Travel Smart: San Diego on a Shoestring

Travel Smart: San Diego on a Shoestring


Mile after mile of glorious white sand beaches, charming neighbourhoods, a near-perfect year-round climate, and California’s best burritos; there’s ample reason to lay down your laptop and hang out in San Diego for a while. Working on the road has its plus points and this city is definitely one of them. Here are four tips to help you get more bang for your buck and perhaps stay a little longer in “America’s Finest City.”

Choose Your Digs Wisely

The average nightly rate for hotels in San Diego

is around $145 USD, but if you’re intent on working your way around the globe, you’ll need to choose cheaper digs. Many travelers head to USA Hostels San Diego – Downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter, where for around 29 bucks a night you’ll enjoy free breakfast, unlimited Wi-Fi, privacy pods, and a handful of other essential amenities. Private rooms are available if you’re choosy about who you bunk with. The 500 West Hotel San Diego Downtown

is another option for savvy travelers, as are a few of the local Airbnb options.


Photo by Mandy Godsall via

San Diego doesn’t have the best public transport system in the country, but with a little planning (and patience) it’s easy enough to get around. The San Diego Trolley

— otherwise known as the “moving landmark” — is cheap, cheerful, and will get you to areas such as Mission Valley and historic Old Town with little fuss. A one-way trip costs $2.50, so most people get more value from the $5 day pass. If you’re sticking around a while and plan to do a fair bit of sightseeing, you might consider forking out $72 for a monthly pass.

Visit Cheap San Diego Attractions

California’s second-largest city has its share of break-the-bank attractions, but it’s possible to experience San Diego without parting with too many of your hard-earned dollars. Admiring the sunset from La Jolla Cove, wandering through Balboa Park, and exploring the Big Bay are among the best of the city’s freebies

. If you have your heart set on visiting the likes of San Diego Zoo, Knott’s Soak City, and Boomers, a one, three, five, or seven-day Go San Diego Card

includes admission to over 50 top attractions and tours. Plan your days wisely to get the most for your money.

Find Cheap Eats

A life on the road doesn’t typically allow for trips to fine dining restaurants, so tucking into five-star French cuisine at Addison is probably off the table. Find the best cheap eats in San Diego

at the likes of Tender Greens, Mama Kat’s Restaurant and Pie Shop, and the Studio Diner. Better still, head to Frazier Farms or Jimbo’s for your favorite picnic food, then make the most of the San Diego weather at scenic spots such as Kate Sessions Neighborhood Park, Santee Lakes Regional Park, and Mission Point Park.

San Diego offers location-less living at its finest. Come and check it out for yourself sometime soon. “America’s Finest City” won’t disappoint.

Jason Bartoli
Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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