How to Plan a Long-Term Stay in San Diego: Accommodation Types, Locations, and Cost-Saving Tips

How to Plan a Long-Term Stay in San Diego: Accommodation Types, Locations, and Cost-Saving Tips

Relocating to San Diego for work? Or looking for temporary housing during home remodel?

This guide is for you!

We’ve put together a list of steps to take and criteria to add to your search for a truly homelike stay in San Diego.

Accommodation Types for Long-Term Stays

While regular hotels may be able to accommodate you for the entire length of your stay, for a truly homelike experience, look for the accommodation types that are designed for long-term stays:

1. Extended Stay Hotels

Extended stay hotels are an excellent option for those relocating temporarily to San Diego. These hotels, also known as residential or residence-style hotels, offer apartment-style suites that provide the comforts of home.

Ranging from studio to multi-bedroom suites, they are ideal for individuals, families, or groups. They typically come equipped with amenities such as fully furnished living spaces, kitchenettes, and laundry facilities.

With services like housekeeping and complimentary breakfast, extended stay hotels offer convenience and comfort for longer stays.

2. Hotels with Kitchen Suites

For those who prefer cooking their own meals, hotels with kitchen suites are a great choice.

These suites feature fully equipped kitchens with appliances such as stovetops, microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers. They also come stocked with cookware, utensils, and dining essentials, allowing guests to prepare meals just like they would at home.

Choosing a hotel with kitchen suites can help guests save money on dining out while providing the flexibility to enjoy home-cooked meals during their stay.

3. Short-Term Apartment Rentals

Short-term apartment rentals, available through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, offer another flexible option for temporary accommodation in San Diego.

These rentals range from cozy studios to spacious apartments and houses, providing a variety of options to suit different needs and preferences.

Guests can enjoy the privacy and amenities of a fully furnished apartment, including kitchens, living areas, and often, laundry facilities.

Short-term rentals are ideal for those seeking a more personalized and home-like experience during their stay.

4. Vacation Rentals

Similar to short-term apartment rentals, vacation rentals offer fully furnished properties available for shorter stays.

They can be a good option for those looking for a more relaxed and vacation-like atmosphere during their temporary stay in San Diego.

Top Residential Neighborhoods in San Diego

Now that you know what to look for, let’s focus on where to look for it.

These neighborhoods offer a range of accommodation options, from budget to upscale, and provide convenient access to San Diego’s attractions, amenities, and public transportation networks.

  • Downtown San Diego
    • Connectivity: Well-connected to key attractions via public transportation, including the trolley and bus services.
    • Key attractions: Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, USS Midway Museum, Petco Park.
    • Malls and amenities: Horton Plaza, Westfield Horton Plaza, dining and entertainment options.
    • Average hotel stay cost: $150 – $300 per room per night.
  • La Jolla
    • Connectivity: Accessible by bus, with easy access to attractions along the coastline.
    • Key attractions: La Jolla Cove, Birch Aquarium, Torrey Pines State Reserve.
    • Malls and amenities: La Jolla Village Square, La Jolla Village shopping district, upscale dining options.
    • Average hotel stay cost: $200 – $400 per room per night.
  • Mission Valley
    • Connectivity: Central location with access to major highways and public transportation.
    • Key attractions: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, Mission Trails Regional Park.
    • Malls and amenities: Fashion Valley Mall, Mission Valley Mall, restaurants, and entertainment.
    • Average hotel stay cost: $100 – $250 per room per night.
  • North Park
    • Connectivity: Accessible by bus, with proximity to major freeways.
    • Key attractions: Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, North Park Theater.
    • Malls and amenities: University Avenue shopping and dining, craft breweries, nightlife.
    •  $100 – $200 per room per night.
  • Ocean Beach
    • Connectivity: Accessible by bus, with scenic coastal routes.
    • Key attractions: Ocean Beach Pier, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Dog Beach.
    • Malls and amenities: Newport Avenue shopping and dining, antique shops, beachfront cafes.
    • Average hotel stay cost: $100 – $250 per room per night.

Cost-Saving Tips for Long-Term Stays in San Diego

We’ve already looked at how amenities like en-suite kitchens can save you money during a long-term stay in San Diego.

Here are some additional amenities and features to look for to get the most value out of your stay:

1. Weekly and Monthly Rates

Many hotels and accommodations offer discounted rates for extended stays.

By opting for weekly or monthly rates instead of nightly rates, you can save significantly on your overall accommodation costs. For example, while a nightly rate at a downtown hotel might range from $150 to $300, a weekly rate could bring the cost down to $800 to $1200, saving you up to $100 per night.

For maximum savings, look for hotels with kitchens and weekly rates which will allow you to not only cut down the nightly rate, but also spend less on dining.

2. Free Breakfast

Speaking of dining, choosing a hotel that includes complimentary breakfast can help you save on dining expenses.

With average breakfast costs ranging from $10 to $20 per person in San Diego, this amenity can save a couple around $20 to $40 per day.

3. Additional Deals & Offers

Keep an eye out for special deals and offers, especially during off-peak seasons.

Hotels may run promotions that include discounted rates, complimentary upgrades, or added amenities such as free parking or breakfast.

These deals can further reduce your expenses and enhance your stay, saving you an additional $20 to $50 per night.

4. Free Parking

Parking fees can add up, especially in urban areas like downtown San Diego.

Look for accommodations that offer free parking as part of their amenities.

This can save you around $20 to $40 per night compared to paying for parking separately at a nearby garage or lot.

5. Free On-Site Facilities (Laundry, Gym, Recreation)

Accommodations with free on-site facilities such as laundry, gym, or recreation areas can also contribute to cost savings.

Instead of paying for individual services like gym memberships or laundromat fees, you can utilize these amenities for free.

For example, weekly laundry costs in San Diego can range from $10 to $20 per load, while gym memberships can cost $30 to $50 per month. By taking advantage of these free facilities, you can save approximately $10 to $20 per day.


You are now ready to plan and book your long-term stay in San Diego!

We hope this guide has equipped you with valuable and actionable tips on:

  • The type of accommodation to look for
  • Finding the best neighborhoods for residential stays
  • And cost-savings opportunities to explore

But most of all, we hope we have helped you make San Diego feel like home.  [ED1]

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