Our Favorite Ways to Save in San Diego!

We just got back from sunny San Diego and had an absolutely wonderful time!  I wanted to share the top ways we saved (to hopefully save you $$$ on your next trip)!

Our Entertainment book saved us a ton! We got many free meals at fun places very close to where we were staying. There are also great deals at attractions you might want to visit. If you plan on heading to San Diego next summer, you’ll probably want to wait to buy as the deals on Entertainment Books get significantly better the further into the year you get. 2013 books are being offered here, but there is currently no discount. We picked up our 2012 book this summer for $5!

Check out Trip Advisor. Some of the best restaurants aren’t expensive at all. The #1 rated restaurant is Kono’s and my meal there was under $5! Delicious! Another Trip Advisor find was El Zarape. Probably the BEST Mexican food I’ve ever had and the four of us ate for $19! Much better than restaurants we paid quite a bit more for.

Remember there are coupons for just about everything (and everywhere)! With just a little bit of planning, you’ll be amazed at how much you save. Check out these attractions we visited (and the deals you can find):

We decided to check out the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park on this trip. I found half price tickets on Living Social (now expired). Keep an eye on the daily deal sites in the cities you’re travelling to…you might find exactly what you want to do at a huge discount!

The Safari Park was a lot of fun. We of course loved the animals, but the surprise hit was the acrobats! They interacted with the kids and let them be part of the action, gave explorer helmets (plastic), and put on the most amazing show. I seriously had my mouth hanging open the entire time.

If you can’t find a daily deal, you can also click here to print off a coupon for $4 off admission for up to 6 guests. If you’re going to San Diego for fall break, kids get in free throughout the month of October. You might miss the acrobats! 🙁

The USS Midway Aircraft Carrier was a great part of our trip. We took a very entertaining and informative audio tour of the ship (included in the price) and met retired veterans who had so much information to share about their ship.  We were surprised how into the museum the kids were. They have a program just for kids…a special assignment that asks questions the children need to discover the answers to.  When they bring the answers back (parents are encouraged to help), the kids earn their gold wings!

To save: click here to print off a coupon for $2 off adult general admission and $1 off kids general admission. There are also coupons in the Entertainment Book for $4 off adult admission and $3 off kids admission.

The Birch Aquarium was on our to-do list and it was WONDERFUL! The kids were in awe of the marine life and the facility is absolutely gorgeous. There are tide pools where you can actually feel the animals, a shark exhibit, beautiful seahorses (they breed them), a 70,000 gallon kelp forest tank that can be seen online, fun interactive exhibits, and much more! We had a fantastic afternoon and learned so much.

To save: Click here to print off coupons for $2 off up to 6 admissions. If you have the Entertainment book, you’ll get 50% off up to 2 admissions.

If you have a membership to the Arizona Science Center, use it to get in FREE to the San Diego Natural History Museum (they have reciprocal benefits). The Titanic exhibit cost extra but we enjoyed it. There was an exhibit about the history of horses that was very interesting. You can also get in free to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center with your Arizona Science Center membership.

Other ways to save:

Legoland often offers coupons for free kids tickets with the purchase of adult tickets. Check around, Dunkin’ Donuts had them in town this summer.

The biggest draw of course is the beach…totally 100% free! Just invest in some good sunscreen.

At the end of Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach there’s a shack where you can rent all the equipment you need to fish for $6 for an hour (no permit needed). Trey caught a perch there and was thrilled. We released it and named it Perry!

Hope these ideas help make your trip a little bit more fun and a lot less expensive!

Alicia :-)

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