Road trip preparation is a necessary tedium, but combined with the stress of the trip and your family relying on you for the best road trip possible, it can be hard to make sure you prepare correctly and get everything you need. From organizing everything beforehand to thinking about what to do during the road trip, here is a quick guide to effectively preparing for a budget-friendly vacation in San Diego.

Organize Your Thoughts

The number one thing that leads to people forgetting things for their road trip is not having a clear head during the process. It can be a lot of preparation, especially if you’re hitting the road with family, and it’s easy to forget something and not realize it until you’re halfway to San Diego. This can also add additional costs to your trip if your missing item needs to be replaced.

Be sure to grab a notepad and paper and write down everything you need to bring with you and prepare for with a checkbox next to each item. Keep reading for tips on what to bring to San Diego.

Necessary Things to Bring

There are some things you absolutely need to bring on any road trip. First Aid Kit should always be the first thing you have prepared, if you don’t already have one tucked away in your vehicle. You will need to bring plenty of water and snacks as well, and depending on the length of the trip, you might want to consider packing larger meals for everyone. When travelling to San Diego, sunscreen and glasses are essential to protecting your skin and eyes from harmful UVs. Be sure to bring towels for the beach and to protect your car from spills.

Additional items to add to your San Diego packing list:

  • Light jackets
  • Extra t-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suits
  • A cover up
  • Flip flops
  • Hiking shoes

Plan A Route with Plenty of Stops

On any long car ride, and especially the extended rides typical of road trips, you’ll want to plan your route ahead of time to avoid roadblocks. Stops can be a great opportunity to swap drivers, but be sure to look into interesting and unique places to stop along the way. The Southern California coast is home to many exciting places to visit, and planning ahead can help cut the cost of gas, admissions prices, and food.

Skip The Hotels

San Diego can get expensive quickly, so opt into renting an Airbnb or campsite. Airbnb can be a lot cheaper than staying in any local hotel and comes with some more intimate perks. While staying in someone’s home can greatly reduce the cost of your road trip vacation, rental owners can also give you inside tips of where to eat, drink, and play. Recommendations from your host can save you a lot of money you may have spent on pricey tourist attractions, and this accommodation options gives you the flexibility to do as you please.