FJWH
Topic Author
Posts: 927
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 4:50 pm

Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:27 am

Hello,

Havn't been around in a long time but when this question popped up, i immediately thought of the non-aviation forum on airliners.net
About my question. In march, my GF (we're form Holland btw) has a 4-day conference in San Diego. I'll join her afterwards for another week of holiday. We want to drive from San Diego to San Franciso and just have fun, see thinbgs, explore etc.

The planetickets havnt been booked. Are there car rentalservices where you can pick up a car in, let's say, LA (i might fly there), drive to San Diego, afterwards drive to SF en hand it in overthere? Any reccomandations? I am sorry, i've never really done this before so i dont know a lot about it. Do you have any advice for me/my gf about flying from Amsterdam? Straight to LAX and drive to San Diego or maybe to san fran, or a layover somewhere in the usa and a domestic flight to San Diego?

Any other tip of trick is useful. Thank you in advance.

Best regards, Frederik
 
StarAC17
Posts: 3522
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:58 pm

FJWH wrote:
Hello,

Havn't been around in a long time but when this question popped up, i immediately thought of the non-aviation forum on airliners.net
About my question. In march, my GF (we're form Holland btw) has a 4-day conference in San Diego. I'll join her afterwards for another week of holiday. We want to drive from San Diego to San Franciso and just have fun, see thinbgs, explore etc.

The planetickets havnt been booked. Are there car rentalservices where you can pick up a car in, let's say, LA (i might fly there), drive to San Diego, afterwards drive to SF en hand it in overthere? Any reccomandations? I am sorry, i've never really done this before so i dont know a lot about it. Do you have any advice for me/my gf about flying from Amsterdam? Straight to LAX and drive to San Diego or maybe to san fran, or a layover somewhere in the usa and a domestic flight to San Diego?

Any other tip of trick is useful. Thank you in advance.

Best regards, Frederik


Most car rental companies will allow you to pick up in one place and drop off elsewhere.

I would suggest the bigger car rental companies such as Avis, Hertz, Budget, National etc and go online and see the rates that you would get for the pick up and drop off dates, pickup LAX on x date at this time, and drop off at SFO on y date at said time. All those companies allow unlimited mileage and have pretty standard rules. FYI leaving LAX you can see the car rental shuttles circling the terminals which are laid out like a horseshoe you just have to wait until the company you have selected comes by. SFO has a car rental facility that you can connect to the terminals by train.

I did this trip just over a year ago and it is nice (LA to SF). I would say do it along the Pacific coast highway and stop in Malibu, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and the best part of the PCH is between San Luis Obispo going through places like Big Sur, Carmel and Santa Cruz, then driving up the Bay area. I would also suggest visiting the wine regions north of the bay.
Although there and Ventura have been devastated by fires so I don't know their conditions for tourists.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
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Tugger
Posts: 7737
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:51 pm

I just rented at SixT, a new entrant in the USA but they were low cost and the cars were in excellent condition, and since they are based in Europe it should be easier to rent with them. They have locations in LA, San Diego, and San Francisco so wherever you end up you should be fine.

My experience was excellent BTW.

Also I know San Diego is limited for direct flights from Europe but BA flies direct from LHR and Condor does so from FRA. So it might be worth it to at least check out those options.

If you want to "see the sights" then you will want to take the 101 and I recommend planning on three drive days (at least) and then a day or two each at locations in between. If you can stretch your week to ten days I think your would enjoy it a lot more. Doing the San Diego to San Francisco drive in as relaxed a time frame as possible is much better.

Oh and finally, LA is huge (its not just LA really), If you start in San Diego, LA will be... interesting depending on what you do and how you go through it... And then the road trip will restart as you leave the region and continue up the coast. LA can be a vast wasteland that you just want to get through or it can be a (mutli-day) very interesting experience with great sights and places to visit, coastal or more inland. Just plan it a bit.

There are tons of sites on how to do the drive, here is a decent one I found that seemed fairly simply and straight forward and explains it well:
https://www.tripsavvy.com/us-hwy-101-to ... co-1479722

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your trip!

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Route66
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:40 pm

HWY 1 is CLOSED south of Big Sur until late summer 2018..
 
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Tugger
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:25 pm

Route66 wrote:
HWY 1 is CLOSED south of Big Sur until late summer 2018..

Holy heck, you're right! I forgot all about the big landslide that happened earlier:

Image

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:56 pm

You might want to figure out your car rental first, and then book your flights based on that. From my experience, one way rentals can be priced normally, insanely priced, or not available at all base on origin and destination.
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 20830
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:16 am

Let us know and maybe we can have a spotting party at SFO!
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
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Revelation
Posts: 18040
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Seems like others have good ideas on the car rental thing, so I'll throw out some ideas for things to do.

If you have some time in SD, I suggest a trip to Balboa Park.

If your GF likes planes well enough, a trip to the Aviation Museum there is a must. It's one of the finest AV museums in the world IMHO, and I've seen lots of them. The building is circular and in sections, each section devoted to an era of flight. It's got not just the airplanes but lots of artifacts from each of the eras of flight.

If your GF doesn't like planes, there's plenty of other things to do at Balboa Park. Lots of gardens to walk through, lots of other museums to see, outdoor organ recitals, etc. Ditch the girl for a while and go see the planes! :D The approach path to SAN goes right over the museum. There's a SR-71 (actually A-12 but still) on a pole in front of the museum. You have a whole week to make it up to her! :D

As for the rest of the time, instead of heading towards the coast to go SAN-LAX I'd head to the high desert. Plenty of things to see up there that you will not see in Holland. In particular, the Joshua Tree National Park is spectacular, the town of Julian is interesting, and all of it is just different.

I'm very fond of the SD area and could find more than enough things to do to kill a week's time there. Downtown/waterfront (lots of food and shops and also an aircraft carrier you can tour), Old Town, Point Loma, Sea World, it goes on and on. Lots of good food there. Mexican is obvious, but there's a lot of Italian Americans there so Italian food is great, and they're on the ocean so there's lots of seafood, most of the US's produce comes from Imperial Valley so the veggies are fresh, etc.

I've done the coastal drive SD-LAX-SFO and beyond and didn't find it particularly compelling. Personally I'd head inland and do parks like Anzo-Borega and Joshua Tree, some city time in SD and LAX and save SFO for a future trip since it's worth its own trip (especially with a side trip to Yosemite). However if you're more of a city person you might just prefer the coastal scene.

Good luck, and please let us know how you liked it when you come back!
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of it's own
 
FJWH
Topic Author
Posts: 927
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 4:50 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:04 am

Thanks for your quick responses (and sorry for my late one).
Plane tickets have been booked (i'm flying the big jumbo with KLM to LAX, return. Seating advice? seatguru gives me nog that much information).

My GF and i would like to rent a mobile home, don't know the correct English term (Camper? Motorhome?) so we can drive as long as we want and have the freedom to sleep whenever we need. We would like rent it from LAX airport en hand it back in at LAX. It is from march 9th to march 17th.

Do you have any advice? And something else: i have my (Dutch) driver licence for more than 13 years now so i know how to drive but are there any things i should take in to consideration while driving in the USA?

Thank you :).

Regards, Frederik
FlightS in the next 3 months: MSP, PHX, MEM, NCE, TFS, BCN. All round trips from AMS
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:14 pm

FJWH wrote:
Thanks for your quick responses (and sorry for my late one).
Plane tickets have been booked (i'm flying the big jumbo with KLM to LAX, return. Seating advice? seatguru gives me nog that much information).

My GF and i would like to rent a mobile home, don't know the correct English term (Camper? Motorhome?) so we can drive as long as we want and have the freedom to sleep whenever we need. We would like rent it from LAX airport en hand it back in at LAX. It is from march 9th to march 17th.

Do you have any advice? And something else: i have my (Dutch) driver licence for more than 13 years now so i know how to drive but are there any things i should take in to consideration while driving in the USA?

Thank you :).

Regards, Frederik
I wouldn't want to be driving a large RV around any of the cities in California. The only way I would do this if I were you was if you were going to immediately leave Los Angeles/San Diego for the desert.
 
Route66
Posts: 203
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:10 pm

cledaybuck wrote:

I wouldn't want to be driving a large RV around any of the cities in California. The only way I would do this if I were you was if you were going to immediately leave Los Angeles/San Diego for the desert.


I think they are used to smaller quarters than Americans. I had a 28' in San Diego, it was manageable but larger than two people need.

FJWH, the correct term is motorhome, they can be found in various sizes, I often see smaller units rented by Cruise America. They have an outlet 18 miles from LAX. Sounds like it could work for you.
https://www.google.com/search?client=ub ... m52nd8s6IQ

Of course, you'll want to visit Route 66!
 
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Tugger
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:03 pm

FJWH wrote:
My GF and i would like to rent a mobile home, don't know the correct English term (Camper? Motorhome?) so we can drive as long as we want and have the freedom to sleep whenever we need. We would like rent it from LAX airport en hand it back in at LAX. It is from march 9th to march 17th.

Do you have any advice?

Though motorhome is fairly common I think most here call it an RV (recreational vehicle).

As to advice, be aware that you cannot just park an RV anywhere, many cities have laws that forbid overnight parking/camping. So you have to plan where you will be staying overnight, camp grounds or RV parks primarily though there may be other places you can stay. Depending on the size you want you are looking at between $150 - $350 per day plus possible mileage adders and city and state fees (Oh and the cost of gas at approx. 10-12 miles per gallon). Also a big thing will be if a one-way rental is allowed, that also may add cost. Here is a useful link as an example of cost in LA but I don't know if they do one-ways: https://www.expeditionmotorhomes.com/rates/ (CruiseAmerica noted in the post above will have one-way rates as they are a national chain).

I will say that in California, for the drive you seem to be thinking of, inland or coastal, there will always be a town and a hotel somewhere near by. And if you want middle of nowhere then VRBO or AirBnB can help with that.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:22 pm

Just a helpful hint before you rent join one of there frequent user programs you’ll save hours collecting the car from LAX if you’re a member.
 
Route66
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:47 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:19 pm

Tugger wrote:
As to advice, be aware that you cannot just park an RV anywhere, many cities have laws that forbid overnight parking/camping. So you have to plan where you will be staying overnight, camp grounds or RV parks primarily though there may be other places you can stay.


I found that some places can be quite tight about sleeping in the vehicle, or there is no good safe, quiet spot, but other urban opportunities do exist. The homeless certainly highlight that. Be there and be gone before anybody notices and there's less likelihood of hassles, but it isn't relaxing. Unfortunately, the big signs on the rental highlight their out-of-area tourist status.

On the road, truck stops and highway rest stops work well and If nothing else - Walmart parking lots. I used to crash along Hwy 1 in central Cal over the Pacific without hassles, but be careful about standing out. If someone knocks on the door late at night, don't open it unless they announce themselves as police. Just say "No!" loudly - they'll go away. This is most likely to happen at truck stops.

I don't know who controls them but there are parking spots facing the beach in SoCal that I always wanted to stay. Maybe the State Park system. Hwy 1 is closed but is a great place to have a small motorhome. Hanging around Big Sur has a lot of opportunities. Andrew Morell and Pfieffer State Park, or just general boondocking, my favorite place on the coast. Search 'boondocking'. Hwy 1 may have some incredible places to park and relax with it's closure - you can get the best information from people you meet. Have fun. You don't say when you're coming but weather is also a factor.
 
cledaybuck
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Roadtrip San Diego - San Franciso+plane tickets

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:45 pm

Route66 wrote:
You don't say when you're coming but weather is also a factor.
March 9-17 in post #9.

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