Is it easy to organize a trip to California? What kind of trip to choose? How long in advance to book? Frequently asked questions among those who prepare for a trip to California and keep thinking about it: California is one of the destinations of world tourism and also one of the simplest places to see for which the planning of the trip is quite easy it is understood that it still takes time to carefully choose what to see and what to do. After countless trips to California and the United States. I have put together some useful tips for all those who want to discover the Golden State. And maybe fall in love with it, as happened to me and Giuseppe.
Where Is California Located?
California is located on the so-called West Coast of the United States which, due to its climate, has also been renamed the Golden Coast. It is a fairly narrow and long strip of land with the southern part much more populated than the northern part. And the geographical borders that go towards Mexico to the south (Tijuana is a few kilometers from San Diego) and towards the very American Oregon to the north. Arizona and Nevada are “two steps” from California. And it is no coincidence that very often you decide to visit Las Vegas during your travels to California.
When To Go To California
Always, I would say if I were speaking without a minimum of reasoning. But to be fair, California’s climate makes this place ideal for a vacation at any time of the year. For me, the best period is the one that goes from November to April because it is good. The sun is hot but it does not burn excessively and the number of tourists is limited, especially after Christmas and New Year. Among other things, flights and accommodation cost even less from January to April and therefore, in addition to being less crowded, the destination is also cheaper. Indeed, it could let’s put it this way.
What Documents Do I Need To Go To California?
- Few things but necessary:
- A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival;
- The ESTA to enter the United States that is required from here (and can be renewed every 2 years);
- Travel insurance that includes travel and even illness: it is practically never needed but the cost is negligible and having it does not hurt;
- International driving license if yours is not (click here for more information)
- The credit card because if you rent a car it will be mandatory and in many hotels too (the ATM may not be accepted!);
What Else Do I Need To Go To California?
Still, a few things but in my opinion necessary:
- A paper travel guide that integrates the information found online;
- A camping bottle or similar to fill with water: California is very attentive to recycling. And the use of water is always rationed due to the chronic absence. Water in the supermarket costs a lot because there is a tendency not to encourage the use of disposable plastic. Follow the example and bring a bottle to fill;
- Sunscreen because when the sun beats down, it beats down hard;
- Raincoat and scarf because some areas of California are not as hot as it would seem: San Francisco and Northern California have a completely different climate than you imagine and dressing warmly is necessary;
What Kind Of Travel?
California, both because of the distances and the landscapes and attractions, lends itself to a road trip that allows you to customize the experience to the maximum. On the road means renting a car but also a camper (pay attention to the regulation: You don’t park everywhere and in big cities, it could be difficult to get around!). And plan the itinerary according to your needs and also to your interests. Remember that distances are measured in miles. That you must approach immediately if you are stopped by the police. And that you must respect the limits and road signs.
If you are not the on-the-road type, I recommend internal flights. And then organized tours that will allow you to move from one place to another: keep in mind that the distances are long and that you risk not seeing much of what you should see so even if on the road is not for you take some time and reconsider it because it is definitely the best thing to do, word of those who travel only on the road! Besides, do you really want to miss Highway 1, Highway 101, and Route 66?
Who To Fly With?
A question that is definitely difficult to answer: with the cheapest airline and possibly the one that takes the least time. The duration of the flight, for me, greatly affects the final choice: I prefer not to make stopovers and travel directly so I often sacrifice the price to arrive earlier. If you break the journey, however, in addition to stretching your legs, you can also enjoy lower fares. It goes without saying that the earlier you book the better but also that the more flexible you are in terms of dates. The more chances you have of finding cheap flights; flexibility also in terms of arrivals and departures so if you planned to arrive in San Francisco but San Diego costs you less, review your plan and book on San Diego!
How Do I Choose The Itinerary In California?
There are several itineraries in California that we can divide into:
These are in turn divisible into many other micro tours once the main visits are over. The most classic of all is the Costa tour which can, in turn, be divided into two parts: from San Francisco to Los Angeles and from Los Angeles to San Diego. I will talk about itineraries separately telling you all my own, including the epic San Francisco-San Diego and that of the parks.
How Much Does It Cost To Go To California?
As with all trips, it depends: it depends on the type of trip you want to do. The type of traveler you are and the experiences you want to do. For example, I never skimp on hotels and accommodation facilities that have a great impact on the trips I take and if I have to choose I always choose places where you eat well even if you spend a little more because food is what I take care of. . In California you can spend very little or a lot. Surely Los Angeles and San Francisco are more expensive than many other places and finding a decent place to sleep cheaply can be difficult while to eat you can find everything, from the very cheap and excellent meal to that overpriced and inedible.
But What’s The Food Like In California?
Very very good and varied: in San Francisco, you can find food from all over the world with a great predominance of Italian, Mexican, and Chinese while in Los Angeles, home of the great world food and wine trends. The cuisine is slightly more fusion and refined and also reflects the fashion vocation of the place. San Diego is Mexico and Mexican is eaten better than in many other parts of Latin America. Everywhere you eat in abundance but if you want. You can also fast or follow the “very relaxed” Californian rhythms that include large doses of smoothies, centrifuged, and salads. Always remember that California is the state where a healthy lifestyle was born. And yoga has gone from being a discipline for the few to a discipline for all with implications not only spiritual but also more strictly fitness.
As you prefer but my advice, for everyone, is always the same: don’t leave with too many suitcases. And too many clothes because you can buy things in California at lower prices than in Italy! For example, in every American stage, I come home with trunks of Adidas, Billabong, Quicksilver stuff without counting the space for all the kitchen products that cost much more in Europe (Does Kitchen Aid tell you something?). Obviously, the clothing depends on the experiences you will have: if you are planning gallant dinners. Or go to cool and trendy places then you will need not only comfortable shoes and clothing but also something more elegant/formal. In general, the classic layer is perfect always keeping slippers. And shorts at hand to prevent your body from becoming two-tone! And don’t forget the costume that weighs little and is very often needed.