San Francisco Business Travel Guide
The Business Person’s Guide to Corporate Travel in San Francisco
Looking for the ultimate San Francisco Business Travel Guide? We got the 49 square miles covered! Ranking 13th nationally in size by population (now nearing 900,000) San Francisco packs a big-city punch into a relatively small-town size. But don’t expect a small-town feel when you get here. Home to the headquarters of numerous corporate giants like Wells Fargo and Lucasfilm, it is also known for its thriving tech industry, which is primarily concentrated in the Southern Bay Area of Silicon Valley. Here, tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook work and play alongside a host of startups, each hoping to become the Microsoft of tomorrow.
These businesses create a huge draw for corporate travelers, and also make San Francisco a lucrative pull for major industry conventions, seminars, and trade shows. However, San Francisco isn’t known for being cheap to travel in or particularly convenient for getting around. You’ll want to secure as much of your itinerary as possible, including your airport transfer and corporate transportation, before making your way to SFO. Here’s your super easy guide to successful business travel in the Bay Area.
Securing Lodging for Business Travelers to San Francisco
When searching for great deals on Orbits or Priceline (or with your travel agent), it’s best to search by neighborhood instead of searching the city as a whole. The best neighborhoods for business travelers are those to your primary destination, such as Moscone Convention Center or clients in Silicone Valley), and those that cater to business travelers and tourists. Pick hotel accommodations in areas like the Financial District, Union Square, SoMa (South of Market) District, and Palo Alto (particularly the neighborhoods of Neal, Alta Mesa, and City Center). One of these neighborhoods is bound to be near where you need to be, meaning your airport transfer and corporate travel will be fast and affordable, and you won’t be late to meetings because of cross-town traffic issues.
Securing Transportation for Business Travelers to San Francisco
After you know where you’re staying, it’s time to plan for that airport transfer and your corporate transportation. Ideally, you should partner with a single transportation service, so that they are aware of your needs and your schedule and become a partner with you for a successful business trip. Instead of risking it with public transportation, opt for a reliable, reputable limousine service. What you spend on a limo you will save in parking fees (usually around $20 to $40 per day) and other travel-expenses, like rental car fees, insurance, etc. Can you really put a price tag on arriving on time, relaxed and rested, and with a nicely pressed suit to that meeting with your big client?
Selecting Dining Options in San Francisco
San Francisco is home to some of the finest restaurants on the planet. While you’ll definitely want to wine and dine your clients at one of the fancier restaurants, you can keep costs down significantly by eating at one of the smaller, less publicized eateries for most of your trip. San Francisco boasts a thriving food truck industry, and there’s almost always a good selection of trucks parked near the area’s notable businesses and convention centers. You can also enjoy the taste of authentic San Francisco instead of a chain restaurant at numerous mom and pop establishments around town. These restaurants usually offer meals in the $10 to $12 range, not much more than you would spend to eat fast food, but it’s far healthier and tastier than a burger that’s spent the better part of two hours under the heat lamp. Most are within walking distance of San Francisco’s convention centers and primary business districts.
Selecting a Date for Business Travel to San Francisco
You can’t always control when a convention or important client meeting happens, but for those clients that you need to visit just once or twice per year, try to schedule those trips for the period between September and November. Not only is this when you’ll get the best of San Francisco’s weather (usually warm without much chance of rain), but you’ll also miss the frantic summer tourist traffic and you won’t have to deal with holiday travel and the hectic holiday shopping season.
Packing for Business Travel to San Francisco
Speaking of the weather, San Francisco is notoriously unpredictable. Aside from the fog (let your limo driver worry about that), the high winds whipping off the Pacific, along with other factors, create many microclimates in and around the city. For example, on an uncomfortably warm day downtown you might need a jacket and hat near the water. Don’t pack heavy coats, but instead bring lighter clothing that you can layer as needed. It’s a good idea to keep one of those lightweight shopping bags in your briefcase, so you can peel off layers as needed during your outings.
Planning for Entertainment & Side Trips in San Francisco
With luck, you’ll have time to tour some of this amazingly gorgeous city between meetings and conferences. If you stay in the SoMa district, you can walk to some of the incredible art galleries the area is noted for. Or, take a day to visit the bison herd at Golden Gate Park, pick up some mementoes to take back to the family at Fisherman’s Wharf, grab a quick bite and see the sea lions at Pier 39, or twist and turn your way down Lombard Street — the world’s most crooked road with some 8 brutal hairpin turns. You can schedule these side trips when you set up your airport transport and corporate transportation with the limo company, or you can let your service know when you’ve got some free time for a sightseeing side trip.
From your airport transfer to getting you to the meeting on time, Elite Limousine has you covered. One of our knowledgeable and experienced limo drivers can also make sure your spare time is filled with the one-of-a-kind adventures only San Francisco can offer. Choose us for all your Frisco travel needs!