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Transportation Cost

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Nuremberg
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195 posts
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Transportation Cost

We (one adult, two kids - 11 and 9) will spend a total of three weeks in LA this August. We will definitely rent a car for the last two weeks but I am not sure whether we need to rent one for the first week. Our plans for the most part center around the area we will be staying in (West Hollywood) but there are several times where we will need some sort of transportation. I would very much appreciate it if some of you transport experts could take a look at our plans and give me a bit more info on probable cost for public transportation/difficulty of getting to our destination.

We are planning the following trips:

Arrival: LAX to apartment - cab around $50?

Travel to Santa Barbara (we will stay there for a week and won't need a car during that time):

Cab to Union Station (is there any other reasonable way with luggage?) - around $40?

Amtrak to Santa Barbara - around $60 (pretty sure about this according to Amtrak website)

Transfer to Santa Barbara destination (will need this anyway as we would have to drop our rental car off there)

Total would be around $160 which is quite a bit cheaper than a car rental for the week. However, we would really like to go to the Orange County Fair either on 8/7 or 8/8 and getting there on public transportation seems quite expensive/time consuming. Any good tips for getting there?

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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1. Re: Transportation Cost

Rent a car. Drive yourself to Santa Barbara, drive yourself around LA, and drive yourself to the fair (there's no other way to get there).

You need a car in Santa Barbara, and definitely need one for LA.

Nuremberg
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2. Re: Transportation Cost

Well, we won't need a car in Santa Barbara as transportation is included once we are there. It might come in handy but given this is a six week trip I really don't want to pay one week car rental fees just to drive to a drugstore once.

Also, we stayed in LA for over three weeks without a car two years ago and it was fine. Don't get me wrong - some destinations were a pain to get to but it was manageable. We are definitely planning on renting a car for the last two weeks (there are some places that are just too difficult /time consuming to get to otherwise) but I am still undecided about the first week.

The fair however really does pose a problem...

Southern California
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3. Re: Transportation Cost

Planning on doing any wine tasting while in Santa Barbara (wineries are in nearby Santa Ynez Valley)? If so you need a car for that.

Santa Monica...
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4. Re: Transportation Cost

In California the only city that you do NOT need a car is San Francisco ... Everywhere else you need a car ... And they are inexpensive to rent. Taxis and trains are expensive here ... And we just don't have the kind of public transportation that European cities have.

West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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5. Re: Transportation Cost

I'm confused. You say that you plan to have the car for 2 of your 3 weeks. Then, you say that you will have a 1-week stay in Santa Barbara during which time you won't have the car. Okay, so 2 weeks WITH a car + one week without a car equals 3 weeks.

So, where does the L.A. County fair come in (during the one week that you won't have a car and will, therefore, be in SB?).

Nuremberg
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6. Re: Transportation Cost

Sorry - I apparently was a bit too vague. HopSkipJump, sorry about the confusion. I meant to say we will have three weeks in LA (2 weeks with car at the least) and one week in Santa Barbara (no car) for a total of four weeks in California.

I really do appreciate everyone's attempts to help. I used to live in Los Angeles for a while so I am aware of the distances, traffic, and general need for a car. However, I do not own a car at home and am very used to walking/taking public transportation. While public transportation in LA is slow, it is in my opinion fairly efficient for shorter distances.

Here is the plan:

We will have one week in Los Angeles (8/2 to 8/8) - during that week we will mostly explore the area close to where we are staying. Other than getting there and to Santa Barbara as well as the possible trip to the OC fair we won't need a car (though of course it wouldn't hurt).

We will travel up to Santa Barbara on 8/9, either by rental car or train. If by car we will drop it off there. That week we are doing family camp and really won't need a car. Most activities are on campus and they have scheduled excursions with transportation (including a wine tasting tour). As the main idea of camp is to take part in the offered activities I really don't anticipate any excursions on our own. Possibly a car would be handy to pick something up at the drugstore etc. but really for that week it is an unnecessary expense.

We will definitely rent a car on 8/16 to drive back down to LA where we will stay until 8/31 when we leave. Any excursions etc. that are difficult to reach/further from our apartment would happen in that period. If we can't do the OC fair we might do the LA County fair during this time.

7. Re: Transportation Cost

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