DO pick a fun location with attractions.
DON'T pick a location that has rapid forest fires where people have had to evacuate their homes.
(We went to Santa Cruz, which had forest fires, just not in the area we visited. When I told someone where we went, she asked if I had brought something to BBQ and some marshmallows! Not a bad idea.)
DO get a motel with two separate bedrooms.
DON'T try out a new sleeping arrangement with your youngest thinking that it will magically work for one night. Just say for example, putting your 3 kids in one room for the first time and hoping that they would go to sleep quickly or even within a normal time frame.
DO pack your things first.
DON'T leave yourself to the end. You will probably leave something home that is a necessity. For example, something like contact solution.
DO buy contact solution.
DON'T try to shop when you can't see. You may think you are buying apples for .79 a pound, when in fact, you have grab several different types of apples and paid 3.00 a pound for them.
DO bring a map of the city.
DON'T drive around trying to find your way. You may find you are driving in circles.
DO plan on visiting something fun for all ages.
DON'T go in a group with people who are "real" tourists. They may take pictures in every combination and location possible, keeping the group from continuing onward because they are waiting for the "real" tourists to finish. And they will probably be in every picture like the guy in the yellow.
DO give yourself some space when with a group in a confined area.
DON'T leave yourself out and vulnerable because someone could stand right on top of you(and I mean it literally)during the presentation and incidentally they are not wearing deodorant and just happen to be with the guy in the yellow.
DO plan on spending some money you normally wouldn't, because hey, you're on vacation.
DON'T take out a small loan.
We went to the wharf and looked at some sea lions-FREE
Played in the sand and watched a volleyball tournament-FREE
Walked on the boardwalk-FREE
Road some rides-NOT FREE
Ate some burritos and quesadillas-Definately NOT FREE
Made some new memories-PRICELESS