When planning a trip to Silicon Valley, it is hard to go wrong. Located just outside the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley is a hub of business, activity and culture. Whether the trip is for business or pleasure, Silicon Valley can be the perfect destination.
However, in order to make the most of the destination, it is important to be properly prepared. If you are planning a trip to this northern California hot spot, consider the following tips.
1. Pick your favorites. When thinking about a trip, start by deciding the things you really want to do. Traveling is always more time-consuming than expected, so it is good to have your favorite activities prioritized in order to make time for them. In fact, it may be helpful to buy tickets in advance to certain venues or performances, just to make sure you make time for them. Decide what day you will go shopping at Westgate Mall in San Jose. Purchase tickets to Raging Waters before you leave. Make reservations at Lightheart Cellars in San Martin.
2. Try something new. Silicon Valley has plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities, so there is always something new to explore. Maybe plan a trip to the South Bay Historical Railroad Society to see the Santa Clara Tower. Visit the Exploration Center at the NASA Ames Research Center, complete with a tour of the wind tunnels. Stop by the infamous HP Garage, where the first HP product was made in 1938. Try a meal at Buck’s of Woodside, where successful ventures like Hotmail, Tesla and more have been developed. Be sure to try at least one new thing.
3. Get your heart pumping. Lying around the hotel pool may be fun for a respite, but it should always be balanced with a few higher energy activities, too. Getting exercise is not only good for your body, but it can improve your mood and increase your energy level. Fortunately, there are ample opportunities for activity in Silicon Valley. Take a walk on the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which goes around and through the valley. Look for a hike in Big Basin Redwoods State Park or Castle Rock State Park, both in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stroll through the cities, or go for a bike ride.
4. Maintain a healthy diet. One great thing about traveling is a break from cooking and cleaning. However, while eating out is tasty, it can have an impact on your digestive system and overall health. Eating healthy while away from home can be difficult. Some hotels may have kitchenettes, which allow you to cook for yourself. It is also possible to find healthier options while out and about. Look for health food restaurants. Buy fresh fruit for snacks. Opt for lighter fare when at a restaurant.
5. Keep the budget in mind. With so much to do in Silicon Valley, it can be easy to just let all your responsibilities slide. However, never create more problems on your getaway. To avoid this, be mindful of your budget. Know in advance how much you can afford, and then figure out how much wiggle room you have. Factor in costs for travel, lodging and eating. Then, set aside funds for your favorite activities and for souvenirs. Then you will know how much extra you have to spend.
6. Stay centralized. With so much to do in Silicon Valley, having a plan to get around is essential. There are public transit options, and rental cars are available. However, the best way to maximize your time in the area is to pick a good, centralized hotel. Make sure your hotel is close to your favorite destinations. If you are going to be moving around throughout the valley, opt for a hotel near major roadways in centralized locales. This way it is possible to save time on your daily commute, which can enhance the experience.
7. Be willing to travel. While staying centralized is convenient, never let that limit what you do. There is plenty to do in Silicon Valley, but it is also a great starting point for day trips in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Take a day to go into San Francisco. Plan a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and spend some time in Sausalito with its good food and amazing art. Push your boundaries on the trip, and you can take your Silicon Valley trip to the next level.
8. Think about the environment. A trip to Silicon Valley is a great chance to get away, but just because you are away from home does not mean you have no responsibilities. California has some of the most spectacular landscapes and cityscapes in the entire country. As a guest in the area, it is important to do your part in preserving that. Some restaurants have environmentally friendly menus. There are businesses that have adopted green practices. Bring reusable bags. Even smaller things, like throwing your trash away and recycling, can go a long way.
9. Have a plan. The best way to get the most out of your trip to Silicon Valley is to have a plan. Know what you want to do and when you want to do it. Have reservations to your hotel, and book your rental car in advance. This way, you can have confidence that you will get to do everything on your list with no compromises. In addition to planning activities, be sure to allot time to rest and relax.
10. Stay open to change. While it is important to have a plan, never be too strict about it. Trips can change in ways you never expect. Do not limit yourself by staying too loyal to plans. If you have something you want to do, make time to do it. If you enjoy a certain area more than expected, clear out other parts of your schedule to make time for more. Your trip is always yours to control, and Silicon Valley can surprise anyone.
- The Best Budget-Friendly Hotel in Silicon Valley
- The Perfect Day Trip from Silicon Valley to Sausalito
When you run a hotel you are always looking at different ways to boost sales. Noticing trends and taking advantage of them is crucial to attracting new business and encouraging former guests to return for another stay at your hotel. One of the big trends today is in developing a cozy atmosphere in your hotel. Creating a casual space where guests can congregate and socialize or people can meet and discuss a business deal, makes your hotel more popular.
There are many opportunities to transform your hotel’s public spaces into cozy areas that encourage social conversations and interactions. Take a look at your lobby.
The lobby is the most obvious place to start because every guest passes through there anytime they enter or leave the hotel. You may have a few chairs and a table or two in there now. People may sit in those chairs while their spouse is checking in at the front desk, but they don’t hang out there. One thing you can do is to create group seating areas.
It all depends on the size of your lobby. If you have enough space, use it to encourage people to gather. Make sure you have a WiFi enabled lobby where people can use their electronic devices. You could set up some tables and chairs where people could work while sipping a cup of coffee. Some hotels like the Marriott and Sheraton are improving sales by turning their lobbies into great rooms where they serve wine or local craft beers.
When people feel comfortable, they stay longer and order more drinks or food items.
Another area that you can turn into a casual meeting space is outside around the pool or patio area. Put up some tables with umbrellas and have a light menu for poolside dining. People like casual places where they don’t have to dress up in a suit and tie.
Your hotel can boost sales by encouraging people who are not hotel guests to come and use some of the facilities. Making some of your public space available to both guests and people who just want a nice place to meet with a friend will improve your hotel’s reputation.
There are many occasions where one might want to meet to discuss business. If, for example, you are a real estate broker and want to talk with a client before looking at houses, it might be convenient to meet in a hotel. The atmosphere in a hotel is different than it is in a restaurant. Create that cozy atmosphere and you will attract more people to your hotel.
When you do something extra like providing a place to gather and socialize, people notice. Guests that visit your hotel will see that you offer something that other hotels do not offer. Hotels are places where people like to feel at home. If your hotel creates a warm and friendly atmosphere, people will tell their friends how nice of a time they had. Word-of-mouth alone can get you more guests in the future.
You always have to make a decision of how to allocate your resources to best improve your hotel. Creating a cozy atmosphere does not have to involve a major renovation. The trend is toward casual and cozy places in hotel lobbies and other spaces. Working to achieve such an atmosphere will pay off in more sales.
A must read from The Washington Post
Orange County California is an ideal area to take the family for a vacation. The weather is almost always perfect with the main number associated with the weather in Orange County being 70. Seventy percent of the days during the year in the area are sunny, and the average temperature over the course of the year is 70 degrees.
As far as Anaheim California goes, everyone knows about Disneyland. It’s certainly a lot of fun and some would argue the happiest place on earth. Most people associate vacations in the area with Disneyland, but let’s face it – there’s only so many times you can plan for such a trip and it often is all you have time to do when in Anaheim. Yet there are so many other things to do in Orange County, which many people bypass a bit wistfully as they are headed for the Disney gates.
Next time you plan a vacation, instead of searching for a different location outside of California, just change your focus. When you take Disneyland out of the picture and do a bit of research, you’ll be amazed at how many other family activities and attractions there are in the area. Choose some of the following suggestions once you’ve had your fill of mice and put together the ideal family getaway that includes a diverse array of options for the whole family.
Things to do When Traveling with a Toddler in Orange County
Just because you have a toddler doesn’t mean that vacations are now out of the question until they are older. While it may seem there are few vacation spots that have activities that are age appropriate for toddlers, Orange County has several possibilities.
Zoomers Petting Zoo - This attraction is geared especially for preschoolers but has something to entertain the entire family. This petting zoo takes safety seriously, allowing young children to pet over 100 different kind of animals without fear of harm. Some of the favorites are potbellied pigs, llamas, sheep, guinea pigs and even a 1000 pound cow among others. There are a lot of other fun things to do at Zoomers including train rides, and pony rides. Your child can even mine for gold, gemstones and fossils at Miner’s Gulch. Seasonal events are also popular such as Pumkinpalooza which occurs during the month of October.
The Children’s Museum at La Habra- This museum is designed to ignite the imagination of young children. With seven galleries and 14 unique hands on activities the museum is fun for those of all ages. Some of the activities and attractions at the Museum include a 1942 Caboose, carousel designed specifically for those age five and under, dinosaur topiary filled with flying, and a model train village. Stroll through the topiary to see swimming and land based dinosaurs made out of plants and shrubs, take a nature walk nature walk during which your child will come into contact with preserved and live animals at the Grotto. Your family can learn about experiments at the science station, take part in a live theater production, and make something fun together at the Family Art Center.
Pretend City - This small interconnected city is aimed at “building better brains,” using education programs, hands on experiences, role-playing and purposeful play. The activities are led by trained professionals teaching basic reading, science and math skills, while also focusing on creativity curiosity and other essential mental functions. In addition to a fun and unique learning experience, this museum offers developmental screenings and training for families, educators and children’s agencies.
Adventure City - Adventure City is economy priced so tickets for a family of four costs about the same as a single ticket for a large theme park. Along with classic rides such as the vintage Carousel, the Giggle Wheel, a small version of the Ferris wheel, and the Freeway Coaster, a pint-sized coaster that fits the whole family, there are seven other rides, most of which are made for the young and the young at heart. Your family will also enjoy the petting zoo, a full size children’s theater, and rock climbing. When you get hungry, drop by Parker’s Filler Up Station and enjoy a variety of food, snacks and drinks.
Knotts Berry Farm - Those ages 3 and up will enjoy the variety of rides and attractions at the Farm including stagecoach adventures, the merry-go-round, the soaring Sky Cabin, Calico Railroad, Dragon Swing, and bumper cars. As 2014 marks their 30th anniversary, Knotts Berry Farm is renovating Camp Snoopy’s area and refurbishing the Calico Mine Ride, Knotts first big attraction. The altered landscape and additions to the park are scheduled to open for the 2014 summer season.
Other Family Friendly Attractions in Orange County
There are a number of other attractions and activities that are available for families to enjoy when visiting Orange County. Many are appropriate for older children who will be excited at all the options.
Flight Deck Simulator - Consistently voted the top place in Orange County to hold a birthday party for kids ages 7 to 14, this attraction will thrill children and adults alike. You and your child can experience the excitement of air maneuvers while flying a fighter jet at 40 knots or taking control of a Boeing 747. Watch the action of other pilots while enjoying the Officers Club. You’ll receive classroom training and in flight instruction so no prior experience is necessary.
Discovery Science Center - This one of a kind, experience based museum is fun for all ages. Guests learn about science through over 100 hands-on interactive exhibits and activities. A variety of themed areas will let you and your family experience full force hurricane winds in the hurricane simulator and earthquake tremors at the Shake Shack. You can also measure the size of tremors with a seismograph, make your own clouds at the Cloud Ring Exhibit, and go on an adventure surrounded by life-sized dinosaurs at Dino-Quest. Don’t miss the chance to climb a real rock wall before you leave.
Aquarium of the Pacific - Children can experience what it’s like to be a Junior Biologist, through a series of two hour classes which include a gallery tour and behind the scenes opportunities with animal care staff to get close to birds, reptiles and other sea mammals, invertebrates like octopuses and seas stars, sharks and a variety of fish.from all over the Pacific Ocean. Your family can also set sail on several different cruises to nearby feeding grounds where you can watch whales, dolphins and other sea mammals in the wild. Visit the Ocean Science Center, the Marine Animal Care Center and a variety of different marine based habitats. Before you leave, check on the development of the animals born earlier in the year including penguin chicks and sea otter pups.
Mission San Juan Capistrano and Cultural Center - The entire family will enjoy the variety of educational activities which focus on the area’s Spanish history and culture Take a guided tour of the museum and explore the grounds which include ten acres of gardens fountains and preserved, adobe style architecture. Experience what is was like to live in San Juan in different time periods as you watch historical re-enactments.
Irving Park Railroad - The Irving Park Railroad is a third sized train that takes children and adults through historic Irving Regional Park. Families can also enjoy the parks other amenities including bike and paddle boat rentals, pony rides, and the Orange County Zoo. Special programs are available for holidays and special weekends. Enjoy the view as you walk around the lake, or stop by the equipment rental pavilion then challenge your family to a game of volleyball or horseshoes.
Activities for Families in Orange County
Fossil Hunts – Orange County is a great place for budding paleontologists. Few areas exist where with as many opportunities to discover fossils. Visit Fossil Reef Park, a six-mile long limestone reef that’s over 18 million years old with the fossilized remains of more than 40 vertebrates including prehistoric whales and sharks. Crystallized rock, shells, whale bones and other fossilized remains provide a window into what life was like millions of years ago. Learn about the 140 year search for the lost dinosaur of Irvine and view the fossils of a real dinosaur nest holding the bones of a mother with her babies at the Orange County Dinosaur Museum. Your family can even join a simulated fossil dig at Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
Swim Spots – In Orange County there are many places your family can enjoy the water without going to the beach or an upscale water park. Parents with toddlers will appreciate the wading pool at Brenner Park which is for children six years old and younger. Children of all ages can cool off in the two interactive water play areas within Harry M. Dotson Park. This park also features two playground structures, walking paths and shaded picnic areas. Catch a movie, grab a bite at the food court then let your kids play in the water at the Irvine Spectrum Splash Pads. This giant mall has a large splash zone with a fountain and water spraying tortoises popular with older children while a separate, smaller splash area is perfect for toddlers. The Spectrum also has a giant Ferris wheel and Carousel, kiddie train and outdoor playground. Winter visitors can show off their skills on the ice skating rink which replaces the splash zone during the colder months. Take the family to Splash! La Mirad Regional Aquatic Center & Buccaneer Bay for more excitement and see who is brave enough to zip down one of the two-story water slides or jump through the wild spray at the splash zones. The zero depth, lazy river is ideal for toddlers or those looking to cool off at a more relaxed speed. The aquatic center offers swim lessons for all ages year round.
Arts Festivals and Programs – Introduce your child to the arts during your visit to Orange County through the offerings at the variety of arts establishments and arts festivals held throughout the year. Special children’s programming is offered by a variety of local companies including the Pacific Symphony and the South Coastal Reparatory. The Arts Teach Program held at the Segerstrom Center affords the chance to view live theater productions and exhibitions presented by over 75 international artists in music, dance, theater and visual arts. There are also numerous family friendly arts festivals offering opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Orange County and surrounding areas. Child favorites include the Rancho Days Fiesta (May), which focuses on local Native American tribes, the Orange County Children’s Book Festival (September), which introduces children to authors and newly published children’s books, and the Art – A – Fair (June – August) which presents the work of over 125 artists along with child oriented demonstrations and hands on activities.
Balboa Pavilion and Fun Zone – Located in Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula is filled with family friendly rides, activities, restaurants and more. Enjoy a leisurely visit with your family as you take in the view from the Ferris wheel or play a variety of games to win prizes at the arcade. If you tire of walking and still have some of the peninsula to see, low cost bike rentals are available. Those who love the water have plenty of opportunities to explore with boat rentals, harbor cruises, parasail instructions and other activities. Fish from the pier, jump the waves or just sit back, relax and take in the beautiful surroundings. There is no need to pack food for the day as numerous restaurants can be found within walking distance of the Ferris wheel. Stroll down quant side streets and stop at some of the unique shops for one of a kind merchandise.
Boomers – This giant, outdoor park is filled with activities for the whole family. Race to the finish line on the go-cart track, show your skills on the mini golf course, or see how high you can score in the giant arcades. Other activities you don’t want to miss at one of the two Orange County locations include bumber boats, laser tag, rock climbing and batting practice in a full-sized batting cage. Visit the Irvine location for even more attractions at King Arthur’s Carnival. One price covers all rides and activities in the park.
Power House – This family entertainment center boasts that it has games and activities that will thrill kids who are “2 to 102”. With more than 130 interactive video games, PowerTag, and Bowlingo, the high-tech bowling game chances to win prizes, this is definitely not your parents’ arcade. Unending chances to win prizes ensure you won’t go home empty-handed. Challenge friends and family or try to beat the top scores on the newest, large screen video tournaments.
Before your visit to Orange County take some time to get to know the area and all it has to offer. With a little foresight, you can plan a vacation filled with activities that are fun for the entire family.
If you have a question, please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Each year, usually in the month of March, colleges and universities give students a break from their studies. Spring Break, the traditional mid-semester pause, is a time to get away from the rigors and demands of higher education. You do not have to listen to boring lectures by your professors and you do not need to worry about passing an exam. You are free, at least for a week, to participate in social activities, explore the sights and create memories that will last for a lifetime. Spring Break in San Diego is a little different from many of the other popular Spring Break destination cities.
San Diego does not compete with places like Panama City Beach, FL or South Padre Island, TX for the same Spring Break crowd. San Diego is a year-round fun place to visit and always has numerous things to see and do. Traditional Spring Break hot spots like Panama City Beach and South Padre Island are both small cities that swell in population in March. The weather is warmer in Cancun and the Caribbean, but none of those popular destinations has as many great things to see and do as San Diego.
Any list of the best places to visit or the best place to spend Spring Break would have to include San Diego. No one will argue that San Diego has some of the best weather and best beaches anywhere in the world. When you get to know the city, you will realize that there is so much more to like. If you want to go fishing, boating, surfing, scuba diving, you can do it here. Outdoor activities are abundant. Fly a kite, ride a bike or take a hike. Go golfing or throw a Frisbee in one of the great parks. Don’t forget about he tremendous selection of fabulous restaurants, and if you love beer, you are in the craft beer capital of the west coast. You can shop until you drop and experience the thrilling drops on a roller coaster. Spring Break in San Diego has so much going for it that you will be hard-pressed to find enough time to do them all. Here are a few recommendations that make the city shine.
The cool, but never too cold, spring weather makes for an ideal time of the year to explore the sights. You can wear light clothing and be comfortable as you walk about the city. You can relax on the beaches and get plenty of sun. Very comfortable daytime temperatures are the norm during the spring season. Daytime highs average about 66 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is about 53 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains occasionally in March, but the monthly precipitation rate is less than two inches. The beaches are popular, but most people find the 58 degree ocean waters to be a little too cold for swimming. Surfers and others who wear wet suits have no problem out in the waves, but for most, swimming should be confined to warm hotel pools.
It is hard to choose the best beach when you have more than 70 miles of gorgeous coastline in the county. There are beaches that are suitable for everyone. Coronado Central Beach, that is just steps from the world-famous Hotel del Coronado, has gentle breaking waves that make it ideal for families with small children. Torrey Pines Beach is situated at the bottom of 300-foot tall cliffs and is a perfect spot for a brisk, early morning walk. Mission Beach is a popular spot where you can enjoy the sand and surf or rollerblade and bike along the paved boardwalk. Grab yourself a taco for lunch or have an ice cream cone at one of the beach side eateries. La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove is a spot where you can see the seals frolic and small kids can play in the Children’s pool.
There is no shortage of great places to eat. Whether you want authentic Mexican food or real California cuisine, you are in the right place. Have an outdoor lunch surrounded by beautiful gardens at The Prado in Balboa Park. Watch the sun set while sampling the California cuisine at JRDN at Pacific Beach. Grab some fantastic tacos at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in Ocean Beach. Feel like a sandwich? The Rubicon Deli in Mission Hills is a neighborhood favorite that is easy on the budget. If you want to try the original grass-fed burger, you have to go to the Burger Lounge in La Jolla. No matter what part of the city you happen to be in, you are never far from a great restaurant. Everything is available from great steaks and seafood to vegetarian and exotic cuisine.Wherever you decide to dine, savor every bite.
Head Downtown to the Westgate Hotel for an extraordinary Sunday brunch. The 4-Diamond hotel presents their award-winning culinary feast in style. The dining room is a picture of elegance and the food is prepared by wonderfully talented chefs. while you listen to live music, enjoy seafood, delicious breakfast platters, fresh baked breads and pastries and so much more. Top off your meal with some champagne or enjoy a margarita.
Don’t get too close to the killer whale tank or you will get soaked as Shamu soars out of the water and comes down with a big splash. With so many exciting exhibits and plenty of great rides, you will have a great day at Seaworld.
Whether you are a kid or just a big kid at heart, you will be treated to more than 60 rides, shows and attractions at this major attraction. Get wet in the water park have lunch and maybe pick up some of those Lego blocks at the gift shop.
A one-of-a-kind outdoor amusement park that is located right across from the beach, you will not want to miss the chance to ride the big, wooden roller coaster. There is an arcade and plenty of activities to keep you entertained for hours. Grab some pizza or cotton candy and just have fun!
Only a 1 hour drive away in nearby Anaheim, Disneyland is still going strong more than 50 years after it first opened to the public. If you have not been for a while, there are plenty of new things to see and do. Go during the middle of the week if you want to avoid the long lines and get on all of the rides.
Adventure abounds in the more than 4,000 square miles of canyons, mountains and deserts that are part of the diverse topography of the county. If you are up to the challenge, try the 3-mile hike up Cowles Mountain. If you want something a little less demanding,enjoy the waterfalls and river view at the kid-friendly trail at Los Penasquitos Canyon.
There are 93 golf courses in he county, but the most famous of them all is Torrey Pines. While there are great courses along the coastline, don’t hesitate to venture inland where you can play some outstanding links-style and desert golf courses.
A hot spot for tourism and a great place for people of all ages to spend the day, this little spot on the map is loaded with historic buildings, art galleries, restaurants and friendly people. You can’t help but smile when you visit.
You can enjoy a smooth and scenic ride on the bike path around Mission Bay or, if you want something more challenging, try the miles of mountain-bike trails that run along the Pacific Coast Highway up around Encinitas and Del Mar.
Balboa Park is the best park in the world. Beautiful gardens and manicured grounds make this a favorite place of locals and tourists alike. Get your share of culture at the history, art, science and aviation museums. Ride the big carousel or take a tour of the park aboard the miniature railroad. Balboa Park is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Nightclubs and rooftop parties
Pacific Beach is where most of the college-age crowd likes to hang out, and accordingly, it has plenty of places to dance, drink and socialize. Within a very short distance are numerous bars and restaurants along the beach. Some might be referred to as “dive” bars, but there are also plenty of sports bars and club-style night spots. Head Downtown to the Gaslamp Quarter and have a rooftop party on he 22 floor of the Marriott at Altitude Sky Lounge. Rooftop bars are part of the social scene as the views of the harbor and ocean only enhance the atmosphere of the night.
- March 4, 2014, Mardi Gras comes to the Gaslamp Quarter.
- March 9, 2014, watch or participate in the city’s Half Marathon
- March 17, 2014, dress in green for the St. Patrick’s Day party in the Gaslamp Quarter
Budget friendly hotels
As a college student, you may not be able to afford to stay in a $500 per night luxury hotel, but there are plenty of alternative accommodations that will fit your budget. For comfortable accommodations, close to the action, and at an affordable price, try the Mission Valley Resort or Crown Plaza.
San Diego is a magical city that attracts countless tourists each year. These tourists come from all across the country, and some even travel from all corners of the globe. With all that San Diego has to offer, this worldwide appeal is understandable. There are fantastic beaches, great shopping spots and endless recreational opportunities. Whether travelers want to visit a few museums and enjoy a scenic lookout or take to the water for a boating expedition, San Diego can provide the tailor-made vacation.
10 Planning Tips for a San Diego Vacation
However, the best vacations in San Diego require more than an airline ticket and a hotel reservation. Too many people come back from a trip feeling like they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. Do not let this happen to you on your San Diego getaway. Instead, for the best experience during a trip to San Diego, consider the ten following tips as you plan your getaway.
1) Keep it simple. San Diego has a lot to do. There are museums, parks, walking trails, sporting events, festivals and more. With so many choices, it can be tempting to fill a vacation with one activity after the next. However, while all of these outings may be fun and worthwhile, being overbooked during a vacation is a surefire way to ruin it. Vacations are meant to be stress-free. Pick and choose from all the options, selecting only the choices that seem most appealing. It is better to enjoy a few activities than feel overburdened by trying too many. Keep the schedule simple with plenty of breathing room in order to appreciate time in this sunny getaway.
2) Keep it moving. Vacations should always be relaxing, but be careful not to confuse relaxation with slothfulness. While it is perfectly acceptable to sleep late and spend a few lazy afternoons on the beach, the trip should have some activities that get the heart pumping. A little physical exercise is the best way to stay upbeat, which can dramatically improve the quality of a trip. For travelers who exercise frequently, try biking or boating. Other opportunities that are less intense include golf and walking. Even a simple stroll down the coast can get the blood pumping, instantly enhancing the quality of a vacation.
3) Keep it healthy. Eating while traveling is always difficult, and it can be tempting to indulge in whatever looks appetizing. While this is perfectly acceptable for a few meals, it is a good idea to balance out the rest of the travel diet with some healthier alternatives. Try eating a simple salad or soup for a few meals. For dessert, opting for a frozen yogurt over ice cream can help. Instead of eating at a restaurant, pick up some fruit from a local market and snack lightly throughout the day. San Diego also has a number of health-oriented restaurants that may offer meals with fewer calories to help guests eat healthier during their stay in the city.
4) Keep it economic. Vacations should always feel decadent, but for most travelers, the budget is still a very pressing reality. Be sure to set the travel budget well in advance, accounting for all the expenditures that will arise. It is important to allot money for traveling about the city, meals, snacks, entrance fees and more. It is also a good idea to have a little bit of money in a slush fund to cover any unexpected expenses that may arise during the trip. If money is tight, be purposeful about spending it. Eating at a fancy restaurant one night is fine if it is followed by a cheaper meal the next day.
5) Keep it different. When visiting San Diego, travelers should always try something new. There are so many recreational opportunities in San Diego that even guests who visit multiple times can still find something new and engaging to try. When planning the schedule, try to add at least one or two activities that are entirely new. Go to a baseball game. Rent a boat and head out on the water. Book a bus tour of the city. Attend one of the many festivals. Just be open to new possibilities. This way, the trip will be unexpected and invigorating.
6) Keep it green. Vacations are about getting some me-time. However, even tourists should be responsible during their stay. San Diego is a gorgeous city, but it requires work to stay that way. Be sure to remember environmental concerns while traveling in order to minimize any negative environmental impact. Such measures can be simple and do not have to impede the quality of the trip. Reuse towels at the hotel. Use public transportation or walk. Always throw away trash properly and look for opportunities to recycle. Many businesses in San Diego support environmental causes, so travelers who are especially concerned with the environment can find any number of local businesses that use green practices to keep San Diego pristine for years to come.
7) Keep it smart. Vacation is a time to get away from the troubles of real life, not to create more. When staying in San Diego, travelers should always be aware of their limitations. For guests that suffer from seasickness, it may not be a good idea to book a harbor cruise. If allergies are a problem, try to avoid months when the flowers are in full bloom. Pack sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and make good choices during the trip. Staying smart may require a little extra work, but it ensures that the vacation will be fun every step of the way.
8) Keep it safe. San Diego is a fantastic city. In general, it is very well suited for tourists of all ages and backgrounds. However, just like any city, there are certain risks of which to be aware. Guests are encouraged to drink responsibly and to use good judgment when moving about the city after hours. Always keep valuables secure, and never leave a purse or wallet unattended. Heed warning signs on the beach, and always use safety equipment when boating or trying other sporting activities. The vast majority of travelers have no issues during their trip, but all tourists should exercise caution in order to protect themselves and their belongings. This is true in San Diego and every other vacation destination around the world.
9) Keep it on time. Vacation is a time to let go of routines, but that does not mean that all sense of time should go out the window. To the contrary, it is important to be aware of the time in order to get the most out of a trip to San Diego. Some activities must be planned in advanced, and being tardy to these activities can cause problems. Baseball games have a definite start time. Cruises and tours will take off as planned. Guests who do not stay on time will lose out on these opportunities and will often lose any reservation fees as well. Even going to the beach can be better with a keen sense of time. Arriving early can ensure a better parking spot or a better place on the sand. Never let time be a cause for stress while visiting San Diego, but keep it in mind in order to get the most out of a vacation.
10) Keep it fun. Of all the tips, this is the most important one of all. Planning carefully and consciously is a great way to make sure things go smoothly. However, once all the details are in order, it is time to just let go and have fun. San Diego is a magnificent city full of attractions for people of all ages. Guests should dig their toes into the sand and walk barefoot along the water. They should take a stroll downtown and eat at an open-air cafe. Stop at the local shops and buy something unconventional just because. Sleep late. Eat a fancy meal. Whatever you do, make sure it is fun.
At first, these tips may seem daunting. However, they really provide common-sense solutions for avoiding many of the common pitfalls of traveling. There is no need to let your vacation leave you tired, broke or disappointed. With these tips, it is possible to plan a San Diego getaway that is smart, safe and fun. Therefore, take these tips to heart, and be sure to start planning your perfect San Diego vacation today.
If you have a question, please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
2014 is a great time to be in the hotel business. Industry analysts are largely in agreement that the solid numbers generated by the industry in 2013 will be even better in 2014. According to a report by PKF Hospitality, 2014 RevPAR is predicted to increase by 7.7 percent over 2013 numbers.
Strong demand for hotel rooms combined with a limited increase in supply of new rooms will allow hotels to increase their Average Daily Rate without negatively affecting occupancy. Year-over-year demand is expected to be up by 3.3 percent and supply is expected to increase by 1 percent.
A rising tide lifts all ships
It would be a mistake for a hotel manager to become complacent and assume that the property they manage will automatically do better in 2014 than it did in 2013. Looking forward, the economy is expected to grow stronger and more people will be traveling and checking into hotels. While the travel and tourism industry will benefit as a whole, the best managed hotels will benefit the most from the favorable conditions that encourage both business and leisure travel.
The median gain in RevPAR is expected to be around 7 percent. By definition that suggests that half of the hotels will have RevPAR exceeding 7 percent and the other half will be under 7 percent. Although any increase in revenue is a positive, management should always strive to make their hotel an above-average performer. In order to reach the upper echelon in performance and profits, the focus must be on fine-tuning hotel management techniques. Are you doing everything you can to make your hotel shine in 2014?
Focus on your guests
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. What may seem like minor inconveniences to you are perceived as major issues to paying guests. Making a guest wait because the room has not been cleaned is a problem. A breakfast buffet without a working toaster is not the end of the world, but it does annoy guests who don’t want to eat a cold bagel. Guests are your lifeblood and you must do everything within your power to assure that they have a pleasant stay.
• Rates & revenue
• Staff and Daily operations
• Maintenance of grounds and facilities
• Marketing campaign
• Planning for the future
• Corporate citizenship
A budget is a plan that allocates financial resources to cover fixed and variable costs throughout the fiscal year. Hotel management is responsible for preparing an annual budget that covers everything from rent and utilities to employee pay and maintenance. While planning a corporate budget is a lot more complicated than planning a budget for your household, the principle is the same.
You have to prioritize your resources and decide the best way to use your available funds. Sometimes the choices are difficult. Should you upgrade your free breakfast and give your employees a raise or should you spend the $100,000 on buying new mattresses and televisions? Making the right budget decisions usually means that you have your priorities straight and allows you to utilize your available funds and resources in the most effective way.
Rates & revenue
Revenues are driven by the number of paying customers you have and the price you can charge for rooms and other products and services that your hotel may offer. You can sell rooms through several different channels, each of which might add incremental revenue for your hotel.
You have walk-in customers and customers who make reservations at your hotel’s website. You have meeting planners who book blocks of rooms. You have online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline that will help fill empty rooms. As a manager, you must prioritize the way you sell rooms to maximize revenue.
Hotel managers must pay careful attention to market conditions and adjust their room prices to maximize revenue. Price elasticity is driven by demand. Demand for rooms change by the day of the week, the time of the year, around the holidays, and when a big event is in town.
As an example, regular Las Vegas visitors know that if they check-in to a room on a Sunday afternoon and check-out on a Tuesday morning, they will get the lowest room rates. If they check-in on Friday and check-out on Sunday, their room rates will be substantially higher.
Basic economic theory explains the importance of setting the right rate. At some price point, you will maximize revenue (sale price x number of sales). If you charge too high of a price, you will not make as many sales. Setting a low price may generate more sales, but it also will result in lower revenue per sale.
While experienced hotel managers have a good idea of when they are able to push rates higher without hurting occupancy, it is not an exact science. You must know the competition and know your customer. Computer software programs are available to help you analyze the price/revenue equation.
Staff and Daily operations
Take care of your employees and they will take care of you. Someone smart said that a long time ago and it certainly applies in the hotel industry. As a manager, you need to establish an atmosphere where employees feel like they are part of a team. Setting up a system where performance is recognized and rewarded will encourage people to work harder toward meeting company goals.
Your front desk staff, housekeeping crew and maintenance workers are best equipped to identify problems and make suggestions as to how things can be done better to improve the hotel. Listen to them. While management styles can vary, it is essential to be on-site and interact with both staff and guests. When you see first-hand how your hotel is operating, you can quickly identify areas that may need attention.
Always be available to listen to your staff or take the lead in handling issues that can impact your hotel’s reputation. Walk around the breakfast buffet and casually engage hotel guests to see how they feel about their stay. Being social is an important part of being a hotel manager.
Maintenance of grounds and facilities
You can not afford to let your building or grounds deteriorate or you will see exponential growth in the number of online negative posts on hotel review sites. Just like you want to have great curb appeal when you are trying to sell your house, your hotel should also have great curb appeal. Landscaping is important, particularly near the entrance to your hotel. Sweep the sidewalks. Make sure the building looks presentable.
The lobby is the first thing that guests see when they enter your hotel. Does the furniture and décor make the positive statement you want it to make? Money is well-spent on updating a tired-looking lobby.
While you budget may not allow you to do a major overhaul of your hotel, you should make sure that what you have is kept clean. Windows need to be washed, carpets vacuumed and furniture polished. While the task of maintaining your property may be the responsibility of others, as the manager, you need to see that the job is being done correctly.
From traditional advertising to the further development of your social media program, you need to step up your marketing campaign to be competitive with other hotels. Everything changes so quickly in today’s online world. You must be at the forefront of change and stay ahead of the curve to succeed. Integrating mobile strategies and recognizing that there are more social media platforms than Facebook and Twitter can pay big dividends as you try to reach travelers in 2014.
Don’t treat social media as an afterthought. Your competitors are actively trying to improve their online presence and you can not afford to lag behind. Engage your younger employees who are savvy social media types. Hire professionals who are adept at capturing the attention of the Millennials. Don’t ignore the power of the Internet.
Planning for the future
Failure to plan for the future can lead to stagnation and a decline in business. Hotels that do not think about tomorrow can quickly become irrelevant. Examples of companies failing to develop a strategy for the future are everywhere. Look what happened to Kodak when everyone started using digital cameras. Blackberry failed to adapt to the changing technology and is now in danger of going out of business.
The same is true of hotels. If you do not give people what they want, they will go elsewhere. In addition to providing more amenities, you need to provide more value. Hotel management must analyze the trends and make plans to modify their operations to meet the needs of future hotel guests.
Being a good corporate citizen means giving back to your local community. You can do everything from contributing to the building of a new park to advocating for community services to help children or the elderly. Being environmentally conscientious is another area that will show good corporate citizenship. Surveys have shown that “green” hotels are preferred by travelers.
Good management is the driving force behind the success of any hotel. Hiring a professional hotel management company can completely turn around the fortunes of an under-performing hotel. In 2014, when travel is expected to increase along with an improving economy, having a great hotel management team is more important than ever.
There are many things to do in Silicon Valley. In fact, every year, countless travelers find themselves in this thriving California hotspot. From the bustling cities to the scenic landscapes, Silicon Valley is a hub of activity for business, culture and recreation.
However, with all that there is to do in Silicon Valley, too many guests miss some of the best opportunities. Therefore, when making your next trip to Silicon Valley, consider this day trip guide for an experience unlike any other.
Getting Off to a Good Start
With so much to do, it is no wonder that Silicon Valley has numerous hotels to consider. Despite these many options, smart travelers should know there is only one choice worth considering. The Camino Inn and Suites is a highly regarded hotel in Mountain View, California. This location positions the hotel within the heart of Silicon Valley, making it the perfect starting point for any number of recreational or business opportunities.
However, the Camino Inn and Suites has more to offer than location. This hotel is fully accommodated and has a wide range of perks that appeal to guests. From a continental breakfast to free onsite parking, guests can take confidence in knowing that everything they need will be readily on hand. Plus, the staff at the hotel is consistently rated among the best in all of California.
The Golden Touch
Silicon Valley is located near San Francisco. Therefore, the Camino Inn and Suites is actually the ideal starting point for exploration throughout the Bay Area. To this end, visitors should be sure to plan a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge.
It is true that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco’s more famous attractions. This iconic suspension bridge was opened to the public in 1937. At the time, it was the longest bridge of its type in the world, spanning 4,200 feet. In addition to this spectacular span, the bridge is painted its identifiable orange, making it a key landmark of the Western seaboard.
Because of this history, many visitors stop there every year, looking at scenic points from up and down the coastline. They could spend the day in Golden Gate Park or rent a bike to cross the bridge. While all of these options are certainly fun, they are not the only reason to visit the bridge. In fact, while everyone may want a snapshot of the Golden Gate Bridge, sometimes the best experience is waiting just on the other side.
A New Destination
Even though it has appeal as a tourist attraction, the Golden Gate Bridge was always designed for a functional purpose. Thanks to the bridge, it is much easier to travel from San Francisco to Marin County, which is on the other side of the bay. This key pipeline is essential for commuters and business goers, and it can also be a real advantage for smart tourists.
While San Francisco has plenty to offer, a day trip across the bridge to Sausalito is a good option. Sausalito is a smaller city with only about 7,000 residents. Though the size may be small, the city is big on charm. In fact, for many residents of the Bay Area, Sausalito is the prime place to visit on the weekend thanks to its laid back lifestyle and picturesque leisure opportunities.
For visitors, after crossing the bridge, stop at Sausalito’s Horseshoe Bay. While there are many other venues for photography, this spot is one of the best for capturing the Golden Gate Bridge and the shoreline of San Francisco. Many photographers, both amateurs and experts, enjoy taking shots of the tugboats out in the marina.
Sausalito is more than a good look-out point. Unlike many areas along the water, Sausalito is quiet. This is not merely because of its smaller size but because of its distinctive geographical positioning. Thanks to various factors, there is almost no wind in Sausalito. This not only helps give people clear shots of the water, but it makes for the perfect setting for countless adventures.
In addition to its great views, Sausalito is also known for its shopping, culture and architecture. The marina is one of the few gate-free options in the Bay Area, and there are ample opportunities for boating and fishing off the coast. The city is also well organized with parks, making it a relaxing place for a day out.
The Art of the Matter
One of the most impressive features of Sausalito is its commitment to the arts. Although the city is relatively small, it has a number of fantastic art galleries that are worth visiting. Many of these galleries are located near Yee Tock Chee Park, making them especially easy to find.
Many people start by visiting Galerie Elektra, which is located in the Princess Theater. This historic location is in the heart of the downtown, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. This upscale gallery has a range of contemporary artists from around the world. The collection is made up of oil paintings and sculptures.
Another great stop is the Mark Reuben Gallery. In contrast to the Galerie Elektra, this gallery is centered on vintage photographs and other collectibles. The collection has 3,000 pieces, all representing history and sports. Many guests are pleased to discover that prints can be ordered of many of the pieces in the gallery, making this a great place to browse and shop.
The Hanson Gallery is another great destination for fine art. This well established gallery is related to a network of galleries around the world and is proud to feature pieces from both established artists and up and coming talents. At this Sausalito location, guests can peruse pieces by Frederick Hart, Carolyn Reynolds and more.
These galleries are just the start. For the artistically minded, Sausalito is a refuge of culture and taste.
Savoring the Moment
After browsing the cultural offerings, there is no better way to soak in the ambiance than visiting a winery. Sausalito has its own selection of wineries, many of which are on par with the best options in all of California’s wine country.
To start, Real Napa may be just the place. Although it is not in Napa Valley, the tasting room has all the refinements of Napa Valley but with an impressive seaside view. Although the decor is simpler than some, its sophistication speaks for itself.
By contrast, the Bacchus & Venus winery is all about flair. The tasting room is open from 11 AM to 7 PM each day. During this time, guests are encouraged to try a “flight of wine.” This unique experience allows guests to sample four different wines from very different sources. This not only gives guests the chance to sample new wines but the flight also offers information about how wines are made and what makes them different.
One other choice worth mentioning is Wellington’s Wine Bar. Location is everything at Wellington’s, where guests can literally sip their wine on the dock. In addition to this, Wellington’s is designed with an English flair, adding a fresh taste to a trip to the Bay Area.
A Taste for Everyone
Wine may invigorate the tastebuds, but only a good dinner can quell a hungry stomach. Sausalito is an excellent choice for all types of dining. The range of eateries covers all price points and styles. While it is impossible to go wrong while dining here, a few options do stand out.
For the best seafood, Scoma’s Sausalito is a terrific destination. The seafood here is always exquisite and always fresh. To prove that point, the restaurant is actually located on the water, floating on one of the piers off the coast.
Another restaurant with a waterfront view is the Spinnaker. From the dining room, guests can see all the way to the San Francisco skyline. While the view here is impressive, the menu is not too shabby either. The expansive options include fresh seafood, delectable pasta and vegetarian plates. Spinnaker continues to be a favorite with locals and guests alike.
For something a bit more unique, a meal at Le Garage may be in order. This French-inspired restaurant offers a succulent taste of Paris. The atmosphere is decidedly more relaxed, which is why Le Garage is perfect for a casual outing. Casual or not, the menu has items that cannot be found at any other restaurant in Sausalito.
A Place to Rest Your Head
When all is said and done, it is still just a short trip back to the Camino Inn and Suites to finish off the day. In fact, it is only a one hour drive from the hotel to Sausalito, which means there is plenty of time during the day and into the evening to enjoy everything Sausalito has to offer.
Therefore, whether you are in Silicon Valley for business or pleasure, be sure to plan a day trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the wonders of Sausalito.