Couch Crashing
April 22, 2005 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I'd been planning to go to E3 next month with a friend. We planned on driving out to California, doing the whole road trip thing across the west, seeing the sights in California and geeking out for a few days. Until Disaster Struck!

Thing is, he just had a $600 debt come due, effectively destroying his budget for the trip. I think I can swing most of the expenses; I'd already planned on paying for gas, but the hotelling is going to be a killer, well over $300. All of the hotels nearby are booked solid, and we were fortunate enough to find a hostel on the cheap, but even that's looking expensive right now.

So, metafilter, I ask: Do you have a couch we could crash on? I'd be happy to swing some E3 swag your way and buy a few lunches or dinners as thanks. I expect to be in your place as little as possible, because the show is freaking enormous, and will take all day, every day to see as much as possible. The expo is the 18th to the 20th of May, and is at the Staples center, so it'd really just be three nights, tops.
If there's other housing advice or How to Do LA on the Cheap advice you've got, I'd love to hear that too.
posted by boo_radley to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (8 answers total)
This isn't really going to help, but FYI I'll be at E3, as will at least a couple other Mefites. There are some not-quite-firm plans for an associated LA meetup.
posted by Plutor at 10:21 AM on April 22, 2005

I'll be there for one day.
posted by waxpancake at 10:42 AM on April 22, 2005

Check out Couch Surfing.
posted by nitsuj at 10:44 AM on April 22, 2005

Too bad you can't rent an RV and crash in it at MalWart.
posted by craniac at 11:29 AM on April 22, 2005

You could just sleep in the car.
posted by angry modem at 12:09 PM on April 22, 2005

LA has several hostels of varying quality according to a hostelling book I used to have. Which one did you pick? Most shouldn't be over $20 a day.

There are some fantastic camping spots in the Santa Monica Mountains. Mostly California state parks. That may be a bit out of the way, though. I've also slept in my car and used beach showers, though that's only particularly comfortable if you have a nice long ol' hatchback or van.

There are some good camping spots along the way. If you're headed out 70 and down I-15, Valley of Fire state park (about 30 min North of Vegas) is an excellent cheap spot to stop and stay. So is Mesquite NV on a non-holiday weekend, though, if you lika the hotels.
posted by weston at 12:53 PM on April 22, 2005

How to get the cheapest hotel rate in LA:

Go to the airport. Don't enter a parking structure, just park in the middle, where the meters are; there's some thought that these aren't checked very often, but feed in a couple quarters just to be sure. (This is the area adjacent to what's historically known as the Theme Building but may be better known now by the name of the cool restaurant up top, Encounter.) Go into the nearest terminal, staying on the ground level. Find the booth labeled "Information" which will be staffed by a red-blazered member of the volunteer organization, Travelers Aid (of which I am a former member). Ask the elderly volunteer if they know of a cheap hotel, and you'll be handed a notebook full of hotel brochures. Choose the one nearest to where you want to be (most are close by LAX, but there's options all over town). Show this page to the volunteer, and a call will then be made, on your behalf. If a room is available (the usual outcome), the volunteer will fill out a voucher for you. If you're just off the plane, go back outsde and wait for the hotel's shuttle to fetch you, otherwise, back to your car, and off to the hotel.

Prices will be similar to, if not less than, what you can get in advance via (for example) (ie ~ $60 for a single, last time I did it) -- and I've had a $50 room at the Hilton using this service. I've done this a lot, you needn't be a distressed traveler to qualify, although it's a rather off-putting method to those accustomed to arriving with reservations. (Note that Travelers Aid at other airports don't do this -- something about an agreement LA hotels have made with the United Way, IIRC.)

BTW if the first booth you locate is unattended, just move on to the next terminal -- each one has one, longest hours in the International. This is the only drawback -- if you're showing up after about 8:30, or before 9AM you probably won't find anybody to help you. But high noon, no problem.
posted by Rash at 2:47 PM on April 22, 2005

Boo, I have a cheap crashing offer for you and your friend. Since you don't seem to have a publicly available address, whip me a message at the email in my profile.
posted by Plutor at 7:49 AM on April 28, 2005

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