charity cab taking holiday traveler to Oakland Airport from Pleasanton, CA.

7 Stress-Relieving Holiday Travel Tips for 2016

Does travel during the holidays stress you out like no other? The holidays can definitely either be a time of happiness, warmth, and good memories – or they can be a time of stress, anger, and pulling your hair out at the roots. One of the major stressors during the holidays is travel. Will I make it on time for my flight? Will I get snowed in? What if I am stuck at the airport for days due to a delayed flight? How much did those airline tickets cost again? If you want to see your family for the winter holidays, then traveling is a necessity. Luckily, we have seven stress-relieving holiday travel tips for 2016 to share with you. We hope they do you some good this season.

1.    Get the App

Charity cab helping you travel to SFO or Oakland Airport. We live in a world of tablets, smartphones, and yes, apps. There’s an app for nearly everything (even this app for finding someone nearby to cuddle with). Every major airline has a smartphone app that you can download and use to check the status of your flight, show your boarding pass, check your miles, and more. You can also use apps like Skyscanner or FlightStats to look for cheaper tickets and to check the status of your (or a family member’s) flight regardless of what airline they chose.

Major Airline Apps:

2.    Have a Plan

It’s important that you think ahead when it comes to holiday travel. You might have bought the tickets and arranged for transportation to the airport, but you also need to consider increased holiday traffic, what hour you’ll be arriving at your destination, what public transportation options are available, the check in time of your destination hotel, whether or not your phone is charged enough to make an emergency call, and so much more. Think smart – plan ahead, and make sure you’re prepared for any of the stresses that holiday travel throws at you.

3.    Pack Smart

bags ready to go to SFO with Charity Cab.Make sure to pack only what you definitely need. Traveling during the holidays means lots of presents – and lots of money-spending. You can save money by forgoing checking bags, and instead opting for a small backpack as your personal item, and a duffel bag as your carry-on. You can even fit two weeks’ worth of clothes in a single small duffel. Just roll your clothes to save space and prevent wrinkles, and make a few other space-saving adjustments to your usual packing routine. Regarding those big bags of bulky presents, try mailing as many of them as possible to your destination address.

4.    Bring Snacks

We don’t know about you, but we’re very aware of this thing called being “hangry” (hungry + angry = hangry). Avoid the holiday rage by packing yourself some delicious snacks for the flight. This will save you money at the airport, too!

5.    Avoid High Traffic Days

It’s well-known among frequent travelers that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year – you’d be wisest to avoid flying that day. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only busy travel day. Many people are traveling to and from home during Christmas, and the airport can get quite congested during this time of year. This is especially true if you live in a college town where students often travel home for winter break. We also recommend trying to catch either an early morning or late evening flight if you’re worried about airport traffic and your flight being on-time.

6.    Leave Your Car at Home

Driving your own car to the airport means just one more thing to worry about. First, you have to find the parking lot. Then you have to find a place to park. Then you need to pay for parking up front or grab a parking pass. Then either take a shuttle or walk by foot to the airport. This can easily add an additional 45 minutes to your trip, which can be the difference between being on-time and missing your flight entirely. Instead, opt to take a cab to the airport, or have a friend/family member drop you off. This way you can also skip the parking fees and won’t have to stress about your car getting damaged or broken into.

7.    Practice Yoga

We posted a blog not too long ago about how yoga can be a remedy for jet lag, but it’s also a great way to alleviate stress during holiday travel. If you’re freaking out at the airport, try finding a spot to sit on the ground and focusing on taking deep breaths in and out. If you’re prone to travel anxiety, you should also meditate or perform a few yoga stretches and breathing exercises the night and morning before your trip. We love yoga because it doesn’t require any additional tools or accessories – just a quiet space, your mind, and your body.

What Are Your Favorite Stress-Relieving Holiday Travel Tips?

Do you have a favorite pre-holiday travel ritual that helps you to eliminate stress? God knows we’d like to hear it, and so would our readers. Do everyone a favor and leave a comment below sharing your favorite way to beat the stress this winter.

tips for the night before you travel

7 Things to Do the Night Before You Travel

Are you amping up for a trip this holiday season? Whether you’re traveling just a few hours away to visit family on Thanksgiving, or flying to another country for a holiday getaway, it’s important to keep yourself organized and fully prepped for anything that might come your way. We get people from all walks of life going to all different destinations riding in our cabs, and often times they share their traveling tips and tricks with our drivers (I guess we’re just that easy to talk to). So what did we do? We made a list of seven things to do the night before you travel – brought to you by our expert customers.

1. Change your sheets.

What? You might be wondering why we suggest you change your sheets the night before you’re leaving home. But this is actually one of the more common tips we hear – it just requires a little bit of extra foresight. Not only should you be prepping for your trip away from home, but also for your return. There’s nothing quite as awesome as coming home to a bed with clean, crisp, comfortable sheets.

2. Change your cat litter.

This is another odd one – or, well, it might seem odd if you don’t have a cat. What we really mean to say is that you need to make sure your pets are getting taken care of while you’re away. It’s a great idea to change your cat’s litter, set out fresh water, and given them fresh food for at least a day or two just in case your pet sitters aren’t able to come over right away.

3. Freeze your leftovers.

One sure way to spoil your return home is to leave your leftovers out in your fridge to rot and stink up the whole house. Instead, freeze your leftovers so that you aren’t wasting any food. What if you have random scraps that you don’t have time to cook with before departure? The Everywhereist recommends creating a “freezer stock bag” for your leftover onions, carrots, and other veggies that are about to spoil. When you get home, use these leftovers to create a vegetable stock for cooking. She also recommends freezing a full meal for when you get home – because you know you’ll be exhausted.

4. Do your laundry.

When you get back from traveling, you’re going to have heaps of laundry to do. Cut down on the loads by doing all of your current laundry before you depart on your adventure. It will also make your room smell fresh and eliminate any musty odors when you get back.

5. Take out the garbage.

Speaking of smells, you HAVE to take out the garbage before you leave the house. This is a must, not only for smells, but to keep away pests like mice, ants, flies, and other insects and rodents. You do not want to come home to an infestation, and this will happen if you leave your garbage cans full in your home.

6. Charge your electronics.

With our lives surrounded by gadgets, it’s essential to bring them on the road. You might have big plans for your smartphone or portable DVD player, but they won’t do any good if they aren’t charged for the flight or drive. Charge up all your electronics the day before, and make sure to bring all the chargers with you.

7. Make a list, check it twice.

There’s one thing that helps ensure you get everything done before heading out on a holiday vacation – and that’s make a list. If you’re like most people, you might start making a mental checklist, thinking that you’ll definitely remember it all. But as the list gets longer and longer, we’re here to tell you that you’ll definitely forget something. Don’t risk it – just write it all down, tape it to your front door, and check it at least twice before heading out. Oh, and give yourself enough time to go through it in the morning, too.

Traveling can be stressful, but only if you let it. If you follow our 7 things to do the night before you travel, you’ll be on your way to a stress-free takeoff, and a warm return.  And if you are in need of airport transportation to SFO or a taxi in Pleasanton give a call!

What do you do the night before you travel? Share your comments below!
Pleasanton pet friendly taxi taking dog to Oakland Airport in Charity Cab

Are All Taxis Pet Friendly?

Are All Taxis Pet Friendly?

If you’re a dog or cat owner, or just an animal lover, then you’re probably the kind of person who wants to take your pet with you everywhere you go. We know that small dogs and cats are allowed on planes, as long as they are well-behaved and can fit under the seat. But how do owners go about getting their pets to the airport? This leads us to a question that we are often asked as a taxi company in the Tri-Valley: are all taxis pet friendly? While our drivers are happy to transport your four-legged friends, that’s not true for every cab company – or every driver within each company, for that matter. Continue reading

Best Pizza Places in the Tri-Valley

Best Pizza Places in the Tri-Valley

You’ve probably figured it out by now, but we’ll state the obvious: pizza is delicious. And what’s better than some freshly baked pizza to kick off a Friday night? As experts of the area, our cab drivers know a thing or two about the best pizza places in the Tri-Valley. Not only do we love pizza, but we give rides to a ton of fellow pizza lovers every week! We want to share with you the best pizza places in the Tri-Valley – heck, we’ll even give you a ride to one. Continue reading

Homesick dog while traveling

Do Dogs Get Homesick During Travel?

Do Dogs Get Homesick During Travel?

As a Tri-Valley taxi company, it’s not just humans that we help transport these days, but their little dogs, too! More and more people are bringing their pets along for the ride, whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile. If you’re setting out on an epic adventure this summer with your dog as your travel companion, you might wonder – if humans can get homesick can dogs get homesick during travel, too? The answer is yes, they definitely can.

Just like humans, dogs get used to their surroundings. They notice different smells, sounds, visuals, and will definitely notice if their favorite chew toys or humans aren’t within range. If you’re traveling with your dog, but one or more members of your household is staying behind, your dog will notice. And, depending on how bonded your dog is with those people, he or she may or may not show signs of depression, anxiety, and general homesickness.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t travel with your dog? Not necessarily. You just need to know how to properly manage your dog’s homesickness during travel.

What to Do to Ease Homesickness in Dogs

  • Crate train your dog.

Some owners are reluctant to crate train their dogs because they think it’s mean or that the dog would rather sleep on the bed with the owner. In reality, your dog will sleep anywhere as long as he or she feels safe (really, it’s just the owner that wants the dog to sleep on the bed, not the other way around). If you establish early on that their crate is a safe place to sleep or eat, then your dog will not have any anxiety about being in it.

And you know what else is cool? This means that a crate trained dog can feel at home anywhere – as long as the crate comes, too. If you bring your crate with you on your vacation, it is less likely that your dog will get homesick during travel.

  • Give him something that smells like you.

If you are worried that your dog will cry, bark, or whine if you have to leave the room for the day, then you can give him something that smells like you. This helps reassure your dog that you will come back, and also provides him with something familiar for comfort. This is especially important if you’re staying in a totally foreign place, like a hotel room with lots of other smells.

  • Have plenty of chew toys.

If your dog gets anxious or homesick during travel, it’s important that she has somewhere to place that anxiety. Give her lots of her familiar chew toys to occupy her time with, especially if she’ll be alone for periods throughout the day. This also helps to create familiar surroundings, since she’s used to having toys around her when at home.

  • Practice being apart.

Don’t just leave on vacation and expect your dog to think it’s totally normal to be away from one or more of his human companions. It’s important to practice being apart from your dog for small periods of time before officially traveling. When your dog sees that you can leave for a few hours and still come back, he’ll have less anxiety and homesickness on the road. This is a good time to practice crate training, too.

  • Stay active.

A surefire way to combat homesickness in your dog is to make sure that she stays active. Don’t just keep her holed up in a hotel room all day – take her out for walks and adventures every day so she sees traveling as something fun. And make sure to keep up with regular routines, such as feeding schedules, so that your dog doesn’t have too much pent up energy.

If your dog is suffering from extreme homesickness, depression, or anxiety when you travel, it doesn’t hurt to consult your veterinarian. They’ll likely have some handy tips for traveling with your dog, and can also prescribe you with medications to combat motion sickness and travel anxiety if your dog gets homesick.

Do You Travel With Your Dog?

Do you have a dog that gets homesick during travel? Share your tips for handling your sad pup below.  And if you are ever in need of airport transportation with or without your dog we offer Pleasanton to SFO, Pleasanton to OAK, Pleasanton to SJC and cover the entire tri-valley area.

best restaurant in the east bay

The Best Airport Restaurants in the East Bay

The Best Airport Restaurants in the East Bay

“What’s a good place to eat around here?”  These are the best airports restaurants by Charity Cab’s airport transportation in Pleasanton.

As a Bay Area cab company offering Pleasanton to SFO trips, we hear this question a lot from our customers, especially when providing airport transportation. We’ve been asked so many times that we decided to put together a list of a few of our favorite airport restaurants in the East Bay. These eateries are located either within or just a short cab ride from the East Bay’s major airports.

San Francisco Airport (SFO)

Cat Cora

Food: American

Price: $$

Why we like it: If you’re looking for a rich, wholesome American meal before (or after) a long international flight, then Cat Cora is the way to go. Meals are reasonably priced, yet playful and unique. This airport restaurant offers tapas, fresh seafood and other local ingredients, and is even open for breakfast starting at 5am sharp. Want to feel good about your meal? All of Cat Cora’s utensils are biodegradable, so you can help the planet while you eat.

Yankee Pier

Food: Seafood

Price: $$

Why we like it: Fresh oysters, local seafood delivered daily, awesome clam chowder, and speedy service. What more could we ask for? Yankee Pier in SFO has been voted one of the top airport restaurants in the past, and there’s good reason for it. Yankee Pier offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you’ll never miss a chance to eat here during your next airport visit. What’s even better? They also offer vegetarian options for the non-meat eaters.

West Coast Cafe

Food: Italian, coffee

Price: $$

Why we like it: This airport restaurant is actually just outside of SFO, but can easily be accessed with a 10 minute cab drive. They have soup, pasta, seafood, and other Italian favorites including coffee and tea. If you’re looking for a quint airport cafe just on your way to your hotel or SFO, then West Coast Cafe is a great place to stop.

DSC_4597 13Bashamichi

Food: Japanese steakhouse

Price: $$

Why we like it: Bashamichi offers great, high quality Japanese food at an affordable price. Awesome Japanese food can be difficult to find, especially near an airport.  Their signature dish is wagyu tataki, and the $10 lunch box is a great value.

While Bashamichi isn’t quite an airport restaurant, it’s only 10 minutes away from SFO, and is definitely worthy of making our list of the best airport restaurants in the East Bay. Stop in and try the Wagyu steak if you can.

Oakland Airport (OAK)

Gordon Biersch

Food: American Pub

Price: $$

Why we like it: Beers and brats are never a bad idea, especially at Gordon Biersch inside the Oakland airport. We just had to include this on our list of best airport restaurants in the East Bay because the food consistently hits the spot, especially for those long layovers. Draft beers, burgers, outlets for your laptop, and sports on TV. Gordon Biersch has it all for travelers who have some time to kill and want a delicious pick me up.

Pyramid Ale House

Food: American Pub

Price: $$

Why we like it: Pyramid Ale House is another airport restaurant that won’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a different selection of beers on tap, or if Gordon Biersch is too far to walk, step on up to Pyramid for a cold one and some pub food. This is a great airport restaurant for lunch or dinner, and like Gordon, there are plenty of outlets for your computer or cell phone.

Hegenburger’s

Food: Burgers and fries

Price: $

Why we like it: Hegenburger’s is just 6 minutes away from the Oakland airport, and it’s worth the visit. The food is reasonably priced and casual, and you’ll surely find something to eat here. Chicken burgers, hamburgers, onion rings, fries, soda, and more are all at your fingertips. Our riders who have eaten here are often pleased at the amount of food they get for such a low price. If you’re on a budget, this airport restaurant is a good place to check out.

Banh Mi Ba Le

Food: Vietnamese

Price: $

Why we like it: Banh Mi Ba Le is a great choice for travelers who are looking for something a bit more interesting. Their vietnamese sandwiches are cheap but the quality certainly is not. If you have a few minutes to spare on the way to your hotel in downtown Oakland, stop at this restaurant. We recommend you try the meatball and egg sandwich with one of their soups.

Did We Miss Your Favorite Airport Restaurant in the East Bay?

If you have a favorite airport restaurant, leave a comment below and tell us!  And as always make Charity Cab you choice for taxi in Pleasanton and airport transportation with Pleasanton to OAK and Pleasanton to SJC as well.

Top 5 Unique Charities in the US

Top 5 Unique Charities in the US

Charity Cab in Dublin is honored to be a part of the charity community. While we do our part to assist organizations such as the Taylor Foundation, Feeding America, and Habitat for Humanity, we also want to recognize some innovative charities in the US that are taking unique steps to help people (and pets) of all backgrounds.

Based out of Larkspur, CA, Canine Wounded Heroes helps to keep K-9 police dogs safe by outfitting them with bullet-proof protective vests for while they’re on the job. Just like the police men and women who enter dangerous situations every day, their K-9 companions are always facing great risks. Whether they’re sniffing for explosives, drugs, entering a dangerous area, these dogs need to have protection.

K-9 units dedicate their lives to protecting humans, and charity founder Jodie Richers has dedicated her life to protecting dogs and animals of all sizes. Her other organizations include Dogs on Death Row, Cats on Death Row, and One Child At A Time.

This super cute non-profit organization is also super amazing. Helping Hands does exactly what their name implies – train monkey helpers for disabled individuals. Specifically, they provide free capuchin monkeys to help people with spinal cord injuries in order to live more fulfilling lives. Helping hands is truly unique, as it is the only organization in the world that does what they do.

The little monkeys come with a unique personality all their own, and they are trained to turn pages, grab items, press buttons, scratch itches, and offer companionship that is truly one of a kind. Helping hands is definitely an unusual charity – and one that we hope to see thriving for many more years.

While we are in the business of providing transportation, we’ve got nothing on the efforts of Angel Fuel for Life. This unique charity offers transportation solutions for individuals who need medical care but don’t have the funds or ability to get transportation. Assistance can come in a variety of ways, including an individual gas card, fuel donations to mobile clinics, or even driving patients to and from their destination.

This innovative charity ensures that all individuals have access to health care, and that a lack of transportation doesn’t stop them from getting the help they deserve.

The Trevor Project offers a source for suicide prevention and life-saving advice for LGBTQ youth all across the country. Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project has been helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth for over 15 years. The goal is to provide a safe place for youth to discuss their ups and downs with a friendly, unjudging ear as they discover who they are inside and out.

The Trevor Lifeline, which operates 24/7, is the only crisis and suicide intervention line for LGBTQ individuals in the United States. Other services include TrevorChat, TrevorText, and various workshops and training courses to help raise awareness of the struggles of LGBTQ youth in America. This unique charity is not only amazing, but it’s also life-saving.

Based out of Sacramento, CA, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) is an innovative non-profit organization that seeks to advocate for safer vehicles in the United States. CARS is most famous for starting the California auto lemon law, which helped to spur similar lemon laws in the rest of the US.

CARS has helped enforce air bags, overall safer cars, and to protect individuals from automotive injuries and fraud. As a company that provides transportation service to dozens of passengers each day, Charity Cab is definitely grateful that an organization such as this one exists today.

Did We Miss Your Favorite Unique Charity in the US?

Comment below to tell us your favorite unique, unusual, and innovative charity in the United States. We’d love to hear from you!  Charity Cab is the only taxi that gives back.  One dollar of every ride goes to charity.