California is one of the most colorful states in the country. From bustling metropolises to vast deserts, peaceful beaches, and ancient forests, it appears to have it all. However, this might make finding your way around such a diversified area difficult. So, here are some helpful California travel suggestions to assist you get around and enjoy your stay stress-free.
1. Don’t forget to leave a gratuity in accordance with local custom.
In the United States, it is typically accepted that you add 15% to 20% to the bill of a restaurant’s servers (depending on the degree of service). You may give a dollar or two to hotel employees and Uber and Lyft drivers, whereas taxi drivers earn 15% to 20%. For each drink, round up to the nearest dollar if possible; for complicated speciality cocktails, offer a couple more dollars.
2.Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to pay a lot in taxes and fees. Keep in mind that next year’s tax rates are anticipated to rise considerably, so set aside adequate funds for those expenses.
California’s statewide sales tax is 7.25 percent. Local taxes are sometimes levied as a legal requirement, adding 1.5% to your total expenditure. As a result, make a provision for at least 8.75% more in taxes in your budget. In California, food and medicine are not taxed.
3. Consider purchasing access passes.
California is known for its numerous national parks as well as its amusement and activity parks. There are several options to make visiting these sites more convenient. You may purchase an annual National Park Pass, which allows entry to over 2,000 locations for $80 per year. FastPass reservations can help you get in line and obtain priority access to the many rides at Disneyland or Universal Studios’ Front of the Line passes.
4. Know what the local smoking and drinking rules are.
In California, the legal drinking age is 21, and you must be at least 18 years old to buy tobacco products. Smoking and e-cigarette usage are prohibited in all public buildings, including beaches and certain national parks, in the state. However, most large businesses may have designated smoking areas.
5.Learn about the speed limits before getting in your car.
Always remember to wear a seat belt or a helmet while driving yourself around California. Multi-lane motorways have top speeds of 70 to 65 mph, with 55 mph on single-lane roads. It’s usually 35 mph (25mph within schools) inside the city limits. Also, keep in mind that mountain and seaside routes may be winding and narrow, making them difficult to traverse at night. Check winter weather road restrictions and closures for mountain routes. Hands-free devices are required when operating vehicles (either to make calls or navigate).
6. Learn what to do if there is an earthquake.
While a major quake is unlikely to happen while you’re in California, it’s still wise to be prepared. If an earthquake occurs, avoid looking at windows and hanging furniture; get down on all fours and protect your head by covering it. Look for strong structures or furniture inside if you’re inside; outside, keep clear of any buildings and wires; also, make sure your automobile is as far away from tumbling debris as possible.
7. Always have sunscreen on hand and be ready for the weather to change.
California is no less renowned for its brilliant and sunny skies than Florida. However, this implies that you must be prepared to defend yourself while outdoors. So, keep a pair of sunglasses (or a cap) on hand, as well as sunscreen, since the bright day may quickly become a chilly night. Keep in mind, though, that the bright day can swiftly turn into a chilly night; therefore, have an additional layer ready to put on after dark.
8. When you’re in the water, follow safety procedures.
California offers a plethora of beaches, so you’ll spend some time in or near the water. Remember to adhere to water safety precautions such as being aware of rising tides, wearing life jackets on boats, and avoiding the water for 72 hours after significant rain.
9.Visit us in the off-season
California is famous for its warm summers and mild winters. The average visitor to California visits in the summer months (June through August), resulting in bigger crowds at beaches and attractions. Consider visiting during the spring (March to May) to see mild temperatures without the throngs, high costs, and long queues. Autumn (September through November) is another excellent period to visit.
10.Don’t go on a hiking trip without having thought about everything beforehand.
Always check the weather before heading outdoors if you’re going hiking. Always inform friends and family about your plans well ahead of time so they know where to contact you if cell phone service is bad in remote areas. Always carry a lot of water with you, especially during the summer months when temperatures can reach into the hundreds or even thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid hiking alone if you’re inexperienced or haven’t acclimated to the area’s seasonal changes.
11. Always keep in mind the camp safety regulations.
California is prone to wildfires, so always observe the campfire rules. If you wish to set open fires on federal property, you’ll need a permit as well. Also, if you want to reserve a site at a camping ground ahead of time, be sure to do so.
12. Keep an eye out for cougars, bears, coyotes, and rattlesnakes.
Humans are rarely attacked by wild animals unless they feel threatened. However, when camping or hiking, it is still necessary to be on the lookout for them. In California, mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, and rattlesnakes are among the most prevalent species. If you see one of these animals while out and about, always maintain a safe distance away. Don’t startle them or flee in a hurry. Step back slowly and quietly.
13. In the case of an emergency, call 911.
If you have an emergency, call 911 to be connected with the police, fire, or medical personnel. It is available from landlines and mobile phones for free and may be used from any public phone. You may contact 311 for local information; and 411 gives a list of local phone numbers.