Wanna keep those vacation vibes going all year-long?
Time for a quick getaway then!
Today’s Tuesday Tips are gonna help take some of the guess-work out of your travels with easy things to make almost any getaway more fun and affordable.
I just spent a super fun weekend in the jewel of the crown, La Jolla, California with one of my besties, Eva.
We arrived Friday at noon and stayed through Saturday at 5:00pm.
That’s not a lot of time.
What can you do in 29 hours you ask?
Turns out you can do quite a lot!!
We were short on time with a long wish-list of fun to get done.
We wanted to blog talk, go to the beach, do yoga, go for a nice dinner, shop, take scenic pictures, all kinds of stuff like that. Just didn’t know how we would fit it all in.
I don’t know if we got to every single thing on our list, but we had a blast trying to do it all and I’m bursting to share what we learned on our adventure with you!!
We spent two days running around non-stop.
We found some great things to do, and as an added bonus, most of what we did was free or low-cost!
From the moment we arrived in San Diego, we could feel the vacation vibes.
We flew into San Diego airport from Sacramento (Round trip tickets costing just $200.) and picked up our car rental at Enterprise.
Our Enterprise service was unmatched!
It’s one of the best rental experiences I’ve ever had! (And by the way I’m not affiliated with anything in this blog post, just love sharing good stuff.)
Not only did they check us in and get us to our car within 5 minutes, they upgraded us to a brand new sporty little yellow Camaro for only $10 more per day. Whooohooo!
Tip #1 Ask for upgrades because you never know what you may get
Enterprise has excellent customer service and affordable fun upgrades
Tip #2 Choose a hotel that includes breakfast and has free parking
For us that was Embassy Suites La Jolla (and there’s one in almost every city)
Embassy Suites is one of my favorite hotels to stay at because I know that no matter where I am, I can expect the same great quality and service at a reasonable price. (Rooms starting as low as $99-150 per night which when you factor in free parking and breakfast is a pretty sweet deal)
The La Jolla Embassy Suites did not disappoint!
From it’s sleek, modern lobby (I could hang out here all day!)
To it’s perfect location.
A room with a view.
And not to mention their popular breakfast buffet that’s always included in your stay!
And close proximity to everything we had on our wish list.
Life is good.
Tip #3 Eat at local well-known cafes to save money for other things (you can Google recommendations)
Hodad’s hamburger joint in Ocean Beach ($10 per person average)
Best budget burgers ever!
Hodad’s is one of the many Diners, Drive-ins and Dives I’ve visited with my family and it’s our favorite!
It’s just a quick 20 minute drive south of La Jolla and totally worth the drive.
It started back in the 70’s and the owners’ son is now running it. The interior is decorated with a million license plates and a cute cutoff Volkswagen van that’s been turned into a booth. So cool!
I warned Eva that their burgers are humongous and we should order a junior size.
So did we order the junior size?
No!!! Of course we didn’t!
I didn’t even take my own advice!
We sat down and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.
We stared wide-eyed at the menu and all the great food around us.
We both simultaneously said “I want a regular size!”
And I’m the genius who told the waiter that I like a lot of ice cream in my root beer floats!
On top of that a waiter accidentally put an order of onion rings on our table.
It was our lucky day! We got to keep them! (as if we needed more food LOL!)
Best onion rings I’ve EVER had! Crunchy outside, soft onion inside.
Could we eat everything? No!! Of course not!! But we did have fun trying!
Great food (yes, photo bombed by waiter), and more fun to come outside.
Tip #4 Take time out for fun photos
Photo ops are all around you!
I’ve never really been comfortable in front of a camera and that doesn’t work so well for a blogger.
So I’ve been forcing myself out of my comfort zone and practicing poses. Everywhere!
And you know what?
I’m actually starting to relax a bit and enjoy it.
I’m not so worried about what people around me think.
And I’m getting in a few good shots here and there!
Ocean Beach and La Jolla are a gold mine when it comes to great sites to take pics.
And it’s so much fun with a buddy!
It pulls out your creativity even if you’re like me think you don’t have any! You do!
When you look back at your photos you’ll be able to relive those fun moments.
We didn’t even notice the ‘Yeah Bro I Lift’ T-shirt next to us until we got home! Lol!
We were just practicing our ‘armpit posing’. Hahahaha!
Before it got too chilly and foggy we got a couple of beach shots then headed back to La Jolla.
The night was still young!
Tip #5 Try out new places. Choose somewhere you’ve never been to for one of your meals or activities.
Back in La Jolla we stumbled upon a great restaurant called Herringbone.
We were still stuffed from our little lunch at Hodad’s earlier in the day so we just asked to use their ladies’ room but we’re definitely coming back to eat here next time we visit.
You really need to see this place! But wear your date night outfit because it’s the place to be on a Friday night!
Not a great pic because of lightning and we were in a hurry but I hope this gives you a tiny glimpse into how cool this place is. It has lots of casual seating and real olive trees in the dining room too!
After this quick break we went to see the sea lions resting on the shore. (FREE)
Then we walked out on the pier and did a few minutes of impromptu yoga. (FREE again)
Thia is the perfect time of year to visit La Jolla because It’s not quite as crowded as it is in the summer.
After our yoga stretches, we walked through some fabulous galleries that we couldn’t get enough of! (Free)
Peter Lik’s National Geographic Gallery was amazing!
The photography was breathtaking.
Even if it was something you aren’t really into (like for me it is airplanes) his photos draw you in. They actually made me want to buy a picture of a plane!
We were mesmerized by the Giraffternoon photo and if you haven’t yet seen it you must! (No pics are allowed inside galleries.)
Again great customer service, Alessandra told us all about the photos and about a hotel on a giraffe sanctuary in Africa called Giraffe Manor.
All this but our night still was not over.
We found an oceanfront restaurant that you absolutely must try if you’re in La Jolla!
Brockton Villa Restaurant. It was built in 1894. The food was delish and it’s conveniently located right off the beach.
How do you feel about ocean view dining for $30? We were pretty pleased by it!
Clam Chowder Crab soup anyone? (with a hint of heat)
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!! Yum!!
Another really fun thing you can do is head back to the hotel for a relaxing spa night!
Which is just what we did.
Tip #6 Spa night in hotel (Free or cost of supplies if you need to buy any, we brought ours from home)
Even the men like to be pampered, this is perfect for a couples getaway too!
What a day!!
We had so much fun that it was hard to wind down, but around 3:00am we eventually did and hit the sack to rest up for another day of adventure to follow.
Neither Eva nor I have had a girlfriend getaway in years.
Making this trip reminded us of how easy and important it is to take some time out for ourselves.
By keeping it simple and going with the flow we had the time of our lives and found some incredible new places we want to visit again. All on a very affordable budget!
Stay tuned for Day 2 of our crazy whirlwind trip to La Jolla.
It will be filled with lots more fun tips and exciting things you can do on your next getaway! Free and low-cost!
Do you have any travel tips for us?
Please comment below to share your travel tricks to help us get the most bang for our buck wherever we go. I know you have some!!!
Stay HIP my friends,