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5 Free Things to do while Visiting San Francisco


5 Free Things to do while Visiting San Francisco

Anyone who knows me well knows that I like cheap and free things to do with the family. It isn't that I'm not willing to pay good money for good fun, I just happen to believe that the best fun is sometimes as free as the wind. The same holds true when visiting new cities like San Francisco. I will invest a great amount of time looking for activities that me and other members of my family can enjoy for little or no money. This saves money for other things like good food and souvenirs.

I'm also a big fan of David Letterman and in that spirit I decided to devise a top five list of my very own in honor of Mr. Letterman's Top 10 list. My big 5 list consists of things to do for free when visiting San Francisco.

1) Golden Gate Bridge. This is a favorite among tourists for many reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that it is one landmark that belongs only to San Francisco. It is uniquely a part of this city and represents, for many, your entire trip. Another reason is that there are so many ways to get there. I recommend walking and if you're up for it, try one of the guided walking tours-this will provide valuable background information about the bridge as well as insuring that you don't get lost on the way. 2) Golden Gate Park. This park is larger than New York's Central Park and in my opinion equally grand. There is so much to do and see in Golden Gate Park that you could spend a good portion of your vacation here alone. 3) Cable Car Museum. Kids of all ages will find this museum interesting, especially big and little boys. This museum definitely offers a great deal of education and excitement for the family. In addition to learning about these neat cable cars which have become a trademark of San Francisco transportation. This is one museum I would pay to go to, the fact that it is free is a bonus that I can't resist and the primary reason it is on this particular top ten list.4) Walking Tours of San Francisco. These free walking tours are not only entertaining; they are also very informative as well. Learn about the history of the neighborhoods that this city is famous for as well as the great people who rebuilt a grand city, literally from the ashes of what it once was and made it even better. San Francisco has a wonderful story to tell and these guides narrate it wonderfully.5) San Francisco Fire Department Museum. For the big kid in all of us that wanted to grow up to be a fire fighter, this museum takes the cake. Not only does it provide great historical references and artifacts but it is also really cool! I can think of no greater compliment to give a museum than that. This one, even your children will enjoy and beg to go back again and again.

Whether you are a big kid, a little kid, or just a kid at heart these activities are a great and inexpensive way to pass a day or two while on vacation. If you can't stand the thought of saving money or not spending it, I'm sure each of these places will be glad to accept donations or at the very least sell you something at the gift shop (if the place you are visiting has one). Regardless, I hope my suggestions have gotten your mental wheels turning and you are coming up with your own great ways to enjoy the day without spending a lot of green.

Air Travel What You Need to Know About Your Checked Baggage


Air Travel: What You Need to Know About Your Checked Baggage

When it comes to air travel, many travelers are more concerned with their carryon luggage than they are with their bags that will be handed over to airport staff. These bags, commonly referred to as checked baggage, are just as important, if not more important, than your carryon luggage. For this reason, there are a number of different factors that you should take into consideration, when packing your bags for your next flight.

One mistake that many travelers make, when it comes to checked baggage, is including prohibited items in their bag. In addition to prohibited items, there have also been instances of travelers trying to hide illegal items in their checked luggage. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, it isn't. In fact, with today's airport security screening, it is virtually impossible for you to get away with storing prohibited or illegal items inside your checked baggage. This is mostly due to the fact that the screening process has dramatically changed from what it was in the past, say ten years ago.

In the past, certain airlines only randomly searched checked baggage. Many times, these searches were only implemented if airline officials or airport security had probable cause. Today, all bags are checked, including your checked luggage. Most checks will quickly be done, but, in some cases, more extensive searches may be conducted. A quick check of your luggage may include rummaging through all of your belongings, looking for anything out of the ordinary. An extensive search could include searching all of your clothing pockets and baggage compartments. In the event that you are subject to one of those checks, it is likely that you will be caught if you are trying to conceal a cigarette lighter or other prohibited items.

Since your bags will be checked, all of them, you are advised against locking your baggage before heading to the airport. After your bags have been properly screened, some airlines will allow you to replace the locks on your checked baggage, but not all will. For this reason, you may want to reconsider storing expensive items, such as electronic equipment, in your bags. In addition to the possibility of theft, you will find that items packed inside your checked luggage are at a higher risk for being damaged then those that are in your carryon bags.

When packing your bags, which will be checked at the airport, it is also advised that you carefully pack them. There are a number of items, including sharp objects, which are prohibited from being stored in your carryon luggage, but those items can be placed in your checked baggage. As previously mentioned, airport security will likely examine those bags. Even during a quick examination, they will rummage through your belongings. For that reason, you are advised to properly package and secure all items that can be considered dangerous, such as those with sharp edges or points. This extra precaution may not only affect your safety, when you to go unpack your bags, but the safety of all airport security officials, especially those screening your luggage.

By taking the time to famialrize yourself with all travel rules, including the airport screening process, you should be able to pack your bags for your next flight, the right way. The wrong way, although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, could have serious consequences.

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