Panic around the pandemic is dying down, which means that travel is opening up. While traveling abroad might still be tricky, traveling within the country is a definite go. And where better to go than amazing California? It has a little bit of everything, making it the destination for everyone. With a variety of beautiful beaches, amusement parks, restaurants, and some stunning waterfalls the potential for explorations and fun are endless. Here are a few things to help you prepare for your trip.

1. California is Huge

This is really important to keep in mind when planning anything. It can take you anything upwards of 13 hours to drive from North to South of the state. Give yourself enough time to explore the state. If you don’t allocate enough time to exploration your trip will feel rushed and no one will enjoy it. Plan your activities around a certain area and the attractions that are nearby. If you want to explore the entire state what many people do is break it into two halves. Spend a week exploring one half and the next week the other half.

2. Rent a Vehicle

Having a car is a definite must in California, so why not do one better and rent a campervan! They are super practical and an excellent way to get around. These are especially versatile for those backroads and camping under the stars. You can ensure that your campervan road trip will be filled with all sorts of exciting memories that are far more interesting than staying at a dingy motel. If you don’t want to hit the backroads an ordinary car will do the trick, but you NEED a car if you want to be able to do anything.

3. Pack for a Variety of Climates

This is a general tip for anywhere you go. Weather can be awfully unpredictable. This is especially the case in San Francisco. The weather here is often fickle, changing quickly.

4. The Traffic is as Bad as They Say

Traffic can get really bad in certain parts of California. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, it can take an hour to get to a destination that is only a few miles away. Obviously, this depends on what time you go. This is why you should always give yourself more time than you need. To avoid frustration, make plans that allow for delays.

5. Buy a Pass for the National Parks

If you are taking the adventurous outdoorsy route, you should buy yourself a pass for the national parks, especially if you plan on visiting quite a few of them. Entry to Yosemite is about $35 to enter, with most of the other parks following suit at around $30. You can buy a pass which works out quite a bit cheaper if you visit more than three. There are nine national parks in California AND, as an added bonus, there are plenty of places that accept the pass in exchange for a discounted entry. You can get one online, or at the first park, you visit.

6. It’s Expensive

There isn’t really a way around it. California is known for its high cost of travel and living. Parking is expensive, the gas prices are ludicrous and you are expected to tip.  If you are wanting to visit multiple places in a city, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg you may be able to get a discount online. Be sure to look into this option BEFORE arriving.

7. Book campsites and hotels in advance

It is very difficult to do anything impromptu in Cali. Campsites in places like Yosemite are reserved and even fully booked up to six months in advance. A great way to ensure you get a booking is to be one of the early birds. When camping grounds release their booking dates several months in advance, be online waiting to snatch a few up. Although this isn’t exactly the case with hotels, it is still really important to book online before you arrive. This way you ensure that you have the accommodation of your choice and not whatever you could get on late notice. This gives you peace of mind and makes your trip far less stressful.

8. Make Use of Weekdays

Use weekdays to travel to places that are usually packed with tourists. Disneyland with be uncomfortably packed over the weekend. Visiting it during the week means shorter queues and far more time spent on rides. This applies to most places like this.

We hope that this helps you prepare for an amazing trip through California. Safe travels!