Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Transportation from Las Vegas to Los Angeles - car or plane?

Transportation from Las Vegas to Los Angeles - car or plane?

Old Jul 15th, 2010, 05:05 AM
  #1  
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Transportation from Las Vegas to Los Angeles - car or plane?

Hello,
We are 3 friends travelling together. The itinerary, so far, is:
- 3 nights in Vegas
- 3 nights in the way from Vegas to San Francisco
- 3 nights in San Francisco

We plan to have a car after Vegas, but still do not know if it is better to take the car in Vegas, drive to LA and then to San Francisco, or to take a plane from Vegas to LA and rent the car there.
What would you do from Vegas to LA? Drive or fly?
Thanks.
gpm is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 06:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Renting a car on the Strip and driving it to your LA hotel would probably save time and money, considering it will allow you to avoid two airport and taxi rides.

Highway 1 from Morro Bay to Carmel is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. You may want to include it on your trip from LA to San Francisco.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 07:25 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My only question is why you'd want to go all the way to LA. Unless you really desperately want to see LA, I'd actually drive the northern route through Lake Tahoe. Unless, of course, you plan to fly from LA to SF, then I guess you're not wasting too much time. But I'd prefer to have a little time to see some of the beautiful scenery around Yosemite and northern California; there's a lot to see if you aren't completely focused on nightlife.

Just one caveat: Whether or not it's cheaper to fly from LV to LA depends on the drop-off fee for the car, which can be substantial. Since you're going into California it can be pretty high if you don't get a California car in Nevada. You might find that it's actually cheaper to fly. You can easily get by without a car in Las Vegas, but you'll need one in LA, though not in San Francisco.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 11:52 AM
  #4  
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't need to go to LA, but would like to include the drive on Highway 1. Leavinf from Las Vegas, what itinerary would you do to go to SF?
gpm is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 12:09 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,267
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Well, another opinion would be that you DO need a car in Las Vegas, to get out and see Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, Valley of Fire, Lake mead and the Hoover Dam.....and that you dont' need a car in Los Angeles depending on where you're staying and what your itinerary is.

Also, depending on where you're staying....you might want to fly from Las Vegas into BURBANK airport instead of into LAX.

With 3 days you could easily drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco...but car rental might be half as pricey from LA to San Francisco. What are your approximate dates for the trip and will you have a non-U.S-citizen who can drive? (Car Rentals are often MUCH cheaper for non-citizens, especially one-way rentals).
clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 12:22 PM
  #6  
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We will arrive in Vegas in Sept 23rd (Thursday). Our initial plans are to be there until Sunday 26th, without a car, and then leave on our way to SFO. We have to leave SFO on Saturday, October 2nd, around 1pm. All of us are non-citizens.
gpm is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 12:57 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 584
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm a little confused. Do you want to see all of the coast from LA up or just legendary Highway 1. If it's the latter, I'd fly to San Jose, rent a car from there, do the coast down to Santa Barbara and take Highway 101 to SF and drop the rental off there.
SOCALOC is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 03:32 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,182
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fly to LA and rent there, California has different, stricter smog laws so the rental agency would not be able to legally rent a Nevada car and would have to get it back to Nevada. Meaning you would probably incur a dropoff fee.

Highway 1 is gorgeous and well worth seeing.
jamie99 is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 03:59 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,233
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>

Check with the rental agency, though, if you want to go to Las Vegas first. There are "California cars" in Nevada (rented one way FROM California) that can be brought back to California. May work, may not.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 04:48 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,267
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
The drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles can be pretty slow on Sundays with lots of travelers returning after a weekend in LV. However, the airport can also be very crowded with a 2.5 hour arrival time suggested before your flight. So time wise, both will probably take you 5 hours or so.

Car rental from Las Vegas to San Francisco for 6 days, non-citizen is about $300 to $350. Flights for 3, one-way to Los Angeles would probably be about $300 due to it being a Sunday, and car rental from LA to SFO, 3 days, about $200.

If you don't care to visit Los Angeles, just drive 7 hours from Las Vegas through north LA county and onward to beautiful Santa Barbara for your first night. Spend Monday seeing Santa Barbara and either stay a 2nd night or head up to Pismo Beach/ San Luis Obispo/ or Avila Beach for Monday night. Tuesday is the drive up to Carmel or Monterey and then Wednesday onward to San Francisco.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 05:13 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 455
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Consider a $90 flight on Allegiant Air from Las Vegas into Santa Maria, California (on the central coast). You could spend that first night on Pismo Beach or at Morro Bay or Cambria, then work your way up to Monterey for the next two nights. No dealing with that LV drive or the Los Angeles traffic this way.
You'll miss the nice drive from Ventura up to Santa Maria, beautiful in late September...but you'll have more time to actually enjoy route 1 up from Santa Maria to San Francisco.
divineMissM is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 08:58 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,730
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One thing to keep in mind with smaller airports is that car rentals can be a lot more expensive. On several of my last trips, i had the option to fly into secondary airports. (eg Honolulu to Orange county SNA instead of LAX) for a cheaper airfare, but the car rentals were double the price.
lcuy is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 09:36 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,496
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think there are two choices. Fly from Vegas into Burbank via Southwest, get your rental car there and then drive up the coast to SF.

Or as clarkgriswold said drive from Vegas through the northern part of LA and head up the coast. I guess clark looked into it as he quoted some pricing. If the drop-off fee is not too much taking a car from Las Vegas to SF, then that's an option. Sounds like that might be more economical. But it depends when your trip is. If it's soon, then it's probably cheaper to drive. But if you have some time, you can get great one way fares from Vegas to Burbank. Then I'd probably fly. It definitely would save you some driving time and there's not much to see in the desert between Las Vegas and LA.
paula1470 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sheskin
United States
17
Mar 18th, 2017 07:57 PM
NatLans
United States
27
Jan 17th, 2017 04:18 AM
mateonicola3
United States
25
Feb 9th, 2016 12:17 PM
CharlesTS
United States
28
Feb 26th, 2014 04:36 PM
Paulseward
United States
9
Oct 28th, 2012 10:52 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:22 AM.