California here I come!

“We’ve been on the run, driving in the sun, looking out for number one…California here we come!” You best bet that I’m making the best kick ass California playlist ready for the lead up to the holiday as well as for the road trips during! I might share it if it ends up being that awesome…

Yes that’s right your girl has only gone and booked a holiday to bloody California in 2019! I can’t quite believe I can say that I’m going but I can! Along with a trip to New York, California has been an absolute dream destination for me to visit and I never thought it was even possible. I’ll be boarding a flight along with my family to the city of angles aka la la land and I can’t bloody wait. Get me to the sunshine already. Typing this whilst it’s currently -2 degrees outside it definitely making me a bit warmer.

In the past few years my urge and passion to see more of the world has definitely taken off (pardon the travel pun there). It’s something I really enjoy writing about on here and I only wish I had more time and money to do more of it ha ha.

Now booking a holiday is never a simple task…and if it is you must be lying or a bloody expert at it. Booking a holiday to California – LA/Anaheim is a whole other level of holiday planning/booking. I really had very little prior knowledge about California and the areas unlike I did with New York so I was really starting from a blank slate. That’s what I think made it even more fun and exciting booking the holiday though, this whole other world that I was yet to research and explore.

It’s always good to have a budget in mind when approaching the idea of booking a holiday and without any prior knowledge or research I had some sort of idea per person what we were looking on spending given the duration of the holiday and where we were going. Wouldn’t it be lovely to not have to think about the price of it hey?!

One of the first things I did when starting the whole process of looking at holidays what dividing the different areas of California and where we as a family wanted to visit and for how long. It was quite easy to narrow it down to 2 weeks as we felt we would have enough time to make the most of everything that was on offer. We have family in California so it was something we had to consider when looking at what area to stay in. I found looking at Google Maps and researching the different areas of LA and surrounding places to be really useful as well as going onto Expedia and travel forums in finding out what would be the best location to stay in for ease and our price range. We settled on staying in two different hotels in the end which meant kind of splitting our holiday up in two which I think is a cool idea as it’s like getting two holidays for the price of one in a way ha! The first part of the holiday would be based around DisneyLand and visiting our family and the second half would be more sight seeing and being based around Hollywood. Me and my brother are into photography so we’re definitely going to be looking into some cool places to get some amazing photos. Obviously we’re going to be hitting up all the typical places. Make sure you’re following my Instagram as I really can’t explain how excited I am to post all the photos I’ll get already!

One thing I really learnt when delving deeper into researching for the holiday is looking at the distances from places as LA definitely isn’t like anywhere in the UK. It can be quite be easy to assume that places are in walking distances when they’re definitely not. It’s always good to get a locals point of view or some inside knowledge, this can easily be found on Facebook groups or Forums. We’ve therefore decided to hire a car whilst over there which will definitely be an experience as it’ll be a first for my parents. Upon looking at how to get around places it became pretty obvious that it would be the most cost effective decision when concerning transport.

Flights are always an interesting thing to look at. I find Expedia a really good place to compare flights on. As well as looking at certain airline websites to see if they’re doing any deals or promotions. Flights can either make or break the budget of a holiday so it’s always good to shop around. I had a few airlines in mind after doing some research when it came to actually booking the holiday.

After gathering all my information from the research I done, my family actually decided to book the holiday through a travel agent that ended up being a bit cheaper that doing it independently on our own. I know a lot of people have the misconception that travel agents take a commission and therefore make the holiday more expensive but this definitely wasn’t the case. What is also meant is that we had a bit more of a helping hand and expert advice when booking the holiday that definitely helped in terms of my parents. It also added to the excitement of booking the holiday sitting in the travel agent.

It’s become somewhat of a tradition of mine now to order a lonely planet pocket guide with pull out map for every place I visit abroad. So not one to break tradition of ordered the LA one as soon as I got home from booking the holiday. This is something that’s so so useful and handy to have before and during the holiday. I find myself reaching for it when in New York so much, especially the pull out map. It’s resourceful in giving you cool places to visit whilst splitting it up in different areas so it’s easy to plan your days. There’s so many useful tips and tricks to take on board to that it’s worth buying for Β£7.99 for sure!

Now the holiday is booked I’ve been in full on bulking out our 2 weeks with awesome cool stuff mode. Which basically has entailed me going on Instagram, creating a LA saved folder and saving the crap out of things that I’ve seen that I like. I’ve also been reading lots of blogs on peoples trips to LA and watching some DisneyLand vlogs which both are super insightful and actually really entertaining. I’ve also started looking into booking tickets to DisneyLand and Universal as I know other than the holiday itself is going to cost quite a bit. I looked on the respective websites themselves as well as ticket selling websites such as Attraction Ticket Direct to get some sort of idea of price. Going to these parks will most definitely take up a large chunk of our holiday so I want to get the tickets for the best price I can whilst also making sure I’m making the most out of them.

We’ve got a good few months until we actually go on holiday but I think it’s never too early to start budgeting how much money to take for food, transport (as well as the car we’re also planning on using Uber/Lyft), random purchases etc. It’s best to start saving earlier rather than later so you’re more than likely going to have a bit more to spend. I’m normally quite good at budgeting when it comes to holiday and sticking to them. Let’s not mention the first time I went into Sephora in New York and spent $130…

I’m not sure what this blog post ended up being… Mainly me being excited about booking a holiday to California and trying to give some advice on how to book/research it. I hope it was somewhat useful or helpful. I’m planning on doing a few more posts leading up to the holiday so keep your eyes peeled for those in the coming months.

I’m also hoping to go on a few short breaks away this year so be sure to check out my other travel posts when they go up. I’m trying to post a real mix/variety of content this year as it really shows a true dose of me so hopefully you’re looking forward to seeing what is in store.

Thanks so much for reading my latest post and be sure to come back next week for another new post.

Until next time,

adoseofapril x

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