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Tips For Planning Your Perfect Road Trip from Orlando to San Diego

Photo by Daniel Guerra on Unsplash

An exciting trip across the US is an excellent choice for a long vacation. Crossing the US from the East to the West Coast, you will experience a complete road adventure. Let’s figure out where it is better to stop for a rest on the way and what you should pay attention to.

How to choose the right car?

The direct drive route to San Diego from Orlando is about 2500 mi or two days of fast driving without stopping. A wise decision is to spread the trip over a week so that you get enough rest and enjoy stops at interesting places. If you don’t have a car, or if it’s not large enough for travel companions or luggage, it’s best to consider renting a car.
Please note that the minimum age to rent a car in San Diego is 21 years old. If you fall under the category of young drivers (21-24 years old), attentively compare car rental offers for young drivers to save on additional fees when traveling in San Diego. Pay attention to the cost of extra services and expenses, and choose favorable rental terms.

Basic travel preparations

Make a rough trip plan, coordinate it with fellow travelers, and start preparing. For starters, book your accommodation beforehand at your planned stops – this will save you from unpleasant surprises. The driver’s responsibility is to stay focused on the road, so quality sleep is your top priority. Consider the possibility of deviation from the plan and analyze the trip budget to have enough money for an unforeseen event.
Pack your travel wardrobe with climate change in mind as you move west, and start surfing the web to develop a detailed plan for your relaxing time in and on the way to the city. Consider car rental San Diego before you hit the road to have a large selection of vehicles at a lower price.

Where to make stops on the way?

It is preferable to make your own Orlando-San Diego itinerary by exploring the sights and towns along the way. Below you will find options for amazing half-day stops on a route lasting five days (up to 8 hours of driving per day).

Day 1: Pensacola Beach

Experience stunning white sands, crystalline water, and sunny weather at Pensacola Beach. Chill by the water after a long drive while watching the sunset and have a seafood dinner at one of the local establishments.

Photo by Joe Ciciarelli on Unsplash

Day 2: Katy, Texas

Start a journey in the morning to arrive in Katy by lunchtime and have time to walk around the city. Stopping in a small town half an hour outside of Houston has many benefits. You save on accommodation, as prices are much higher in Houston. Katy also offers tourists a wide range of leisure activities.

Day 3: Fort Stockton, Texas

On your way through West Texas, you will come across the small historic town of Fort Stockton. This is a fascinating place to spend the afternoon and warm up after eight hours of driving. The city is named after the defensive structure of the same name, which ruins are available today for tourist excursions. Visit the Annie Riggs Museum to learn about the town and area history and admire the marvelous architecture.

Day 4: Tucson, Arizona

Experience the historic atmosphere of the American Southwest with a stop at Tucson. In the city, you will find entertainment to your taste, using the services of cars for rental. The most popular attractions are:

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
  • Arizona History Museum.
  • Historic Indigenous settlements (like Signal Hill).
  • Saguaro National Park.
  • Waterfalls in Sabino Canyon.

Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash

Day 5: San Diego, California

Another 8 hours drive and you are at your destination – San Diego. At will, the itinerary can be stretched or shortened, taking into account your driving experience and the mood of fellow travelers. Traveling to San Diego can become an amazing adventure, making stops in El Paso or San Antonio.


Think carefully about every aspect of this long trip. Also, check out detailed information about the San Diego car rental age to save money on vehicle hire. If you’re traveling in the summer, book your hotels and car a few weeks in advance – so you don’t get disappointed with the limited choice.

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