LA Guide for Business Travelers
Los Angeles is a sprawling city, popular for both personal and business travel. When visiting Los Angeles, the best way to beat its infamous traffic is to concentrate your meetings and explorations in one neighborhood or area, like West Hollywood. That way you can sit back and enjoy the sunshine instead of crawling along the freeway.
Before each trip, you can use TravelBank to create a predictive budget and forecast how much your trip will cost. My business trip to Los Angeles for 2 days and 2 nights came in with a budget of $1143.34.
The total budget is segmented into categories like airfare, lodging, transportation and daily allowance (for food), but can be spent flexibly. For example, on this trip I was able to save on lodging and transportation so I could spend a little more on food, and experience the amazing restaurants of West Hollywood. I was also able to fly JetSuiteX and still beat my budget.
Since I beat my budget, I got to keep half of the savings as TravelBank points and can redeem them for credits with services like Uber, Lyft, RedAwning and Airbnb.
Instead of fighting the crowds at SFO and LAX, I hopped on a flight from Concord to Burbank with JetSuiteX, an air travel company that sells seats on their private jets for roughly the same price as a ticket on a commercial flight.
Getting to their Concord hangar from our SoMa office took a little longer than an Uber ride to SFO, but it’s less expensive, pretty easy and I definitely saved time once I got there since there are no TSA lines. Flying into the Burbank airport was actually extremely convenient for us since we were staying in West Hollywood.
Where to Stay
Mama Shelter is a trendy boutique hotel, conveniently located in Hollywood. It made for the perfect home base during our two days in Los Angeles. Each morning, we kicked off the day with brunch in their dining room before hopping in our car and heading out for meetings. It was easy to get around town from here, find parking (or use their convenient valet option) and locate delicious dinner spots nearby.
When we got back at night, we had a spacious room and cozy king-size bed waiting for us. I loved the quirky touches from the chalkboard ceiling in the lobby to the Star Wars masks hung in the room. We rode the elevator all the way up to the rooftop bar on our first day to take in the surrounding neighborhood and squint for a view of the Hollywood sign.
TravelBank travelers can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-785-6665 between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm PST and reference “TravelBank” to access special rates when booking a stay for business. TravelBank travelers will receive 20% off of their online flexible rate. Rooms are prepaid at this special discount but you do have a 48 hour cancellation policy attached to the reservation.
Getting around Los Angeles can be tricky, especially if your meetings are spread out. Traffic is seemingly always heavy and it can take forever to get from one side of the city to the other. Lyft and Uber are great if you are going a short distance. For example, my UberX from the Burbank airport to Mama Shelter cost $14 and I was dropped off in 35 minutes.
If you like to travel in style, you can get around Los Angeles with the COTS group. The drivers are familiar with the area and are reliable when it comes to getting you to the airport on time – a great option when you don’t want to stress about traffic. To book you can call 800-700-5466 or send an email to email@example.com and reference “TravelBank” to access special rates. They will make arrangements based on your flight information, destination and number of passengers.
If your schedule has you going all over the city, it would be smart to rent a car. You can split the rental car with your coworker to save money, and don’t forget to budget for parking if you are going the rental route. There are plenty of parking garages around LA but they will add up.
Good Cheap Eats
“One of the best things about living in LA is the food mecca that it has become over the years. Spend one day in LA (ok fine, two) and your tastebuds can hit up all corners of the world within this 500 square mile metropolis.” Local insider Leila Najafi shares her favorite good cheap eats for one of our favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods, West Hollywood.
During my visit I loved the brunch atmosphere at our hotel, Mama Shelter. Also, if you get the chance to stop through Koreatown, visit Parks BBQ. It was my first real Korean barbecue experience and I loved it.
Where to Take Clients
When taking clients to a lunch or dinner meeting, you can exclude the meal from your trip budget and mark as client entertainment. This is a great way to beat your budget and increase productivity on your trip.
This trip, we met with clients for dinner at Sur and Pump. The menus are varied enough to keep everyone happy, and there’s plenty of space so you won’t feel like you are sitting on top of each other when you dine with a group. Plus, it’s a fun chance for anyone hoping to experience a little celebrity culture on their visit.
What to See & Do
When you have time between meetings, there’s plenty to enjoy around Los Angeles. One day after a meeting at LAX, we drove to Manhattan Beach for to walk in the sun, marvel at the real estate and enjoy a drink at The Strand House. Just before another meeting we did a quick visit to check out the LACMA lights.
Closer to West Hollywood, we enjoyed an afternoon walking around Griffith Observatory for skyline views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Even closer to home, we enjoyed the rooftop views atop the Mama Shelter hotel.