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You’ll save almost 2 hours by skipping the San Clemente and Long Beach buses if you take Amtrak from Oceanside to LAX Union Station (see #4 below). You avoid having to get to the bus stations and skips the hassle of changing buses.
3. Take Metrolink
For $10 on the weekend you can ride Metrolink all day. Photo courtesy: Justin N on Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 2.0
If you live in North County or can get to North County easily, you can take Metrolink from Oceanside to LAX Union Station.
From Union Station, you can take the Flyaway Bus for $9.75 each way. Or you can Uber. Sign up for Uber using my Uber referral link and get free rides. 🙂
Pro-tip: If you don’t live in North County, you can take the Coaster from San Diego to Oceanside for $6.
Metrolink is a business commuter train. So it’s pretty bare bones and doesn’t offer Wi-Fi.
It’s easy, convenient, you can read or work, there’s free Wi-Fi, and you avoid traffic. Plus if you sit on the right side you can enjoy beach views and check the surf. I usually take the train to get to LAX from San Diego. And then when I fly into LAX, I take the train back from LAX to San Diego.
Unless I have an early morning flight, one that leaves before 7 am. Then I do a one-way car rental (see #5).
The price of your ticket depends on what station you board the train. Longer journeys cost more than shorter trips.
If you start in San Diego at the Santa Fe Depot (SAN) you’ll pay $37. But if you catch the train in Oceanside, you only pay $28 for a coach ticket.
Cost: unreserved coach seat including Flyaway Bus $38 to $47 Cost: Business Class reserved seat including Flyaway Bus $52 to $66
Pro-tip: Save money by taking the Coaster from San Diego to Oceanside for $6 then book your Amtrak ticket to Union Station.
The fastest way to get from Lax to San Diego and San Diego to LAX is to fly.
You’ll avoid traffic, rental car hassle, public transportation, and having to beg your friends for a ride.
Try to book a ticket on the same airline as the one you’re flying out of LAX on. This way you won’t have to change terminals and will only have to go through security once.
If you are flying on a different airline, you may have to change terminals, go through security, and recheck any checked bags.
American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines all offer flights from San Diego to Los Angeles. You can search these websites for cheap flights.
Allow for extra time if you have to change terminals. Because if you have to change terminals, you will have to go through security again.
Cost: $115 and up
Pro-tip: If you check a bag, you’ll have to go back through security. And you will also have to recheck your bag at LAX.
8. Reserve a Shuttle
Photo courtesy of Super Shuttle
There are private shuttle companies that you can take to LAX from San Diego but you have to reserve a shuttle in advance.
Prices vary depending on the company so you should call around. Gratuity is not included and most drivers will expect a tip.
Cost: $179 to $335
Pro-tip: Book a private shuttle vs a shared shuttle. With a shared ride, the shuttle will make several stops on the way to the airport.
When you book a private shuttle to get you to LAX from San Diego and vice versa, the driver picks you up at your home or hotel and takes you straight to the airport. Think of it as a private driver airport service.
Looking for the best ways to get to or from LAX to San Diego? Did you find a cheap flight out of LAX and aren’t sure how to get to LAX from San Diego? Want to know to travel between Los Angeles and San Diego?
Traveling between Los Angeles and San Diego can be easy when you know all your options. There are 8 different ways you can get from LAX to San Diego and vice versa:
1. Call a friend to give you a ride to LAX
2. If you have a lot of time you can go by bus
3. Take Metrolink to LAX from North County San Diego
4. You can use Amtrak to get to LAX and reduce your carbon footprint
5. If you have an early flight you can book a one-way car rental from San Diego to LAX
6. Avoid the hassle of a one-way rental and take Uber or Lyft
7. The fastest way to get to LAX from San Diego is to fly
8. Reserve a shuttle and enjoy the ride
Some of the ways are more convenient, while others can take an entire day. From asking a friend for a ride to flying, how you’ll get to LAX from San Diego depends on how much time and money you’re willing to spend.
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Debra Schroeder is a travel writer with 26 years of experience using miles and points to travel the world. A former 12-year travel industry executive, she knows how to find the deals and how to creatively finance trips, like getting a trip to Hawaii for practically free or a $26,000 trip to Australia for $208. She’s always looking for the best deal, whether it’s a hostel, luxury resort, or somewhere in between.