A Week in Silicon Valley for $750 or Less

SF’s dubious distinction: the most expensive city in the US

Why I Wrote This

Basic Ingredients

  • A flight
  • A place to stay
  • A way to get around
  • Reliable internet
  • Cheap food

Recipe: Flight

Two one ways = one cheap round trip

Recipe: A Place to Crash

A prototypical hacker house.

Recipe: Getting Around

  • Caltrain gets you from city to city on the Peninsula (i.e. from SF to Silicon Valley)
  • BART gets you from place to place in SF and can get you over to Oakland or Berkeley if you need to go there. It’s also the best way to get to the airport.
  • MUNI is SF’s local bus system. It can get you to any random place in the city you need to go. (but see also Lyft Line, below)
  • Other cities besides SF have busses etc but I almost never need to use them. Silicon Valley is for the most part a long thin line of stuff within easy reach from a Caltrain station.
Ye olde Clipper Card
The bus icon at the top gets you Transit options, while the ‘Arrive by’ option gets you the right schedule for the exact time you need to be there
  • Since transit schedules vary by the hour, use Google Maps’ Depart at / Arrive by options if you’re planning a route for some time in the future.
  • Keep your Clipper in the front of your wallet and you can easily bing through the gates by tapping your wallet to the pad
  • With Caltrain it’s very important to bing both when you get on AND when you get off. When you tag off you’ll get a refund according to the distance you travelled. Otherwise, they’ve charged you for a full San Francisco to San Jose ride. With BART you have to bing again to get out of the station.
  • MUNI is a pay once ride all you want kind of deal. When you bing you get 2 hours of bus rides, so don’t worry about taking transfers etc. For some meetings you can get there and back for one $2.50 fare.
Lyft Line Hotspots are your friends

Recipe: Cheap Food

My Soylent pitcher (for mixing) and two insulated thermoses (for drinking and carrying in my backpack, respectively) in the fridge at a hacker house in Mountain View.

Recipe: Reliable Internet

Adding up your Tab

  • Flight: $450
  • Place to Stay: $40/nt * 5 = $200
  • Getting around: ~$10/day * 5 = $50 on Caltrain/Muni/BART/Lyft Line
  • Reliable Internet: $20–50/mo / 5 = $10 from Verizon
  • Cheap food: $8/day * 5 = $40 from Soylent

Postscript: Why a 5 Day Trip?

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CEO @trinketapp. Helping bring code to a classroom near you. http://elliotthauser.com/

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Elliott Hauser

Elliott Hauser

CEO @trinketapp. Helping bring code to a classroom near you. http://elliotthauser.com/

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