The art of using other people’s money, as our eloquent president most eloquently shared during the 2016 presidential campaign, gets you more with less. Thus has been our experience with every trip of ours to San Francisco.
The Art of Using Other People’s Money
If Disney World is the happiest place on earth, then San Francisco is quite possibly the gayest place on earth. We’ve been to San Francisco many times, and many times again, because we both had an employer with its home office in San Francisco. We were recently flown to San Francisco by another financial services firm to speak at an LGBT finance event.
When one of us flew there to work for our former employer, we attached the work trip to a long weekend and the other would join. This meant we only had to pay for one flight, often with miles we banked from other work travel. We extended a long weekend to our recent speaking gig, as well. For that, both our flights were paid by other people’s money.
Another benefit in using other people’s money was that our hotel, the same one we stayed at every single time we were in San Francisco and banked hotel points with, extended our employer’s corporate rate through our entire stay. Our employer paid for the time we worked in San Francisco and we paid for the rest.
All that was left to us were entertainment, drinking and dining costs. San Francisco is expensive all the way around, so this required diligence with our spending. With money-conscious planning, we had a money-conscious good time.
Our San Francisco Favorites
If you love garlic, you must try The Stinking Rose. Keep your eye’s peeled on Groupon. Occasionally, Groupon will have Stinking Rose discounts, such as $200 in gift cards for $150.
Our favorite bar in the Castro is Lookout because it’s perfectly positioned and designed for you to see and be seen by all the beautiful, eclectic people in the Castro. Lookout’s Facebook page is the best source for daily events, food, and drink specials.
Having been to San Francisco as much as we have, we know we’ll spend a few hundred dollars on clothes at Body. There’s no way to get a discount here unless there’s a clearance sale. So, we budget accordingly because we love the stylish, casual fashion we can’t get in Denver.
The best coffee in San Francisco, we think, is Blue Bottle Coffee. We frequent the Ferry Building location, which is at Fisherman’s Wharf. Blue Bottle Coffee often posts discounts and contests on their Facebook page. We typically stop there for a light breakfast and a heavy pour of coffee. This is cheaper than a full breakfast and nourishes us enough to enjoy the city until lunchtime.
Our Favorite San Francisco Day
Our favorite day ever in San Francisco was when we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf from our hotel in the financial district. At Fisherman’s Wharf, we rented bikes that we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Many bike rental vendors offer online discounts, such as San Francisco Bike Rentals, which can save you 20%.
In Sausalito, we window-shopped on the main strip (I may have bought stuff). We then went to Sushi Ran for lunch and had the best sushi we’ve ever. It was absolutely delicious! Sushi Ran serves Honig Sauvignon Blanc, which is one of our favorite sauvs. Because we were there for lunch on a weekday, there weren’t many people and the lunch menu was cheaper than the dinner menu.
After we ate, we caught the last ferry back to the city from Sausalito. The last ferry leaves early, like 5 PM, so be ready unless you want to ride your bike back across The Golden Gate Bridge. We were tired and didn’t want to make that effort.
Our tip here is to figure out how to use other people’s money to pay for your travel. For most people, the answer is to get their employer to pay for it.