If you follow us on Snapchat or Instagram you saw my shenanigans while in San Francisco a few weeks ago, but if you don’t (which you should…) I’m going to recap all of the good, bad and ugly of visiting San Fran. But most importantly I’m going to be telling you how to do it all… on a budget!
My Trip To San Francisco On A Budget
Where did I Stay: I stayed at Red Roof Plus in Burlingame. I always forget that most major airlines aren’t actually in the city that they are named after so… this inn is about 10 minutes away from San Francisco airport, however both the inn and the airport are in the town of Burlingame, about 20-25 minutes outside of San Francisco.
The Red Roof Plus offers some amazing amenities at an affordable price so it was an obvious choice in visiting San Fran on a budget. I’m also a very big homebody even when traveling so after experiencing all of the touristy visits that San Francisco had to offer, I was happy to just be able to head to my room and relax comfortably. As you can see below… I hopped onto that King size bed with my pizza, threw on Netflix and chilled. And yes… Red Roof offers free wifi!! Which is always a definite plus. Being a true New Yorker, I like for things to be open at all times just in case I want to grab something to eat. The Red Roof Plus has a 24 hour diner attached to it… and the food was yummy!
The Red Roof is also very kid and pet friendly which is definite plus when traveling. Best part you can bring your furry friends at no extra charge. My only issue with staying at the Red Roof was the distance from San Fran. Besides having to take a 20.00 Uber into San Fran, I highly recommend if you’re looking to travel to San Fran and want to save some coin while doing so, the Red Roof Plus is a definite great choice. You just may want to get a rental car to make things a bit easier going in and out of the city.
What did I do: Whenever I visit new places I like to do all of the touristy stuff that the city is known for. So I hit up Google and figured out my game plan. Because I was a bit out of the city, I had to do everything in one day. I also wanted to make sure that I was making the most fiscally sound decisions while sight seeing. While doing my research I found different sights that I didn’t even know existed outside of the regular Golden Gate bridge. My first stop was to Lombard Street. When people in New York complain about hills… I will kindly refer them to the streets in San Fran… because those are SERIOUS!
Lombard street is one of the crazy windy streets in San Fran and it is a huge tourist stop. I took 23 dollar Lyft to the top of the street. After taking plenty of pics, I decided to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was about a 20 minute walk and the weather was fairly decent (It was oddly warmer and nicer in New York so I heard…). Fisherman’s Wharf is awesome… and this is coming from a person who doesn’t really love seafood or seafood activities. If you’re from New York I would correlate Fisherman’s Wharf to South Street Seaport or Chelsea Piers. It has a ton of San Francisco history, as well as cool activities to do, so I really enjoyed visiting. I also was able to grab Baked Bear which is one of my favorite desert spots on the west coast.
After leaving Fisherman’s Wharf I took another 20-25 minute walk to Chinatown. Chinatown in San Fran is one of the first and most authentic in the country. It was beautiful… and extremely crowded. So if you decide to head there, be prepared to bump into a few people as you’re stopping to take in the sights. From Chinatown I took at 9 dollar Uber to the Golden Gate Bridge welcome center. The welcome center is where you get the BEST views of the bridge and its where the entrance of the bridge is. I initially wanted to run across the bridge, but I didn’t want to do so carrying all of my things and I knew I wouldn’t head back out there the following day. So instead… I walked across and though it was windy I got some of the beautiful sights of the city.
The last place I visited was the house from Full House. I am a major fan of the show, and for years I knew if I ever made it to San Fran I would definitely go see the house. It was an odd moment for me… I took a 5 dollar Uber from the Golden Gate bridge to the house, and I was excited for all of 3 minutes. The house doesn’t exactly look like the house from the show (The red door was missing) and the house is currently under construction. But it was still exciting to see a part of TV history in person. And as a heads up to those who may want to go visit in the future, the creator of the show has bought the house for a cool 4 million dollars back in December 2016 and is going to be trying to put it back into its Full House glory. He also wants to open it up to the public to actually go inside. If I ever make it back to San Fran I will go revisit and see all of the changes the has in store.
After visiting the Full House house house I took a 15 dollar Uber back to the Red Roof Inn, grabbed some food from the diner and called it a night. On Saturday I took a free shuttle to downtown Burlingame and did some minor shopping. Really I didn’t want to spend much more money, and I wanted to just see what downtown Burlingame was about. I initially wanted to take a quick walk to Bon Chon and CREAM but… instead I walked around for a few hours and then headed back to the Red Roof.
HOW MUCH DID I SPEND: I was partnered with Red Roof Inn for this visit so I received a complimentary stay, however for my three night stay it would average about 170.00 dollars in total. Outside of the lodging, with food, minor shopping, and my Uber rides I spent about an extra 150.00. I would’ve loved to spend way less on my cab rides, and that is definitely doable. In total my Uber rides cost about 60.00 dollars for that one day in the city. If you don’t want to rent a car, I do recommend taking public transportation. I was just too lazy to figure out the ins and outs of the public transportation system and wanted to capitalize on time. But if you are staying outside of the city public transportation is definitely an option.
Overall I had a great time in San Francisco and I greatly recommend visiting this beautiful city. It is expensive yes, but living in New York you figure out a few tricks on how to get the most bang for your buck!
You can also follow our travel board on Pinterest for more budget friendly travel and activities to do in various amazing cities.
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.