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Quick trip to San Diego and LA - couple questions

Quick trip to San Diego and LA - couple questions

Old Aug 18th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Quick trip to San Diego and LA - couple questions

In about a month it looks like I will be taking a quick trip down to San Diego - a friend of the family has died and there is going to be a memorial service and the scattering of ashes in San Diego.

I will be meeting friend in LA and then we will head down to SD together - she is flying in from the east coast and got a deal on a flight into LAX.

I am trying to decide if I should just fly into LAX myself (I am in San Jose) and then we can rent a car when we get to LA for the drive down to SD or just drive down in my car and pick up my friend at the airport.

Since this is an unexpected trip that I haven't budgeted for, I am trying to keep the costs to a minimum and driving would be the obvious budget choice. I'm interested in hearing from people who have made this drive before I make up my mind though. I haven't been to LA in ages.

We will have 1 day to ourselves in SD to sightsee during the trip. I've been there before, my friend has not. I am thinking of focusing on Coronado Island, Point Loma, and Mission Beach areas for our sightseeing since I know she will want to see the coast. Maybe go up to La Jolla? Any ideas for good, cheap eats? Interesting sidewalk cafes to have a coffee and people-watch? Other ideas of things to see? We are both 30, female, like wandering around, natural beauty, good food, not really into shopping except for the occasional funky shop.

We are also thinking of heading back to LA the night before my friend has to fly back east so that she can see a bit of LA too. I haven't been there in a very long time, so I don't really know what to go see. We wont have a lot of time, probably an afternoon, evenning, and a few hours in the morning. I'm thinking of staying somewhere around Santa Monica so we will be close to LAX and the beach. I thought we might go check out Venice Beach. Any thoughts, advice, recommendations? Good, cheap places to eat?

J_Correa is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Driving is not as cheap as you think...AAA says to estimate 35c per mile once you figure in the wear & tear on your vehicles, tires, gas etc. With fares around $135, flying is actually a good option. You can rent a car for about $20 per day if you rent between noon Thursday and return before midnight Monday, and if your home car policy already covers the car rental insurance.
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 07:13 PM
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A several years ago, the local paper did an article making this exact comparison. For going to an LA destination, it really comes out about a wash in time, hassle, and expense. In your case, since you have to go to LAX anyway, it might tilt a bit toward flying.

On a side note, while .35/mile might be a reasonable average cost of ownership number, the incremental cost of using your car on a trip tends to be quite a bit lower than the average cost (insurance and finance costs are per-year, not per-mile).
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 07:26 PM
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I think you are on the right track for the flying/driving combo. The initial trip down may not be worth it but you will be thankful on the way home..kinda like when I drive to Vegas.

For sightseeing/pople watching, Coronado is a good choice. La Jolla is not bad either but Coronado may give you more bang for your buck in a day's trip. For good, inexpensive eats, I always go to Old Town San Diego. Great, authentic Mexican Food and some tasty margaritas can be found at REALLY great prices. Old Town Mexican Cafe is a personal fave (torillas made on premise...YUM!). There would also be some interesting places to walk around before/after dinner.
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for the advice. Still undecided about the flight. Guess I should make up my mind though. I remember that article curmudgeon mentioned about the comparisson between driving and flying down to LA. I had forgotten about that. The nice thing about driving is the flexibility and lack of hassle - no need to arrange transportation to the airport, deal with security, wait for the plane, and all that, just get into the car and go. The negative is hours in the car driving down scenic I-5

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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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personally, i would drive. on any drive that is less then 6 hours, i take into account that you have to be at the airport 90 minutes (?) before departure, flight time, then spend time renting the car and...gosh darn if your flight is delayed and hour or more. i enjoy driving so i'd rather be in my vehicles seeing sights and listening to turns. maybe your friend would chip in a few bucks for gas etc since she saved on renting a car.
with such a short trip, i'd just focus on san diego - plenty to see & do. traffic in la can really ruin a short visit. depending what time her departing flight is, you could leave san diego and drive up the coast to laguna beach for lunch or something. it's a beautiful spot to spend a couple of hours.
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