Luggage and bags:
California is a backpacking paradise. With park's like Yosemite and King's Canyon, and long trails running the length of the state, a backpack is something you will want to have with you if you have ever even thought of backcountry travel.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hiking boots should be worn on all trails and trails are something you will find everywhere in the golden state. Even cities like San Francisco necessitate good shoes. Everyone thinks California is a hot place but really, it's quite temperate. You're more likely to find yourself chilly here than warm so bring layers which you can add or peel off when you need to. Rain gear should be carried in the mountains but it's not something it does in the rest of California all that often.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen. It may not be generally hot in the golden state, but it is sunny!
Photo Equipment: A wide angle is great in cities and for capturing atmospheric shots of the state's varied and amazing landscapes. A zoom for getting good shots of its wildlife which is considerable and often overlooked. A tripod is great for low light situations and cute couple shots.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Accommodation in California is amongst the highest in the US. While camping is not always the easiest option in cities, the state is blessed with some of the greatest campgrounds in the world. The National Parks and coastal region in particular are teeming with beautiful opportunities to pitch a tent. Hint: bring a tent, sleeping bags, mats and stove. Save money and enjoy the state's great nature all in one go.
If you're taking the Pacific Highway 1 route, the towns you'd be passing by are blessed with a lovely climate.
The following is a rough guide on what I'd pack along with me for a SUMMER vacation to places like Carmel, Pebble Beach, Monterey etc:
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of shorts/ bermudas.
3 or 4 cotton t-shirts/ tank tops
1 cardigan/ sweater
(just in case the weather gets chilly...)
1 pair of sandals
1 pair of evening shoes
(for that social gathering in the evenings in Pebble Beach!)
1 little black dress
(which can double up for day and evening events).
2 nightgowns/ pyjamas
1 bathing suit
P.S. I didn't mention the more personal under-garment items because I think you should have no problem deciding on this yourself. :-)
An important rule of thumb: DO plan your wardrobe in such a way that you'll have no problem mixing and matching your outfits and it should be able to see you through from day to night. So in this instance, that little black dress WILL come in VERY handy for the night events AND in the day time too! :-))
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: DON'T forget to transfer all your toner, cleanser, night cream et al into small plastic containers - to save luggage space, of course. :-)))
Photo Equipment: These days, I bring along 2 to 3 types of cameras with me and load them with 2 or 3 different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography.
So, the cameras that I bring along with me (in my knapsack or tote bag) are:-
the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens) which comes in a cool silver metallic color. I usually use this camera for day photography.
the Pentax 150 Zoom which I use for places that does NOT allow flash photography.
the ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm. I usually hang this camera around my neck. Frankly, it looks kinda cool this way too! ;-)) This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used.
Miscellaneous: DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into American dollars before your trip.
And NEVER use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash.
This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees. In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).
Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange', 'Maestro' etc on it?
If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in U.S.A., no matter how obscure the town you're at is.
If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.
I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... Yes, even at the remotest village in Africa or China! :-)) Have a great trip!
'There are three wants which can never be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different, and that of the traveler, who says... 'Anywhere but here.' ' - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Essayist & Writer); 1803-1882
Luggage and bags:
If you're there for pleasure, don't pack everything.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It depends on what part of California you visit and at what time of year. If you go to Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, or the Sierras, pack with a view to cool nights. Even in coastal Southern California, mind the Junuary phenomenon described in Warnings & Dangers.
Photo Equipment: Good 35mm camera like the one pictured.
Photo Equipment: If you go hiking at Yosemite National Park, the best time to go is in the Spring or Fall because of the summer crowds. Take several of the panoramic disposable cameras. You will find many great opportunities to use it for photos that can't be framed in a normal camera lens view finder.
Luggage and bags:
The best thing you should take with you is a camera.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: short clothes open shoes and alot of energie
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: nothing special.
Photo Equipment: digital camera and a normal one.
Photo Equipment: Click on the travelogue to the right to check out what trained professionals can do with one of these.
Photo Equipment: Whatever time of year you visit Tahoe, be sure to bring a camera, because there will be more memories than you can remember!