Hi guys, I’m Veronica Hill with California Travel Tips. If you’re a subscriber to this channel, you’re either planning a trip to California, or you’re a resident looking for new places to check out. Today I’m going to share some of my Top 10 travel tips for visiting California like a local.
Tip No. 1: Book California State Park campgrounds exactly 7 months before you want to visit on http://www.ReserveAmerica.com. If you’re hoping to score a busy holiday like the Fourth of July, reserve a few dates in the end of June, then add a few days to your visit. Securing a campground in Yosemite is also tricky. You’ll need to log into http://www.Recreation.gov a few minutes before 7 a.m. on the 15th of the month — five months in advance of your visit. Popular campgrounds in the valley sell out in seconds! For example, if you want to book a stay between June 15 and July 14, you need to book on February 15.
Tip No. 2: If you’re going to Disneyland, take advantage of the FastPass service. Just insert your park ticket into the kiosk for a designated FastPass ride and you’ll receive a ticket allowing you to return later and cut the line. I’ve found it’s handy to have one person gather all of your tickets to get the Fast Pass while you wait in line for another attraction. If you have kids too small to ride an attraction, the Baby Switch Pass is another good bet. Just ask a cast member for the pass at the entrance. Make sure you ride the most popular attractions right when the park opens. Knott’s has a similar service called FastLane, but you have to pay for it.
Tip No. 3: Avoid traveling in the summer if you can. Most of the amusement parks are packed to capacity, with long lines and hot waits in the sun. The fall and winter sees much fewer crowds, and the hotels are cheaper too.
Tip No. 4: Get on the Groupon list for each city you are visiting. You’ll be able to get discounts on some really cool attractions and restaurants you may not have considered before. If you want great hotel rates, check out sites like Priceline or Hotel Tonight for last-minute lodging.
Tip No. 5: If you plan on visiting several theme parks or attractions, look into the Go Card or City Pass. They offer discounts on many of the most popular sights in LA, San Diego and San Francisco. If you’re a Costco member, many warehouses sell discount tickets to theme parks, restaurants and sporting events.
Tip. No. 6: If there’s an expensive restaurant you want to try, go during happy hour. Often you’ll get to sample their best dishes and drinks at half the price.
Tip No. 7: Families should plan their San Diego vacations in October, when the city hosts its Kids Free month. Many of the area’s most popular attractions, including San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and Balboa Park are free for kids 12 and under.
Tip No. 8: If your favorite hotel or campground is booked, try again seven days in advance. This is when many people cancel their reservations to avoid penalties.
Tip No. 9: If you’re heading to more than one of the seven California national parks, consider getting the annual pass for $80. Admission is free for all the parks in April during National Parks Week, and in November during Veterans Day weekend.
Tip No. 10: For the best fares, book your trip midweek for flights departing and arriving on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The cheapest rates can often be found online between 10 p.m. Wednesdays and 6 a.m. Thursdays around the 7th of each month. Additionally, the cheapest fares are found 7, 14 and 21 days before you leave.
These are just a few tips to get you started. If you some of your own to share, please drop us a line in the comments below. Thanks for watching!
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