We can all agree that the most stressful part of a vacation is sticking to a budget. Everything from attraction tickets to hotel rooms can eat through a travel budget in seconds, especially in a top travel destination such as sunny San Diego.
When to Visit San Diego
For the ultimate savings, it is best to travel during the off-season. However, in San Diego, the off-season comes with a caveat. The winter months draw the lowest number of visitors to the area and for a good reason — lots of rain. If you’re willing to forgo the beach and deal with several rainstorms, you’ll find extraordinary prices on San Diego hotels during the winter.
If you’re like me and can’t pass up an opportunity for a beach vacation, you’ll want to visit either in the spring or fall. While summer is perfect beach weather, it’s also when San Diego is the busiest. Locals and frequent San Diego visitors agree that March through May and September through November are the best times to visit.
Where to Stay in San Diego on a Budget
Once you’ve decided when you’ll travel to San Diego, you can begin to research the hotels that will fit your budget. For an affordable vacation, I recommend staying at these San Diego hotels.
*The hotels listed below show pricing based on the spring season. Prices will vary by season.
Standard Room, 2 double beds - $84.68 per night
Whether you’re planning a family vacation to LEGOLAND® or visiting on business, the Best Western Oceanside Inn offers a convenient location. With attractions such as SeaWorld® and the San Diego Zoo® nearby, you’re in the middle of it all (and at a great price).
This affordable hotel offers comfortable accommodations and amenities such as a complimentary continental breakfast and an outdoor pool. The Best Western Oceanside Inn is an excellent choice for travelers deciding where to stay in San Diego on a budget.
Standard Room, 2 Queen Beds (Newly Renovated) - $108.00 per night
The Good Nite Inn is also conveniently located near San Diego’s top attractions such as SeaWorld®. This budget-friendly hotel is perfect for the traveler who only needs a place to sleep and recharge after a long day of exploration and attractions.
In addition to the recently renovated rooms, the hotel also offers complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby each morning. For renowned hospitality and comfortable accommodations at a price you’ll love, the Good Nite Inn San Diego is your top choice.
Standard Room, 2 Queen Beds - $119.00 per night
No family vacation to San Diego is complete without Knott’s Berry Farm tickets. For families looking to maximize their vacation time and budget, Knott’s Berry Hotel is the perfect hotel solution. This family-friendly hotel is seconds away from the theme park and water park and offers amenities such as an onsite restaurant and pool. Plus, just for the kids, the hotel features an entire Snoopy themed wing known as Camp Snoopy!
2 Queen Beds (Non-Smoking) - $129.00 per night
The Western Inn Old Town is situated right in the heart of San Diego, minutes away from the airport, the San Diego Zoo®, and other top attractions. Determining where to stay in San Diego on a budget isn’t difficult once you look into this hotel.
Get a good night’s sleep with the hotel’s comfortable room accommodations and recharge the next day with a free continental breakfast. Visitors should note that the hotel requires self-parking, in-room safe, and other additional fees.
Deluxe 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds - $131.71 per night
For a budget-conscious hotel with superior decor, book your stay at Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town. The 200-room hotel features decor inspired by the Spanish mission and is surrounded by gorgeous ocean and city views. While at the hotel, guests can dine at the Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant and Cantina, or go for a swim in the outdoor pool.
While the hotel does offer a free airport shuttle, guests should be aware of the self-parking and pet fees that apply.
Double Queen - $139.00
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in San Diego on a budget and are hoping to procure a hotel room near Mission Beach, you’ve come to the right place. Best Western Mission Bay is pet-friendly, near the beach, and only 4.5 miles away from SeaWorld® and others points of interest.
Amenities provided by the hotel include a free breakfast, outdoor pool and whirlpool spa, a fitness room, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Traditional Room, 2 Queen Beds - $139.18 per night
Those searching for upscale accommodations at an affordable price will be pleased with their stay at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel, Mission Valley. With a prime location, guests enjoy easy access to the San Diego Zoo, Mission Valley, SeaWorld®, and more.
The hotel offers a variety of rooms as well as top amenities such as a 24/7 health club, Internet access, and an outdoor pool. This 4-star San Diego hotel also features modern decor and an onsite restaurant. Do note that several fees are in place, including:
- Breakfast fees
- Parking fees
- Pet-friendly fees
Family Suite, Multiple Beds (1 King Bed and Bunk Bed) - $139.45 per night
The Wyndham Garden San Diego hotel is ideal for families who need spacious and convenient accommodations. Located around the corner from the airport and SeaWorld®, families can reserve suites or rooms that suit their needs.
From complimentary WiFi to an onsite restaurant, this hotel has everything families need for an exciting and budget-conscious vacation in San Diego. Like other San Diego hotels, the Wyndham Garden does have an overnight parking fee.
Room, 2 Queen Beds - $149.21 per night
Located minutes away from San Diego’s top attractions, the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley hotel rounds out the best budget-friendly hotels in the area. Featuring contemporary decor, various room types, and premium amenities, guests have everything at their fingertips here.
With hotels such as this, multiple fees are in place such as parking fees, pet fees, breakfast fees, and more. If you’re fine with flexing your budget a bit for top-notch accommodations in San Diego, choose this hotel.
Book Your San Diego Hotel Today
Now that you know where to stay in San Diego on a budget, what are you waiting for? Book your room through Tripster San Diego today for the best value.