Home digital cash Price Breakdown for Our Epic San Diego Journey

Price Breakdown for Our Epic San Diego Journey

Price Breakdown for Our Epic San Diego Journey


You really liked listening to about what we spent on our 3-week cross county highway journey, our 10-day Washington DC journey, and our Yellowstone Household Journey so I do know you’re going to like listening to the monetary (and enjoyable) particulars of our household’s San Diego journey.

For Christmas 2022, we did one thing we’ve by no means accomplished earlier than. As a substitute of our conventional Christmas morning of opening presents, we left on a enjoyable journey that we had been secretly planning for months. We spent seven adventure-filled days in stunning San Diego, California making recollections as a household!

First, I’ll share the entire value breakdown of our total San Diego journey. I’ll share my finest secret for getting the sweetest offers on the entire sights!

Then, I’ll transfer previous the costs and provide the inside element of the enjoyable and distinctive adventures we had in San Diego.

Lastly, I share the enjoyable method we offered this superb different to our conventional Christmas morning to our children. The shock and thriller actually added to the enjoyable!

By the top you’ll be prepared to start out planning to your personal journey. (I is perhaps gearing up for one more household journey as I write this!)

San Diego Journey Price Breakdown- $4,260

For many who are new right here, we have now a household of 8. On the time of the journey, our children have been ages 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, and 14. We love journey and journey, however are at all times very acutely aware of how we spend our cash. I truly benefit from the problem of planning journeys for our household whereas sticking to a finances.

Journey $424

Once we have been deciding the place to go on our Christmas journey, we made certain it was someplace that we might simply drive so we wouldn’t should pay for airfare and lease a automobile. We wished to avoid wasting as a lot cash as potential for the enjoyable a part of our journey. We stay about 9 hours north of San Diego, which makes for a simple day of driving.

This consists of fuel, tolls, and parking. If you wish to take a look at it on a per individual foundation, it comes out to $53 per individual.

Lodging $1,828

We knew that, apart from leisure, the lodging could be our most costly a part of the journey.

We stayed 2 nights in a resort in Buena Park. With 8 in our household, we have now to get two resort rooms. Two rooms for 2 nights totaled $370.

We spent the final 5 nights of the journey at an Airbnb in Chula Vista which value $1,458. One in all my secrets and techniques for locating a superb deal on an Airbnb is to e-book properly upfront so you’ve time to keep watch over the market. Save the locations you have an interest in. In a preferred place like San Diego, it’s common to discover a new host who’s providing a 20% off coupon to their first few visitors. On or previous a number of journeys we’ve been in a position to do that and it has saved us a big sum of money.

This averages out to $261 per night time or about $33 per individual per night time.

Meals $0

As with our 3-week cross nation journey, our Washington DC journey, and our Yellowstone journey we didn’t need meals to take up any of our journey finances. We did purchase meals to eat, however we used our regular month-to-month meals finances for consuming on our journey, so meals value not more than if we have been at dwelling. We bought inventive and introduced plenty of meals and snacks from dwelling. We didn’t eat out (moreover grabbing pizza as soon as) and we didn’t purchase meals in any of the parks. We introduced water bottles and snacks with us in all places that may enable it.

The resort we stayed in for the primary two nights had an superior continental breakfast. We introduced bread and sandwich makings and snacks for all of our outings. Dinners have been additionally low-key and sometimes eaten on-the-go. For almost all of the journey we stayed in an Airbnb, so we had a kitchen to cook dinner dinner, eat breakfast, and put together lunches to carry with us.

Not having to incorporate any further finances for consuming out once we’re on a visit is a serious money-saver. For some individuals consuming out is an enormous a part of being on trip, however that’s not one thing our household is accustomed to, so we don’t really feel like we’re lacking out on something. Saving cash on meals actually brings down the full value of the journey.

Leisure $2,008

I spent plenty of time researching the entire leisure choices in San Diego. The town and the encircling space has a lot to supply. Any one of the cool locations we went would have been an superior journey that everybody would have loved, however since we have been driving a long-ish method, we wished to profit from our time and see as a lot as potential whereas we have been in San Diego

I began researching costs of a few of the locations I believed we’d go and checked out the right way to get the perfect offers. I made a spreadsheet to check the assorted packages, passes, and reductions.

The deal that stood out as the perfect, was Go Metropolis. With Go Metropolis’s all-inclusive move, you possibly can select what number of days you need your move to final, then the entire sights are coated for these consecutive days.

Proper now, a 5-day All-Inclusive Go Metropolis move for San Diego is $319 for adults and $299 for kids and consists of greater than 50 actions. After all it will be unimaginable to do the whole lot, however you’ll simply get your cash’s value after which some (as I’ll present you in a minute).

The Go Metropolis move is tremendous handy and simple to make use of since it’s on an app in your cellphone. My husband and I had entry to all of our children’ passes on our telephones, so we might simply swipe by means of as they’re scanning on the gate. The app additionally has a map so you possibly can see what sights are close to one another.

Go Metropolis has passes for 30 completely different cities everywhere in the world, so for those who’re headed to a different widespread world vacation spot, you’ll wish to try Go Metropolis.

The San Diego Go Metropolis move consists of some massive sights which might be a little bit of a distance from San Diego, so we hit a few of these on our method down.

Right here’s the place we went (and the usual admission worth per person who we if we didn’t have the Go Metropolis move):

DAY 1:

    • Knott’s Berry Farm ($99)

DAY 2:

    • Newport Seashore Whale/Dolphin Watching Cruise ($56)
    • San Diego Zoo Safari Park ($72)

DAY 3:

    • Sesame Place ($100)*
    • Pace Circuit ($59)*

*Not presently included on the San Diego Go Metropolis move as of January 2024.


    • San Diego Pier Fishing ($75)
    • USS Halfway plane provider ($31)
    • San Diego Zoo ($72)


    • SeaWorld ($109)
    • Fleet Science Middle with IMAX ($24)
    • Belmont Park Journey and Play ($54)

In 5 days we went to 11 completely different sights. The entire common admission worth for these sights would have been round $750 per individual or $6,000 for all 8 of us. After all I might by no means have paid common worth, however it provides you an concept of how massive of a financial savings the Go Metropolis move was for us.

As a substitute, we paid $2,008 for Go Metropolis passes for all 8 of us, which comes out to $251 per individual. On the time I bought our passes there was a particular sale on child’s passes.

With a view to profit from our passes, I deliberate out our days very strategically, so we weren’t losing time driving round. I made a desk with the opening and shutting occasions of the completely different sights, addresses, and prices for parking. For sights which might be open late, you could use your move to get in by 5:30, then you possibly can keep as late as you need. I prioritized the actions that our children could be most serious about and had back-up plans in case we had further time.

A number of the actions required reservations forward of time (whale watching tour and pier fishing). It didn’t value any further and didn’t require a down fee of any variety, simply your Go Metropolis move quantity.

You don’t should lock in your journey dates if you buy your Go Metropolis passes. Your move will activate if you scan it at an attraction for the primary time. When you don’t use your move inside 90 days will probably be robotically refunded. Simple peasy! You can begin planning your subsequent journey with Go Metropolis now!

San Diego Journey Sights

Right here’s a brief abstract of our expertise on the 11 sights we went to with our San Diego Go Metropolis passes. A few of them are in a bigger radius round San Diego and a few of them are shut collectively within the coronary heart of San Diego.

Knotts Berry Farm

Knotts Berry Farm is about an hour and half north of San Diego, however it’s included on the San Diego Go Metropolis move. Since we have been coming from the north, we determined to start out our journey right here. Of the 11 sights, that is the one one we had been to earlier than. We now have all loved the rides and exhibits at this theme park up to now and we knew our method round, so we have been excited to go straight to our favorites. Sadly, the day after Christmas is seemingly one of many busiest day of all the yr. Up to now, we haven’t needed to wait very lengthy in strains, so we have been upset to spend a lot of the day ready, which made this our least favourite expertise of all of the locations we went on our journey.

Newport Seashore Whale/Dolphin Watching Cruise

This 2.5 hour cruise was an enormous hit with our household! The cruise got here with a free beverage ticket (all of us bought scorching chocolate with whipped cream) and free binocular rental. We weren’t there on the proper season to see whales, however we bought to see plenty of dolphins chasing and taking part in across the boat. The double decker ship has loads of seating good for watching marine wildlife. The crew shared their data about ocean animals as we went. Our children nonetheless speak about how cool it was to see dolphins within the wild.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The Zoo Safari Park is about 40 minutes away from the San Diego Zoo. The Safari Park encompasses 1,800 acres of land, which permits the animals to thrive in a natural-like habitat. Our favourite half was a 30-minute tram experience by means of the park (included with admission) the place a information taught us about African animals and the challenges they face. We noticed giraffes, rhinos, ostriches, zebras, gazelle, antelope, and extra.  We explored the remainder of the park which included areas that includes lions, tigers, elephants, gorillas, and Australian animals.

Sesame Place

As an enormous fan of Sesame Avenue personally, I made certain that even my massive children had enjoyable at this amusement park that’s geared towards youthful children. We rode all of the rides which had basically no strains in any respect. Because it was December, the entire water slides and swimming pools have been closed, however all of us agreed that they appeared like enjoyable. We watched a personality present and attended the parade. I checked again whereas writing and located that, as of January 2024, Sesame Place will not be included within the Go Metropolis Cross.

Pace Circuit

Pace Circuit ended up being much more enjoyable than I anticipated. Whereas we waited for our activate the go-karts, we performed within the trampoline zone which included inflatable human hamster balls, aerial silks, a foam pit, zip line, ropes course, and a trampoline knockout recreation. Everybody had a blast! The thought of the human hamster balls had me feeling claustrophobic, so I held off making an attempt it for a very long time, however when the youngsters lastly satisfied me to do it, I had enjoyable. The youngsters liked the gas-powered go-kart racing, although it made me a bit of nervous to have my kids racing round and crashing at excessive speeds and I feel I bought whiplash. Pace Circuit was just lately acquired by one other firm and is presently closed for reworking.

San Diego Pier Fishing

We now have some children who’re very serious about fishing (and a few who’re decidedly not), so we cut up up on this one. Mike took 4 of the youngsters pier fishing, whereas I took the opposite two on a stroll. Mike and the youngsters had a two-hour guided fishing expertise. The information introduced the entire fishing poles, deal with, and bait, so we simply needed to present up!

USS Halfway

The USS Halfway is a retired plane provider that has been become a museum. Admission consists of an audio tour headset so you possibly can be taught in regards to the displays at your individual pace in no matter order you select. We couldn’t recover from how huge the Halfway was! On the flight deck we bought to climb in planes and helicopters. We toured the primary management middle and captains quarters. I used to be amazed by the decrease decks that housed and fed the 5,000 sailors on board this “metropolis at sea” whereas it was in service from 1945 to 1992.

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has a lot to see! We have been grateful for the trams and gondola (Skyfari aerial tram) that helped us get round. We noticed kangaroos, koalas, hippos, elephants, unique birds, and a lot extra. Because the solar went down, we someway gravitated to an excellent enjoyable playground with plenty of water options. It could have been December, however we left with all six children soaked head to toe. They have been freezing in drenched denims, however we stayed till closing time as a result of they have been having a lot enjoyable.

Sea World

We began the day at Sea World by hitting the entire rides and coasters whereas the strains have been brief. Mike and I took turns with the large children and little children, since our youthful ones weren’t tall sufficient for lots of the quick rides. Fortunately there have been plenty of enjoyable rides for the youthful ones too. We went to the animal exhibits and displays too. Once we bought to the killer whale present, the one seats left have been entrance and middle within the soak zone. In the summertime they might have been the perfect seats in the home, however not in December. Understanding that our children didn’t thoughts getting soaked (see San Diego Zoo expertise), they have been good seats.

Fleet Science Middle IMAX

We didn’t spend a lot time exploring the science middle, we simply went for the IMAX film about Antarctica. It was a good way to chill out after doing plenty of operating round.

Belmont Park Journey and Play

Since Belmont Park is open late, we simply deliberate to reach by 5:30 so we might get in with our Go Metropolis Passes and keep for the night. Belmont Park is a beachfront amusement park. The Go Metropolis Passes bought us wristbands that allowed us to take pleasure in the whole lot, together with laser tag, mini golf, climbing wall, ropes course, historic picket curler coaster, carousel, bumper automobiles, zip line, and different enjoyable rides. Everybody had a blast and didn’t wish to go away. The situation was clear and open air, however it felt prefer it was indoor as a result of the whole lot was so shut and handy.

Listed here are just a few of the opposite sights obtainable on the Go Metropolis move that have been excessive on our checklist that we didn’t match into our ultimate itinerary or wouldn’t have labored properly with our vary of ages:

  • La Jolla: Full Day Snorkel Rental/Bike Rental/Surf Board Rental
  • Legoland California
  • Plunge San Diego- pool with floating impediment course
  • Asylum Outside Bouldering
  • UTC Ice Sports activities Middle

The vary of nice issues to do with the San Diego Go Metropolis Cross is actually unimaginable. Try the entire sights obtainable with the All-Inclusive Go Metropolis Cross.

The Shock

As a substitute of spending Christmas Eve wrapping presents, I wrote a poem to clarify our plan. To make it stand out I printed every stanza on a separate sheet of paper then taped them on an enormous white board coated in wrapping paper. As a result of there weren’t the traditional presents beneath the tree, nobody missed the poem.

The place are the presents? They’re not within the sleigh.
You received’t open them within the common method

As a substitute there are clues so you could find out
What this Christmas shock is all about.

Don’t cry and really feel glum. No have to really feel unhappy.
However get your bag packed. There’s enjoyable available!

To know what to carry, in every stocking’s a listing.
Please examine it twice so no gadgets are missed.

The Littles need assistance, all their issues to seek out
The schedule is tight so we will’t get behind.

When baggage are all packed get your Sunday garments on,
Then after church, the following clue’s on the garden.

After some preliminary confusion (who will get up early on Christmas to pack a suitcase?), everybody bought excited and packed their baggage to prepare for our journey. As soon as everybody was packed and prepared for church we opened the presents that the youngsters had given one another and us.

After church the youngsters discovered the following clue (which we had sneakily hid). They nonetheless weren’t certain the place we have been going, which was a part of the enjoyable of it.

We’ve bought plenty of issues, a home stuffed with stuff
However one factor there certainly simply isn’t sufficient

Is time spend collectively– You’re rising up quick!
Let’s make some new recollections, good ones that can final!

We will’t say an excessive amount of, however we received’t bought by airplane,
Largely the automobile, by foot, boat, and practice.

We drove for about 7 hours. I wrapped up some particular treats for the automobile experience. Each hour we’d open a bundle together with one other clue about our journey. Most treats have been issues that we might eat within the automobile, however we additionally gave our household a pleasant transportable bluetooth boombox speaker in order that we might higher take heed to audiobooks and music on our journey.

With every clue, the youngsters had completely different guesses about the place we have been going. We had enjoyable making every a part of the journey a shock.

I packed umbrellas and ponchos as a result of the forecast mentioned we’d have rain for many of our days, however the one rain got here completely timed, proper as we have been driving out of town to move dwelling!

Our 2022 Christmas Journey to San Diego will go down within the books as one among our most memorable household adventures! It’s protected to say that nobody was upset to not have presents beneath the tree.


This can be a utterly unsponsored publish. We paid 100% of the price of our Go Metropolis passes ourselves. I used to be so impressed with our expertise and with how a lot cash we saved that I appeared into turning into an affiliate associate with Go Metropolis. When you resolve buy Go Metropolis passes by means of my hyperlink, I’ll get a small affiliate fee (at no further value to you). It’s just about probably the most enjoyable method which you could assist this web site. You’ll be able to belief that I solely share issues I really like and truly spend my very own hard-earned cash on.



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