A Family Trip Guide to Visiting San Diego


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There’s just something about San Diego – the weather is always perfect and it’s a city that caters to everyone. Families, outdoor lovers, foodies, and entertainment seekers will find what they are looking for here. For families visiting San Diego and taking advantage of this amazing city for vacation, there are many options to add to the experience. From making the journey, places to go, places to stay, places to eat, and providing entertainment, there are many ways to make your trip to San Diego with your family a memorable one.

Making the Trip

Whether you’re driving or flying, traveling with the family can be a chore and making the trip to San Diego can be an adventure in itself. Instead of looking at the journey as a burden, it’s important to anticipate the issues and remedy them before they happen. If you’re driving, focus on safety and entertainment. Starting a drive early in the morning is a trick used by many parents so that your kiddos sleep as long as possible while driving, however, be aware of the dangers associated with drowsy driving and be sure to get plenty of sleep yourself. If you’re flying then you don’t have the luxury of controlling your commute to count on sleepy children, so focus on entertainment. Create travel playlists for you as well as your kiddos to listen to on the flight, bring a book for your kiddos to read, and be sure to warn them that they might have a boring few hours ahead of them.

Places to Go

While you are planning your itinerary in San Diego with your family, be sure not to overwhelm your day with activities. Make time for down time, relaxation, naps, and food, or your children will become frustrated with the packed schedule. Be sure to find destinations that fit the interests of your whole family. One of the most popular destinations in San Diego for children is LEGOLAND – an amusement park filled with rides, a waterpark, and activities. Just be sure to be prepared with  LEGOLAND insider tips, wear sunscreen, and research optimal park times. Also, be aware that the park is actually 45 minutes from San Diego. Other options for places to go include the New Children’s Museum, the beach, and the famous San Diego Zoo. When you take a trip to the zoo, look out for package deals and take advantage of the bus! It’s a lifesaver for many parents with tired children – there is definitely a lot of walking involved.

Places to Stay

For a lot of kids the hotel is just as fun as the day’s events in a new place. The important aspects to finding a hotel for you and your family are location, amenities, and price. You don’t want to break your budget with lodging, but you’d be surprised just how important it can be to be placed near your destinations. Finding lodging near Balboa Park, for instance, is a great choice to offer a close spot for entertainment. A hotel that has a pool is a sure win with any children and one with a complimentary breakfast will save you on buying one meal a day which can go a long way just be sure to be prepared to get your kid’s through the stay at a hotel. LEGOLAND Hotel has awesome themed rooms that your kiddos will love and the Holiday Inn San Diego Hotel on the Bay has great rates and amenities. San Diego has a little bit of everything and you’re guaranteed to find the lodging perfect for your family.

Places to Eat

It’s important to be realistic about your eating choices when you’re traveling with children. Will you be comfortable in a nice restaurant with an infant, or would you rather go somewhere more family-friendly? The choice is yours, and you can totally take your family to any restaurant you see fit, but some places may be more comfortable than others. However, family friendly doesn’t mean food any less amazing than the other options. Restaurants like Buona Forchetta, Point Loma Seafoods, and The Blind Burro are family friendly restaurant locations with great food. If you eat your breakfasts at your hotel, eat lunches while at your activity for the day, have a few dinners out, and some at your hotel, you will have the ability to stick to your budget while also experiencing San Diego’s restaurants. Bring snacks, stick to an eating schedule, and your kiddos won’t get cranky.

Providing Entertainment

Vacationing can be as exhausting as it is fun and your children will feel that exhaustion as well. However, they will still feel restless during down times, which is why you should provide entertainment for them that they can utilize during the down times. While shuttling, waiting in line, down time in the hotel room, or waiting in a restaurant your kiddos might start to become restless and cranky. Prepare for these situations by utilizing the same tactics you’d use on a road trip: the alphabet game, coloring books, twenty questions, or an activity book are perfect in these moments of down time. Other than these moments, there will be a ton of entertainment to keep your family happy and engaged, so a little bit of preparation is all you’ll need.

San Diego is such a great destination for a family vacation. The weather, wide range of activities, and welcoming atmosphere makes it a location that meets many of the requirements to create the dream vacation. In order to get through this vacation with your family be sure to be prepared for the trip, provide things to do during down times, make an itinerary featuring places to go, places to eat, and the ideal location to stay. There’s something for everyone and you’re guaranteed to find your perfect vacation with your family in San Diego.