A few missed opportunities in San Diego — and a hit or two


These shacks at the end of Crystal Pier on Mission Beach were among the highlights of my visit to Southern California last week. You can actually stay in one of the larger cottages right on the pier, which is something I’ve never seen.

San Diego, the second stop on our month-long tour of the West Coast, was quite the experience. I had a chance to reconnect with long-lost relatives and to meet up with the folks at Hertz, who introduced a few interesting new concepts for rental cars.

Our plans were ambitious. We wanted to connect with friends and visit some of the big attractions, like the USS Midway. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for everything.

Among the missed opportunities was an open invitation to visit with CSA Travel Insurance, which is based in San Diego. I get a fair number of travel insurance questions as a consumer advocate, and I think the meeting would have been helpful. I’ve asked for a rain check.

The one meeting I’m glad I skipped — we were still in Vegas — was the annual GBTA convention. I don’t like large events (I hate crowds), and many of the attendees, like other travel industry insiders, often find my advocacy an annoying roadblock to achieving higher profits. I understand that.

Besides, the press was reportedly banned from some of the best parts of the event, such as Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech.

So mostly, we stayed at our vacation rental in Mission Beach and I caught up on work while Kari and the kids documented their adventure for our family travel blog. We had a little breaking news, which made things interesting, but apart from that, it wasn’t the week to take San Diego by storm.

Related story:   Indoor Edmonton (please check your light saber with your jacket)

Our next stop is Mendocino County, home of California’s famous Redwoods.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

  • Nikki

    Well, the one thing I’ve learned about San Diego, since reconnecting with my classmates there… it might change, but it will always be there. :) I’m glad you all had a chance to get to O’side.. I spent my teen years between Oceanside and Golden Hill/San Diego, and some of my best memories are along the water in San Diego County.

    (I’ll plead the Fifth regarding Tijuana… mostly because I probably drank the fifth down there. Lesson learned: never try to write your name in a snow display down there.)


    Laughing a bit at your statement that travel industry insiders view your advocacy as a roadblock to achieving higher profits. I find that a bit arrogant. You column often helps people with real problems, but lately has seemed to want to blame problems caused by the travelers themselves on others. With the people you help, the amount you recover does not dent the profit of the large companies you are dealing with. It is more a public relations accommodation for them then a dent in their profit margins.

  • Your comment made me giggle. If you think this site is about recovering a few bucks for travelers, you haven’t been reading very long. Please pay attention and you will understand.


    You are right. I have not been reading very long at all. But what I have seen so far have been important things for individual passengers but not anything that would have a huge impact on specific companies as of yet. I have been reading the Ombudsman column in Conde Nast for years but only started reading yours regularly in the past couple months. So I will wait it out and see. And I love to be good for a giggle. If we cannot laugh at ourselves and enjoy when others laugh at and with us then life would be rather dull.

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