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Should I Rent a Car for my Trip to San Diego?

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Like many other travel questions, the age old debate of whether or not to rent a car when visiting San Diego continues. While your final decision will be heavily influenced by personal preferences, your travel itinerary and the amount of people you’re traveling with, the Pacific Inn is going to offer you some insider tips!

Traveling with the Family

If you are visiting San Diego with the little ones and are interested in exploring the many family friendly attractions of the city such as the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Safari Park, SeaWorld and Legoland, a rental car is a must unless you have an unlimited budget for private transportation. While the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld are centrally located, only a few miles from one another, the Safari Park and Legoland are about a 30 minute drive from the downtown district. Even fixed price vans and shuttle service will charge upwards of $50 for for transportation to these destinations.  Looking for a cheap SeaWorld hotel? Click here and enjoy family-friendly accommodations at a discounted nightly rate.

For families on a budget, visiting all of San Diego’s theme parks might not be in the cards for this trip. However, if you book an affordable hotel in downtown San Diego and don’t mind skipping a few attractions, you can likely skip renting a car as well! A taxi fare or more affordable ride share services (Uber or Lyft) can get you to the Zoo and SeaWorld for about $10. Pack comfortable shoes and most attractions such as Little Italy, Seaport Village and Gaslamp Quarter will be in walking distance.

Romantic Getaway Weekend

San Diego’s pristine weather and endless activities beckons couples from around the nation. If you are in town with your significant other, the decision to rent a car will depend on what you plan on doing. If you are interested in exploring other areas of San Diego such as La Jolla, Del Mar or Coronado, renting a car will be in your best interest. Those who are adventurous and like spontaneous outings may also prefer a personal vehicle so they will have transportation at a moment’s notice.

Skip the rental car only if you plan on staying in one place. While this sounds like a no brainer, people often forget that San Diego is a city on the water. Couples who stay in the downtown district can enjoy a morning stroll along the bay, stop for coffee and brunch at one of the many downtown restaurants, explore the museums and beautiful grounds of Balboa Park, and top the night off with a romantic dinner, cocktails and nightlife in the Gaslamp Quarter. Although the city of San Diego has an abundance of activities to offer, staying downtown might be all you need for your romantic retreat.

Girls or Boys Trip

Whether visiting with your friends for leisure or an event such as a wedding or bachelor party, be realistic about what you will be able to fit into your itinerary. While many groups think renting a car is a necessity, the San Diego Airport is not far from some of the top spots in San Diego and can easily be traveled via taxi cab or airport shuttle. Also keep in mind any transportation costs will be divided among the group helping to minimize costs so plan your outings before you go and then make your decision. Interested in additional savings? Learn more about cheap downtown hotels near San Diego Airport and find a room or suite perfect for your group.

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