Sunny San Diego beckons tens of thousands of visitors per year with the allure of its emerald-blue waters, pristine beaches and great nightlife. Whether you’re headed to America’s Finest City for business or leisure, San Diego offers something to suit every style, from whale-watching and waterfronts to SeaWorld and Little Italy.
San Diego (Photo_: Bill Dickinson via Flickr)
If San Diego is on your travel wishlist, booking a flight and hotel together is a great way to save. Fortunately, there are dozens of trusted travel companies offer vacation package deals to San Diego. To find the best, TravelMag.com has reviewed them all based on factors such as prices, available deals, customer service and cancellation/change policies. Here are our top three favorites:
Expedia is our top pick for booking a vacation package to San Diego. One of the leading travel booking companies, Expedia offers a wide selection of hotels and lets you book almost any available flight to San Diego International Airport (SAN). Although you may be able to find a lower rate for a particular hotel or flight on other sites, the combined package price will be almost always be lower. Expedia is also our top pick for family vacation packages. We tested packages with flights from New York, Chicago and Toronto airports with a 4-star hotel located in downtown San Diego and found that a couple could save up to $200-$300 on a 2- or 3-night stay, and up to $500 on a 4-night stay. Expedia offers penalty-free cancellation within 24 hours of your booking. After that, however, and you’ll be dealing with the airline’s and/or hotel’s cancellation policy, which can vary widely. You can also purchase Expedia’s Vacation Waiver, a form of travel insurance that allows you to cancel a package even after 24 hours.
In most respects, Priceline is pretty similar to Expedia. Priceline offers a comparable selection of hotels and flights, although their interface is a bit more user-friendly which makes it easier to find cheap vacation packages. After comparing prices for numerous packages, we found that Priceline is, on average, more expensive than Expedia. The exception was for 1-night stays, where Priceline’s savings on combined flight and hotel packages were slightly better than Expedia. Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check both before you make a booking. A few words about Priceline’s cancellation policy: Priceline guarantees free cancellation within 24 hours of your booking, although JetBlue, Spirit Airlines and Air India are not covered by this policy.
JetBlue is a budget carrier that also offers combined flight and hotel packages through JetBlue Vacations. They currently offer packages to San Diego from New York, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale, so if you’re coming in from any of these destinations it pays to check JetBlue Vacations for deals. The only downside is that their selection of hotels is limited compared to Expedia and Priceline and they only offer flights via JetBlue. We always recommend checking Expedia and Pricleine first before booking with JetBlue Vacations as JetBlue sometimes charges a lot more on certain trips. A few words about JetBlue Vacations’ cancellation and change policies: if a change or a cancellation is made 60 days or more before the departure date, JetBlue charges a $75 fee per person, not including applicable fees charged by the hotel. If a change/cancellation is made within 60 days of the departure date, JetBlue charges a $135 fee per person, also not including hotel change/cancellation fees.