Moving/Relocating To California: 15 Best Advice To Guide You To The Golden State

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If there’s one place people would love to relocate to, that would be California. The Golden State. It has become synonymous with the sun and beaches of its shorelines and the life that comes with it.

But don’t get too excited just yet. With a total area of more than 160,000 square miles and a population of almost 40 million, it is the most populous State in the USA and the third-largest by area.

If you plan on moving to California, then you should learn a few things about the State to prepare you for what life in California will be like. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of what it means to be living in the Golden State.

1. Pros And Cons Can Sometimes Be A Matter Of Perspective

One thing that every mover needs to know is that someone’s con might be another man’s pro. California is a state that has some of the most populous in the USA, and life can get hectic as people are busy chasing their dreams.

Meanwhile, it is also true that some areas, especially those near the beach, cater to those who prefer to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and live a laid-back beachfront lifestyle.

California’s warm Mediterranean climate is perfect for you if you are a fan of the sun and heat. But, if you also enjoy frolicking in the snow, there are also the snow capped mountains as a welcoming destination. The State has farms and open areas, as well as the technological centre of the country.

There’s always something for everyone.

aerial photo of concrete buildings under cloudy sky

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2. Choose The Right City That Speaks To Your Way Of Life

California has over 400 cities. While some are household names thanks to their popularity in Media and pop culture, many other cities are worth looking into.

What matters is the lifestyle you wish to lead and the cities that are able to give that to you. Of course, as California is a coastline state, most of its cities will have beaches while still being very urbanised.

Here are some choices that you might consider.

Urban Centres

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose

Affordable Locations

  • Bakersfield, Chico, Clovis

For Beach Lovers

  • Malibu, Santa Monica, Long Beach

3. Better Learn How To Budget As California Can Get Pretty Expensive

If you plan on living in California, you need the budget to back it up. According to a study conducted by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Centre, California comes in at number three when it comes to the cost of living.

According to the same study, California has a living index of 139.8. This means that the cost of living is, on average, 39.8% higher than the rest of the country.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, an individual person will need at least 46,600 USD a year to live there. Which boils down to almost 4,000 USD a month.

Between 2016 to 2020, the US census gathered the median household to cost 538,500 USD. Meanwhile, rent comes at 1,500 USD a month.

These numbers, of course, vary significantly on which city you will choose to live in. That is why it is essential to make an informed decision when choosing what city you plan on calling home.

4. Take Public Transport To Easily Find Your Way Around The City

When you live in a new city, especially somewhere as big and crowded as California, you might often find yourself a little overwhelmed and even a bit lost. That’s why it is important to find your way around public transportation.

The California public transport system has bus, subway, ferry, or light rail systems that cater to millions of people daily.

Some buses serve statewide, such as Greyhound, Megabus, and Flixbus. Meanwhile, regional bus lines such as the SF Bay Area Transportation Directory and Bay Area Rapid Transit for Northern California and Los Angeles Metro and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System for the south are also available.

If you plan on going a bit further than a bus can take you, Amtrak California, Caltrain, and Metrolink trains are there to give you a ride. There are also several ferry services throughout the State if you fancy a trip overwater.

Whilst in California, it is also a great idea to get a Go Pass which gives excellent deals on certain lines and locations. Read up on their website to learn more.

5. California Has A Lot Of Huge Opportunities, But It Can Get Competitive

Between 2020 and 2021, the unemployment rate in California improved by almost 8%. While California’s economy ranks amongst the highest in the world, this still leaves for a very competitive job market thanks to the State’s high population.

It is estimated that for every 83 jobs, there are 100 workers. However, it is projected that these numbers will soon catch up thanks to the reopening of businesses and the relaxing of pandemic restrictions.

In 2022, the largest companies listed in California are Wells Fargo, Westcon Comstor AU, Concentrix, Walt Disney, and Taco Bell, among others. In addition, according to, a leading employment website. The most in-demand positions in California in 2021 were retail associate, truck driver, customer service representative, shift manager, and delivery driver.

It should also be noted that you can find Silicon Valley in California. If you are looking for opportunities or have a background in tech, that is where you should be headed.

6. Be Sure You’re Packing The Right Clothes For The California Heat

California is known to be sunny, and with that comes the all-important tip of dressing for the weather.

Hotter cities include Los Angeles, Fresno, Reading, Riverside, and Bakersfield, to name a few. Temperatures in these cities can go in the high 90s and go only as low as the mid-60s (°F). These cities have mild winters but longer, drier, and hotter summers.

Other cities like San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Irvine, or Santa Monico also get pretty hot. Still, the weather is a bit more ideal thanks to the mediation of the Pacific Ocean, higher elevation, or a combination of both.

Bottomline, you will need to look into your wardrobe and see if you are dressed for the climate that awaits you.

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7. California Has Some Of The Best Universities In The Country

If you have plans on continuing your education for whatever reason or just making sure that your child has many good choice schools, California has got you covered.

California supports its public education system with the 1988 California Proposition 98. This ensures that the State continues improving the quality of education in its K-12 and community college system.

If you’re looking for choices in higher education, California can provide you with a list. The University of California system comprises 10 campuses along with several other research and education centres. The system offers excellent quality education in any discipline you can think of.

Aside from the UC system, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, Santa Clara University, and Loyola Marymount University are just some of the many other schools that offer the amazing quality of education.

8. There’s So Much Fun To Be Had, Don’t Miss Out On These Must-See Spots

Moving is stressful, so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself and forgo some fun. California has some excellent destinations for rest and recreation.

Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney California Adventure first come to mind. A place of fun, games, rides, and food. It’s the perfect way for the whole family to destress and just enjoy some good old Disney magic.

Visit Museums to learn about the history of the State as well as the people that live in it. The Getty Centre in Los Angeles, the California Museum in Sacramento, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View and the Museum of Us in San Diego all have something unique to offer.

Theme parks are also great destinations when you just want a good time and an adrenaline rush. Head over to Seaworld San Diego, Legoland, Belmont Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Six Flags Magic Mountain are natural go-to destinations you shouldn’t miss.

National Parks are also available for people who like to connect with nature and breathe in some fresh air, and put in the steps for a good hike. Death Valley, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and Pinnacles are all excellent choices.

9. Diversity Is A Huge Part Of Life In California

California is said to be the home to most nationalities who live outside their country. Diversity is a huge part of the identity of the State, and some say it is also the true key to its success.

Almost 40% of the population has Hispanic or Latino heritage, another 17% hail from Asian countries, while a little over 6% make up the African-American population. The State also has large Native American and Pacific Islander populations.

The diverse population and the cultural influences they bring, such as in food, art, music, and the like, shape the continued evolution of life in California. For someone looking to move into the States, knowing that there are people who understand what you are going through and there are spaces that welcome your journey is just incredible.

California Av signage on traffic light post

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10. Treat Yourself To A Gastronomic Adventure With Californian Cuisine

Talking about diversity, food is one of the biggest things that identify a certain culture. But, the amazing thing about California is the mixing and mingling of different cultures that result in amazing food.

Take yourself on a gastronomic journey of discovering new flavours, textures, smells, and colours with the food of California. Here are some of our top picks on what you should try.

The Grandmother Burger for mouth watering Italian sub greatness.

Oysters from the waters of Southern California

Baby Back Ribs, along with other Barbecues, have gained a distinct flavour in California.

Custom Crêpes make for an excellent canvas of anything and everything. Trying out new and sometimes even strange ingredients is part of the fun.

Açai bowls are similar to crepes in that they make for the perfect blank canvas. Originally from Brazil, these bowls of flavour have become a favourite in California.

Tacos and Burritos in California are also excellent due to their large Hispanic population and influence.

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11. If You Are A Fan Of The Beach, Go On A Road Trip And Visit These Iconic Beaches

Go frolic in the water, surf the wave, or enjoy other water-based attractions on one of California’s many beautiful beaches.

Beach life is trendy in California thanks to the Pacific Ocean and the tide and winds it brings. And an additional thanks to its very long shoreline, there are several destinations to choose from. Here are some suggested destinations for that weekend beach getaway you know you deserve.

  • Laguna Beach
  • Malibu
  • Steamer Lane
  • San Onofre State Beach
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Swami’s Beach

12. Take Part In Holidays And Festivals That Shape The Culture Of The State

Much like food, knowing the festivals that the people celebrate is a way for you to get to know the people of a state. Knowing what they celebrate is a sort of window into what they hold dear and what unites its population. If you find yourself a new resident of California, you should definitely mark your calendars and visit these festivals.

For Foodies and Fruities, there’s the California Lemon Festival, Gilroy Garlic Festival, California Wine Festival, Palm Desert Greek Festival, and California Strawberry Festival.

For those who like a bit of country and unusual, go to Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jump Jubilee, Festival of the Kite, Oxnard Salsa Festival, and Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival.

For those who love art and music, get in line for Mission Federal ArtWalk, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Temecula Art & Street Painting Festival, and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

13. Keep Track Of Your Relocation With A Moving Checklist

Be diligent in keeping a Moving Checklist. It is a simple yet very efficient way to ensure that the whole moving process is problem free. From start to finish, the move may take a few months, and some details may get lost along the way.

You will need to keep track of everything that the move involves, from buying packing material, what you are going to pack, and plane tickets, not to mention you’ll need to coordinate with your new landlord or a new boss.

With a moving checklist, you can categorise all of these things and tick down what’s done, what’s pending, and all the important dates in between. Here is an example of how you can categorise your checklist.

Paperwork and Documents

  • Things to buy
  • Belongings to pack
  • Belongings to sell or giveaway
  • Cash
  • Emergency numbers

You can add or change the categories as how they fit your situation, the most critical part being you should regularly update them.

If you keep up with it, you’ll find the move to be significantly smoother and actually something that you look forward to.

14. Don’t Be Shy And Step Out Of Your Shell And Join Expat Groups And Forums

One thing you can also do to make new friends in a new city is join expat groups or online forums. Websites like,, or even the all-too-popular Facebook conduct community events where people can meet and mingle.

Usually, these events will also hold additional activities or games to facilitate people to get to know each other. The great thing about these groups is they are usually helmed by fellow expats who know exactly what you are feeling as a new mover.

Who knows, maybe you could even be a community leader and organise events yourself in time!

15. Engage With Professionals To Keep Your Relocation Stress Free

You can further reduce the stress of moving by engaging with a professional and trusted moving company like Sanelo. Sanelo has years of experience handling relocations from all over the world. So, whether the move is local or international, Sanelo has got your back.

By engaging with Sanelo, just go to the airport and enjoy your ride. Forget about struggling with heavy luggage on your trip to California! You can sit back and relax, knowing your bags are protected by Sanelo’s shipment protection.

Conclusion On Moving To California

California truly deserves to be called the Golden State. From the sandy beach life in Malibu to the technological advancements in Silicon Valley. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the farmlands of San Joaquin. There truly is something for everyone.

California might be one of the more expensive states to live in, but it also has lots of opportunities available. Not to mention world-class universities in case you want to pursue higher education or if you have a family and are looking for options for your child.

If you are not sure yet, if moving to California is for you, check out our other guides on different states and cities, like Arizona, Arkansas, Flagstaff, and Little Rock.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To California

Is California Expensive?

Yes. California is one of the most expensive states in the USA, with a livability index of 139.8.

How High Is Property Tax In California?

California has one of the highest general sales and uses tax at a little over 7%. Personal income tax is also at a high of 13.3%.

How Hot Is It In California?

California has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Thanks to the long shoreline, the Pacific ocean helps keep temperatures mid and not go to extremes.

How Soon Should I Contact Sanelo To Help Me Move?

You may call or email Sanelo as provided on the website. It is best to engage with a representative at least three months before the intended relocation date to have time to prepare.


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