Full Tank and A Getaway: A Day Trip To Laguna Beach

IMG_1309When you’ve got the travel bug, but don’t have the funds and/or time off school or work to cure it, day trips will have to suffice. You don’t have to break the bank to explore a new place for the day. Recently, I decided to take advantage of a day off and go to Laguna Beach. Here’s how I did it all while ballin’ on a budget.

Connect With Friends

Save money by going to visit your friends in different places. Especially as a college student, you meet people from all over and visiting them immediately saves money by cancelling out hotel fees (and meal money if you can bribe their mom to make one of her famous homemade dishes).

I live in Malibu so the drive was about 2 hours to Laguna – perfect day trip timing! We left at 8 AM to beat traffic and that worked out perfectly. Another way to save money is to drive with friends. We were able to split the gas this way, which made it a super cheap trip. As soon as we arrived the beauty of Laguna blew us away. The weather was perfect as we sat out on the balcony of our friend’s house and did some homework. Sigh…college probs.

Cheap and Delicious Food

Around 11, we drove to Shirley’s Bagels and had the most amazing bagel sandwiches. I tried the Californian, which was a breakfast bagel (served all day) with bacon, egg, avocado, tomato, red onion and cheddar cheese.  The service was amazing as they had our sandwiches to us in less than ten minutes and let me tell you…it was the most delicious bagel sandwich I’ve ever had. The flavors all complimented each other very well, the bagel was perfectly toasted, and the sandwich wasn’t sloppy and falling apart (my pet peeve). 10/10 and definitely recommend this $6 piece of heaven.

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Free Entertainment

We then made our way to Thousand Steps Beach. This was about a ten-minute drive from Shirley’s Bagels, but coasting past the cute shops and restaurants on South Coast Highway made it go by super quickly. Parking was not bad, but did require turning around a few times in order to find a convenient and free spot. I should also note that Laguna offers a free trolley that travels throughout the area all day long, which is so useful and awesome. I’ll definitely be trying it out next time I go.

Once you arrive, you have to walk down a ton of stairs (hence the name) in order to get to the beach. It was pretty entertaining watching everyone suffer together while we struggled to get to the bottom, but it’s definitely worth it once your feet land in the sand. The weather was perfect for reading a book (Current Read: By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt)  while laying out, and the beautiful, crazy waves even persuaded us to jump in the water for a bit.

… More Cheap and Delicious Food

Before heading back to Malibu, we decided to peruse Yelp to find somewhere to grab a quick dinner. We came across Neapolitan, a cute pizzeria about two minutes away from Thousand Steps Beach, offering the most delicious pizza options. We tried the Filetti pizza, which had organic cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, burrata, and Napa valley olive oil. Not only was the food delicious, but the staff was very friendly and helpful as well. Definitely worth the visit.

After our delicious dinner, we headed back to our car, caught a glimpse of the lovely sunset and made our way back to Malibu. After all was said and done, we experienced a breathtaking place, delicious food, and a nice break from home, all for less than $40. So remember, you don’t have to panic when you check your bank account at the end of the day, in order to have a successful getaway.

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