Jeff and I love to travel so we always said that after the twins arrived we would continue to travel. We would start them at a young age so they hopefully developed a love for travel like us and that they would become “good little travelers” early on in their lives.
So far our children have traveled to more places in their 3 years of life than I did for my first 27 years of life. It’s so exciting that we are able to share our love of travel with them and they seem to love it so far. We learn so much from each trip as far as tricks and “ammunition” to use. (Netflix on iPhone – See below :))
I will share some tips and tricks that we’ve found helpful and also give a few ideas of activities to do in San Diego!
We traveled this time with my sister and her husband, so it made sense for us to rent a limo to get to the airport. We would have had to drive two different cars because of the car seats. So with parking two cars for 6 days, gas, and tolls, it was actually cheaper to split a limo with my sister and her husband. That being said, the best part of this for me was the convenience. We live in Northwest Indiana so our Airport is O’hare in Chicago. Love that we are so close to a major city, but it can get hectic to drive there, find parking, take a shuttle or bus to the terminal, check bags etc. So by taking a limo, we got to relax on the way up there (cocktail in hand!), dropped off at the terminal door and able to check the luggage right there. Nothing worse than trying to lug a bunch of luggage around with two 3-year old toddlers.
***TIP*** Check on Limo/Transportation services to the airport – this could potentially save you money and make you feel a bit classy all in the same trip!
I researched places to stay in the area and found the best bang for our bucks was actually AIRBNB. I have used them so many times and every single place we have visited has been as good as the one before (Which was always good!). I found this three-story home 3 houses away from Mission Bay in San Diego and about a block and half from the ocean. It was perfect and I have no reason to lie to you!
Things to look for in a beach AIRBNB rental.
- Parking – Nothing worse than having a great house but in a congested area and having to stress about parking. It’s vacation people, let’s not stress about parking! (Unless that doesn’t stress you out than by all means get that awesome house with horrible parking – I just couldn’t handle it :))
- Do they offer beach toys, chairs, coolers, towels, etc? – Nothing worse than having to make a $200 Target run for things like towels and toys to keep your kids occupied! This house had beach towels, boogie boards, coolers, a wagon, wetsuits, beach chairs, beach bags. You name it, they’ve thought of it. Made it so enjoyable to be tourists in a beach community and actually have “stuff” to enjoy the beach!
- Kid stuff – Besides beach toys, it’s imperative to keep your sanity by having things for the kids to do while you are at the rental. Downtime like dinner, nighttime, or after breakfast. This rental had a ton of kid/family friendly movies, a ton of toys for girls and boys, and a bunch of board games that even the adults enjoyed. Seems trivial but you can only travel with so much and board games just don’t make the cut.
- Proximity to the water – Beach vacations are wonderful but you have to be near the water to enjoy the beach! I don’t know about you but lugging all that beach stuff along with two 3-year olds is exhausting. By the time you get to the beach you are spent and you still have to pack up and go back! Picture below is taken from our balcony. That is the Mission Bay beach 🙂
***TIP*** Make sure to look at CLEANING FEES, POOL HEATING FEES, and OTHER fees that you wouldn’t expect to see. We found a wonderful spot with a pool and hot tub but they charged you to heat the hot tub and run the pool!!! It was crazy so we passed. Make sure to take note of cleaning fees, some are ridiculous! But some can be negotiated. DO NOT be afraid to ask for a discount, the worse they could say is no 🙂
Things to do in San Diego
- San Diego Zoo – This place is pretty big so plan accordingly. They rent strollers there so don’t feel the need to lug yours unless you want to save $10 (I can’t remember exactly how much it cost). Kids 3 and under get in free, we told them our kids just turned three and they didn’t charge us for them:) I never checked Groupon for coupons, but I would recommend it.
- Bike Rentals – We rented bikes and carry behind thingy for the twins. It was nice to explore Mission Beach area on bikes and get a little work out in after eating out so often:)
- La Jolla – Such a cool area I would highly recommend visiting. It is beautiful and while we were there we saw a ton of seals and a whale in the distance. Bring your camera!
- Crystal Pier – We walked to this pier and it was a gorgeous night. There are little cottages on the pier and on this night a million surfers were out on the water. Amazing to see all of these people waiting for the perfect wave. Check out the Baked Bear – You can make your own ice cream sandwiches!!!!
- Torrey Pines – Great place to hike and take some amazing pictures! The beach is filled with beautiful blue rocks and I’m guessing you may be able to find beach glass!
Great Restaurants in San Diego – We took the Twins to all of these restaurants!
- The Mission – A block from our AIBNB rental and the best fruit/granola I’ve had! My kids had the French toast made from their homemade bread and it looked AMAZING!
- Rubicon Deli – A place to go when you want to grab a quick sandwich to take home or the beach! The BEST bread!!!
- Stone Brewery – Has the nicest outdoor patio I’ve seen in a long time. The pond have Koi fish and Turtles. Great if you have little ones who lose interest in just sitting at a table the whole time! The Grilled cheese was something out of this world!
- Harney Sushi – Again, we took the kids and it was great! I recommend the “monkey brains” which were mushrooms stuffed with tuna…..Some people with us didn’t even like mushrooms but loved them as well!
- El Perez – Very cool spot right by Pacific Beach – We took the kids and the tacos were interesting and super yummy.
- The Taco Stand – By far my favorite Burrito! It had French fries in it! Do not go if you are watching your calorie intake, however, I think you can probably find something healthy on the menu
It was a wonderful trip and the twins love exploring new areas. The icing on the cake – My best friend lives in San Diego 🙂
Traveling with a toddler or two can be challenging. My best advice is having a backpack per child with surprises and other fun things to keep their minds active. I try to give our twins too many treats, but traveling twins = Treats 🙂
Happy Toddlering People!
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