How to Love California on a Budget

California is widely regarded as one of the single best places to holiday not only in America but the entire world. Famous for its gorgeous weather and some of the best country in the US, it’s a trip we can recommend to anyone regardless of what you seek in a holiday. There’s an assumption that this slice of heaven is reserved only with those for particularly big purses that we want to dispel. To help us do that, we’ve put together this guide on how to enjoy the Orange County on a budget. If you’re looking to save some money or just want some new holiday ideas, read on.

Photo credit: J. Cook Fisher

Photo credit: J. Cook Fisher


One of the easier ways to cut your travelling budget right down is by choosing what you eat more carefully. We already have a great article on how to save money when eating abroad, which you can check out right here. Besides those tips, however, we can recommend visit California’s farmer’s markets. Get produce direct from the people who pour their heart and soul into producing the finest food and pay less for it than you would in a store.


The beaches of California are world famous and, believe it or not, you don’t have to break the bank to shack up next to one. You can wake up to the lapping waves and the sight of the beautiful beach-goers every day by taking a trip to one of the places mentioned in this handy list.

Sunrise over Yosemite Valley with snow capped mountains in early February. Photo Credit: Chase Lindberg

Sunrise over Yosemite Valley with snow capped mountains in early February. Photo Credit: Chase Lindberg


Hiking is perhaps the best way to experience some of the unique natural beauty in this vast, rocky and diverse state. Ridgemont Outfitters know all the best hiking trails to visit. From the gorgeous coastline trip of the Lost Coast Trail to the challenging and famous Pacific Crest Trail. If you have the right gear and the fitness for it, this is the cheapest way to take an unforgettable experience back home with you.

Get a national park pass

National park passes cost money, but by getting one, you’re opening up not one but dozens and dozens of great locations to visit. Death Valley. Yosemite. Joshua Tree. These are just some of the world famous locations that a pass can open up to you. See the otherworldly yucca and a vibrantly coloured desert like you’d never expect.


One way to spend some time in California without having to spend any money is by getting yourself involved as a volunteer. It’s not all drudgery, however.  The Apricot Fiesta is one of the liveliest and famous cultural festivals in the Orange County. By volunteering to spend part of your day helping the organisers run this fundamental fiesta, you free up the rest of your day to enjoy it for yourself. Plus you get free food and accommodation so everyone wins!

California is a vast place of beautiful sights and culture to enjoy all over the county. Don’t be afraid to plan for your holiday just because you can’t afford the more conventional treats. Follow the guide and you’ll have an experience you’re glad to carry with you for the rest of your life.


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