How to Visit Palm Springs on a Budget – 6 Tips

Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley - USA - January 2010 - Patrick Nouhailler

1. Weekdays are much cheaper…. but you can still grab a bargain on the weekend.

I paid around $55 a night for my weeknight stays by booking 2 1/2 to 3 star properties on Priceline or Hotwire.

For a weekend stay, I paid $72 a night for a Saturday and Sunday night (the same offer wasn’t available for a Friday and Saturday night, or the Saturday night only). This deal was booked the day before the booking as going to commence, via Hotwire. I booked on their mobile app using a $25 coupon for doing so. This bought my total including taxes and fees to $152 for two nights. Bargain!

It’s easy to find weekday deals, weekend deals are harder but as you can see from above, there are some out there. One of the best things about the deals I got, there slightly lower star properties didn’t have resort fees, and had free wifi, parking, and breakfast. They still had nice pools and hot tubs.

2. Consider staying outside Palm Springs itself.

The Palm Desert area is made up 9 small cities that sit next to each other along Highway CA-111. I often find the best deals for Rancho Mirage. It only takes 15 minutes or so to drive to Palm Springs itself and the driving in this area is easy and stress free. I probably won’t want to go further East than Rancho Mirage but access to Palm Springs itself is very easy from Rancho Mirage and there is some great (short) hiking at Rancho Mirage.

3. Get here using your frequent flyer miles – there are 20 cities with nonstop flights to Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a smaller airport therefore flight prices can sometimes be more expensive. Visiting Palm Springs is a great opportunity to use those air miles you’ve been saving for an opportunity when the regularly priced flight would be more expensive. Try this Google search to see the nonstop flights into Palm Springs.

4. If you don’t have miles….but do have an adventurous spirit….

If you don’t have miles, try the bidding or mystery airline options on Priceline or Hotwire. On Priceline you can Name the Price You Want to Pay for your airfare and they will try to find an airline who will deliver you to Palm Springs for that price, with up to one connection. Hotwire has “opaque” deals for flights, meaning you won’t know the airline or exact flight times till after you book.

5. Travel carryon only.

You won’t need luggage coming to Palm Springs, just bring your bikini.

6. If you want to shop, take a short drive to Cabazon to outlet mall.

If you live in an outlet mall deprived area of the country you can scratch that itch out here. Cabazon is located about 20 minutes before Palm Springs if you’re driving from Los Angeles. It’s huge and is a nice environment to shop in.

7. If you’re going to leave the pool, go hiking.

There are some nice trails around this area, many of which offer free parking and entrance. Around the Rancho Mirage area, there is the “Bump ‘N Grind,” (who the heck named it that?!), which was located virtually across the street from one of the hotels I stayed at in Rancho Mirage (I’ve stayed at 3 hotels here in the last 3 weeks). There’s also one that locals call “74 / up 74.” Ask your hotel if you’re staying in Rancho Mirage!

For more suggestions of things to do in Palm Springs… see my next post (coming).

Photo credit: Creative Commons : Patrick Nouhailler

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