The Ultimate Guide on Moving to California

Moving to California? Find out more information about My Baggage – our convenient, affordable and reliable door to door shipping service that could help you save time and money on transporting all of your belongings to California.

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Relocating To California

Moving to California? Find out more information about My Baggage – our convenient, affordable and reliable door to door shipping service that could help you save time and money on transporting all of your belongings to California.

You can read about how our new approach to international removals compares to traditional international removals companies to decide which is best for your big move.

About California

Moving to California is a concept as American as apple pie.

It really goes without saying that California is one of the most beautiful and liveable places in America.

With a diverse population, a food scene that’s impossible to beat and a place world-renowned for living out your dreams, it’s easy to see why so many make the move to California every year.

California, commonly known as ‘The Golden State’, is located on the West Coast of America.

The state is the most populated in America, with over 39 million people calling it home.

Famous for the Hollywood film industry, Silicon Valley’s globally recognisable companies, warm climate and LA-based celebrities, California is a diverse, fast-paced state that excites and delights its residents.

Moving to California

You’ve watched all of Hollywood’s greatest movies and TV shows and looked on in awe at the Golden Gate Bridge.

And you’ve heard the stories about how Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and dozens more of the world’s biggest companies started out in California’s Silicon Valley.

The Ultimate Guide On Moving To California

So now you’re getting ready to make the big move to The Golden State to enjoy the sunshine and a fast-paced lifestyle.

But before you move, you’ll want to know as much as possible about California.

Today we’ll cover everything you need to know before relocating to California, including what to do, where to live, visas and facts about the US state.

And most importantly, you’ll want to know how to get all of your possessions over to California reliably and cheaply.

Relocating to America can be exciting but also stressful, so getting your worldly possessions there in one piece means you’ve another box ticked.

So, whether you’re moving to California from Ireland, Thailand, Bulgaria, Asia, or somewhere in between, here’s everything you need to know.

California Quick Facts

Language: English

Population: 39 million

Currency: U.S. dollars ($, USD, US$)

Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)

Date Format: month/day/year

Dialling Code: 213 and 323

Things to do in California

Want some Insta-worthy selfies?Visit Alcatraz Island and take an exhilarating tour of the iconic prison.

Big child at heart?  You’ll have to visit Disneyland, California, for a Disney-themed adventure of a lifetime.

Fan of art? Say hello to The Getty Center, home to collections from Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne.

Love the great outdoors? Take a trip through Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy some of the best views in the US.

Science and history buff? Enjoy an unforgettable day at the USS Midway Museum or the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About California

  1. California got its nickname ‘The Golden State’ in 1846 from Captain John C. Frémont.
  2. The unofficial ‘Avocado capital of the world’ is in Fallbrook, California.
  3. The largest tree in the world – General Sherman – is located in California and is an eyewatering 275 feet high and around 2,200 to 2,700 years old.
  4. Around one in eight American residents live in the state of California.
  5. The birthplace of the internet is the University of California, Los Angeles.
  6. California’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge attracts more than ten million visitors every year.
  7. The biggest city in California in Los Angeles, with nearly four million people.
  8. California’s Silicon Valley has produced the world’s biggest companies; Apple, Google, Microsoft, eBay, HP, Adobe, PayPal, and Intel.
  9. US actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California from 2003 – 2011.
  10. California has the largest economy in the United States.
  11. If California were a country, it would have the fifth largest economy globally.
  12. The capital of California is Sacramento.
  13. A massive 80% of the world’s almonds are produced in California.
  14. California’s Death Valley holds the record for the world’s hottest temperature reliably recorded, at a sizzling 54.4°C in July 2021.
  15. The California grizzly bear was designated official Californian State Animal in 1953.
  16. Over 3,000 people died in a massive earthquake in California in 1906.
  17. Three Californian cities – LA, San Diego and San Jose – are in the top 10 most populated cities in the US.
  18. California has hosted both the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, the only US state to do so.
  19. The first-ever McDonald’s fast-food restaurant opened in 1940 in California.
  20. California has the most national parks in the US, with nine.

Why Should I Consider Moving to California?

With a vast, stable economy, sunshine nearly all year-round, and some of the world’s most fantastic attractions, California has a little something for everyone.

And true to its name, ‘The Golden State’, California is a culturally diverse part of the world that is welcoming and exciting.

Most popular relocation destinations for people moving to California

  1. Sacramento
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Diego
  4. Santa Rosa
  5. Santa Cruz
  6. San Francisco
  7. Santa Barbara
  8. San Jose

Top 10 Reasons to Relocate To California

  1. California is home to some of the world’s best entertainment, none more so than in the Hollywood area.
  2. California has a world-leading economy with lots of career opportunities.
  3. Iconic attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hollywood Hills sign landmarks are on your doorstep.
  4. You can enjoy downtime in the world-famous Griffith Observatory and enjoy breathtaking views of the LA skyline.
  5. You’ll enjoy warm weather most of the year.
  6. Make the most of California’s top-class education system.
  7. You can enjoy nine national parks, including the famous Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park.
  8. California is a cultural melting pot and welcoming.
  9. California is a predominately English-speaking area.
  10. California has a world-renowned cultural and arts scene (ahem, Hollywood!) to immerse yourself in.

How to move to California: Things You Need To Know Before Moving to California.

Before moving to any country, it’s vital to carry out your research beforehand.

That’s because, when you move to a new part of the world, many unknowns can make it stressful and exciting in equal measures.

Your main aim at this stage should be to learn as much about California as possible so you’ll know what to expect when you arrive.

Here are some of the main things to think about before you move to The Golden State.


Visas; they’re not going to get the blood pumping, are they?

But without one, you won’t get too far in your travelling adventure.

Sort your immigration documents as soon as possible. It can sometimes take a while to get everything in order before your big move.

To enter America and live in California permanently, you’ll need to have the correct visa.

And the correct visa will depend on why you’re moving to California and whether your home country already has an immigration agreement in place with the US.

The type of visa you need depends on the purpose and duration of your stay in California.

For comprehensive US visa information, visit the US Government’s website.

Cost of living in California

The Ultimate Guide On Moving To California - why to move to california

The cost of living in California is very expensive.

The State of California and its biggest cities are widely regarded as some of the most expensive cities in the world to live in alongside the likes of London, New York, Geneva and Tokyo.

But being expensive is relative to the higher salaries commanded in The Golden State.

For example, salaries in Silicon Valley’s tech companies are some of the highest in the world.

So, while California is expensive, salaries are often very competitive and allow residents to meet those higher living costs.

Job Opportunities in California

Boasting one of the world’s most impressive economies, California has a wide range of job opportunities.

For example, in 2021, California’s unemployment rate was just 7.5%.

Some of the most common jobs associated with California are in Technology and Design industries.

Still, there are also many available in Financial Services, Healthcare, Professional Services, and Retail.

According to the job site Indeed, the 15 most in-demand jobs in California are:

  1. Retail sales associate
  2. Truck driver
  3. Customer service representative
  4. Shift manager
  5. Delivery driver
  6. Registered nurse
  7. Licensed vocational nurse
  8. Sales associate
  9. Team member
  10. Crewmember
  11. Cashier
  12. Nursing assistant
  13. Caregiver
  14. Security officer
  15. Sales representative

Education in California

California has an excellent reputation for providing world-class education.

Indeed, there are over six million students in California.

With Ivy League’s Stanford University, California Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California on your doorstep, students in California have access to an impressive education system.

California Healthcare

According to US News, California is ranked as the fifth-best state in America for healthcare.

However, there are good and bad aspects of the healthcare system.

The more you can afford in the USA, the higher level and quality of service you can expect.

As a result, many people moving to California find that having excellent health insurance can help them access the best care available.

Renting vs Buying a Home When You’re Moving to California

Whether your big move to California is for a year or a lifetime will dictate whether it’s a good idea to rent or buy a home.

With its warm climate, celebrity-centric, technology-driven industries, the demand for housing in California is enormous.

Either way, you’ll have a wide range of options available, but expect high costs for both rentals and buying a property outright.

As we mentioned earlier, California is one of the highest living costs in the world, so you’ll struggle to find a great place at a low cost.

Over half of people living in California (55%) own their home, while 45% rent a house in the Golden State.

Ultimately, the part of California you live in, your salary, and how long you intend to live there will all decide whether you rent or buy.

California Culture

California is a melting pot of diverse cultures, literature, arts, entertainment, and music.

And because of its enviable all-year-round sunshine, Californians are regarded as outdoorsy, health-conscious, active and politically quite liberal.

As the home of modern technology and global movies, you’ll find a great diversity amongst the people that call California their home.

From the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Santa Monica State Beach, California is packed with things to keep you entertained.

And for those history buffs who like immersing themselves in the past, The USS Midway Museum is sure to wow you.

Music-lovers will be spoiled for choice, too, with California’s 482 cities hosting concerts all year round.

California food

While the small but mighty almond is the official state food of California, you’ll find a lot more than nuts to tuck into.

Whether you’re a fish lover, fries fan, or you’re big into hot dogs, California is sure to tantalise your taste buds with a vast array of food choices.

California is heavily influenced by Western foods, so you can expect to see McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks and many more on every corner.

But with nearly every nationality represented in the state, you’ll find food to tuck into.

Languages of California

English is the official language of California, and Spanish is spoken quite widely in the Golden State too.

However, there are hundreds of languages represented in the state.

10 Top Tips on How to Move to California

  1. Start planning for your move to California as much in advance as you can.
  2. Make checklists to stay on top of what you need to do as you progress through your planning.
  3. Get started on getting your immigration sorted as early as possible. Make sure you are reading the most up to date immigration information as some rules have changed since the start of the pandemic.
  4. Set up a US bank account as soon as you can.
  5. Bring appropriate clothes; California is warm most of the year.
  6. Keep a record and stay on top of your finances – save, save, save!
  7. Sell/donate goods you don’t need to free up space and build up savings.
  8. Do plenty of research on your new area (social media or internet forums are both hugely helpful!)
  9. If you’re moving for a job, don’t be afraid to ask your employer for help.
  10. Compare different quotes and choose your movers wisely.

The prospect of moving all of your possessions abroad can be daunting, time-consuming and stressful.

But thankfully, several options can be low-cost, simple and stress-free.

That’s why it’s vital to understand each of your options; it’ll save you time and money in the long run.

And don’t forget, some options might be perfect for you while others can be disregarded.

Moving Your Possessions

Often, the most challenging aspect of moving to a different country is finding an affordable, reliable way of getting all of your possessions to your new home.

Thankfully, there are several options to choose from, which can help make your relocation process run smoothly.

It’s essential to make yourself aware of these options that are available to you.

Understanding your options now will save you time and money later on as some options might be perfectly suited to your needs while others may not.

International Removals

Traditional international removal services typically offer shipping by air or by sea freight.

They make for the perfect option if you need to ship large, bulky items such as beds, sofas or even your car.

However, it’s important to be aware that costs and transit times can vary greatly depending on the scale of your move and the type of service.

Container shipping (sea freight) is generally the more affordable option, though it can be an exceptionally slow voyage.

You could be waiting for up to two months for your belongings to arrive.

Air freight is a much faster option, though as it is typically priced by weight and volume, it is arguably the more costly option of the two.

Most international removals companies will deliver your possessions straight to your door.

However, you should be aware that some may require transportation to and from ports yourself.

My Baggage

At My Baggage, we understand that it’s only natural to feel some apprehension about handing everything over to a removals driver regarding your personal belongings.

That’s why we strive to provide an international moving service you know you can trust.

My Baggage provides convenient and low-cost shipping service to all addresses in California and over 200 countries worldwide, across over 1,000 routes.

We offer a full door to door service, full online tracking and dedicated, unrivalled customer support.

How does it work?

Online Package Order

Book Online

Print Labels

Print Labels

Package Delivered

We Collect

Door to Door Delivery

Delivered to You

Why Use My Baggage?

My Baggage offers an affordable alternative and perhaps even more feasible approach to transporting all your personal belongings to your new home in California, United States.

Relocating anywhere in the world is an undeniably expensive process.

And for many people, a more cost-effective option could be to sell, donate or give away large, bulky items and ship only their most treasured and essential belongings with My Baggage.

Low-Cost International Shipping

When you’re relocating to a different country, money is tight.

That’s why at My Baggage, we offer incredibly low rates on our international shipping services.

We’re so confident in our pricing that we also offer a price match tool if you happen to find a better price.

What Can I Send?

My Baggage is ideal for suitcases and boxes of all of the essential possessions you’d like to have with you in California.

You can also send oversized items – such as sports equipment and musical instruments – with My Baggage.

Full Online Tracking

To give you that extra peace of mind, My Baggage will keep you updated from when you place your booking until the moment your shipment is delivered.

You’ll be given the option to opt-in for text and email notifications to keep you fully up-to-date on where your items are and when they are due to arrive.

We also provide full online tracking for every shipment, which you can access anytime in your My Baggage account.

If you have any questions or concerns along the way, we pride ourselves on our unrivalled customer support.

Thanks to many years of experience in logistics, our support team are experts in shipping personal belongings worldwide.

If you require any assistance with your shipment, you can contact our customer support team via phone, email and live chat, and they will always be happy to help in any way that they can.

Value For Money

My Baggage is one of the most affordable options for international shipping.

Our straightforward, convenient service offers incredible value for money.

We offer a massive 30kg/66lb weight allowance per item for as little as, for example, £74 per item from the UK mainland to the United States of America.

Better still, you have the option to send as many items as you like with us.

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Fast Overseas Movers

No one likes waiting around for their possessions.

But the good news is that My Baggage prioritises getting your items to your new Californian home as quickly and safely as possible.

Convenient and Reliable Removals

Don’t worry about arranging transportation from ports; My Baggage collects from your doorstep and delivers to your doorstep in California.

How to Move to California: Shipping Oversized Items to the USA

My Baggage offers a new approach to transporting more oversized items such as musical instruments, bicycles, and sporting equipment to California.

Shipping your oversized items to the Golden State with My Baggage is the most cost-effective, hassle-free way to get your possessions from A – B without breaking the bank.

And even better, My Baggage can often be much more cost-effective than hiring an entire international removals company for just a few items.

Airline Baggage Alternative

Airline baggage can be costly, especially when you’re stung with excessive charges.

But what if you could enjoy a hassle-free, hands-free and stress-free journey to California?

Say hello to My Baggage.

We’ll move everything over, so all you have to focus on in the airport is whether you grab a coffee from Starbucks or Costa.

Not excited about that long wait at the carousel for your suitcase?

That’ll be a thing of the past if you choose to ship luggage to California with My Baggage.

Student Shipping to California

Are you moving to California to further your education?

If so, we’ve got great news!

The My Baggage team comprises former students and recent graduates, so we understand that money is tight for you.

My Baggage is here to make your big move to California as straightforward as possible.

Our prices are student-budget friendly, and you can send as many items as you like with us; we offer a massive 30kg/66lbs weight allowance per box or suitcase.

With door-to-door collection and delivery to every campus in America, our fast transit times and Express services will reunite you quickly with all your belongings.

Find out what other students who use My Baggage think; they’re our greatest advocates.

US Customs and Quarantine Information

When shipping to America, US Customs must clear all goods.

You are legally required to complete and send a customs invoice with your shipment.

If your shipment does not have a customs invoice attached, it will not make it past your local country border, and you may have to pay return charges to get it back.

My Baggage will automatically provide you with the appropriate customs documents for you to print, sign and attach to your shipment when you send luggage to the US.

Generally, My Baggage shipments clear US customs promptly, free from duties and taxes, as most countries offer a generous duty-free allowance for personal effects.

However, customs processes and allowances are different worldwide.

Because My Baggage has no direct association with any customs authority, we do advise doing your research into US customs regulations and quarantine before booking your shipment to California.

Please make yourself aware of potential customs duties in the US and follow any advice provided by customs.

When you are completing customs documents, it is vital to do so correctly and clearly.

To demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to describe each item included in the package accurately.

For example, you would declare: “4 x t-shirts, 2 x pairs of jeans, 3 x dresses” etc., instead of “10 x clothing”.

Suppose you need to cancel or change your booking for any reason. In that case, we will offer you full credit on your My Baggage account or a full refund if you select our Super Flexi fare.

For information regarding the current Covid-19 outbreak, please click here.

Thousands of happy customers


Prohibited and Non-Compensation Items

My Baggage specialises in shipping personal effects all over the world.

However, for security and customs reasons, certain items are considered prohibited.

Therefore, as a general rule, you can be sure that the following items are prohibited:

  • Aerosols
  • Liquids
  • Medicines
  • Plants
  • Animal Products
  • Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards
  • Passports or other confidential personal documentation
  • Perishable Foods
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Hazardous Goods

We also recommend researching what may be prohibited from entry into America before booking your shipment, as import allowances differ worldwide.

Certain items may be specifically restricted from entry into the US by customs and/or quarantine.

In addition, some items can be carried with My Baggage, but that may not be covered under our compensation cover.

Proceeding will be at your own risk.

If you decide to send any non-compensation items with My Baggage, please ensure they are packaged appropriately, with internal packaging for fragile items.

Find out more about My Baggage’s prohibited and non-compensation items.

What type of packaging can be used?

When shipping your belongings to California with My Baggage, we recommend using suitcases or strong cardboard boxes.

Alternatively, you can use a mixture of both.

We advise against using fragile or expensive suitcases, as our compensation cover does not cover them.

We also recommend that you tape over any handles, etc., to protect them.

With boxes, it’s always best to invest in a new, sturdy, double-walled (or even triple-walled) cardboard box as they are most durable and suitable for transit.

How To Book With My Baggage

Shipping all of your worldly belongings to California with My Baggage couldn’t be easier.

Our online booking system is available 24/7 and can be completed within minutes.

Simply start by obtaining a quote straight from our homepage.

Once you’ve booked, we’ll send you some shipping labels to print and attach to your items.

After that, just sit back and relax as we take care of everything else for you. It really is that easy!

Reasons to use My Baggage

  • Convenient door to door collection and delivery of your shipment.
  • Full online tracking with text and email notifications.
  • International shipping to over 200 countries across 1,000 routes worldwide.
  • Fast transit times – express services available on many routes.
  • Dedicated customer support via phone, email and live chat.

Are You A Business Or Personal User?

My Baggage offers convenient and affordable shipping services for absolutely everyone, whether you’re a business user, a holidaymaker, an ex-pat or, of course, relocating.

No matter your reason, absolutely anyone can take advantage of our competitive prices and excellent services.

Many savvy business users regularly avail of our low cost and convenient shipping services to relocate their employees worldwide.

So, what are you waiting for?

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