We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Staying by Airport

Mullica Hill, New...
Level Contributor
27 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Staying by Airport

Is anyone aware of an area near the airport that may be near transportation center, where a family could get from a hotel out by airport into town? in particular the ballpark or Alcatraz?

Thanks

Coloma, California
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Staying by Airport

You will predictably get the following answers.

Why stay by the airport? Stay in San Francisco to see San Francisco.

Pacifica, California
Destination Expert
for Pacifica
Level Contributor
11,205 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Staying by Airport

There's a combined Millbrae BART/Caltrain station. Caltrain would be convenient to get to the ballpark. BART for getting downtown.

Hotels nearby would be The Dylan and Fairfield Inn.

There's also a Staybridge Suites near the San Bruno/Tanforan BART station near the airport.

Edited: 2:15 pm, January 17, 2017
Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
Level Contributor
9,340 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Staying by Airport

To just expand a little bit. There are some rare(?) circumstances where it makes sense and/or forum regulars suggest staying at a hotel near the airport (or just outside of SF in general) for people visiting SF. Unfortunately, you've provided almost no information, so it's hard to say if anyone would think it makes sense given your situation.

Most of the time, however, the suggestion is to stay *in* SF when visiting. Most of the time regulars can suggest hotels that meet (or beat) the out-of-town hotel rate; which is easier when you add in the cost of "commuting" to SF for the visit. Plus there is a plethora of intangible costs (time lost commuting being the biggest one, but there are others) that favor staying in SF.

Bottom Line: Most of the time it makes more sense to stay in SF rather than outside; often at no more cost than the out of town hotel (plus transit costs).

If you provide some more information, we can better evaluate if it makes sense for you to stay outside of SF or if it's being penny wise & pound foolish.

That's my $.02,

hlo

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,245 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Staying by Airport

I agree with Simba's recs but you likely won't save money by staying at those hotels once you factor in BART and/or Caltrain costs round trip for 3+ people. Then add in the inconvenience and extra commute time and hassle with any younger children. Check the budget hotels in SF such as the Cow Hollow Motor Inn, Chelsea, Columbus Motor Inn, Chancellor Hotel etc listed in the BUDGET hotel recommendations under our Top Questions area to the right of your computer screen.

Edited: 2:27 pm, January 17, 2017
Mullica Hill, New...
Level Contributor
27 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Staying by Airport

We are a family of 4. Kids are 17 and 21. We see staying in city would be $400 plus per night, whereas airport around $250. We understand the differences between staying in city versus outside it, but if some areas are right by public transport, some inconvenience may be outweighed by cost of hotel and rental car.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,245 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Staying by Airport

We do not recommend a rental car when you stay in SF. The daily cost and parking are generally not worth it. Much easier to get around with a Muni pass (busses and cable cars in SF). The hotels I posted are half the cost you just gave us unless that's $400 for two rooms.

Yes, it is easy to take BART to the Mission or Embarcadero or Caltrain to the Giants game from Millbrae. Just be aware of the costs. Millbrae is a nice safe community and there is a grocery store and casual takeout restaurants near the hotels by the station.

Edited: 2:51 pm, January 17, 2017
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
Level Contributor
17,750 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Staying by Airport

NJ --- We stay at airport hotels fairly regularly, one-night at a time, coming and going to the airport for travel elsewhere.

You seem to be motivated re staying south of SF, and you could make it work, as long as you know you'd be renting a hotel where you'd just be sleeping. You didn't say how long your trip is, but you'd have to be prepared to leave your airport hotel and be gone up north to SF for the whole day.

We do need more details, and also ---- we've never stayed at an airport hotel that costs that much, as you said above. We get nice hotels for much less than that (Hotwire, Orbitz, Expedia, Booking, etc.), but we travel as a couple.

It's possible to do what you want to do, but you're balancing "time and money." It may cost you less for a family of four, but you'd be spending your precious vacation time commuting back-and-forth.

Could you fill in some blanks for us, on exactly how much time you're in the area, what you want to do, when you're coming, etc? There are hotels within SF that won't cost your family $400/night. You could do the airport, but spending that much time commuting would cut deeply into your family vacation experience.

sf
Level Contributor
3,672 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Staying by Airport

Beside Staybridge, There is also the Courtyard by Marriott in San Bruno, which is about 8-10 minutes walk to BART. Your best bet is to check pricing online.t

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
Level Contributor
9,340 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Staying by Airport

Well, some comments now that we have additional information:

1. Unless it's a time of a demand spike due to large convention, etc. you should be able to find a hotel for 4 people in SF for under $400/night (perhaps much less). Now, it won't be as nice as a $400/night room (and perhaps not as nice as the $250/night room near the airport), but . . . .

I'm curious what hotels you're considering (both in & outside of SF)? Also, how much (if any) of the $400 is due to parking costs? (As pointed out the standard advice is to NOT have a car while visiting SF if possible.)

2. With your specifics and using Millbrae to Powell Street (because it was mentioned and it's not the cheapest, but not the most expensive BART fare) you'll spend close to $10/day per person on roundtrip BART fare. For the 4 of you that's close to $40/day. Add that to your $250/night airport hotel and suddenly a $300/night room is SF "costs" about the same as that airport hotel (and comes with some benefits, see next item).

3. And, you'll have an extra hour a day to see/do things in SF. An hour is roughly the station to station time on BART (both ways). In reality add in time to get to the station, some waiting for the next train, etc and you're could easily be talking more like 1.5 to 2 hours/day.

There are other reasons, but that's the start of the analysis,

hlo

California
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Staying by Airport

The most important question is WHEN (exactly) will you be in San Francisco?

There are certainly options in your budget in SF that are quite nice and absolutely, definitely easier than staying at the airport.