Pacific Coast Highway

Introduction

Welcome to The Pacific Coast Highway! 

This iconic roadway lining the Californian coast is sight to behold and is a crowd favorite amongst visitors and locals, alike. Begin in San Francisco and spend five days journeying south until you arrive in Los Angeles. Along the way, make stops in San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica. If making this famous drive has been on your bucket list, now’s the time to check it off!

What's Included

  • 5 days/4 nights at camping sites
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches,  4 dinners
  • Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Ferry to and from Santa Cruz Island
  • Guided Hikes
  • Camping Equipment (tents, sleeping pad, cooking supplies)
  • Ground Transportation (private vehicle)
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community  

Travelers are responsible for transportation to and from California.

Optional activities are not included.

Highlights

  • Visit Big Sur and the famous Bixby Bridge
  • See McWay falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • Explore San Luis Obispo and its Bubblegum Alley
  • Hike the secluded Santa Cruz Island
  • Enjoy Santa Monica
  • Take in Venice Beach
  • Relax on numerous beaches along the Pacific Coast Highway

Is this Trip for You?

If you have always wanted to experience a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway and you equally enjoy hiking trails and relaxing on beaches, then this trip is for you!

You’ll begin and end your adventure in San Francisco and drive south with the end point being Los Angeles, making stops at both iconic and lesser known destinations along the way. Spend your days exploring new surroundings and your nights camping under the stars as you spend the next 5 days taking in all that the Californian coast has to offer.

Age requirement: 21+

-Group size: 10-13

-Physical rating: Moderate. There will be some hikes of medium difficulty.

Travel Community

Before your trip you'll have the opportunity to join a custom Facebook Group and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet in the airport, or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a location after their trip.

During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment, where people feel safe to truly be themselves.

After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni, and part of our large online Travel Community where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours to hikes, to outdoor movie nights.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Most lunches will be pre-packed picnic lunches to allow for optimal time exploring.

Dinners at camp will be cooked by you and your Trip Leader, so you’ll have a chance to practice your chef skills! 

Most meal menus will be American-style cuisine with Mexican influences and several dining options for all tastes.

Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Eggs, cereal, potato hash browns, fruit, toast, coffee, tea

Sample Dinner Menu:

  • Fajitas, burgers, salads, pasta

We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Some meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling by private, locally-owned, ground transportation. There will be early departures on some days in order to optimize time.

  • Private ground transportation from San Fransicso to Los Angeles
  • Private ground transportation to all included activities

Taxis and other public transportation are not included unless specified on the itinerary.

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared double occupancy tents for the duration of your trip.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality. 

Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Private tent options are available upon request and subject to availability (for an extra charge).

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate in any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of $200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.

We recommend using either Wanderwell or World Nomads to purchase your policy. The Wanderwell “Preferred Plan” or the World Nomads “Explorer Plan” will cover all included activities on U30X trips. Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.

If you have travel insurance with your credit card we require proof of purchase of the trip in the form of a receipt or credit card statement on a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.

Cancellation Policy

Very Flexible.

Give us at least 30 days notice and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.

If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 30 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. 

We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 30 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eateries, and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the regions visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly!

  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill where clean water is available.
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping.
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment. 

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.

Passport & Visas

Passports are not required for US residents to visit California. If you are not a US citizen, please make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

The tap water in California is safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep North America beautiful. 

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling regarding physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter California if you are from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests routine vaccines for all travelers. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.

More specific health information for travelers to the United States can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

The official currency in the United States is the US Dollar (USD).

We suggest bringing $200 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.

This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

ATMs are available in the cities and towns we visit. Although you can withdraw cash from any ATM, it's a good idea to come with some local currency just in case.

Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you'll be traveling.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the XE Currency Exchange App.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance, and passport/photo ID/Real ID with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room. Don’t leave valuables unattended.

Although most parts of North America are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering around any town at night, especially alone. We recommend staying in small groups when traveling at night.

Make sure you have the address of your hotel in the event that you're separated from your Trip Leader.

Weather

You can expect pleasant weather in California in the early summer months. Highs will be in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 40s/lower 50s depending on location, lending itself to perfect hiking weather during the day and comfortable camping weather in the evening with little to no rain.

cultural information

Pacific Coast Highway

Constructed in 1934 and also known as State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway is a major north-south state highway that runs most of the coastline of California along the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Coast Highway is the longest state highway in California, stretching over 650 miles (1046 kilometers).

Key Phrases in California:

Really cool 

- Gnarly

Very

- Hella

Extremely excited

- Stoked

The border between Los Angeles and Orange County

- The Orange curtain

Optional Activities

Whale watching - $60 USD

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Keep your epic California adventure going with a 2 hour drive to explore Joshua Tree National Park.

Discover the greater San Francisco area on these amazing hikes.

Still need to book your flight?

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testimonials

MORE THAN 800 FIVE STAR REVIEWS

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U30X is such an amazing travel community. Once your trip is over, the experience is not. They keep in touch with their alumni & provide platforms for travel questions, personal development, & community connections in your own backyard! If you're a young person looking to travel I highly recommend U30X!

There are not enough ways for me to describe how amazing this company is. After my first trip I always told people, it wasn't about the location, but the experience that u30x gave me. I have some of the best experiences of my life with u30x, and now a passion for travel. Also, their alumni community and groups are awesome too!

Traveling with U30X has been life changing for me. I've made lifelong friends with both travelers and staff. I can't come up with enough good things to say about the company, the people, and the experiences I've had!

Just returned from my second trip with Under30Experiences. My first trip was to the Costa Rica rainforest. My most recent trip was to Iceland. Both trips were such an amazing experience. I loved learning about Iceland and its origins. I enjoy the small groups and I made some great new friends! Recommend them for anyone wanting to travel alone or with a couple of friends.

I was so scared to travel abroad alone and then I came across their website and they made international travel so easy! And the people I’ve met on the trips are some amazing individuals! I’ve done 6 of their trips and plan on continuing to do even more!!

My Hike the Inca Trail trip was beyond amazing, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a trip. Our leaders made us all feel instantly comfortable, and the group was fantastic. The trip was well planned and the hike was unforgettable. Memories to last a lifetime.

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