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Plan Your San Diego Vacation Like a Pro

Step #10: Planning a San Diego Vacation

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Pros get prepared, skip lines, pack smart. Read this and plan your San Diego vacations like one.

San Diego from the Bay

©2006 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
Imagine having a California travel writer with over a decade of experience living next door. Let's have a chat and we'll share our best San Diego tips with you. Use them to plan a no-fuss, no-hassle trip to San Diego and your traveling companions will think you're a wizard of the highest order.

8 Ways to be a Smart San Diego Tourist: Less-savvy San Diego visitors spend money when they don't have to, eat bad food and stand in line too much, but you know better. Discover how to be a smarter San Diego tourist, enjoy your trip more and spend less of your hard-earned money doing it.

Buy Your Tickets Ahead of Time: Not only can you stay out of lines at the ticket booth, but you're likely to save some bucks at the same time if you take a few minutes to figure out what you need tickets for and look into multi-attraction passes.

What to Bring on a San Diego Vacation

  • Clothing
    • Bring warmer clothing for evening, especially if you're spending time near the water. Ignore this advice and you're likely to contribute to the local economy when you have to buy something warm, quick.
    • California attire is generally casual. You won't need your suit and tie (or cocktail dress and high heels) unless you're planning a very special activity or want to get into one of the Gaslamp's swankier clubs on a weekend night.
    • If your vacation is in winter, bring an umbrella and light rain coat or jacket. If you don't have room for them in your suitcase, wait until the first drop of rain falls: the shops in all the tourist areas will sprout umbrellas faster than you can say: "I'm getting wet."
    • Find out about average temperatures, San Diego weather and get more tips on packing by season.
  • Get it, Bookmark It, Print It
    • Any tickets or passes you bought online
    • Hotel Confirmation
    • Rental Car Confirmation
    • Airline Boarding Passes (many airlines let you print these at home)
    • If you have a smartphone, look into apps that help with public transit. Yelp, Open Table and Zagat are good for finding restaurants people like anywhere you are.
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