My Palm Springs Budget

photo (61) Palm Springs – Relaxation Perfection!

At 30Traveler, we pride ourselves on being able to visit “expensive” destinations for the same price as stereotypically cheaper destinations. We want to be able to share that information with you so that you can replicate what we do.

Here’s what I’m spending for a week in Palm Springs.


Weeknight accommodation – $52

Friday and Saturday night accommodation – $73

These rates were achieved on Priceline and Hotwire for 2 1/2 to 3 star level properties, chains such as Holiday Inn or Fairfield Inn by Marriott.

These properties still had pools and hot tubs. As an added bonus, they’re likely to be a little quieter than some of the more trendy hotels in Palm Springs. This is perfect of digital nomads.

Staying at this level also helps you avoid bogus charges for resort fees, parking or internet that tend to be imposed by higher star level properties.


I rented a car in LA for $86 for the week, including taxes and fees. I paid $3.45 a gallon for gas in Palm Springs. I expect my total gas charges for the week will be easily under $50, including the drive from LAX.

You can also fly into and rent a car in Palm Springs itself. Flying into Palm Springs is preferable to flying into LA area airports. The drive seems like it will be short but traffic can dramatically increase the drive time. I’ve heard from folks who live in LA and come to Palm Springs often that the drive has taken them anywhere from 2 hours to an astounding 5 hours depending on the traffic. The stated drive time on Google maps is under 2 hours.


You’re unlikely to have a strong urge to do any activities while in Palm Springs because simply hanging out by the pool is activity enough! There are some hiking trails and, although some charge a fee, it’s easy to choose free ones such as the Bump’n’Grind. Today I’m taking a tour of former celebrity homes, which I’m excited about.

If you do want to do activities, there is quite a bit of theater going on in Palm Springs. Details can be found in the free local magazines that should be available at your hotel. I attempted to go to a show that featured Broadway tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber but it was sold out. It featured one of the former Elphabas from Wicked so I think the standard would’ve been high. Ticket prices are likely to be in the $25-75 range. Palm Springs seems to be aiming to be a “try out” city for plays that hope to open in LA, which means you’re likely to find some interesting stuff to see.


There are lots of place to eat and these tend to be conveniently located near any hotel you might stay at. Non US visitors will probably be very happy to dine at US chains like Chipotle, as they are quite exciting for us.

If you want to keep a tight budget for food, the hotels I have stayed at have provided a microwave and fridge so self catering has been easy. I’ve skipped the free breakfast but made use of the next door Wal-mart for buying ripe avocados, vegan burritos, hummus and other healthful vegan staples. A Wholefoods is currently under construction and will open very soon.

Most days I’ve been eating at Native Foods, which is a vegan chain. It runs around $10 a meal.

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