This is the worlds leading source of financial content on the web, ranging from market news to retirement strategies, investing education to insights from advisors.
Forex Forever!

Traveling to San Francisco on a Budget

Author: Christopher Taylor

San Francisco is a vibrant, stunning, culturally iconic city. No place like it exists in America or the world. It is also one of the most expensive cities in America. Real estate prices are higher than anywhere on the mainland, not named Manhattan. Gas regularly costs as much as 50% more than the national average, and grocery bills in San Francisco rank among the nation's highest.

Do not let high prices in San Francisco scare you away from vacationing there. You can enjoy the city on a budget. By doing research and planning ahead of time, you can find an inexpensive flight deal and a safe and affordable hotel, and build your vacation itinerary with a long list of unique San Francisco activities that will not break the bank.

Flight Deals

San Francisco is served by San Francisco International Airport (SFO) which is the second busiest airport in California behind LAX and the seventh busiest in America. Hundreds of flights take off from and land at SFO every day; you are bound to find a great deal among them.

United Airlines, along with its regional carrier, United Express, offers the most flights to and from SFO. The other major airlines, such as American and Delta, also fly into SFO. The easiest way to compare fares among the major airlines is on a third-party travel site, such as Priceline or Expedia. SFO also hosts several value airlines, such as JetBlue, Virgin and Frontier. Depending on where you live, you might find a lower fare on one of these airlines. Since value airlines do not appear on third-party sites, check their websites individually to compare fares.

A major benefit of flying into SFO is the airport connects directly with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), one of the finest public transportation systems in any American city. BART can connect you to your hotel and to just about any tourist destination you can think of; it renders a car rental largely unnecessary.

Hotel Deals

San Francisco is home to over 200 hotels. With BART's expansive public transportation network covering most of the city, you have some flexibility in where you stay. Once again, third-party sites, such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, are your best friend for a hotel search. These sites aggregate current hotel deals and update pricing information at least daily. They make searching in a designated area easy; some even let you draw boundaries on a city map and specify your price range, and then they show you the hotels within those boundaries that are available at your requested price.

The crime rate in San Francisco is not terrible, but certain areas are more desirable than others. If staying in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood is of top concern, look to the Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square areas. Both have low crime and are popular with tourists but still feature affordable lodging options.

Have Fun

San Francisco offers an abundance of ways to have fun for little to no cost. If you like art galleries, the city is inundated with them. Check out 49 Geary, Ratio 3 and Diego River Gallery.

Catching a San Francisco Giants baseball game during the week is often inexpensive. If you want to catch a game with no ticket, the waterfront promenade east of the stadium offers an unobstructed view of the field for free.

Cable cars are a rich part of San Francisco's history. Visiting the Cable Car Museum, which houses still-functioning cable cars from the 1800s, is an authentically San Francisco way to spend an afternoon without breaking the bank.

A San Francisco vacation is not complete until you visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Stretching 1.7 miles, the bridge can be traversed on foot or bicycle, and buses are available to bring you back. Make sure to stop for a minute and take in the amazing view of Alcatraz and the city's iconic skyline.

last five articles

#1090 Credit Score Ranges: What Do They Mean?

Author: Matthew Davis

Calculated with a formula based on variables including payment history, credit length and amount owed, your credit score may affect the interest rate you pay to a lender and even make the difference between a loan being approved or declined. Read on to learn a few credit score basics, and what sc... see more

#783 Getting a Home Equity Loan with Bad Credit

Author: Andrew Williams

Home equity finance is a great way for property owners to turn the unencumbered value of their home into cash. For homeowners with bad credit, these particular loans provide a way to borrow money that is more likely to get approved and offers lower interest rates than traditional loans or revolvi... see more

#1263 Car Insurance Applications: What If You Lie?

Author: Andrew Williams

Slightly more than half of all applicants for auto insurance don't tell the truth, trying to save a few bucks on premiums, according to a survey of 3,000 consumers by insurance marketplace CoverHound.com. Men and women lie equally to insurers, while Millennials are more likely to prevaricate than... see more

#1655 4 Reasons Why Americans Retire in the Dominican Republic

Author: Michael Smith

Many Americans have looked at overseas destinations for retirement living. With a lower cost of living, better climates and more hospitable locals, many locations outside the United States provide better retirement options.The Dominican Republic, for example, is a great retirement option t... see more

#264 Millennials: How Buying Life Insurance Now Can Pay Off

Author: Andrew Smith

Landing your dream job, or your dream internship. Moving to a new city. Embarking on a torrid love affair (or three?). Meeting the love of your life. Buying your first house, or saving up for it. Finishing your first marathon. There are so many possible bucket list items to complete in your 20s,... see more