We’ve been sharing travel tips and some of our great travel experiences with you. Today, we are doing something a bit different. We are sharing the actual four-day itinerary of our Southern California trip. In this trip, we had a great time and managed to see a lot in a very short amount of time. We spent some time in LA, a day in San Diego, and even made it South of the Border in Tijuana. 

People often ask how we do so much in such a short amount of time. It really comes down to planning. We wanted to get the most out of our trip, so we were very mindful of the time we had. If you want to make a similar trip, we share what we did each and every day, If you don’t want to plan, you can just follow our itinerary to get the most out of your trip. 


Show Notes

[02:25] We took this trip from Indianapolis. We knew we would gain a little time, because we were going from Eastern Time to Pacific Time, so we left early. 

[03:25] If your flight is longer than three hours, upgrade if you can.

[03:58] We had our nephew LJ with us. We were a party of five. 

[04:44] We had been to New York, Chicago, Florida, and we were trying to find somewhere in the US to go. We decided to go to California.

[06:04] We arrived at LAX. We rented a Jeep Liberty. It was a little cozy in the back for the kids. You may want to make sure, you are able to get a larger car if you have multiple people. 

[08:42] We knew San Diego was only a couple of hours away, so we decided to go there too.

[09:25] We stayed at the Hampton Inn SeaWorld location. We had two double beds and a sleeper sofa.

[10:02] We took the Pacific Coast Highway out of LA to San Diego, and made a stop at Manhattan Beach. 

[11:43] We had lunch at In-N-Out Burger. We drove up in to the hills and took some amazing pictures. We left that day open to explore and not have to rush.

[14:02] You have to give yourself flexibility when you have a plan. 

[14:48] We got to San Diego in the afternoon and checked in at the desk. The clerk suggested we go to Tijuana. She gave Chris directions to a restaurant in Puerto Nuevo that had butter fried lobster.

[16:56] We head over the border and lost cell phone service. We were in Mexico with no GPS or map. We sat outside overlooking the Pacific. A mariachi played and charged a fee. 

[19:52] The fried lobster wasn't the best. The sun was setting as we left. There is a line to get back into the US. 

[21:28] There's bumper to bumper traffic, but the line has people selling things and banging on your car windows. It was a great life lesson for the kids. 

[24:29] We got back late, went to sleep, and our itinerary really starts now. 

[24:39] We ate breakfast at the hotel and went to Sea World. They had roller coasters, and we saw the whales. There are touch tanks and shows. 

[26:45] Sea World has an all-day dining deal that is a great deal. It was $29.99 for adults and $18.99 for the children. 

[27:49] We spent a day at SeaWorld, then we headed over to the Hyatt Place in Anaheim. We had a main bedroom and then another room with a bunk bed and a pull-out couch. 

[29:44] We used the Go City Los Angeles card. The Go Card can be a big money-saver.

[31:19] We asked the kids what they wanted to do. We went over the list of things to do and bought the Go Card at home. 

[33:06] It took us two hours to get to Hollywood. We went to the walk of fame, the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre, and a Hollywood movie star tour on a bus. 

[37:14] That night they were filming the ESPYS at the Staple Center. We ate at a restaurant with outdoor seating that was right along the path where the athletes were walking, and we got to see everyone. Then we went back to the hotel. 

[41:25] The next day was our Universal Studios Tour. It was a lot of fun. We were also able to fit in the Warner Brothers tour. We even went on the set of Friends. 

[44:35] We also went into a sound effects room were they took a movie without sound and then layered in each sound until there was a cacophony of sounds. Each portion of sound is recorded separately. 

[45:52] We then spent the afternoon in Venice Beach and rented bikes. We were able to layer this in before heading to the airport. We even saw a man levitating. 

[48:35] Our flight wasn't until 10:00 pm, so we went to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. 

[50:40] Quick recap: Pacific Coast, In-N-Out Burger, Tijuana, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Studios, Hollywood Movie Star Tour, Dolby Theatre Tour, ESPYS outside the Staples Center, Venice Beach, and Roscoe's. 


Links and Resources:

Become a Fly Insider

Hampton Inn

StitchFix Get $25 off your first fix

In-N-Out Burger

Airbnb Get $40 off your first home booking of $75 or more and $15 off towards an experience of $50 or more


Hyatt Place in Anaheim

Go Los Angeles Card

Hollywood Walk of Fame

TCL Chinese Theatre

Dolby Theatre

Hollywood Celebrity & Star Homes Tour


Universal Studios

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Venice Beach

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles


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