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California budget

(23 Posts)
feduuup Mon 29-Apr-19 21:06:15

I've started to have a play around with figures but I know there's quite a few who have done California, how much have you spent on a California holiday for a family of 4 for 2 weeks?

OP’s posts: |
stucknoue Mon 29-Apr-19 21:15:52

A lot! Food is expensive, we did elsewhere on the west coast and were shocked at how expensive everything was now (we lived there many years ago). Breakfast was typically £12-15 per person plus drink, plus tax, plus tip! Top tip is to see if there's a wholefoods nearby as they have huge amounts of ready cooked hot food, and Safeway has Chinese hot food usually. Activity prices can be checked online but allow for the fact that tax is often added after. Only advantage of the US is massive portions so less meals needed smile

ProfessorLayton1 Mon 29-Apr-19 21:24:39

Love whole foods and there are a lot of them in California..
Where are you going in California ?

feduuup Mon 29-Apr-19 21:40:06

Thank you. We've done a few places in the US and used to food being cheap but have heard California is different! We were thinking of doing a week at theme parks, LA, and then a week in an RV doing more scenic state park type activities. Wasn't going to do San Francisco or anything that far this time.

OP’s posts: |
ProfessorLayton1 Tue 30-Apr-19 21:20:30

fediuup- we went to SF then to Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Zion and monument valley - simply amazing.. does it have to be California. We flew in to SF and flew out of LV.

lovelyupnorth Wed 01-May-19 06:58:54

We found except in the cheapest fast food place. Your looking at $100 + for a family of four to eat. Portions are massive so our kids always ordered smaller or kids portions as even though late teens there was always far too much food.

feduuup Wed 01-May-19 07:25:09

@ProfessorLayton1 DH and I have done LV and Grand Canyon so wasn't looking to go that far in land on this trip. Children will still be young at 11 and 8 so was hoping a week of road tripping (Yosemite is on the list) and a static week doing LA sites and theme parks.

OP’s posts: |
Curlybrunette Wed 01-May-19 20:13:03

I'm going in a couple of weeks and have booked most of the hotels with kitchenettes so we can have some meals in.
I'm also taking some stuff with us, boxes of cereal, super noodles, snacky bits for the kids, tea/coffee etc.
I thought it if we could at least have breakfast in the room/apartment that's probably $80 a day saved!

BubblesBuddy Thu 02-May-19 23:17:21

Be careful about taking food into the USA. They don’t like it! It might get confiscated. Just buy it there.

BubblesBuddy Thu 02-May-19 23:23:51

You also have to declare what you want to import at customs. Tea, coffee, nuts, cereals, noodles all have to be declared. Failure to declare can lead to problems.

ProfessorLayton1 Fri 03-May-19 20:33:49

I would not recommend taking food to USA especially the immigration can be a nightmare and you don't want an added pressure with taking foods on flight.
Not sure where you are flying into but you can easily buy it there.
We bought a ice box and filled it with lots of drinks, salad, smoothies and the kids loved shopping for their trip.
A lot of places have ice for free but even if you have to buy it is cheap..

Teddybear45 Fri 03-May-19 20:37:02

Honestly best thing to do is stock up in LA or San Fran at an Asian / Indian local grocer and cook your own food if possible. A lot of youth hostels also give you discounts (or free accomodation) if you’re willing to make breakfast — and in a hostel breakfast is often free.

Bigearringsbigsmile Fri 03-May-19 20:40:19

We went last year and food was eye watering ly expensive. Even in supermarkets the food was pricey.

Curlybrunette Tue 07-May-19 11:35:39

That's why I was going to take it with me as food is so expensive there. Do you think it will be a problem to take it with me? I'd read this and thought it would be ok?

I remember last year I wanted some crisps, a share bag size was something ridiculous like $6, would be £1 here

BritWifeinUSA Wed 08-May-19 03:10:23

You can certainly bring food here, but it must be declared at CBP. But why would you want to bring food? We are not short of it here! grin

I've lived here since 2016 and I'm surprised that tourists think food here is cheap. Bad food is cheaper than the U.K. But good food is a lot more expensive. Those chain restaurants with their massive portions are to be avoided. Very tasteless and bland.

I think the only nice thing I've found here that's cheaper than the U.K. is strawberries. And avocados. My husband is American and he fell off his chair when I told him how much avocados cost in the U.K.

dreichuplands Wed 08-May-19 03:34:07

Food in the US is expensive and the exchange rate doesn't help. It is perfectly possible to bring sealed food into the US, family do this for us when they come.
A quick google will give you the advice from the government that you need.

dreichuplands Wed 08-May-19 03:35:23

Also nice though Whole Foods is it is at least in the Midwest one of the most expensive supermarkets.

trendingorange Wed 08-May-19 04:24:01

Just got back from California, was very expensive.
Usually in the USA one potions served two of us.....not in the reasonable cafes/restaurants in SolCal.

mrspk Wed 15-May-19 21:10:23

In summer flights alone are over £1k each so youd be looking at over £10k including meals I would say. Worth it though, we've been twice and hoping to go back next year.

stucknoue Wed 15-May-19 21:14:46

We were spending around $100 for 3 last year for dinner but we do tend to order beer which is $$$. Take ID all the time for alcohol, they don't accept U.K. driving licences as id either only passports. I'm the wrong side of 45 and yes I was ID'd!

ShakeYourTailFeathers Wed 15-May-19 21:20:16

Trader Joes is what you want for groceries - really cheap booze too!

We did an RV road trip last summer and loved the one in Santa Barbara

Tealfrog Wed 15-May-19 21:24:56

Trader Joe's is great for picnic type meals - salads are Fab as is wine and snacks.

We don't find portions that big in .CA so don't get on 2 feeding 4 - we all had to order our own meals. Just eat when hungry though - 2 meals and snacks usually.

dreichuplands Wed 15-May-19 21:34:28

Aldi and Trader Joe's are owned by two different brothers in the same family. I have always thought Trader Joe's was better at European style food than a lot of other US supermarkets, probably as a result of this.

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