Travel tradeoffs

I’m finished planning our late July trip to Africa except for one final piece – the transportation to/from LAX. That one involves some complicated tradeoffs, made more complicated by the utter shitshow that LAX arrivals and departures have become. Some surprising facts:

  • There are no friends generous enough to “give you a ride to the airport” when LAX is the destination. I wouldn’t ask my worst enemy to do me that favor.
  • If traveling business class (we are), you might as well get there much earlier than needed, as you can hang out in the airline lounge. Free food, free drinks, good Wifi, comfortable seats…not a bad place to kill some time. And it sure as shit beats stressing out over a last minute arrival.
  • LAX parking is expensive and packed. No matter where you park, it’s gonna be $20-30 per day. And for a long-ish stay, it can be hard to find a spot even two months ahead. And…this involves driving oneself to and from LAX, a stressful event itself.
  • Taking a door-to-door shuttle is the most convenient, but will cost about $600 all in, round trip. We’d have to be gone a month to make that cost effective.
  • Taking the train to Union Station and then a shuttle to LAX is an option, but a lot of moving parts in that one. Uber from home to Oceanside train, train to Union Station, then Uber or shuttle to LAX. Lots of ways to get stuck and miss your flight.
  • There’s a decent option of driving to Orange County airport and then taking a shuttle from there to LAX. Not too stressful, and the shuttle price from there is about half the door-to-door price. But you’re still paying for parking at SNA.

Bottom line, I can get creative or just spend the $600. I’m not sure why, but I *hate* the idea of that price for the ride. It’s not much as a percentage of the total trip cost, but it’s the part of the trip I could do myself and am most familiar with. Familiarity breeds contempt, so I guess that explains my feelings about it.