Tuesday, March 1, 2011

San Diego or bust: Little ways to save when traveling

Hey, just got back from beautiful San Diego! People everywhere should be as friendly! Thought I'd share a few highlights of our trip.
BARGAINS we found in San Diego:
  • Multi-day passes to the public transit system ($5.00/day/unlimited stops), good for most buses/trolleys. A rainy day ride on the trolley to the Mexican border provided us with comfortable, DRY sightseeing. Bought a couple of yummy tacos in San Ysidro for less than 5 bucks! Felt sure of the food because the little joint was frequented by Border Patrolmen. (Advised against it, we did not go into Tijuana.)
  • Met a woman in the elevator one morn who fed the meter each day with $2.50 for her car to be in a nearby day park versus the $32.00 cost charged for hotel parking.
  • A 20-something young man on the plane said he waited 'til he got to San Diego & used to book different hotel rooms for $30+, $40 and $80 a night. (I'm not brave enough for this.)
Most UNEXPECTED events:
  • Sat next to gorgeous Navy Seal David Goggins on the Chicago/San Diego leg of our flight. A real sweetheart of a guy whose life story (nutshell version) is astounding. I have no doubt we'll be reading a book about this man one day!
  • Got in a car with a perfect stranger! Yup, when a nice-looking gentleman in La Jolla overheard me asking directions to an area restaurant, he offered us a ride. NEVER thought I'd do such a thing, but how often do you hear of serial killers riding around in big ole beautiful black Mercedes-Benz? Such a sweetie...guess he figured us for what we are: a couple of harmless goobers from the South! Loved it when he pointed out an exclusive tennis court along the way and suggested that next time we come to San Diego, we should rent an apartment there. (WAY out of our league!)
   Yeah, that's me. Never put my pic on here before 'cause NO ONE I KNOW KNOWS that I blog. Except Hubby.

Easy ways to SAVE ON FOOD when away from home:
  • Eat main meal at lunch, when prices are cheaper
  • Eat during "happy hours" (usually between 4:00pm-6ish) when appetizers, etc., are half price
  • Eat protein bars when in airports, on plane, breakfast at hotel or anytime fast meals are preferable (we brought some CLIF bars from home, bought more from a grocery in downtown San Diego)
  • Order food to-go at night, take back to hotel room to drink with wine purchased during the day's excursions
  • Shop the grocery for local foods to eat in hotel room at night

Save SPACE on casual trips by taking:
Reversible belt (black/brown, bought in a men's store, perfect for jeans with different rises)
Reversible jacket (came in VERY handy when I drop/kick/stomped mine when crossing a street)
Pashmina shawl (great for staying warm on plane but also wrapped my head with it occasionally when the day took a chilly turn...yes, I sometimes looked like a Babushka on the beaches of California! And in unknown territory, scarves hide women's necklaces as well.)
Only three shoes (One pair walking shoes--Keen are my go-tos; one pair of slip ons for airport check-ins; one pair flip flops for pool/hot tub)
Over the shoulder bag (Okay, may not save space but sure saves the day when it comes to hands-free running to catch the next tram!)

       I'm sure many of you are more widely traveled than I am, but indulge me to offer my ultimate travel tip: walk as much as possible to discover nature's unexpected treasures like we did by starting down a hill only to find these little switchbacks pictured at left that led us to a beautiful beach below. And such incredible homes were perched on these hills!
       LOVE traveling but sure is GREAT to be home!

    That's what works for me, what works for you? What perfect-for-travel item will you not leave home without? How do you save $ on the road...any money-saving travel tips to share?


    MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

    These tips are fantastic. I am so glad you had a good time and put up a picture of yourself. It is great to be able to put a face to the wonderful writing :-)

    Dmarie said...

    *chuckle* thanks, Meg

    Amelia@SavoryandSweet said...

    I like all your money saving tips! We just took a vacation and only ate out once. We went grocery shopping and cooked our meals at the condo. :)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

    Dmarie said...

    found you through Meg's site, Amelia. Thanks for visiting here!

    Practical Parsimony said...

    Thanks for the pictures amd tips and YOU.

    Unknown said...

    I always take my own cereal and milk for breakfast. Saves heaps instead of buying the motels.

    Sorry but have to ask...what is that hanging in the top of that 'tree' behind you? Lookd like a bra!! lol! Maa.

    Dmarie said...

    @Practical, thx!
    @Maa, dunno, but what fun if it IS a bra! ;)

    Lindy Mint said...

    I love San Diego! I haven't been in far too long, I miss it.

    When I did a fair amount of travel, I would fill up with a breakfast from the grocery store, then nibble on a baguette or almonds throughout the day for "lunch," then splurge on a nice dinner.

    Great to see your picture :)

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