Growing up my birthday almost always fell over Spring Break. So of course, I grew accustom to a week-long celebration. Unfortunately as an adult, who is rationing vacation days, I had to come up with a plan that still gave me the same feeling only on a shortened time schedule. I figured some sort of epic adventure would hold me over until my next vacation. I planned to go skydiving and even purchased my voucher from LivingSocial (I’m all about a good deal), but when I called to set up my jump; they were booked! After I stopped crying, I went back to the drawing board.
I sat down and started looking at different activities near Los Angeles that were still budget friendly and came across the Catalina Chamber of Commerce’s website. I hit the Holy Grail. Catalina has an entire list dedicated to different birthday specials. (click here) All you have to do is register your birthday with the Chamber of Commerce and you get a ticket for a free boat ride on your actual birthday from Catalina Express (a $75 value), and the perks keep coming. You could literally fill an entire weekend just hitting up all the FREE things to get or do there. It includes everything from coffee and ice cream to meals and tons of BoGo activities – just make sure to wear the birthday ribbon they give you.
To get my adrenaline fix, I decided to try something new and go 800 ft. parasailing – the highest one they offer – and it was buy one get one free. I opted to get the photo package ($30) but it was totally worth it to capture the memories and not worry about dropping my phone in the ocean. From there, I had a pretty well rounded day including eating, shopping (I collect ornaments from my travels), an hour-long guided snorkeling tour with an additional hour on our own to explore (BoGo), mini-golfing (free round), gallery visiting (free), and live music (free). I thought the day couldn’t get any better until my boyfriend surprised me with beautiful pearl earrings from a little shop on the island. Again there were tears, but this time they were happy ones.
The total cost for the two of us, including food, came in around $275. That even included some of our splurges. I highly encourage you to give yourself this birthday treat. Say Bon Voyage to LA and Hello Catalina!