9 Travel Safety Tips (Alone or Europe)

Today I’m sharing 9 Travel Safety Tips.

Whether you are traveling alone, with a tour company or traveling to Europe, these 9 tips for safety on your vacation to any destination will help.  I will discuss RFID technology, I will discuss travel safety apps and more.  Female travelers as well as male travelers can benefit from these safety tips while traveling.  If you are traveling alone, you are already helping yourself be safe by watching this Travel Tips by Laurie video.

Traveling safety tip #1 is:

Plan ahead before travel.  Be smart before you start.  Enroll in www.step.state.gov/step/ This travel tip for safety is The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals to log their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You will receive safety information from the Embassy about conditions in your destination country.  Enrolling in STEP will allow the U.S. Embassy to get in touch with you in an emergency: natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.  I love this idea especially for family emergencies.

I also think it is safe to take a picture of your passport and email your passport info to a family member IN CASE you are the one who is incapacitated. Yes, you can get it from your email as well.  But if you are in a coma, a family member can act quickly.

Keep paper copies of your passport and health insurance card in a secret place, keeping originals on your person.  We use passport holder belt. There are other RFID blocking purse crossbody bags.  A subscriber wears a neck wallet instead of a belt one.  I am buying a package of these RFID sleeves that would just hold a few cards. If you haven’t watched my 33 Travel Hacks video, there is a great hack on how to secure your purse while you’re eating at an international outdoor cafe…like in Barcelona for example. travel hack for purse to protect from pickpocketing

Does an RFID blocking purse or wallet help your safety?

There are RFID blocking pouches and sleeves so you do not have to buy a purse per se. rfid block sleeve pouchRadio frequency identification. RFID is an electronic way to skim information off of your cards.  I thought that if my card had a chip, that meant that it is RFID capable. But in an article by Loss Prevention Media they shared that less than 1% of cards are.  If you can wave your card over a terminal and payment go in, then it can be stolen with radio frequency technology.

They say that the microchip on your payment card doesn’t mean that its ID can be stolen.  It means that it’s extra secure.

And in an article by Afar they found that in order for your passport id to be stolen, the little machine needs to be within 6 inches of the book.  When the passport book is closed there is a security tape that makes stealing your identity info impossible. 

Traveling safety tip #2 is:

There is safety in numbers.

I would search tour group companies in the country of your travels. You will find guardian.com as well as albatross.com

The Albatross tour company has specific tours for single travelers.  So you are traveling with a group, but you sleep and have time alone.

You want to walk down streets and cities where there are people or crowds.  Walking down a street alone can be prevented, be smart and stay where the crowds are. travel-with-tour-company

Travel safety tip #3 is:

Write down those numbers.  Write down the #s of your credit card company’s phone numbers in case you have to cancel your credit card, your credit union or bank #s so you can call them from your destination.

Travel safety tip #4 is:

Be observant.  Look up. Be aware of your surroundings.  Be prepared for diversions.  Barcelona is the #1 city for pickpocketing.  Our friend Roxane in Barcelona on Las Ramblas was eating at an outdoor cafe at night.  She put her bag under her chair (but failed to wrap around chair or her foot). Joe was smoking a cigar and two different times someone stopped and asked for a light. She thinks they were casing them out then.  Then a man sat two tables down and struck up a conversation…. that’s when she thinks they stole it.  Joe had the same cards as her, so she got phone numbers to her bank and credit card company off his wallet to call and cancel cards and report theft.

You can write your credit card telephone numbers in your Notes section of your phone before you travel.  Or you could enter the phone numbers in your actual phone’s contacts.  Like Credit Card Visa: 1-800, etc.

Traveling safety tip #5 is:

Go on food tours.  You will be in a group and go to locally known businesses.  It’s our #1 way to see a city and dive into their culture.  And take euros or small change for a tip.  I have forgotten cash for a tip while I was on a food tour in Maine.  I was so embarrassed.  But I hunted down the tour guide and mailed him cash.

There are also foodie meetups in other countries that you can visit.  I typed in foodie meetups in Barcelona.  Search for them online before you travel. holding-food-while-on-food-tour

Traveling safety tip #6 is:

Tell me what you think about this one.  Ask hotel desk clerks for their advice on where to eat alone and what to see alone.

I can highly recommend YouTube videos.  YouTube is the #2 search engine so you can google things but don’t forget about YouTube for travel tips on specific destinations.

Traveling safety tip #7 is:

Use travel safety apps. I saw on Too Many Adapters that they recommended a Free Safety App called TripWhistle SOSWith 196 countries in the world and more than 70 different emergency numbers you can contact police, fire, and ambulance emergency numbers anywhere in the world. 

Travel safety tip #8 is:

Read through tsa.gov or call them from their Contact tab.  The TSA even has a YouTube channel and Instagram page.  Staying safe starts with planning ahead as a traveler.contact-tsa-number

Speaking of TSA I don’t think it’s necessary to lock your luggage for the airplane; if TSA or ground workers want to get into your bag, they will cut it and it may harm your suitcase.

Travel safety tip #9 is:

Listen to travel podcasts.  I found Women Who Travel podcast.  It seems okay to start with, but you can be really specific in what you are searching.

For peace of mind, if it makes you feel better, secure your wallet or passport with an RFID blocking bag or pouch or sleeve.  But definitely utilizing the eight other tips to travel safety will help you and your peace of mind…and your mama’s!  Traveling is very safe, even if you are all alone.  But be smart before you start.

Other Travel Tips by Laurie videos:

33 Travel Hacks

Winter Travel Tips (5)

Let’s be friends on Instagram sometime!

I use affiliate links at times, and all opinions are my completely honest ones.

God, Who Do You Say I Am?

Today I am asking God, “Who do you say I am?”  Have you ever questioned your identity as a woman?  At different stages in my life, I have asked GOD who I am.  In 2019 I can ask MYSELF who am I, but in this video I turn to God and ask him who he says I am.  God says I am loved.  God says I have power.  God says I am secure.  God says I am comforted.  And God says I am beautiful just to name a few.

Click to see the video of who God says I am.

As a grown woman I still ask: On what is my identity based? Am I just a mom?  Am I just a wife?  Who am I now that my kids are grown?  What do other people think of me?  If you are a Jesus follower, I know you have asked that too.  Just because you believe in God doesn’t mean you won’t question who God says you are.  There are so many lies in the world (and in our minds) telling us who you should be perceived as on social media, how thin or voluptuous you should be, how successful you should be, at what age you should be married, and so forth.  Questioning who God says you are is going to help you confidently keep living while you are questioning who he says you are at different times of your life.  Psalm 41 is a chapter of truths that the Lord says to Israel.  Verse 10 says So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Even though we feel like we are in a pit of despair or wallowing around with no direction, the Bible says he is holding us up!

Love

God says I am loved by him.  He loves me!  He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 Why does that matter? Knowing that God loves me helps when I do not feel worthy of love.  When my I feel unseen by my husband or not invited to a close friend’s hangout.  He is the creator of the universe.  Yet he loves me and you.  He love is also personal.  1 Peter 5:7 says Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. His relationship pierces into my heart and he lives in our heart if we ask forgiveness from him and for him to be our Savior, or our God. And Romans 8:35 asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” And then it says nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. 

I may say churchy things, please ask me if it’s confusing. This is a Travel Tips by Laurie Channel, but these thoughts have been traveling in my mind as we are in this new year, having traveled around the sun one more time.

I’m going to say “find my identity in Christ” when I mean “who do you say I am, God?”  That means I believe that God made me and that he is my heavenly father.  That’s church talk for I am a sinner (do wrong and could never be perfect) and when I asked God to forgive my sins, he did immediately.  When that happened, my heart got a new life.

Instead of me being in charge of making myself feel good and doing good to make up for all the bad I’ve done, God sent Jesus to die on the cross to be the “payment” for me doing anything bad – past, present and future.  Now, I can be free of guilt and trying to be good enough.  Now, I get to walk around free of any chains the world may put on me; I get to walk around free of any lies I tell myself.  But while I’m walking around all free and clear, I’m looking at Jesus in the Bible.  I’m reading more about who God is and who Jesus is.  I’m behaving in a way as to say thank you to God for clearing me.  I’m not trying to be good because I should; I’m trying to act like Jesus because I get to.  Jess Connoly talks about this in her book (I’ll link it below).  I get to dance; I don’t have to.  I get to.  My 14 year old thinks like a lot of other people in this world think.  He does not enjoy going to the main church service and asks why we have to go even on a holiday.  I said, “We don’t go to church because we have to; we go because we get to.”  As I went to church and read the Bible every once in a while, I realized who I was because of Jesus.  I realized that I am worth it because he thinks the world of me.  I am worthy.

Ephesians 1:13-14 says When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…

I have heard words from my father growing up, like he would help me canoe down a scary river, like I was his princess and I was beautiful inside and out.  But that was from my daddy.  Of course he thinks that.  I heard those words from my husband.  But he’s my husband; of course he said that.  I don’t hear those words from my teenager.  And then I start telling myself lies; I’m not a good mom.  I failed him by being too strict.  We should have tried harder to adopt.  Our family is boring. When I was single, I thought I’d never get married and my life would only be fun if I was married.  The lies I tell myself can spin out of control even if we have had the best upbringing and even if we are a Christian believer.

But we’re still weak

So you have the Holy Spirit in your heart telling yourself truths.  And the Holy Spirit will never leave you; you will never be alone.

So we constantly have Jesus in our hearts telling us truths.  Then why do I keep questioning, God, who do you say I am?  Because we’re not perfect.  We will be asking this till we die and understand everything.  But we can set ourselves up mentally strong to push through those questioning times while confidently loving ourselves by setting boundaries, by stating truths and by just saying his name out loud.

To set this up for you I want to give you a perspective picture.  1 Corinthians says in verse 29-so that no one may boast. Anything good that comes my way or great personality quality that comes my way is not because of what I have done or made of myself.  It is because God made me that way, and I have worked hard or realized that trait.  I enjoy speaking in front of a camera, and that is a trait God created in me.  As I took steps along the way and made decisions, now I’m speaking in front of a camera.  It’s not because I’m awesome; it’s because He led me along the way.  So I have to set myself up as not on the throne of my life.  I need God to help me.  I need to say, “I am weak.  Without God on the throne, I can’t do it.  By saying that I am weak, I’m actually being strong because he is with me every step of the way.  Because when I am weak He is strong.”  So being weak is a good thing, y’all!  It’s like I’m getting ready for parents night when I was a 2nd grade teacher.  I was so nervous about the impression I would make, and God is paving the way in front of me as I walk to the front of the class, giving me smart thoughts and creative ideas and helping me stand a little taller.  But when you see me standing confidently, know that I am really just a girl standing in front of you with the king of the universe standing by my side saying You can do it.  I’ll go before you and pave the way.

Power:

So saying I am weak on my own is step one.  Step 2 is realizing how much power you have as a Christ follower or in Christ.  If he is the king of the universe, then we are princesses.  And with that title comes power because of him in us. Psalm 91:1-2 say Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  With such awesome power, comes rest.  When I rest physically, I am more powerful.  When I rest mentally, I’m more sane and my reactions to disobedience in my teen or reactions when I’m angry are more controlled.  My tongue is more controlled.  I have power over words that come out of my mouth.  I won’t cut down my husband.

When I dwell somewhere, that is where I live, where I do laundry, where I do the dishwasher and make school lunches every single day.  It’s not glamorous, but God is there in the mundane and that verse says it’s a fortress of strength. My outfit of the day does not need to be trendy; that’s not real life.  The Most High God is he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.  Power over the mountains!  God is my refuge and my fortress; he’s my safety zone and my strong tower.  My husband is a pilot, and he is with women pilots, women flight attendants.  I trust him to be faithful to me.  He does not stay at the same hotel as the flight attendants, but sometimes the captain will pay for everyone’s dinner at some point during the trip.  One night he called me to say good night while waiting to go into the restaurant.  I could hear people in the background, and that bothered me so much.  I had a tinge of doubt.  I had to talk that out with God and my hubby for a few days or weeks.  That was in the beginning of our marriage.  I had dealt with infidelity with a long time boyfriend and hated that those fears were coming out again.  Trusting him while he is on a trip gives me rest.  If I didn’t trust him, I would be worried sick.  So having God as my fortress and refuge means I can trust him and in that trust have rest-mentally and physically.

Psalm 18:1-3 says the Lord is my rock my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I tell young mothers a lot, you will get sleep again one day.  I want to give them hope to make it one more day on 4 hours of sleep.  But them knowing I’m saying that they will get sleep one day only helps so much.  They need constant reassurance from Jesus that they can do it.  They have a purpose that is powerful.  And this purpose they’re in right now is huge.  Proverbs 16:3 says commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  That means even going to the same old job each and every day.  That means when I fail or make a terrible video, I can still be confident because I’m in Christ.  And God is in me.  I keep walking in power and weak, depending on God.  I keep going.  I don’t quit. Isaiah 30: 21 says Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  God says that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” in Romans 8:37.

Beauty

I always felt awkward since I was tall so early.  My 7th grade boyfriend came up to here.  I towered over most middle schoolers in the halls of Sharp Middle School.  But in middle school and high school I don’t remember feeling like I had to have a boyfriend all the time.  I was loving life and had resigned to the fact I was not one of the pretty girls.  But I remember my dad calling me Princess and telling me not to look at all the other pretty girls…that I was beautiful inside and out.  My mom encouraged me to be myself and allowed me to express myself with poor fashion choices or hair choices.  I do not remember her giving me her opinion thinking I’d made a mistake.  I so appreciate that now.

As I get older, I can tell myself lies about my aging looks etc.  But Psalm 54 says Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.  John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I challenge you to look in the mirror and say, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.”

I was so worried when we moved from Georgia to Northern Virginia near DC that parents would not think I was a qualified teacher because of my southern accent.  The first time, I completely wracked my nerves with worry.  But I knew I was qualified…by having a degree and Masters degree.  I had like 6 years of experience teaching these ages.  But knowing those earthly accolades didn’t help me.  Jesus helped me stand up straighter, do my best by planning out what I was going to say, and helped me think of what scary questions the parents my have.  What he thought of me on the inside helped me feel more confident and I’m sure I looked more confident.  But here’s the thing.  I had to turn to him for these truths.  My earthly trophies were not enough.  Matthew 6:20-21 – But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Those will give way; heaven will not.  Do not let yourself be blinded by the lights of popularity, fun family outings, loving marriage scale, or how big your house is.

Fear

I thought after having our son biologically that I our family would not be fun or complete if we couldn’t give our son a sibling.  I kept telling myself that. Then the fear of not being able to have another child set in.  After years of anger and sadness with failed infertility procedures, we decided to adopt.  Long story short, we took the 13 month old girl in (named Aubrey) thinking we would have a family of four and still have a relationship with the birth mom and dad.  It’s called Open Adoption.  The birth mother wanted us to adopt her daughter, but the birth father wanted the girl.  So after 9 days we gave her back.  We met at the Dulles Mall, and as I handed Aubrey back to the birth mother she said, “No, you can just put her in the car seat yourself.”  Then my fear for Aubrey growing up in a peaceful house overwhelmed me. But I sensed God wanted us to just pray for this girl for the rest of her life.  After healing from that loss we felt empowered with our family of three.  I started seeing how awesome it was for our son.  The fear can be so irrational at times and for real at times.  Fear is a real, valid feeling most of the time.  Mrs. Morrison told me right before I got married, worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but don’t get you anywhere.  We are more than conquerors.  I am going to need to fight that battle mentally or physically or emotionally…with God’s help; not on my own.

So many verses use refuge and strength in the same phrase.  That tells us we need to hear that over and over, and we will battle.  There is danger and awful-ness out there.  We will need to mentally feel safe and mentally feel strong our whole lives because we will battle our whole lives.  For me, when I do not feel strong or when I don’t feel fun enough, God sees me as enough just like I am…with his qualities in me.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.

When we are scared, Jesus is our safety net. When we feel weak, he is our strength.  When we feel ugly or not worth a second glance, he is our weight.

Isaiah 26:3 – They will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  I happened upon this verse the day after my dad survived his first heart attack.  It was on my first day of school in a brand new school.  The whole family was able to be together with my dad in the hospital room, and I remember there was such peace.  But 3 years ago my dad died after a long, brutal battle of Alzheimer’s and my mom was there alone with him.  How awful for her!  How awful for all of us.  But our minds are all confident that he is not suffering anymore.  Death is awful and unfair, and I do not have answers for why bad things happen; I just have to focus on the hope of the end of the story way down the line.  And we have to keep living.

Peace – He is the Prince of Peace.  He is our peace.  Not only is he our peace, if we have him in our heart as our Savior, then we have peace too.  We cannot get rid of it; we just have to look for it.  Realize that it is in us and walk.

Psalm 119:114 says You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.  He is our protector and our defender.  We will be in battles, and while we are fighting mentally, we will feel safe and strong and have rest because we are standing on solid grounds.

Philippians 4:6-7 As children of the Most High God, we’re told not to worry about anything, but with prayer, petition and thanksgiving make our requests known to God.  And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

You have peace, security, power, love and beauty because you belong to Jesus.  Those qualities make up your identity.  They are in there; I want you to see them and live life to its fullest-mentally and physically and emotionally strong.

7 Travel Tips to Pack Light

Hey there; here are 7 travel tips for packing light.  When you pack light for travel, you save space in your suitcase. I am showing you how to maximize your space in your suitcase and travel bag by packing light with these 7 tips.  I have 7 tips, but I’m breaking down each tip into details on how you can pack light.

The #1 Travel tip for packing light is: Pack so that your travel outfits do double duty

I wear a pair of jeans and pack one pair of pants in my travel bag. I’m saving space by only packing one pair of pants in my suitcase. One of my jeans looks dressier so it can be worn both in the day time and at a nice restaurant or show.  All the tops that I pack can mix and match with these two pairs of pants. I can easily have 7 travel outfits with space leftover in my suitcase.

The #2 travel tip for packing light is to use a backpack or duffle bag that can fit under your airplane seat as your personal item instead of just a purse.  I use a backpack as my personal bag because there is maximum amount of space, which means more space in my suticase.  1. Depending on where I go, I will use a light-weight cross body that can be rolled and stored in my backpack and pulled out when I get to my destination.    2. I can pack a sweater or jacket in the bottom of the backpack because there is more space than if I took a purse.  I recommend rolling that sweater or jacket.  And now if I get cold, I do not have to pull my suitcase out of the over head bin looking for my jacket.  It’s in my personal item backpack. 3. I pack my liquids and medicines in that backpack that is right underneath my airplane seat.  That equals 3 items that are now in my backpack, leaving more space in my suitcase.

The #3 travel tip for packing light is to blend travel outfit colors (Monochromatic on some days, black, blue, gray)

I recommend black pants or gray jeans and blue jeans. I recommend red top, white or light gray top, and a black t-shirt.  All tops match with any of those jeans.  Scarf and cardigans can dress up an outfit, and they take up minimal space in your suitcase. A scarf and jewelry are light weight, and they add color and personality to your travel outfits.  Blending colors does not mean boring.  Even your fingernail colors can add some personality to your blue or black outfit.

The #4 travel tip for packing light is to wear your heaviest clothing and shoes onto the airplane so those items are not taking up space in your suitcase.

I wear my tall boots.  I wear my thick cardigan.  I wear jeans.  My mom wanted to wear leggings for her long haul flight to Israel, but I encouraged her to wear jeans.  She had enough space in her suitcase, so she opted to wear leggings and not take my travel advice. Humph!

I really think this 5th tip is key to packing light: write down each outfit per day after I lay out outfits.  Visually, it helps you see what can be mixed and matched.  I was going to add in this cute sweater from Nordstrom.  It doesn’t really go with black jeans so it’s taking up extra space.  If it’s not a multi-tasker, the item will not help you pack light.  Toss it.

Pack a small amount of basic makeup items with one deep accent color for your eyeshadow or lips.  I pack a burgundy color as my accent piece.  To save space you can pack small pallets like this Mary Kay one that contains blush and three of my neutral eyeshadows.  Then There is a deep brown and blue here for accents.  I pack this Japonesque pallet because it’s flat and matte.  But I am allergic to red dye on my eyes so that’s why I bring this dye-free burgundy from Young Living. This makeup pallet saves space because it’s basically the thickness of my travel pouch where I pack makeup.  I can use 2 of these colors for my blush. I TRY to only bring a few brushes, but do not take for granted the little brushes that are in those supermarket eyeshadow palettes.  They’re small and great space-savers for travel. I never throw those brushes away.  I can use them for 5 days.

The 7th tip for packing light is to use cubes.  They squish and smush your items into compartments that really do give you more room in your suitcase.  The packing cubes are moldable; it’s not like you’re putting shoe boxes in your suitcase.  They shape to what you need. I made a video about that comparing rolling method vs packing cubes; you can check it out by clicking any of the i cards at any time during my videos.

There you have the 7 travel tips to help you pack light.  If you have a packing light tip, let us know.  We are becoming a little community here on Travel Tips by Laurie.  So join in! Thank you for watching!

Low-Carb Cauliflower Side Dish Recipe

Y’all, this low carb cauliflower side dish recipe is both easy and delicious.  The sticky consistency tastes almost sweet because of the tahini and dates.

low-carb-cauliflower
Low-Carb Cauliflower Side Dish

Now, I prefer to NOT use tahini in my hummus.  But there is a totally different flavor when mixed with low carb roasted cauliflower!  It is almost sweet!  Think comfort food.  We recreated this low carb dish after eating at a new restaurant in The Woodlands, Texas named True Food Kitchen.  They specialize in low carb food high on flavor.

Chop the cauliflower. Toss with the oil and salt and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

cauliflower-low-carb-recipe
Roasted Cauliflower

 

 

shelled-pistachios

While it is roasting, shell the pistachios and chop the dates. 

 

When the cauliflower is browned on its edges, immediately toss with dates, 2 big spoons
of Tahini and pistachios.  spoon-of-tahiniAdd more Tahini if needed.  It has the consistency of peanut
butter without the peanut flavor or sugar!

tahini-low-carb
Tahini has a peanut butter consistency

There is something about having this with the Tahini that makes it POP into the comfort
food category.  Remember that I do not prefer Tahini, but it is totally different in this low
carb recipe.

cauliflower-low-carb-recipe
We should have added one more spoon of the Tahini.  Delicious low carb comfort food!

PLEASE let me know if you have the guts to try this dish.  The flavors marry so well together!

Stop by my LauriePOP Ideas That POP YouTube Channel for travel tips, fashion and makeup tips and party hosting ideas that POP into my head.  We’re an airline family so most of my videos include travel tips we have learned.

Videos You May Like:

How to Pack in a Carryon Suitcase

7 Tips About Your First Flight

6 Ways to Style A Denim Jacket

 

10 Things to Do in San Francisco (1 Day)

I’m going to tell you 10 things to do in San Francisco for a day…what to see, where to eat and what to do all down by Fisherman’s Wharf. 

**THE VIDEO ABOVE HAS ALL THE LINKS***

We’re going to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, see the walruses on Pier 39 and eat some amazing chowder and bread and chocolate.  Here are 10 things to do in San Francisco for the day. If you are visiting San Fran or if your airplane lands in San Francisco International Airport, and you have a layover, this video will help you.  The SFO is a 40 minute drive to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. If you like this video, leave me a comment or subscribe for other travel, fashion and party idea videos that POP. We are an airline family so most of my videos are travel tips.

#1 Thing to Do in San Fran is to Uber it toward the San Francisco Cable Car System, which has been running since 1873.  Have your Uber driver drop you off at the Powell Street Cable Car TurnAround stop on Powell and Mason streets. Our Uber driver had a car phone charger for us, gum and water bottles!  We landed in the morning, but the morning traffic wasn’t too bad so the commute took around 40 minutes.  We got in line for the Cable Car at 9 am and waited an hour and a half.  The Axiom Hotel is right by the line; we suggest getting pastries and coffee from there (no line) while you wait.  It’s eye opening seeing some of the disturbed individuals yelling or asking for money, and there are plenty of people around so it’s not unsafe.  Your family members can even run across the street to the huge mall and grab something to eat while you wait.

You can only buy tickets on the actual Cable Car if you have cash.  If you can only pay with a credit card, you will want to stand in a little line at a booth by the Cable Car line.  You will have plenty of time to stand in that line.  We had enough cash so we just bought them on the car, and they WILL check for your ticket.  This Cable Car will take you over many hills straight to Fisherman’s Wharf, but it will stop in China Town.  Now, you can get off at the China Town stop, but you will have to pay full fare to get back on at China Town and continue to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We skipped China Town.  The full fare per person is $7, and if you’re a senior, you only get a discount if you travel before 7 am or after 9 pm.  You can buy a full day passport (I’ll link it below) for $17 per person so if you wanted to hop off and back on in the same day, you do that. But you buy those from the conductors on board so have cash on hand.

#2 Thing to Do in San Francisco is to get the lay of the land once you get off the Cable Car at Fisherman’s Wharf – tourist shops, booking a tour if you want…they have ferry rides around the bay to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Take it from us; set up these tours months ahead.  Crowds made it so that everything was booked that day; we were there the beginning of August, and 6 piers away from Fisherman’s Wharf, where the Alcatraz tours take off were booked until the end of the year when we looked.  Plan ahead for tours.  We saw segway tours, but I’m talking about any boating tours.

#3 Wow, Alcatraz is amazing if you can swing it for your day in San Fran.  You have individual audio tour head sets to walk around with at your own leisure-you’re not with a tour guide or group.  This, along with the ferry ride will take around 2.5 hours.  They take your picture before you even get on the boat; we recommend making a scary face as a family.  You meet this boat way down at Pier 33.  We also recommend watching the original Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood.  We got to go on Halloween to Alcatraz…aah back when we could take our child out of school without him being responsible for alot of instruction.

map-of-fishermans-wharf
Map of Fisherman’s Wharf (Fish Alley)

#4 What Food to Eat – In Fisherman’s Wharf, where you get dropped off at the Cable Car – this is called Fish Alley.  This area is a flat triangle of about 5 blocks all along the San Francisco Bay.  If you want a breakfast or pastry or some awesome coffee, look toward the water and turn right on Jefferson Street and go to Boudin Sourdough Cafe.  This is a crowded, fun place to eat at bar top tables and order some delicious coffee.  It’s brisk because the wall height doors are open so you get the sea breeze. There is a restaurant that opens at 11 fyi.  Whenever you are getting hungry, you need to already be at a restaurant because of the wait time.  If you get hangry, that one day in San Fran will be ruined. While we drank our coffee, we planned where we wanted to go first.  This cafe is across the street from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum if that interests you…or if it’s windy and freezing cold and you want an indoor thing to do.

You will see near lunch, a bunch of vendors under Alioto’s and Fishermen’s Grotto right beside Alioto’s.  Those will see you the freshest clam chowder and fish, and you can take that food and walk right over to the benches or sidewalks to eat by the bay water.  But if you go behind their kiosks, there are tiny restaurants where you can escape the heat or cold.  We ate at saBella.  They and La Torre have vendors outside as well as a restaurant behind their kiosks. There’s even The Chowder Hut right there in the middle of the cement lot in Fish Alley.  You cannot eat inside I don’t think, but you have lots of tables outside to eat at.  It’s an A-frame little restaurant.  Any of the Wharf food is going to be excellent in my opinion.  My uncle was the accountant for Alioto’s back around 1980, and Aliotos was quite a treat.  I think they still have the same carpet, and they have tons of tables inside with a view of the bay.  There’s something about eating warm chowder with the cold, wet wind hitting you while you eat it outside though.  Good times!

#5 Thing to Do in San Francisco If you have a history buff, is to tour the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, ship right there by Alioto’s and Fisherman’s Grotto.  It’s the last standing Normandy ship I think?  You can sit in the turret and look down the scope.  Great tour; the movie Titanic used the belly of this ship to film the pipe sections, do you remember that part in the movie?

Don’t miss the #6 thing in San Francisco and that is the vintage arcade place called Musee Mecanique right before you enter the Pier 42ish for the ship.  It’s all right there beside Alioto’s and Fishermen’s Grotto.  They have vintage games, antiques and new arcade games.  So fun and quirky and quick!

arcade-san-francisco-wharf-musee-mecanique
Vintage Arcade Games You Can Play (and new games)

#7 Thing to See in San Francisco is to walk from Fisherman’s Wharf-Pier 42ish to Pier 39 to watch the famous walruses.  It’s like a man cave all in the open.  Hilarious grunting and blubbering around.  You can stand here watching them for at least 30 minutes.  There’s a tiny museum right above where you watch the walruses that’ll take you about 10 minutes to walk through. This gives you the cool story of how the walruses ended up on Pier 39 after an earthquake. In-between these two piers there is a big white building with a clean bathroom area.  It’s large and white.  Safe.

#8 We recommend you wait until after 2 to Uber to Golden Gate Bridge so the sun will burn off the fog-or if it’s sunny when you arrive, go there immediately!  You never know when the fog will roll in and COMPLETELY block it.  Change your schedule if you need to because a great view from the bridge is the main reason we love San Fran. Our Uber driver came within 2 minutes right there at The Wharf and took us right to the welcome center of the Golden Gate Bridge.  We walked about halfway across the bridge and were freezing so we came back to the welcome center.  This is like a mini museum and gift shop.  They have metal bolted facts about the bridge with large posters of construction that are amazing!  Don’t miss this.  For example, there are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.  You can take a selfie near an actual size cable segment holding up the bridge.  The fact posters tell you how many days it took from start to having an automobile on the bridge.  There’s also a coffee shop there with gorgeous views, but it was very crowded!  If you can fit it, I’d take a fleece or a thin wind breaker because that wind-whew!  And we were fine down by the Wharf!

Traffic congestion is a nightmare, and we recommend getting Uber to take you back to Ghirardelli from the bridge.  I’d say the car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to the bridge is about 6 minutes.  Now, take Uber to Ghirardelli Square, which is in-between the bridge and wharf. 

It came within two minutes, but we met him at the entrance of the welcome center parking lot.  There is a turn around so he won’t have to go through the awful parking lot traffic to pick you up if you just meet him at the entrance.  Remember Uber tells you what the car looks like etc. So you won’t miss him. This Uber car was a Mercedes! And the other one was a Lexus!

If you’re a biker and IF it’s a beautiful day, we recommend renting a bike at the bridge, riding across it and down into Sausalito to a bakery for a quick pick me up.  But be prepared for that head wind!  Brutal!

#9 Must when you visit San Francisco is Ghirardelli Square.  It has 3 levels basically…a walk up ice cream cone section, a cafe, and a gift shop up top.  The Ghirardelli Cafe line has such little room inside so it is deceiving.  It looks like there will be a long wait in the restaurant part.  But don’t be fooled.  Stand in line and order the Sea Salt Caramel Sundae with caramel and hot fudge chocolate sauce.  I always ask for no whip so that I can get to the flavors faster!  They have free water cups by the vintage conveyor belt inside the restaurant so you don’t have to order it.  The food comes out faster than you can tell your waitress what you want.  Then they have the shops upstairs with candy, etc you can buy, as well as where you leave the cafe.

10# Thing to Do in San Francisco If you’re looking for a clean inexpensive hotel, we can recommend The Vagabond Inn.  Even if you do not stay there, take their free shuttle and then take a walk behind the hotel. No frills, but they have free breakfast and transportation to and from the San Francisco airport.  And weekdays are MUCH more expensive than weekend rates.  The 2 other reasons we like this one is that it’s in-between two nice hotels.  So after our day of racing around Fisherman’s Wharf, we came back to our hotel and crashed for an hour and walked right next door to the happy hour menu.  They had delicious and moderately priced foods to choose from that were top notch!  And you’re right by the water that planes land on at the airport.  So there is a view.  And outside of the Vagabond Inn and the others, there’s a really long cement walking path along that water.  You can jog or walk or walk to the Marriott next door to get a Starbucks and enjoy watching planes land and take off at the country’s busiest intersecting airport.  With only two runways, as one is landing, one is taking off at the same time.  It’s precise!  And so cool to watch from a distance.  And where the Vagabond Inn is is usually not fogged in so you will feel the sun.

For an added tip when visiting San Francisco I want to recommend what to wear when you are in San Fran for a day.  I recommend good canvas shoes.  I’m a tennis shoes gal for sight seeing, but with mist almost always in the forecast, you do not want your socks and feet to get wet.  These are excellent for arch support and thick comfortable soles.  I also recommend a tunic over comfy jeans or leggings.  I love cardigans because they are added layering without a lot of bulk.  I’ll link this rain coat below because it’s so fold up-able.  And the sleeves are long enough to wear over a cardigan as it is A-frame.  If the sleeves are too long, you get the happy pops of leopard under the cuff.  This wind breaker rain coat is super thin, but it helps block the wind if it’s not in the middle of winter.  I wore this in Oregon and loved it.  These are all wardrobe pieces for a vacation that you can pull out and wear for your one day in San Francisco that will still match and mix with other clothes in your bag.

I hope these ideas help give you a bird’s eye view of what 10 things to do in San Francisco so you can plan what your family wants to see and eat and do if you only have one day.  Thank you for POPping over!

Other Videos You May Like:

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9 Travel Outfit Ideas: Wear This NOT That

Today I will share NINE travel outfit ideas for the airplane.  I am going to help you know what to wear and what not to wear when you travel.  How you dress in an airplane will help you be more comfortable in your outfit.  You will worry less about stains, you will be at ease when you are sitting and bending over, and you will not be self conscious about what you are wearing.  Let’s POP into this video.

The #1 travel outfit idea is to wear one with a Cardigan Not a Poncho – Cardigans add dimension to your travel outfit, they add layering if you get cold, they add length to your body, cardigans can mix and match with your travel outfits while on vacation, cardigans with pockets give you added function in an airport, like a place to store your phone when you have to pay for a coffee. Cardigans can be light weight or heavy for warmth.  Ponchos collapse under the arms if you use a backpack, and they got caught on things like when i sit on the airplane and reach forward to the seat back pocket, my arms cannot extend all the way.  Ponchos are a bit less mobile for a travel outfit item.

The #2 travel outfit idea is one that has a Shell Top Not a Tank Top – Shell tops are usually flattering on more women than tank tops.  Most women I know are not comfortable only wearing a tank top.  When you wear a shell top on the airplane you do not have to worry with bra strap showing, no worries about too much cleavage if the person sitting beside you is taller and can see down your cleavage.

Y’all must watch the video for the pictures and true pictures!  It’ll help give you a true visual.

I would pack several shell tops in my suitcase because they usually have patterns meaning many outfits you can mixed and matched. Shells are blousy and will disguise all you ate on vacation, and you can dress them up with nice pants or down with shorts or jeans.

Another Outfit Item to Wear on an Airplane is Gray Denim Not White Jeans. Gray denim still goes with most every color, can be mixed and matched.  You cannot see through this color; stains are less noticeable.   And you do not have to bring only off white undies.  Or do you plan which undies to wear each day of work or vacation?

The fourth thing to wear on an airplane is a Regular T-shirt Not a T-shirt With Ruffles – A good t-shirt is a foundational piece for your travel outfit. You do not have to iron most t-shirts after being packed in the carryon suitcase during the flight; by the way, if you have not tried this Downy Wrinkle Releaser, it does work if you do not have an iron.  Most hotels have one so I haven’t made a big deal about this.

1. Ruffles get bent forward sometimes and cannot be ironed back.  2. If I’m throwing on a cardigan on the airplane, I do not want to take the extra time to fit the ruffles down into the sleeves.  They bug me like crazy if the ruffles are not in perfect form and shape.

The #5 travel outfit piece is a Plaid Shirt Not Solid Blouse – Plaid adds glad to any travel outfit, plaid has a vacation vibe to it…especially gingham paired with pink. Wrinkles do not show as easily as they do on a solid, just personal preference.  My navy gingham is very wrinkled, but you can hardly tell. These plaid tops drape your body and are great for layering.  I prefer these brands.  They’re not hot or sticky or clingy!  You can tuck plaid in for a put together look without being high maintenance.  And when you do tuck them in, there is enough fabric to blouse them out.

The sixth travel outfit piece is to wear Joggers Not Leggings-you can half tuck shirts into joggers, you can wear with sneakers or sandals or loafer type shoes, you can dress up like my friend Laurie did and dress down.  These types are super drapey; do you think it almost looks like a jumpsuit?  Monochromatic is a great way to wear them.  Some joggers are neutral army green so goes especially well with black and whites, you can add accessories, you cannot see your panty line with joggers and your fine china isn’t on display for men.  I was at the doc, and the older lady in front of my had such cute leggings on with a t-shirt, but the back of the t-shirt had ridden up on her, and you could totally see through to her cheeks.  Since I have a 13 year old boy, I notice all these gals who wear leggings with a short t-shirt revealing a little too much.

#7 on our travel outfit list is to take a Backpack Not a Large Handbag – If you have seen any of my travel videos, you know I use a backpack because 1, you are hands-free.  And 2, you can fit so many items in a backpack.

#8 is to wear Zip Up Boots Not Pull-On Boots – You have to stand to take off your shoes, and it takes much less time to get through airport security if you can unzip your boots to put them in the security shoe bin.  If your boots are a little tight, unzip them a couple of inches for the flight.

The number 9 travel outfit idea is to wear a Tunic Not a Dress – Tunics can be worn with leggings or jeans, you can bend over to take your shoes off in security in a tunic and not worry about underwear showing, you can lift your carryon suitcase up above you into the overhead without your said underwear showing, your tunic will not brush the floor of the onboard lavatory like a dress will, and you can hide all that overeating you did on vacation.

Which outfit piece would you instead of your normal outfit on an airplane?

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Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions that POP into my head are my very own.

Two Advent Games for Your Teenagers

 

This Christmas pun game is a free printable from Teachers Pay Teachers.  This is for your personal use. IHaveWhoHasChristmasPunsGame

There is also this Would You Rather game that sounds fun. ChristmasWouldYouRatherQuestions 

Please refer to my YouTube video for the entire advent calendar ideas for teens.  We are an airline family so I have tons of travel tip videos.

Leave me a comment and introduce yourself.

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