Cheapoair has great deals on flights, but if you are desperate for a vacation but can not justify airfare (especially for a family), they also have deals on places to stay in the Los Angeles area where you can play tourist in your own backyard. This option gives you the perk of maid service and a change of scenery that staying at home does not, so it really is a mini vacation from chores.

One of the things I love about their site is that you can adjust down to the dollar what your price range is, how many stars you want (you can even set half stars), and how much of a distance you are willing to go from your location. They also have what they call their four Golden Guarantees which promise service and price protections for travel you book through the site. I found it impressive that they give travelers credit for flight and baggage delays over an hour, and they refund $10 for lower prices found elsewhere within 12 hours of an airfare or hotel booking made on their site.

I found some deals for hotels in areas where people from other states and countries flock, so why not join them and enjoy knowing your way around town without the need for GPS and concierges to tell you where the good places are for drinks and dinner?

The Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach is not only a landmark attraction for visitors, but you can spent the night for about $95 a night (normally $112). The Standard downtown has spectacular views from the rooftop bar at night, and if you work downtown, you can actually save yourself a commute if you stay over the week-end for $124 a night (normally $323). If you want to live like someone who has money to burn, stay at the Maison 140 in Beverly Hills $147 (normally $234) and walk around town rich with the knowledge that you didn’t have to buy a plane ticket to get here. For a taste of something exotic in town, the Kyoto Grand Hotel & Garden in Little Tokyo will make you feel like you took a plane somewhere without the jet lag, and for for $127 (normally $224) you can enjoy Japanese food without having to exchange your dollars for yen. Act like a first time visitor and stay at the Hilton at Universal City $174 (normally $203), take the Universal tour, and go to a show at the amphitheater without having to drive home afterwards. Since our beaches are famous, splurge with a night at the Loews Santa Monica Beach for $387 (normally $449) and wake up to the Pacific Ocean on one side and Third Street Promenade on the other.

Sometimes there is no place like home, except maybe a hotel stay in your hometown.