Planning a trip to California?

California offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some popular options:

1. Explore the stunning landscapes of Yosemite National Park, with its iconic granite cliffs, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
2. Visit the famous Golden Gate Bridge and explore the vibrant city of San Francisco, known for its cultural diversity and iconic landmarks.
3. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and surf in Southern California, including destinations like Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Huntington Beach.
4. Experience the glamour of Hollywood in Los Angeles, where you can visit Universal Studios, stroll along the Walk of Fame, and explore the Getty Centre.
5. Take a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying breath taking coastal views, charming towns like Santa Barbara, and the picturesque Big Sur.
6. Visit the renowned wine regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma, where you can indulge in wine tasting and enjoy the scenic vineyards.
7. Explore the rugged beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, known for its unique desert landscapes, rock formations, and Joshua trees.
8. Head to San Diego to experience its laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, and attractions like Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld.
9. Embark on outdoor adventures in Lake Tahoe, where you can ski, hike, or relax by the crystal-clear lake.
10. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of San Diego’s historic neighbourhoods like the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy.

Remember, California is a vast state with diverse attractions, so plan according to your interests and the specific region you’ll be visiting.

What currency will I need?

The official currency of California, like the rest of the United States, is the United States Dollar (USD), which is the widely accepted and used currency for all transactions within the state. It is issued and regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve System, which is the central bank of the United States.

The U.S. Dollar is subdivided into 100 cents, and it is available in various denominations of banknotes and coins, including $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, as well as coins of 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half-dollar), and 1 dollar.

The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted and used in all types of transactions in California, including for buying goods and services, paying bills, conducting financial transactions, and as a unit of account. Most businesses and establishments in California, including banks, retailers, hotels, restaurants, and other service providers, accept U.S. Dollars as the standard form of payment.

Should I use travel cash or a card?

According to Mintel, 90% of British travellers take some travel cash with them. It’s perfect for tips, taxis, street-side vendors and locations which do not have card machines (or where they are not working). It’s easy to budget with, and share with other members of your party. It’s also not prone to technical faults, does not require internet access, and you won’t be charged to use it.

Having a debit card is also a great idea as backup – just make sure you know what fees the card issuer charges to make payments in the foreign currency (better still, find one that makes no charges at all). Bigger purchases should be made on a travel-friendly UK-issued credit card to get that additional Section 75 protection (see Make sure when paying by card that you ALWAYS pay in the foreign currency – do not let the card processor do the conversion to GBP as you will always get a worse rate. That applies even if the foreign currency is already loaded onto a prepaid multi-currency card – the card issuer will decide whether to settle from your foreign currency wallet or not.

Where can I buy currency?

You will typically get a better deal buying your travel cash here in the UK before you travel. Look for the highest possible foreign currency exchange rate to indicate the best deal. For example, a rate of US$1.2312 is better than US$1.2015 when buying United States Dollar (USD). Airports tend to offer the worst rates – especially if you have not pre-ordered – and you may find a bureau de change on your High Street, in a supermarket or department store, in many travel agents, and at major transport hubs.

You can also buy United States Dollar from Travel Money Club for next business day despatch to home via fully insured Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm. Unlike the competition, we don’t hide fees and charges in our exchange rates – you just pay a fair and transparent handling fee based on how much you are exchanging. Get an instant quote now at

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