San Diego Budget Travel Tips

San Diego is at the top of my list when it comes to laid back travel. Everything from the San Diego airport (gorgeous views!) to the San Diego weather makes me happy. Sunshine for days, anyone?

Balboa Park: This are is such a wonderful park with something for everyone to enjoy. Architecture, museums, cafes, walking paths, gardens, and so much for. The best part is that entry into Balboa Park is free. Even some of the museums are free. You may want to double check their web site for entry times and events. I’ve heard they feature outdoor concerts and other public events on a regular basis. It’s on my bucket list to attend one!

USS Midway: If you enjoy naval history, this is a great place to learn about this historical naval aircraft carrier. Not to mention, it is just a fun place to visit! The ticket prices are vary reasonable and perfect for families. There is also a lot to see and do in this area.

Little Italy: I honestly didn’t know about this area until we happened upon it by accident. It’s a tiny Little Area by big city standards (I only have NYC to compare it too), but it is a charming area located in Downtown San Diego. Italian restaurants, coffee shops, and ice cream shops abound! There are several budget friendly cafes located here!

Of course, when you go to San Diego, you HAVE to visit their amazing beaches! There are tons of amazing locations, but my personal favorite is the shell beach in La Jolla. La Jolla is a community just 15 minutes down the road from San Diego. Their beach fronts are rugged and have incredible views. There are places to relax, picnic and simply take a long walk. And it’s all free!

You can check out my tips for traveling to California on a budget here!

California Budget Travel Tips

Heading to California soon? We’ve got 10 tips to help you with budget travel for this fun state! This state has a plethora of options for whatever kind of destination travel you want!

#1 Save Money With Your Airlines Honestly, you CAN fly there cheaper than you can drive unless you are going for the road trip experience. If you are able to book tickets three to six months in advance you should be able to get fantastic deals. Sign up for deal alerts through your favorite airlines and wait for your city destination to go on sale!

#2 Find the best budget hotels that offer suites or condos. By doing this, you can save money by bringing your own snacks and breakfasts to eat in your room. Alternatively, you may also want to find a hotel that offers continental breakfast to save on one meal a day!

#3 When we landed in San Diego with our kids, we hit up the local supermarket to buy snacks and drinks. That way, while we were out doing all the tourist things, we had snacks to give them rather than buying. Buying snacks at tourist spots are definitely a budget killer!

#4 Before you head out on your vacation, contact the local chamber of commerce and ask for a vacation pack. They will often send coupons and resources for FREE family fun!

#5 Ask the locals! One of the easiest tricks to saving money is asking locals what they recommend for budget restaurants, things to do, etc. There are often free museums, free parks and free entry days that they will know about!

#6 If you are renting a car, you may want to call ahead to get price comparisons. Also, find out if they offer deals for family rentals. Many times they will offer car seats for free! Sometimes, you can lock in your car rental with your airline flights. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

#7 Definitely travel off season! Rates will be cheaper across the board and you won’t have to deal with insane crowds. Personally, I like early spring, but late fall wasn’t too bad.

#8 If you’ve got kids, chances are they will want to buy a souvenir. Start a coin savings jar for your family. Right before the trip, cash in the coins and distribute the money. The money they get is their allowance for the trip!

#9 Ask around to learn when the traffic gets heavy. Plan your outings around peak times so you aren’t stuck in traffic jams and wasting gas.

#10 Bring your own travel items: sun block, towels, floaties, etc. These items are hot ticket items and are marked up. Bring your own to save money!

10 Things to Do in Little Rock

Are you going to Little Rock Arkansas soon? Check this list of must see things while visiting the Natural State!

10 Family Friendly Things to Do in Little Rock Arkansas

  1. River Walk: At the top of my list of things to do in Little Rock is the downtown River Walk. With beautiful gardens, scenic views of the river and a wonderful park for kids, it is the place to relax, unwind and take in the local vibe! Be sure to take a stroll along the pedestrian train bridges! They offer incredible views!
  2. Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: This is a great gem tucked away in the river walk area. It is a great place for kids to learn about animals and the natural state of Arkansas. They also have windows to their birding area!
  3. Presidential Library: The William J. Clinton Presidential Library is a unique modern library packed with tons of information and boasts an awesome replica of the White House office. Great for families!
  4. Old State House Museum: The OSHM was the original home to the Arkansas Capitol. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Arkansas! If you love to step back in time, this is the place to go.
  5. Children’s Museum: The Children’s museum located just down the block from the Presidential Museum is one of the best in the country. It provides learning resources and fun for the entire family! Be ready to spend several hours there as there is SO MUCH to do! It’s a travel destination for families all over the state. 
  6. Trolley Rides: One of my personal favorites is riding the Little Rock Trolley system! They have routes that stay on the Little Rock side and routes that will take you to North Little Rock. It’s a great way to get around the city and learn about many historical places around town.
  7. Arkansas State Capitol: That state capitol is right in the heart of Little Rock Arkansas. Modeled after the United States Capitol it is worth visiting! There are several memorials to visit outside the grounds and the massive gold doors provide ample photo opportunities! You can check out their web site for additional tour information: Arkansas State Capitol 
  8. The River Market: This is a great place to grab a snack or quick lunch. They offer a wide range of food, snacks and drinks. Consequently, it happens to be a very tourist area…so keep that in mind!
  9. Arkansas Historical Museum: If you are a history buff or maybe you are traveling to Arkansas for the first time, this is a great place to visit. Featuring restored buildings from frontier history and much more.
  10. Old Mill Park: Although it’s technically on the North Little Rock side, it is still worth mentioning. During the spring and summer the park features gorgeous flowers, a duck pond and unique architecture. However, it is still a lovely place to visit during all seasons. Also, it is well known for it’s feature in the movie “Gone With The Wind”. 

Have traveled to Little Rock? What are some of your favorite places to visit? Be sure to check out our other posts on family travel topics!