Weekend Wanderings: The Quick Travel Guide To San Francisco

Weekends are there to be discovered. Making the most of your time off each week is the perfect way to travel further, expand your horizons and see a little more of the country. While jetting off to an exotic location might not be exactly in your remit, there are tons of places in the local vicinity just waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to wonder spots, there are few places as well kitted out as San Francisco. Offering up its fair share of city hangouts, seaside spots and hiking zones, the city has a little bit of something for everyone. Culturally vibrant and packed to the rafters with foodie spots, San Francisco is just begging to be explored over the course of a weekend. All you need to do is pack your bags, note down your favorite travel spots and get exploring!

Hotels come in many shapes and sizes in San Francisco and there is something to meet any kind of budget. In terms of budget spots, you might be hard pressed to find anything quite as luxe as the Mayflower Hotel. A family owned establishment, the hotel dates back to the Victorian times, boasting a more than impressive history. Inside, rooms are vintage and plush in style, kitted out with all of the essentials for an overnight stay.

If, however, you’re choosing to go a little more upmarket with your sleep spot, San Francisco is a real melting pot of different spots. The Parker Guest Hotel is a fantastic mid-range budget spot, offering up airy rooms with an impressive amount of space. The hotel is within a five minute walk of the Mission Dolores Park, giving you a great excuse to get out early and explore the local area. Hotels on the higher end of the spectrum don’t disappoint, either, and if you’re going to spend a little more on your stay, you should do so in the vicinity of The Fairmont. Within walking distance of all the essential districts, the hotel makes getting around a real breeze. If you don’t want to spend a night in the hotel, you can still get the Fairmont experience by popping in for an afternoon tea experience.

Hotel sorted, it’s time to cast your net a little further and get acquainted with what the city has to offer in terms of entertainment. Riding a cable car is a great activity to undertake just after having arrived in the city. The transport is cheap, spans most of the city’s essential districts and is quintessentially San Franciscan. If you’re heading to the bay, you have to stop in to take a look at Pier 39. While it might be one of the more touristy places in the city, the area serves up all the best parts of bay living, helping you kick back like a real local.

Culture is high on the cards in San Francisco and there are plenty of spots worth checking out. If you have a little more time on your hands, a trip to Alcatraz Island should be high up on your list. Make sure you plan your trip ahead to get the best out of your experience and take a good pair of walking shoes with you. You can also try taking your wanderings a little off the map with a trip to Chinatown. The largest of its kind outside Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown is buzzing with life at any point in the day, serving up a whole other sort of local culture.

Rural spots abound in the city and if you’re looking to kick back, there are plenty of picturesque walks to be had. While you might want to head to the Muir woods for a stroll amongst the trees, you would do just as well to take a peek at the Sutro Baths. A local favorite, the baths are located at the end of a picturesque coastal walk, letting you take in all the marine beauty that the city has to offer.

Eating is just as a big deal in the city, so make sure you have all of your foodie facts before heading out into San Francisco. If you’re on the lookout for a few sweet treats, heading to the Tartine Bakery should be high up on your list. Kitted out with a fantastic selection of pastries, breads and baked goods, the spot is the perfect place in which to sip on a morning coffee. If on to go food is more your thing, try turning your attention to The Mission area of the city. Delicious street food abounds in the area, so make sure you have plenty of cash to take with you. You also can’t leave the city without taking a visit to Hog Island Oyster Co. A classic San Franciscan seafood experience, the restaurant is bursting with local goodies and always worth a try.

San Francisco is a city waiting to be discovered and whether you have just one day or a long weekend, you can really lose yourself in the coastal Californian spot.

Staycation: How To See More When You’re Staying At Home

Vacations are a great way to see the world, get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. What happens, then, when you’re staying at home? With everyone jetting off at all times of the year, it can begin to feel like you’re getting left behind. It turns out, however, that adventure could be waiting for you. Your hometown is bursting with opportunity and even if you’re staying at home for your holidays this year, you can still have a great time. It’s all about adjusting your perspective. Once you take off your resident hat, you can see your town through the eyes of a tourist. There is a whole world out there to be discovered and it starts with where you live!

Throw Your Routine Away

Your vacation time is your chance to kick back, relax and forget about who you are for a little bit. If you’re going to make the most of traveling where you live, you need to throw your normal routine to the wind and explore your local area in a different way. Forget about the places that you normally go to and look to a different part of town. To make your task a little easier, you can try renting an Airbnb or hotel room in a different part of town. Treat yourself to the things you normally would if you were on holiday. Get up late, take a long bath and make yourself a special breakfast. Give yourself a cultural task to do for the day and try that bakery on the other side of town. The aim is to explore further, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Turn Off Your Emails

Just because you’re still at home, it doesn’t mean that you should make yourself available to work emails at every moment. While staying at home might make you feel like you have to keep checking in with work, you should try and take a break from your usual schedule in order to kick back. Turn off your email alerts and put your out of office on your phone. Give any pressing information to your colleagues and tell them to phone you only in the case of an emergency. This is your time to relax, so you should make the most out of it.

Eat Out, Often

It is so often the food that makes our holidays memorable. If you’re used to eating in when you’re at home, try treating yourself to a few great meals out when you’re on your staycation. Make a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to try and make a few reservations. Try choosing somewhere a little more expensive than normal, or stopping in for a coffee and a pastry on your way home. Making each meal an event of sorts is a great way to really kick back and feel like you’re having the vacation of your dreams.

Make A Local Bucket List

We all have a number of places in our local towns that we’ve been meaning to try but simply have never got around to. Your staycation is the perfect opportunity in order to get more done. Before your holiday comes into effect, try making a list of all the places that you’ve been meaning to try. Experiencing your hometown through the eyes of a tourist can help to up your appreciation of where you live. Add as much as you like to the list and get exploring!

Keep Your Camera With You

A staycation isn’t really a staycation unless you capture a few of your memories along the way. Reaching for your camera when you’re on holiday might be second nature but when you’re in your hometown, you might struggle to find an opportunity to take a snap or two. To create a memorable experience, try taking a camera with you wherever you go. The chances are that if you do, you will begin to look at places in greater detail and spot areas that you had never seen before. Taking the time to document small details will help to boost each experience and help you to capture the essence of your staycation!

Treat Yourself

One of the joys about going on holiday is the opportunity to splurge a little now and then. While you don’t need to drop huge amounts in order to have fun, you can allow yourself a little extra spending here and there in order to make the most out of your time off. Try going for a nice meal, treating yourself to a new clothing item or seeing every museum in the local area. You’ve already saved a huge deal on flights and hotels, so don’t be afraid to go the extra mile for yourself.

Travel Further: Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Traveling further can open up your eyes to all sorts of cultures that you never knew existed. Getting beyond the everyday might just help you to see the world anew, find a new purpose, or discover where it is you’re meant to be in your life. Taking that one big trip, however, can be a very big deal and unless you’re born with a self-assured sense of confidence, you might find it hard to really put yourself out there. Getting out of your comfort zone and going further with your next big trip can seem like a very scary prospect but once you finally do it, you can reap all kind of benefits. Getting up the courage to get out there starts from the inside out and as soon as you start to adjust your perspective, you can go further than you ever dreamed.

Pick Up A New Language

Want to feel more assured once you hit the ground? Try picking up the local language. If you’re journeying to a place in which the locals speak a different language from your own, then you might feel concerned about getting around and finding the essentials. While there will always be somebody there who can help you with what you need, learning a new language can help you to feel more at ease and more aware. Knowing that you can cover your back in a crisis is a great sense of relief and simply being able to communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more sweet. If you pick up enough of the foreign language, you can even try forging friendships with people who live abroad. The bigger your circles of friends around the world, the smaller the place will feel.

Venture Out On Your Own

If you really want to experience what’s out there in the world, heading out on a solo trip is a great way to go about it. While traveling alone should be done only after you’ve weighed up all of the pros and cons, doing so can completely transform your trip. When you travel alone, you are forced to put yourself out in the world and communicate with the people around you. With only yourself to rely on, your sense of confidence is likely to shoot through the roof and before long, you will be able to take on anything the world throws your way. Going it alone will be scary at first but before long, you will feel right at home in the world.

Talk To The People Around You

Want to know the best way to really get to know a new place? Talk to the people around you. Whether it’s with locals or other travelers, talking to the people that you meet can introduce you to a whole range of different places you might never have found otherwise. If you’re staying in a hostel, try to get to know the other people that you meet along the way. It’s more than likely that you will meet individuals from all sorts of different cultures, which will give you an insight into another way of life. Traveling can open up your eyes but it is the people you meet who will really surprise you.

Make Up Your Own Mind

Not sure whose advice to listen to when it comes to picking a country? Try going with your heart. While getting to grips with a place before you leave can give you a greater understanding of how it works, don’t take other people’s’ opinions too seriously. A travel review is just that; a review of another person’s experience, dependent upon a whole range of different circumstances. Make sure you’re safe before you travel, of course, but try and leave your judgment at home before you venture off.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Scared

While the whole “do one thing a day that scares you” thing might be a little on the clichéd side, it can be a great way of approaching your trip away. Before you go, try thinking about what it really is that scares you (within reason) and aiming to tackle it head on when you’re away. If you’re unsure about foreign food, make it your mission to try a different local dish every night. If speaking in a new language makes you feel uncomfortable, try to find one local person to speak to at least once a day. Putting yourself out there can feel hard at first but eventually, your fears will melt away into new habits.