How to Travel to California on a Budget

travel to california

California is one of those destinations that a lot of people dream about traveling to. They come from all around the U.S. and the world, and the state is just so diverse in its offerings. From the Giant Redwood forests of the northern part of the state to the stunningly rugged coastline in the middle of California, all the way down to the chic, surf-inspired lifestyle of southern California, it’s an amazing place to experience.

There’s just one problem holding a lot of would-be travelers up: it’s expensive. California is one of the most expensive places in the country and the world, so how can you make a trip there if you’re on a budget? The following are some tips.

Rent an RV

One of the best ways to see California, regardless of your budget, is to rent an RV. You can go to a peer-to-peer platform like Outdoorsy, choose your pickup location and hit the road.

The reason RV travel is so perfect for California is because there are stunning camping locations available throughout the state, and road tripping gives you the opportunity to see so much of the state.

From a budget perspective, you’re going to save on accommodations which are often incredibly expensive throughout the state, and you can also buy food and make your own meals to save on those costs as well.

Go During Off Seasons

Depending on what time of year you go you might be able to find some great deals, but different locations have different low seasons. For example, Lake Tahoe’s least popular time of year is in March or November, when it’s too cool for summer travelers, or there’s not enough snow for the skiers.

If you wanted to go to Palm Springs or the desert, you might choose the fall season.

Just do some research and find out the off-season for your destination and try to make it work for great deals on everything from hotels to restaurants and activities. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of avoiding big crowds.

Visit National Parks

Regardless of whether or not you’re renting an RV, you should definitely take advantage of the national parks the state of California has to offer. Some of the best national parks in the country are located in California including Death Valley, Yosemite, Sequoia and Joshua Tree.

They’re inexpensive and truly an awe-inspiring travel experience.

Consider Eco-tourism

California is a progressive state that leads the way regarding sustainability, and as a result, they have a lot of opportunities to plan an eco-tourism trip. There are a lot of different options that will let you volunteer on a project centered around conservation and the environment, and in exchange for your work, you can get food and lodging covered.  You'll want to check out Holiday Gear Lab for the latest reviews on outdoor gear and inspiring travel stories.

Finally, if you’re going to be going to the bigger cities, such as San Francisco, be on the lookout for the many free activities that are almost always available. There are regularly concerts and different free museum days you can take advantage of if you plan in advance.

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