5 Mistakes Travelers Make When Visiting California for the First Time

We all have different goals and ambitions, don’t we? However, it seems that there is something we have in common – traveling around the world is certainly on our bucket list. However, lack of time and money usually ruin our plans. If you are not a travel blogger/vlogger, or simply someone who works for a travel agency, then we are pretty sure you do not travel more than 2 times annually.

When people are inexperienced with traveling or they go to a particular destination for the first time, they usually make some common mistakes. A less painful lesson would be to learn from the mistakes of others. That is actually the main reason why we decided to write this article.

Analyzing every destination here and the potential mistakes you may make would make this article too long. Because of that, we decided to focus on one of the states that are attractive to the worldwide population – California.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t need to surprise us why California is a popular destination. For starters, there are towns like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and others where you can find a bunch of interesting things. From historical monuments and natural spots to amazing nightlife; this area of the world has everything to offer.

On the other hand, it is not a secret that going to California usually costs a bit more. Because of that, it is essential to know all the mistakes travelers make when visiting California for the first time. That way, you can be sure your trip is going to be marvelous and outstanding. Let’s find out those mistakes together!

1. Trying to Visit All the Locations at Once


If you are planning to stay in California as a tourist for three months, then visiting all destinations would be great.

But, we are pretty sure your holiday does not last that long. For 2 or 3 weeks, you will never manage to visit everything that California has to offer.

The size of the entire state is nearly 450 thousand square kilometers. We do understand that being in this state is a rare opportunity. However, you will not have enough time to enjoy everything. Make a plan before you even land this state, and focus on a couple of destinations. For instance, you can visit only two towns and a couple of places that are located there.

Will you manage to come to California once again? Answering that question is impossible. However, if you liked what you saw for the first time, you will get the source of motivation to save money and come here once again.

2. Not Being Aware of the Traffic


Okay, the purpose of this article is not to highlight the negative side of California. However, something worth mentioning is traffic as most travelers underestimate it.

If you go to major towns like Los Angeles or Sacramento, we suggest you prepare your nerves when renting a car. Believe it or not, one study confirms that drivers within California lost a bit more than 100 hours a year on average in the traffic.

Because of that, we recommend you avoid the highly crowded streets or be aware of the period of the day when they are not that full. That will make your trip more relaxing and you will have more time to visit the desired destinations.

3. Focusing Only on Bigger Beaches


The weather in California is lovely, especially during the spring and summer months. Most tourists will rather spend the entire day on some of the California beaches than indoors. But, there is a common mistake that all tourists make – they only visit the most popular beaches that are usually the biggest ones as well.

Small beaches within the state are also great. Despite that, they are usually not as full of people as the most popular ones. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, they will probably be a better solution.

Despite that, as mentioned, time plays a key role. If you want to save time, then smaller beaches are certainly going to be a better option. Finding a free spot at the most popular ones can sometimes seem like a science.

4. Visiting Only Famous Restaurants


The almost identical rule counts when we talk about restaurants. We do understand that you have the desire to visit some of the most prestigious restaurants within the state. That especially counts if you decide to visit Los Angeles. However, meals are pretty expensive there, and booking a place is going to be hard. You will need to do that a few weeks before you come (that is another mistake that people make).

However, instead of focusing on the most popular restaurants, visiting the smaller ones may be a better choice.

Okay, visit the expensive restaurant once, but don’t miss those where working-class Latino immigrants are preparing the meals. That way, you will get the opportunity to understand better the culture and tradition of the people that live there. Despite that, their meals are less expensive which will allow you to visit a bigger number of restaurants. Doesn’t this seem like a good plan?

5. Booking a Hotel and Flight Ticket without Proper Research


Would you go to any place in the world without investigating everything relevant? Without any doubt, California is amazing, and you will manage to read millions of positive reviews online. However, social proof is sometimes not enough – you need to explore everything on your own before you book a hotel and flight ticket.

Travel guides are probably the best way to start your research. People that are experienced travelers will explain everything you should know about California. Because of that, we suggest you check out

After reading this article and find out more information about the history of California, ways you can reach this state, etc.

Final Thought

We have finally come to an end! As you see, there are certain mistakes that you should avoid making. Even if you make them, it is not going to be the end of the world. However, they will negatively influence the experience you have in California. Read the travel guides before you even book a hotel and plane ticket and ensure everything will go in the right direction!


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