If you are traveling from abroad, check with your bank for any transaction fees associated with using your debit card for withdrawals or purchases. There are ATM’s in the San Francisco & Oakland airports and throughout the city. The currency exchange services at most banks and airports (world-wide) are more expensive – avoid them if possible.
Many credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees. These fees are generally 1-3% of each purchase. Some credit cards, e.g., Capital One, do not charge foreign transaction fees. Check with your card provider for fees.
Traveler’s checks are still accepted, but their use is declining. The preference is cash and credit/debit cards.
Notify your bank and credit card providers to let them know you will be travelling so that your credit and debit cards are not rejected and blocked when you use them. This can often be done through the providers’ websites. This is a must with any Visa or Master Card. American Express does not require it, but it still isn't a bad idea to notify them as well.
Current exchange rates are:
1 GBP = 1.540 USD
1 EUR = 1.091 USD
1 SEK = 0.116 USD
1 JPY = 0.008 USD
Rates fluctuate - check www.xe.com for current rates or download the app for your phone.
Transport in San Francisco
Once here, you’ll have no trouble navigating around the region. The best ways to get around are by foot, taxi, public transportation, ferry or the famous cable cars. Additional details: http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/transportation/
Cell Phones – Check with your carrier for international rates for voice and text. You may need to purchase a SIMS card in the US in order to use your phone. Consider using skype.
You will need a universal grounded adaptor plug for your electrical/electronic devices. The US runs on 110 V. Adaptors (or converters) are readily available at travel or electronics stores for about $10.