California, nicknamed the Golden State, is one of the most visited states in the US. With over 800 miles of coastline and a diverse landscape with two distinct areas - Northern California and Southern California – there are many different sights to see and activities to enjoy. Whether you are an avid adventurer, or want to enjoy a quiet sunset on the beach, you will find that in a California vacation.

Before you go, remember that travel involves some degree of risk. To protect yourself from uncertainties, it is best to purchase California visitors medical insurance or travel insurance.

Visitors Medical Insurance for Travelers in California – FAQs

California is one of the most popular US destinations for international visitors, but it also has some of the most expensive healthcare. If you get sick or hurt in the Golden State, it’s going to cost you a lot of money, and the domestic health insurance from your home country probably won’t be accepted. In order to receive the treatment that you need at a price you can afford, get visitors medical insurance

Do I need visitors medical insurance for California?

Only those visiting the USA on a J-1 visa require compliant medical insurance. As a tourist, this will probably not apply to you, making visitors medical insurance optional. 

However, don’t confuse “legally optional” with “unnecessary.” Let’s consider the average price of a few different emergency medical procedures in the USA without insurance:

  • Gallbladder surgery - $54,000
  • Spleen removal - $48,000
  • Appendectomy - $9,000+
  • Surgical treatment of a broken arm - $16,000
  • Treatment of a broken nose – up to $5,000

Of course, these costs are all gross estimates and can vary significantly depending upon the situation and the provider. But suffice it to say, getting sick or hurt in California can cost you a lot of money. If you can’t afford to pay these kinds of costs on your own, get visitors medical insurance.  

Why buy visitors medical insurance before traveling to California?

No matter how careful you are, how short your trip is, or how healthy you might think you are, no one can guarantee that they won’t fall ill or get injured while they’re abroad. It makes much more sense to invest in visitors medical insurance than it does to simply hope that you will stay healthy while in the United States, and face the financial consequences if you do not. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in California – FAQs

California is a hotspot for domestic travelers as well, and each one of them should protect their trip investment with trip cancellation insurance.

Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my California travel?

Being such a popular destination, you’ll need to book (and pay for) your airfare, hotel, theme park tickets, etc. well ahead of time. But what happens if you suddenly get sick, have a family emergency, or face some other unavoidable situation that prevents you from traveling? Most prepaid travel expenses are nonrefundable, so you would be out all of the money you’ve spent.

With trip cancellation insurance, this doesn’t have to happen. It can reimburse you for the nonrefundable portion of your prepaid trip costs if you have no choice but to cancel your travel plans for a covered reason.

What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for California?

California travel insurance can go beyond just trip cancellation coverage. Depending upon the plan you choose, you can receive coverage for things like travel delays, trip interruption, baggage delays, and lost luggage. If your trip to California is taking you outside of your domestic health insurance network, most travel insurance plans can also offer coverage for emergency medical treatment.

California’s Most Popular Places for Travel

Northern California

Northern California, or NorCal, is great to visit if you enjoy outdoor adventures. NorCal vacations offer a wide variety of options for friends and family to choose from – well-known places like the Redwood National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and Lake Tahoe, as well as geysers, abandoned railroads, caves and caverns, and other bodies of water. With so many great places to visit, you will enjoy and experience nature at its best.

You can attend wine tasting events throughout the Napa Valley region. Napa Valley is one of the largest wine producing areas in the US., and has been the source of many legendary award-winning and acclaimed wines. The leading varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah/Shiraz and Zinfandel. If you have a wine lover in your life, give them a memorable trip through the serene Napa Valley wineries.

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the world, and home to one of the largest bridges in the U, the Golden Gate Bridge, which crosses over the San Francisco Harbor. Consider visiting Fisherman's Wharf and taking a boat tour to Alcatraz prison; but remember that this requires an advance reservation. Another top attraction not to be missed is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which specifically focuses on the regional habitat of Monterey Bay.

If you prefer to stay on dry land for a day, take a cruise on Lombard Street. This is probably the most crooked street in the world, and driving a car on it is an amazing experience. You can take a tour through Chinatown in San Francisco and stop to shop or dine at any establishment that catches your eye. While here, you shouldn't miss your chance to ride the iconic cable car up and down the hills of San Francisco. It is a unique experience that you won't soon forget.

Southern California

Southern California, called SoCal by locals, has its own unique areas and attractions. In this part of the state, you will find popular beaches like Venice Beach and Long Beach. Venice Beach is known for its eclectic artwork and vendors that you will find all along the beach boulevard, while Long Beach is famous for being the final docking port for RMS Queen Mary, which was a Cunard Ocean Liner, retired in 1969. You can board the ship, take a tour, have lunch at one of the restaurants aboard the ship, or even stay overnight in one of the staterooms as part of the ship's hotel services. However, there has always been speculation that the ship is haunted, so you may want to book accommodations elsewhere!

Theme Parks and Attractions

Theme parks such as Disneyland, Legoland and Universal Studios are located in Southern California and are always fun for kids and families to visit. There is also the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the Santa Monica Pier which originally opened in 1909. The Santa Monica Pier boasts a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and many old-fashioned seaside boardwalk eateries and games.

Los Angeles

Home to movie stars, sunny beaches, and iconic backdrops seen in films and television shows for over 100 years, you could spend an entire vacation just exploring massive Los Angeles. Take a drive to the iconic Hollywood sign, cruise down the Sunset Strip, see Beverly Hills, or catch a movie at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If you’re into sports, Los Angeles is home to the National Football League’s Rams and Chargers, the National Basketball Association’s Lakers and Clippers, the Dodgers and Angels of Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League, and LA Galaxy and LAFC of Major League Soccer. To say there is a lot to see and do in LA would be an understatement. You’re truly only limited by your interests and your imagination.

Key Guidelines for Travelers in California

California is a massive state, with a level of geographic and cultural diversity that is unmatched by most places in the world. However, there are a few tips that every traveler planning a California vacation should remember.

Remember the Size of the State

You aren’t going to see all that California has to offer in a week, or even a month; the state is simply too large, taking at least 12 hours to drive across from north to south. Don’t try to pack too many locations into a short period of time. Instead, focus on one region or city. This way, you won’t spend all of your time driving.

Rent a Car

Speaking of driving, you’ll really need to do it in most parts of California. Public transportation is quite limited here, and you can’t reasonably get to a lot of attractions without renting a car. The only exception to this is if you’re visiting San Francisco. It is relatively compact, and the BART public transit network and streetcars make the city easy enough to get around car-free.

Pack for More than One Season

If you’re heading to LA in the summer, you’ll want shorts and light clothing. But if you’re also planning on visiting Yosemite National Park or the Eastern Sierras, you might get a chill if you forget to bring a jacket. The high mountains of California can be much colder than coastal areas, regardless of season.

City Traffic

If you’re visiting Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, or any of the surrounding areas, heavy traffic is a way of life. It’s not uncommon for it to take an hour just to travel 10 miles by car. This means you need to budget that extra time into your itinerary. For instance, although Disneyland is just 20 miles from Long Beach, it could take you two hours to drive from one place to another in heavy traffic.

Get a National Park Pass

US national parks aren’t always free; in fact, they can be pretty expensive to enter. It’s over $30 just to enter Yosemite, for instance. If you plan on visiting several national parks during your California vacation, you can save a good amount of money if you get a national park pass that allows for free or discounted entry.

Before You Travel to California – Do This

  • Book in advance – Whether it’s a hotel in a large city, or a campsite in a national park, California accommodations are popular and sell out quickly. Don’t wait until you get here to try to find a place to stay.
  • Buy a money belt – Popular tourist areas in California are rife with pickpockets. Don’t make things easy on them. Keep your cash and credit cards in a money belt, rather than in a wallet that can easily be swiped from your pocket.
  • Get the right insurance – California has an endless array of things to see and do. Consider what you’re interested in, research different plans to see what they cover, and purchase the ideal California visitors medical insurance or travel insurance for your needs.

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Visiting USA?

Healthcare costs are very high in the U.S.

Buy U.S. based visitors insurance and enjoy your trip.

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Traveling abroad?

Did you know that your insurance may not cover you abroad or that it may only provide limited coverage?

Purchase travel medical insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation.

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New immigrant to USA?

You are not eligible to enroll in Medicare for the first 5 years.

Purchase new immigrant medical insurance to bridge the gap.

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Going on a vacation?

You could lose your non-refundable trip costs if you had to cancel your trip.

Buy a trip cancellation insurance package plan and be worry-free.

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Are you an exchange visitor to USA?

The U.S. Department of State requires all J visa holders to purchase compliant insurance.

Buy J visa medical insurance to meet your requirements.

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Traveling to Europe?

Schengen countries require most non-US citizens to purchase Schengen visa insurance.

Make an instant purchase online and get instant visa letter.

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Traveling frequently throughout the year?

You don't need to purchase travel insurance for every trip.

Purchase annual multi trip travel insurance for your travels.

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International student in the U.S.?

Most schools require international students to purchase health insurance.

Purchase international student health insurance that meets most school requirements.

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