San Diego Vacation Tips with Family

A few of our friends were enquiring about San Diego, so we thought this blog post might help them.

Admit it—you’ve always wanted to travel with your kids, but you also know it will be a lot different from the holidays you’ve taken with just your partner.

There’s loads of preparation and at times it will be a test of tempers. Sometimes you might even want to end the vacation before it even started.  To make it easier for the whole family, you might want to take the advice of these ten tips.  It coverers a wide array of topics, from the preparations to the journey. Take your time and who knows, maybe you can probably even tour one of the mansions in San Diego during your visit.

San Diego- Family Vacation
San Diego- Family Vacation

Count in the kids

You have to remember you’re not the only one who’s going on vacation—the kids are with you too. So when it comes it making plans, get them involved. In fact, make them do some of the work by having them search for maps, best places to eat and fun activities to do. Oh, and don’t forget to ask them where to go; who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy Legoland more than they do.

Book early

Not everyone’s the type to call in or book their hotel reservations in advance; some prefer to be spontaneous and just check-in to the first hotel they see. When you have children, you cannot do this. You cannot take the risk of being rejected by the hotel because they are full. You’ll end up with everyone frustrated and cranky, thus setting off the wrong tune to the beginning of your vacation. Do it. Book in advance and you might even get a discount.

Make a packing list

As with any vacation, everyone has luggage. The problem is, sometimes the family will either pack too little or too much for the trip. When it comes to the plane, it’s the latter that can be a problem as you might have to pay for excess baggage. To avoid this, make a list of things to bring and give it to your kids. The night before you leave, check their bags to ensure they followed your list then padlock the bags to make sure nobody sneaks in an extra pair of shoes or book.

Bring your own food

Sure, San Diego may have some of the best food in the state, but what about on the way there? Whether you’re travelling by land or by air, you will need a few treats in your bag. Pack sandwiches, granola bars, crackers, cookies, and sugar-free gum. If you’re travelling by plane, you may also want to bring a clear water bottle to be filled up at the water fountain after you’ve checked in.

Bring a first aid kit

No matter what age your kids are, whether they be teens or tots, they will always turn to you for all their aches, fevers and cuts. And when you’re on vacation, it might be hard to find what you need in record time since you are in an unfamiliar area. What you should do is bring a simple first aid kit. This should have a thermometer, small scissors, antiseptic wipes, paracetamol, painkillers, iodine solution, cotton balls, tweezers, wound-cleaning packets, bandages, band-aids, medical tape, sunburn ointment, an oral antibiotic, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream and loperamide. If you’re flying in, don’t forget to check this in as the TSA will confiscate the small scissors.

Have a backup plan

Back up plan: Balnoa Park
Back up plan

Sometimes, it cannot be helped if things not to go according to plan. These factors might be the city’s weather or someone in the family is feeling terribly under the weather. Don’t stress yourself out and take it all in stride. Before leaving, make a list of five emergency backup options. Bring said list out if in dire need and who knows, maybe the change of plans might even be for the betterment of the vacation.

Stay on the harbour

Perhaps one of the most educational and progressive things you can do with the whole family is to visit the multi-award winning San Diego Zoo. Doing so can help young children learn more about nature while adults take a refresher course on different animals and their habitats. And with dozens of species and thousands of animals, you know the kids will be talking about your vacation weeks after they arrive home.

Be beach babies


San Diego is known to have gorgeous beaches, so why not head over there and enjoy the water? Your kids will know you’re heading to a beach town, so don’t rely on the hotel for your towels and bring your own thin, beach towels. Don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen on everyone and to make sure the kids either leave their gadgets in security boxes at your accommodation or place them in Ziploc bags. If you have tiny tots, do not forget to bring their armbands and to never let any of the kids out of your sight. Do not forget to hydrate and try not to swim out when the sun is at its hottest, between 10 am to 2 pm.

Do take plenty of photos and to actually print them out. Perhaps the whole family can even make a scrapbook in memory of the trip. Take it out from time to time and remember all the fun you had in San Diego.

3 thoughts on “San Diego Vacation Tips with Family”

  1. I think this post can also be helpful to other trips even when not in San Diego. First you really need a back up for every trip and that you bring your own food especially times when you ran out of it especially in midst of a travel or you just dont want the food offering in a place. Better be safe than sorry, right. Thankyou for sharing this one.

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