Travel Budget for California

United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to California?

How much money will you need for your trip to California? You should plan to spend around $201 per day on your vacation in California, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $36 on meals for one day and $34 on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in California for a couple is $186. So, a trip to California for two people for one week costs on average $2,809. All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - Learn more about these numbers.
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A vacation to California for one week usually costs around $1,404 for one person. So, a trip to California for two people costs around $2,809 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs $5,617 in California. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in California can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is California?

How much does a trip to California cost? Is California expensive? The average California trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these California prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in California can vary, the average cost of food in California is $36 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in California should cost around $15 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in California is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The cost of a taxi ride in California is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $34 per person, per day, on local transportation in California.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Flights to California

How much does it cost to go to California? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

Typical tour prices for California

How much do tours to California cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    14 days
    $ 2030
  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    14 days
    $ 2375
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    12 days
    $ 2025
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    9 days
    $ 2800
Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in California
California On a Budget
California Big Sur, California
California is the most populous state in the U.S. and is known for a variety of attractions such as Hollywood, warm beaches, the San Francisco bay area, Redwood trees, national parks, and stunning mountain vistas. With a variety of locations and activities to offer, California has become one of the premier travel destinations in the world.
The city of San Francisco is unique in the U.S. with its European style streets, cable cars, and eclectic personality. Nearby is the city of San Jose, known as "Silicon Valley", the internet hub of the world. Not too far north is wine country, with Napa Valley and Sonoma at its heart. Just north of San Francisco are the Marin headlands, a natural protected area with rugged mountains, hiking trails, and Muir Woods.

In the far north of the state are several national parks, including Redwood National Park, famous for its massive and extremely tall trees.

Following the coast south from San Francisco will lead visitors to Monterey Bay, known for sea life and its aquarium. Nearby is Carmel, a nifty beach and golf town with a long stretch of attractive coastline. Further south is a stretch of coastline known as Big Sur, which showcases mountainous landscapes with green hills that plunge into the blue sea. Occasional hidden beaches can be found in some of the inlets. In fact, this area should definitely be part of your California Road Trip experience.

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the U.S. and has much to offer from Hollywood to the nearby beach areas of Santa Barbara and Long Beach, as well as Orange County, Beverly Hills, Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and the list goes on.

San Diego, in the far south near the Mexican border, offers the warmest weather, scenic beaches, and a historic downtown area (the Gaslamp quarter) and the world class San Diego Zoo.

Inland, California offers rugged terrain and national parks. Southern California has a wide area of desert, and visitors can visit Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Mojave Desert. In central California, the Sierra Nevada range hosts Yosemite National Park, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, Lake Tahoe, and other state and local parks.

Popular activities in California include surfing on the many beaches, visiting the numerous national parks, exploring the famous cities, and even skiing in the winter.

Hiking in the summer months is very popular, especially in national parks such as Yosemite, Redwoods, Kings Canyon, and Joshua Tree. The inland desert areas of the southern part of the state are very popular destinations in the winter months.

The Lake Tahoe area is quite popular in the summer and winter. The winter months are terrific for skiing and snowboarding.
Food and Dining
California offers a wide variety of cuisine. In the south, much of the food is influenced by Mexico. It's common to find Mexican restaurants, especially those that are low cost and casual. Try a burrito if you're on a budget and you'll have a fresh, delicious meal that will sustain you until your next craving.

California Car Rental Prices
Compare prices across all major rental companies:
With multiple international airports in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento, to name just a few, connections via plane should not be difficult.

California is also crisscrossed by various interstate highways. While distances can be far, driving times can be acceptable between most major cities depending on traffic. However, expect a very long drive from southern cities such as L.A. to the northern cities of the Bay Area.
Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?

Train and Bus Prices
The best prices for buses and trains in United States of America can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

Budget Your Trip

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California Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to California: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |

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