Also see Road Trip Tips.
- 10=cold (jacket)
- 20=cool (nice)
Must have items:
- Outlet Extender. Great for airports.
Others I've seen recommended:
- Sink plug. For doing laundry in your hotel room.
- Sue Gardner's, User-Centered (Agile!) Packing
- Must be for at least 3 days, but no more than 30 days.
- Must submit request at least one business day and no more than 14 calendar days in advance.
- Can do so online as long as your zip code is one of the ones that offer this service.
- Otherwise fill out Form PS8076 in person at your local post office or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
- Once back in San Francisco, best to call the hold mail facility (415-643-3721) the day before you plan to pick up your mail to make sure it's delivered to the Geary post office (at 21st Ave).
When traveling internationally, it's a good idea to register your trip with the State Department in case of emergency.
Currency exchange at Travelex (in the U.S. Bank building, next to the Castro Theater):
443 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA
Electricity: "Staying Plugged in while Traveling."
International Cell Phones
Eight part series on international cell phones.
Telestial.com seems to be the most promising place for SIM cards and phone information. They also have a call-back service. Their prices seem good, and they seem reputable.
Hostelling International USA sells SIM cards and refurbished phones. The prices seem high, and the phones are very old.
I'm investigating the Siemens A70 unlocked GSM phone as a second phone for international travel. There seem to be some decent deals on eBay.
In Canada, you need a Non-resident Inter-Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card, which you can get for free from your insurance company.
Start looking about two months before trip, when sales start appearing.
A good way to fly cheaper to continental Europe is to fly to London, then find cheap round trip fares to final destination. For fly/drive deals, see Auto Europe and go-today.com. Also, it can be cheaper to fly to JFK (NY) and then to European destination rather than flying direct from other states.
- http://www.airtourscancellations.co.uk/ (for extremely last minute flying)
Amsterdam is second to London in this regard.
Icelandair offers free seven day stopovers in Iceland for anyone heading to or from continental Europe.
Underbid on Priceline 20 percent less than the lowest airfare you find.
Call to make reservations during regular office hours. I have had many poor experiences with evening staff who didn't know anything, gave me misinformation, or were generally rude and unhelpful.