Making Time to Run While on Vacation – Running San Diego

Running San Diego is part of a series where I write about cities I visit and my time running in them. Check out Running New Orleans on how I balanced traveling for business and running.

My wife and I are year-round runners and love the chance to run while traveling. For a recent family trip to San Diego we spent our time with family, fun, sun, and miles.

Before I get into running while on vacation, let me start with a question. What’s more difficult: taking three kids on a 4 hour plus flight to San Diego or finding time to run while on vacation with three kids?


For me, taking a four flight to San Diego with three kids is more challenging. I think my wife would vouch for me on that one. Asking three kids under six to sit still for 4 plus hours is a tall ask. However, my kids were rock stars travelling there and back.


If kids on a flight is challenging, why isn’t finding time to run while vacation? Well, it comes down to preparation and communication.

Running San Diego – Preparation is key

Preparation started about a couple of weeks before we even left for San Diego. I anticipated at least running a few times on our trip, but knowing where was just as important as when.

I looked at where we’d stay in San Diego and started scoping potential running routes. I didn’t want to go blindly into vacation running and hope for the best. Instead, with the help of my wife (who is from San Diego) we’d determine some easy routes that make up some short and long runs. Some of these consisted of routes on the beach, in my wife’s old neighborhood, and some public parks.

The other part of preparation was bringing the right running gear. I watched the weather for about week leading up to our trip. I knew that San Diego mornings were cool (not Chicago cold) and could get by with a long sleeve t-shirt and running shorts. Most days were in the low 70’s so it was pretty easy to pack.

As a far as tech gear, I traveled with the Fitbit Surge. This device came in really handy because of the GPS feature, but also I could wear it while I wasn’t running – one less thing to pack!


Running San Diego – Communication is Important

Communication is just as critical when planning to run on a vacation. If you’re travelling with a spouse or significant other, speak up when you think you want to run. Some people like to be spontaneous while on vacation, but as parents of three kids we had to be strategic in our planning.

We still wanted to have time for activities with the kids, time with each other, and just down time.


I chose to run first thing in the morning so I was diligent in gathering my gear the night before. Come the next morning, I can duck out and get my run in. By the time I got back, it was time to make breakfast for the kids while my wife got her run in. Everyone was happy!

Running San Diego – Beautiful Miles

Preparation and communication allowed for plenty of miles in San Diego, but you might wondering what is running in San Diego like? I think the pictures do a pretty good job describing the Running San Diego experience.

We had some time at Pacific Beach:


Time in the suburbs of San Diego (with some enormous hills):


A few miles along a nearby lake and then a park:



Making time to run while vacation can be easy with some planning, preparation, and communication. The best only decision about running on vacation is deciding where.

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