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Holiday in San Francisco

Glasgow, United...
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Holiday in San Francisco

I am travelling to San Francisco in June this year and have arranged to stay in Fishermans wharf for 5 day before travelling to LA. I am travelling in from the UK and intend to visit Alcatraz and Yosemite Park and other attractions. There are four of us travelling and when I check the cost of the trips to these places the cost is expensive. I have looked at hiring a car and driving to Yosemite park and the wine district but my travel agent is advising me not to hire a car and just take their prearranged deals. Can someone give me some advise on use of a Car in San Francisco or is it better to take the travel agents advice

San Francisco
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1. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

If I had a dime for all the bad advice foreign travel agents have given visitors to SF I'd be rolling in dough.

Using a car to see the city is not recommended but it sounds like with 4 people it would be much more economical to rent a car and get around by yourselves. Yes, you do have to adjust tot he "wrong" side of the road but I've driven quite a bit in the British Isles and never nicked anyone or anything. Of course, the travel agent is getting a nice commission on those expensive day trips!

One other thing, unless you're travelling with kids (which it doesn't sound like you are) I wouldn't recommend Fisherman's Wharf as a place to stay unless you enjoy uber tacky, touristy environments. There are tons of hotels in the Union Square area which will fit any budget. What is your budget per night?

San Francisco
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2. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

Just so you know--in case it's something else the travel agent did not tell you--Yosemite is not in the immediate San Francisco area, but about 4 hours away.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

I don't think that White Dahlia is recommending a car for you in your days in San Francisco, but for your trip to Yosemite., etc. Don't pick up the car until you leave San Francisco. Hotel parking cost in San Francisco is outrageous, but the public transportation system is excellent.

For the rest of the trip, I would not give that travel agent a dime in commission and do it by driving yourselves. Their "prearranged deals" make money or them and a bad trip for you.

Tell us our itinerary and we can give you great ways to get where you want to be.

Glasgow, United...
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4. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

Thanks for your response, unfortunately we have booked a hotel in Fisherman's Wharf, it was the best hotel that they offered - I spent hours reading reviews on various website regarding the accommodation they offered some of which was well and truly substandard. I am hoping to visit Alcatraz when I am over, again the travel agent will not provide me with tickets for Alcatraz they are also giving me the hop on hop off bus tour for 72 hours as part of their deal at a price of £57. Yes I would like to see San Francisco on the tours, but I also wish to see the Yosemite National Park....unfortunately we are only in San Francisco area for 4 full days, 5 nights and then we travel to Los Angeles for four days and then onto Las Vegas

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

. You have 4 days and they are all paid for in FW ? Which hotel ? The more info one provides and the more specific the question the better we can help

What prevents you from booking your own Alcatraz cruise at www.alcatrazcruises.com and booking your own tour or sightseeing Ho-ho tour if that is what you want

Why are you at the mercy of the travel agent . It is your money and your vacation so outside the air and hotel stuff you seem to have already paid for, FORGET that agent and do your own booking

If you have 4 days in SF then perhaps Extranomical or incredible adventures day tour to YNP may be an option in lieu of driving

Edited: 26 January 2014, 12:46
Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

I am booked into the Best Western Plus The Tuscan at Fisherman's Wharf for the 5 nights. I have no problem driving in the US as I have done so on a number of occasions and distance does not bother me. I am trying to manage my budget by keeping costs down so that we can enjoy all the sights in the cities as I am paying for my two adult students who are coming along.

Thanks for the advice re Alcatraz and will put the reminder on my Calendar to purchase tickets in March for this trip, since they will not take advance booking this far away.

Would it therefore be more advisable to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel and maybe rent a car on after a couple of days to travel to Yosemite National Park or rent the car at the airport and pay for parking at the hotel and therefore it is on hand should we wish to travel north over the Golden Gate bridge away from downtown San Francisco. And if renting a car where is the most advisable place to rent one, the only problem is I will not be intending to return the car until I arrive in Las Vegas. Also should you just pay for the cable cars when you get on or should I look for a pass so that we can travel down town into the Financial/ shopping areas - or is there better ways for four adults to travel around the city.

I look forward to hearing your views on this matter

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

The Tuscan Inn seems to be getting good reviews so you have a descent hotel in the FW area.

what is your overall itinerary ? Are you spending 4 days in SF and then going to Yosemite and from there to LA ?

As far as car rentals go please look at www.rentalcars.com and the UK sites of Hertz, avis, budget, Alamo and Enterprise. They will give you a car with insurance included and no drop off fees in LV

here is my suggestion -- there are plenty of itineraries that cover CA in the top questions on the CA forum.

There is a question on using Muni and Muni Passport in the top question on the right side of this San Francisco forum page. A passport lets you unlimited rides and is one way of seeing SF and there is a TQ on using MUNI to get around from FW. It may be too expensive imho to do both HO-HO and MUNI passport so you could do one or the other -- or you could just get a MUNI day pass for the day you are doing cable cars

Romford
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8. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

Hi Gordon

We did a similar trip last year but started in LA and planned our own itinerary. We rented the car through car3000 in the UK before we went I think you will find this cheaper and they don't charge for dropping off at a different location. We had the car for our San Francisco stay but from there we drove to Yosemite and stayed there on our way to Vegas. It is handy to have a car in San Fran if you want to cross the bridge and explore Muir Woods and Sauselito. We booked the Alcatraz tickets ourselves very easy and very reasonable price for a not to be missed experience.

Glasgow, United...
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9. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

Hi Angela,

Thanks for that information concerning renting a car from Car 3000 they are certainly a lot cheaper than what my travel agent are quoting. When you were in Las Vegas did you keep and use the rented car or did you return it to the rental company. My travel agent state that there is no need for a car there and that if I want to go to the Grand Canyon I should use one of there deal for a helicopter or fixed wing flight because driving to the park is in excess of 6 hours

Can you advise me what your opinion is of this

Glasgow, United...
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10. Re: Holiday in San Francisco

Hi Belomiser,

Thanks for all this advice and I will have a read of all the other topics as you have pointed out in the forum.

I am presently trying to formulate a itinerary - I arrive from London on the 18th June,

Would like to visit Alcatraz, Yosemite National Park, Muir Wood, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and see some of San Francisco City area

I have not been to San Francisco before, and any of my friends that have been there before went with the package deals, but when you are paying for 4 adults you are looking to save money but achieve a great holiday.

As you can see I am open to all the advice and guidance I can get