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MikeAqua
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  #2039697 18-Jun-2018 13:30
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When we went to Alcatraz Steve Hansen and his partner were on the same ferry as us.





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sonyxperiageek

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  #2039853 18-Jun-2018 15:45
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I've heard that if one is lucky, they may be able to snap up some reserve ferry tickets trying to get to Alcatraz if you rock up.





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sonyxperiageek

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  #2039901 18-Jun-2018 16:41
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Do we have to get a IDP to drive in San Fran or will our NZ Driver's License work? Just curious, what's the minimum legal driving age in San Fran?





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Kiwifan
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  #2039926 18-Jun-2018 17:21
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We have always just produced our NZ DL and have had no worries through Alamo, Budget, Avis or Hertz. We have had the “you really need the extra insurance” speal so be careful what you sign for.

We have stayed at The Tuscan which is down by Pier 39, (now called Hotel Zoe)The Mosser which is off Market Street, The Handlery near Union Square and were lucky enough to get a special rate at The Westin right on Union Square. As noted, the days of cheap nights have gone sadly. Our first stay at The Tuscan in 2009 was around $US200 per night, now $US 439 best rate. Ouch!

sonyxperiageek

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  #2039927 18-Jun-2018 17:24
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Thanks. Do you reckon $1k NZD will be enough for food and leisure activities for 7 nights?





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Kiwifan
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  #2039951 18-Jun-2018 18:00
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We normally have breakfast in the room, granola, muffin each, yoghurt and coffee so about $10 worth. Lunch is usually a Subway foot long shared with a juice, $10 to $15, coffee for afternoon tea, $10 and we eat out in the evening which is between $80 to $100 which includes a wine or whisky and tips. (All pricing for a couple.)

The great thing about the States is there are plenty of choices!

eracode
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  #2039953 18-Jun-2018 18:13
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sonyxperiageek:

Thanks. Do you reckon $1k NZD will be enough for food and leisure activities for 7 nights?



That’s roughly US$85/day. That’s probably OK but the answer depends on where and what you eat and how many meals, what you end up doing, etc. It’s a ‘your mileage may vary’ thing.




Sometimes I just sit and think. Other times I just sit.


 
 
 
 


Scott3
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  #2039999 18-Jun-2018 19:47
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sonyxperiageek:

 

Do we have to get a IDP to drive in San Fran or will our NZ Driver's License work? Just curious, what's the minimum legal driving age in San Fran?

 



Generally you don't need an IDP for English speaking countries. I never used one in the USA. Regarding driving age, the more relevant factor is what is the minimum age somebody will rent you are car. For Alamo (rental company I used), their minimum age is 21, but they charge extra fees if you are under 25. Most other rental companies have some kind of similar policy.

 

 

 

sonyxperiageek:

 

Thanks. Do you reckon $1k NZD will be enough for food and leisure activities for 7 nights?

 



Somebody else said that's $85 per day

You will have to be frugal. Costs add up in the US.

Hopefully you have made a separate allowance for transport, Taxi's add up fast (especially airport fairs, can be US$50+ tip), to get a public transport pass for the week is USD41. If you look at rental car's, make sure your quotes include insurance. Insurance can cost more than the rental fee (an you basically have to take it, as in the USA, no insurance means exactly that - it's not like NZ where the base fee includes high excess insurance.).


If you are staying in a big hotel, be aware, that you will be expected to pay a lot in tips. Parking is often valet only (pay a tip every drop off and pick up), bell-hops will expect to carry your bags (and be paid USD 6+ for it). Converges will expect a few dollars for city advice, door men will expect $1-2 for flagging taxi's for you.

That said, food is cheaper in the US than here, and stuff like chipotle is good value (no need to tip as no table service).

Activities can add up, a 1 day hop on hop off bus pass is US$50. Alkatraz tickets (if you could get them) are US$38. If you want to bike the bridge, standard price for bike rental is $36/24hrs.

On a $85 a day budget, you won't be doing too many paid activities.


maslink
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  #2040002 18-Jun-2018 19:59
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If you're going to get a car, then Monterey is nice (Aquarium is well worth while, stop in at Gilroy Outlet Mall on the way for some retail therapy if you want)

 

The Hackworth IMAX dome at The Tech Museum in San Jose is impressive

 

A walk through Golden Gate Park can be enjoyable on a nice day. Depending on your interests, the DeYoung Museum and/or California Academy of Sciences may be worth a look (Both in Golden Gate Park). 

 

Cable car ride from Market St across to Hyde St is good - great way to see the architecture...

 

View from Coit Tower is apparently impressive - never been there myself though.

 

Golden Gate boat trip and/or Alcatraz also good - boat trip alone is still worth it if you can't get to Alcatraz, even more impressive in some ways if it's foggy/bad weather.


frankv
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  #2040024 18-Jun-2018 20:43
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sonyxperiageek:

 

Do we have to get a IDP to drive in San Fran or will our NZ Driver's License work? Just curious, what's the minimum legal driving age in San Fran?

 

 

The IDP is a worthless money-making scheme for the AA. It has no legal value.

 

I bought one before my first trip overseas; when I went to hire a car (in Switzerland), they didn't care about the IDP at all... they wanted to see my NZDL.

 

NZ & USA (and many other countries) are signatories to an agreement which allows visitors to drive on their home drivers licence for up to a year, so you can drive in SF on your NZDL.

 

I have no idea what the minimum legal driving age is in California, nor whether someone who holds a NZDL but is below that age is allowed to drive there.

 

 


eracode
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  #2040041 18-Jun-2018 21:14
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frankv:

sonyxperiageek:


Do we have to get a IDP to drive in San Fran or will our NZ Driver's License work? Just curious, what's the minimum legal driving age in San Fran?



The IDP is a worthless money-making scheme for the AA. It has no legal value.


I bought one before my first trip overseas; when I went to hire a car (in Switzerland), they didn't care about the IDP at all... they wanted to see my NZDL.


NZ & USA (and many other countries) are signatories to an agreement which allows visitors to drive on their home drivers licence for up to a year, so you can drive in SF on your NZDL.


I have no idea what the minimum legal driving age is in California, nor whether someone who holds a NZDL but is below that age is allowed to drive there.


 



I just +1’ed your post above then thought about this further:

We currently have some French people staying in our home and we are in their home in France - a Home Exchange arrangement. Under this arrangement, we are driving each others’ cars while exchanging homes.

I think it’s not widely known that, under NZ law, if people from non-English speaking countries are driving in NZ, they need to have with them either (a) an English translation of their driving license prepared by an authorised NZ translator, or (b) an IDP from their home country (which automatically contains an English translation).

https://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/international-driving-licences-and-permits/

I don’t know whether NZ rental car companies enforce this requirement when letting cars go out. I do have an IDP with me while I’m currently driving in France - just in case - but I don’t think I really or strictly need it. But the international AA IDP scheme is not necessarily just a money-making, waste-of-time thing.

https://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/international-driving-licences-and-permits/








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sonyxperiageek

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  #2040094 18-Jun-2018 22:22
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Oh my goodness looking at accommodation is so darn pricey!




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sbiddle
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  #2040159 19-Jun-2018 07:58
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sonyxperiageek: Oh my goodness looking at accommodation is so darn pricey!

 

Did warn you. smile


MikeAqua
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  #2040229 19-Jun-2018 09:34
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We stayed at Hotel Zephyr on Fisherman's Wharf last time. Really nice.

 

Just don't eat at Fisherman's Wharf as it's generally an overpriced tourist trap. 





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doctormaxim
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  #2040231 19-Jun-2018 09:35
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sonyxperiageek:

Do we have to get a IDP to drive in San Fran or will our NZ Driver's License work? Just curious, what's the minimum legal driving age in San Fran?



I wouldn’t worry about IDP. I’ve only been asked for Drivers License and Passport from both Budget and Alamo. I think Fox may require it, but they had terrible reviews so I didn’t rent a car from them. On a side note and FWIW, I found Alamo the best to deal with and they only charged for the rental with no credit card holds.

If you do decide to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, just beware that there is closures not far from Big Sur. I drove up from LA to San Francisco so after visiting Hearst Caslte (highly recommend) we went inland on the 101 to Monterey, then back down PCH to Big Sur and back to Monterey. There is a quicker way to do it but apparently the road is extremely dangerous.

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