One of the most exciting major cities in America to raise a family is San Francisco. Although the Bay Area has a high cost of living, there are ways for families to be prudent with their money. For instance, you don’t have to break the bank with expensive furniture for the kids’ rooms.

The style of furniture sold by Pottery Barn is very popular on the West Coast. This company makes it easy to shop for their products, with storefront locations, a sophisticated web site and printed catalogs that come in the mail. Pottery Barn has sections of furniture and furnishing for every room in the house, and their online catalog has special section called their “Design Studio,” with complimentary designs tips and advice. Pottery Barn furniture works well in a baby’s nursery, a child’s room, and a teen’s bedroom.

Here is a trick I learned early on – you can save the most money by not using your own money for your purchases. How does that work? Sign up with Pottery Barn for their baby registry or their registry for kids, and have the family and friends make the purchases for you! Registries are a great way for family members to know exactly what you want and decide how much they are willing to spend on your child’s gift, and they can have it delivered to your door.

Speaking of birthday parties…

If planning a birthday party for your child and your family will be traveling to San Francisco to join the festivities, you might want to consider suggesting shuttles that run from SFO airport to locations downtown and throughout the Bay Area. If you cannot be there to meet them at the arrivals gate, there are many transportation options for travelers arriving at SFO, including:

  • Taxi Cab
  • Rental Car
  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
  • Caltrain
  • Shuttle Service
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

Taxi’s are plentiful but probably the most expensive way to get from SFO to downtown. Many people assume that getting a rental car will be the most convenient way to travel. However traffic congestion should be taken into consideration, and if the driver is unfamiliar with San Francisco roads, there is the chance of getting lost or the stress of making a wrong turn. Having a car also means that you will have to find a parking spot and pay for the privilege of parking.

BART and Caltrain are trains that have stations at SFO and through the Bay area. They are affordable and reliable, for the most part, as long as you’re fine with handling your own luggage.

Shuttles are a very popular and affordable way to get from the airport to just about any hotel or the downtown area. Shuttle bus drivers handle your luggage for you at the shuttle pickup location and when you have arrived at your destination, therefore a tip is in order. Once you get to the hotel or downtown, you can get around the city by cab, cable car or trolley.

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