Planning a Trip to California
California is one of the most diverse states to visit in the United States due to being the home of beaches and the coast, national parks, busy cities and a range of cultures so is a bucket list destination for many people. Planning can ensure you get the most out of your trip and see the areas of the state that best suit you!
The first thing to consider is when and where to visit. This can differ depending on the sort of holiday you’re hoping for. The weather in California is not normally a concern, the hottest months are between July to September with the highest temperatures being around 28 to 30 degrees. These months are also the busiest as this is when most tourists visit which also means a lot of businesses, restaurants and hotels put their prices up. The highest record temperature in California was 54.4 degrees Celsius in Death Valley in July 2021, which is the world’s record for the hottest measured temperature in Earth’s history! However, the coldest months are December to February with the highest temperatures being around 20 degrees.
The main airports in California are LAX, ONT and SNA which are in different areas of the state depending on where you want to start your trip. Planning where to stay is the first thing to consider depending on what you want to see or attractions nearby as California is 163,695 square miles so travelling around can take many hours. For example, if you’re most interested in visiting Disney Land, Anaheim is the best area.
Deciding on these first will help you plan the rest of your trip as you will know what to pack, the best places to go and where to avoid plus which experiences and activities will be available to do.
Just like your accommodation, it is also best to book in advance any activities or experiences you want to do. as Not only does it save you time spend queuing, but it can be more cost-effective too. Tickets for theme parks, sightseeing tours, and days out at museums and aquariums are cheaper when bought in advance rather than on the day. For example, tickets to Knotts Berry Farm are 40 dollars cheaper when bought in advance online.
A city pass can also be bought which is a single ticket which includes numerous attractions for one price, there are different types which allow you to choose the attractions you are interested in, pre-book your place and get them for a cheaper price. This is a good thing to consider if there are many attractions and experiences on the pass you are wanting to visit and allows you to budget for your trip too.
Your safety on any trip should always be a top priority and planning can help with this, looking into what to be cautious of and areas to avoid, such as Downtown LA, will help to reduce any safety concerns on your trip. The most common crimes in California in 2021 were latency theft, burglaries and auto theft. However, for tourists, I think the major thing to look out for is scams of people posing as Agents or Artists for money and the best way to avoid this is to try and blend in as a local and put your hands in your pockets if you see anyone handing things out.
Another way to be safe is to look into other dangers, such as earthquakes. Earthquakes are very common in California; they happen approximately every 3 minutes, but most are too weak to feel. Many people may not have experienced one before so knowing what to do if one strikes such as the Drop, Cover and Hold on protocol or getting outside into the open can help to keep you safe.
Planning your trip can make it more enjoyable as when you get there as you all have to do is have fun and relax and I think it also helps build the excitement for the amazing trip you have coming!
My Top Tips for Planning a trip to California:
- Finding and Booking attractions and activities before you get there, to help reduce any stress
- Making a list of what attractions you want to do before you go and look at city pass tickets to see if they are worthwhile for you.
- Considering time of trip for budget, weather, experiences and crowds.
- Ensuring you’ve packed the necessities such as sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, VISA’s and passports.
Written by Mia Lorriman
Check Gov.uk’s Travel Advice for the most up-to-date information on the USA, before you travel. This includes checking the local laws and customs, as well as entry requirements.