Packing method for airport carryon.

Packing Cubes vs. the Rolling Method vs. Compression Bags: What Works Best?

One of the things we have to worry about when traveling nowadays is the size of our carryon bag. Many airlines offer 1 free personal item and 1 free carryon bag included with the price of the flight, but with one caveat: the carryon bag needs to be within certain dimensions. Some airlines are stricter than others when it comes to these guidelines, but the quandary it poses to passengers remains the same: how much crap can I fit into my carryon bag? Continue reading

5 Off-beat Ways to Spend Easter in Livermore in 2017

Are you looking for a fun way to spend Easter this year – one that is a little bit more off the beaten path? While there are the traditional Easter egg hunts and photos with the Easter bunny (there’s actually a pretty comprehensive list of traditional Easter egg hunts and events on Patch), sometimes it’s fun to try something a little different. If your main goal for Easter is to spend the day with the family and have a few laughs, too, then check out our list of 5 unique ways to spend Easter in Livermore this year. And just a reminder, folks, Easter is Sunday, April 16th this year!

1.    Go for a hike at Brushy Peak

Assuming that we get lucky with the weather on Easter Sunday, catching a bit of the outdoors is always an excellent option. There are plenty of places to hike or explore in Livermore, like Sycamore Grove Park or Brushy Peak. Both are easily accessible, but if you want a park that feels more like a destination, try Brushy Peak. It’s on the edge of town, and offers a little more excitement because of it. Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water, and you can easily spend half the day exploring the nature area.

2.    Relax at Lake Del Valle

Lake Del Valle is a classic Livermore destination, with a small beach with access to the water, picnic tables, a boat launch, hiking, and more. We do want to point out that the lake is currently partially closed as the parks district works to make repairs from the most recent set of storms and flooding. The tentative reopening date is Saturday, April 15th, so make sure to stay tuned and check the website before packing up the whole family and heading over on Easter.

3.    Spice it up with go kart racing

Umigo Indoor Go Kart Racing is one of our favorite destinations. If you’ve never been here, easter go kart racing in Livermore, CA. you’re missing out. And if you have been here, then you’re definitely ready to go again. They offer flexible prices, and you pay by the race. We recommend planning for at least two races, since the first one is usually just getting your feet wet, and the second one is where the real competition starts. This is fun for all family members of all ages, and proper safety gear is provided by the staff.

4.    Catch a movie at the Vine

The Vine Cinema (now the Vine Cinema and Alehouse) is one of those classic Livermore destinations, no matter what time of year. It’s the perfect place to spend an off-beat Easter in 2017, complete with an indie flick, catered food, and beer fresh from the tap. This theater offers comfortable couch seating, as well as traditional theater seats so you can pick your preference. There are plenty of tables so you can set your beer and food down without worrying about spilling. Check their website to see what new films are playing Easter weekend. The Vine is right downtown, too, so you can walk around afterward and maybe even grab some ice cream at Loard’s (we know you want to).

5.    Try an escape room

Escape Rooms are definitely hot right now, and once you try out Livermore’s Limitless Escape Games, you’ll see why. The point? To get stuck in a room with you and your friends or family (or both), armed only with your noggins and a few strategically placed clues. Each clue leads you to the next one, with the end result being you find the key and get yourself untrapped. You’re usually timed, with anywhere from 30-60 minutes to solve the mystery and escape from your prison. Choose between various themes, like pirates, Sherlock Holms, bank heist, and more. The rooms are always changing, so you can come back often and still be surprised. Escape rooms aren’t just good for a funky Easter, they’re a great exercise for team building, too.

That’s it for our top 5 off beat ways to spend Easter in Livermore in 2017 – honestly, we feel like the list is just getting started! If you have more ideas for weird, out of the norm ways to spend Easter in Livermore, let us know about it in the comments below.

Advice for tipping taxi cab driver or uber driver from SFO.

7 Tips for Tipping Your Taxi Cab Driver

Ever wonder if you’re tipping your taxi driver the right way? For those of us who ride in taxi cabs regularly, we’ve developed a checklist of sorts in order to make the whole endeavor a bit easier. Was the ride smooth? Did the driver get you to your destination on time? Were they friendly? All of these things factor into how much you decide to tip your taxi driver. But what if you’re an infrequent user of taxis? Do you tip the same amount that you would a waiter in a restaurant? More? Less? Below are our 7 tips for tipping our taxi cab driver to help alleviate the anxiety, avoid embarrassment, and ensure that you’re properly rewarding excellent taxi cab service in the future. Continue reading

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