418,374 times
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I wonder if anyone here can weigh in on this topic. Our daughter is working in Wyoming for the summer. She has a five day weekend coming up and her co-workers, who are from the western U.S., are planning on going home, which would leave her behind in a one horse (but many moose) town. She was going to fly home but it costs about half as much to fly from Denver to LA round trip as it does Michigan, so now she wants to fly to LA and spend a few days sightseeing there.

First of all, can anyone recommend a nice, safe area for a young woman traveling alone that isn't too far from the airport (she will have to rely on public transit), has something to offer a tourist, and isn't astronomically expensive? I know that's probably a tall order, but we know basically nothing about the area, having only been there once for an overnight extension of our San Diego vacation.

Second, her friends are telling her that she can do much better renting a single room through airbnb than staying in a hotel. Ok, maybe I'm old school, but staying in a room in a stranger's house? I'm thinking Charles Manson here, and I know it's probably just my ignorance of airbnb, but how in the world do you know that the people you're staying with aren't murderers, rapists, or just plain weird? I mean, my daughter's an adult but I'm still her mom and this is going to raise a few red flags, KWIM?

If anyone can offer any suggestions, reassurance, tips, etc., it would be very much appreciated. Our daughter works out in the wilderness so she has limited internet access most of the time, so I told her I would help out by asking around on some well known internet forums such as City-Data and TripAdvisor and let her know what I find out.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:36 AM
 
2,591 posts, read 5,284,814 times
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Public transit and visiting LA do not go together.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:07 AM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,352,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
I wonder if anyone here can weigh in on this topic. Our daughter is working in Wyoming for the summer. She has a five day weekend coming up and her co-workers, who are from the western U.S., are planning on going home, which would leave her behind in a one horse (but many moose) town. She was going to fly home but it costs about half as much to fly from Denver to LA round trip as it does Michigan, so now she wants to fly to LA and spend a few days sightseeing there.

First of all, can anyone recommend a nice, safe area for a young woman traveling alone that isn't too far from the airport (she will have to rely on public transit), has something to offer a tourist, and isn't astronomically expensive? I know that's probably a tall order, but we know basically nothing about the area, having only been there once for an overnight extension of our San Diego vacation.

Second, her friends are telling her that she can do much better renting a single room through airbnb than staying in a hotel. Ok, maybe I'm old school, but staying in a room in a stranger's house? I'm thinking Charles Manson here, and I know it's probably just my ignorance of airbnb, but how in the world do you know that the people you're staying with aren't murderers, rapists, or just plain weird? I mean, my daughter's an adult but I'm still her mom and this is going to raise a few red flags, KWIM?

If anyone can offer any suggestions, reassurance, tips, etc., it would be very much appreciated. Our daughter works out in the wilderness so she has limited internet access most of the time, so I told her I would help out by asking around on some well known internet forums such as City-Data and TripAdvisor and let her know what I find out.

I've used AirBNB several times with no problem. The most important thing is to read the reviews. I only stay in AirBNBs that have had several (think 50+) reviews. Many of them usually go into what kind of neighborhood it is in.


Also, there is a strict screening process for people who want to be a host. Another thing is, unless she chooses to stay at an Instant Book place, THEY will have to approve HER. She has to sign up, validate her identity and they have the right to refuse her if it isn't an Instant Booking room.


As long as she is going to LA, I would say go ahead and stay somewhere near the beach. Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach are nice. Of course, it all depends on how much she is willing to pay.


Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,344 posts, read 7,418,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
Public transit and visiting LA do not go together.
I'm very unfamiliar with LA and probably naive, so is this because it's such a huge, sprawling metro area, or because the public transit is unsafe? I know that Uber would be a better option but she doesn't have an account and where she is living in Wyoming is really out in the sticks and internet service is not reliable at best, which is also why I'm posting this here instead of her. I'm sure taking a taxi everywhere would be $$$$, as would staying in most areas that are safe. I'm really hoping that she finds another option and does LA at a later time when she has more time to prepare and more money to spend.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,344 posts, read 7,418,374 times
Reputation: 6777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Book Lover 21 View Post
I've used AirBNB several times with no problem. The most important thing is to read the reviews. I only stay in AirBNBs that have had several (think 50+) reviews. Many of them usually go into what kind of neighborhood it is in.


Also, there is a strict screening process for people who want to be a host. Another thing is, unless she chooses to stay at an Instant Book place, THEY will have to approve HER. She has to sign up, validate her identity and they have the right to refuse her if it isn't an Instant Booking room.


As long as she is going to LA, I would say go ahead and stay somewhere near the beach. Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach are nice. Of course, it all depends on how much she is willing to pay.


Good luck!
Thanks so much, this is very valuable information. She plans to leave the day after tomorrow, so maybe that isn't even enough time for her to go through the approval process. I'm sure she isn't aware of all of that, I will let her know.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:03 PM
 
2,591 posts, read 5,284,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
I'm very unfamiliar with LA and probably naive, so is this because it's such a huge, sprawling metro area, or because the public transit is unsafe? I know that Uber would be a better option but she doesn't have an account and where she is living in Wyoming is really out in the sticks and internet service is not reliable at best, which is also why I'm posting this here instead of her. I'm sure taking a taxi everywhere would be $$$$, as would staying in most areas that are safe. I'm really hoping that she finds another option and does LA at a later time when she has more time to prepare and more money to spend.
LA is so large and car-oriented that I believe it will be very difficult to visit without a car. By the way, traffic is also terrible.

For a visit of a few days, San Francisco is a far better experience. There is BART (public transit) from the airport to the city. The entire city is compact and walkable. I suspect the same is true for Portland and Seattle although I have less experience with those.

I was just in LA. Every time I go I am reminded it is a place to avoid.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:07 PM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,352,482 times
Reputation: 9264
Here's a summary from the website:


Your profile is a great way for others to learn more about you before they book your space or host you. When your profile is robust, it helps others feel that you're reliable, authentic, and committed to the spirit of Airbnb. Whether you're a host or a guest, the more complete your profile is, the more reservations you're likely to book, too.
We require all hosts to have a profile photo, and we require all guests to upload a profile photo before making their first reservation.
A great profile includes:
  • At least one profile photo
  • Multiple verifications and a Verified ID
  • A description of at least 50 words highlighting why you decided to join the Airbnb community, your interests or hobbies, or anything else you think someone would want to know
To view someone's profile, just click their profile photo.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:12 PM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,352,482 times
Reputation: 9264
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
LA is so large and car-oriented that I believe it will be very difficult to visit without a car. By the way, traffic is also terrible.

For a visit of a few days, San Francisco is a far better experience. There is BART (public transit) from the airport to the city. The entire city is compact and walkable. I suspect the same is true for Portland and Seattle although I have less experience with those.

I was just in LA. Every time I go I am reminded it is a place to avoid.
I agree, I would rather go to SF, especially due to the public transit options.


The best way to enjoy a trip to LA is to focus on a specific area, so you don't have to sit in traffic too much. My son is going there today and coincidentally staying in an AirBNB. He plans to stay in the downtown area only for the Anime Expo. He won't have a car and will only stay in that one area.


If she is going for the first time, I would stay near the beach. My favorite area is Orange County, specifically Newport or Huntington Beach. The Santa Monica Pier area is fun too.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:11 PM
 
1,172 posts, read 477,617 times
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Recently returned from a visit to LA for ca. 2 weeks and used public transport for the most part. It can indeed be done if you plan things out ahead, don't overload your sightseeing days, and are patient (that holds regardless of whether you drive everywhere or use Metro/buses) as LA is hugely sprawling. One occasionally encounters the homeless, the mentally ill, or hustlers on public transportation, but they're easy enough to ignore. The Blue Line is reportedly the worst option by far, and from all reports best avoided.

The advice to concentrate on one section of the city is a good one, as is staying near the beach if you don't plan to drive and are looking for a decent area. Parts of Pasadena are nice as well, especially in the area south of I-210 and west of Allen Ave. and east of South Pasadena Ave., though a good ways away from the attractions in the western part of the city -- though you can use the Metro and buses from here as well. I did. Areas like Chinatown, Hollywood, and Downtown are more centrally located for Metro/bus use but can be a little more spotty (though all have reportedly improved over the last few years) and anything extremely cheap in these areas is likely someplace you don't want to consider.

Will post with a link with a detailed trip report tomorrow.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:20 PM
 
2,642 posts, read 4,818,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
LA is so large and car-oriented that I believe it will be very difficult to visit without a car. By the way, traffic is also terrible.
LA has 6 different light rail lines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Metro_Rail

LA also has the Dash shuttle bus system to get around the various parts of downtown LA. The fare for the Dash bus is only 50 cents. It is easy to get around LA on public transit as a tourist!

The light rail lines will take you to many places of interest. The Red Line will take you to Universal Studios and Hollywood. The Dash bus will take you around downtown to Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Olvera St., LA Live and the Broad Museum. The Gold line will take you to Pasadena and the Norton Simon museum. The Expo line will take you to the Exposition Park museums and all the way to Santa Monica Beach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post

For a visit of a few days, San Francisco is a far better experience. There is BART (public transit) from the airport to the city. The entire city is compact and walkable. I suspect the same is true for Portland and Seattle although I have less experience with those.

I was just in LA. Every time I go I am reminded it is a place to avoid.
I love LA. Its a great city to visit but San Francisco is a sewer where one can have a major gang attack in the the middle of a downtown upscale mall.

Incident at San Francisco Westfield mall: Video, tweets and reaction - SFGate
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