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California Useful Facts
Flights and Transfers
Direct flights to California from Heathrow or Gatwick take around 10hrs 30 mins, with flights available to Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, and regional departures available as well.
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from your return date to the UK, and you’ll need to check the full entry requirements before you travel. You can do this by visiting the FCO website or by contacting the relevant embassy. UK passengers can travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Scheme, by completing an online form using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ETSA) system. For more information, take a look at the US Embassy site.
English is the primary language spoken, but California is a multilingual state with a number of ethnicities residing here.
Bus: The bus is by far one of the cheapest ways to get around, albeit not necessarily the most glamorous. Greyhound buses are generally considered the most frequent and fastest, but there are numerous other companies you can use.
Train: California provides a cheap mode of transport in its train service, so you can reach much of the state in this way. There are even a few long-distance routes both within and out of California, so getting around is easy.
Plane: If you’re journeying long distances, a flight may work out to be more cost-effective. Many airlines provide intra-state services, so you may be able to travel relatively cheaply and more quickly. The primary airports are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacremento.
Car: Car hire is advised if you’re planning on travelling a lot during your stay, and fly-drive California holidays are particularly popular as a way of seeing more of this fantastic state. The vast open roads and great climate serve as a perfect backdrop to self-drive holidays. Driving here is easy and safe, with perhaps the exceptions of the more congested cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco where driving may be more reckless.
The local currency is the US Dollar – credit cards are readily accepted and you’ll find ATMs and banks easily.
Vaccinations and Health
As health requirements change so regularly, it’s advisable that you consult with your GP or specialist travel clinic in advance of your holiday for specific information related to your travel and medical history. Additional information can be found by visiting NaTHNac or MASTA Travel health.