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Train or bus

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Dunedin, New Zealand
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Train or bus

I'll be in San Diego for a few days next month, think I have most things sorted, all apart from the leaving. I have to get up to LA to pick up a rental car. Amtrak do a great job of selling the scenic delights of the train, as opposed to the Greyhound which I suppose trundles up a freeway of some sort. But taking this bus is half the price of the train, so if the train doesn't give the coastal sites promised, I'd be a bit sad. Any views as to whether the train is worth it?

Thanks.

San Diego
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1. Re: Train or bus

I wonder why you need to pick up the rental car in LA??

Why not just get it in San Diego and then go up along the coast as much as you like??? The train only goes along the coast for part of the journey.

Edited: 9:55 am, November 22, 2012
Anaheim, California
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2. Re: Train or bus

I prefer the Amtrak for a few reasons, one is the views during part of the trip (basically the middle portion of the trip - sit on the west (left) side of the train, upper level).

But also a more comfortable ride, you can stand up and walk around, go to the bar car and grab a bite to eat of a drink. Amtrak offers Free WiFi (but so does Greyhound).

Also, the train doesn't have to deal with traffic, since they get the right of way.

If you need to go to the LAX area to pick up the car, there is the LAX Flyaway Bus service from Union Station.

Here are a couple of photo/video albums from recent train trips I took through the scenic portion. (IMHO, while there are short portions through the first segment, the main part is from Oceanside to San Juan Capistrano). So you can see the views for yourself.

http://tinyurl.com/bj6hrcy

Corona del Mar, CA
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3. Re: Train or bus

Who did you rent a car from that requires you to go 120 miles to pick up a car?

I wouldn't ride on a Greyhound bus on a bet.

Take the train.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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4. Re: Train or bus

Thanks. For the curious, pick-up is in LA because it is cheaper that way. I could have rented and returned to San Diego for just a bit more cost but would still need to get to LA, and when I plugged in pick up at San Diego and return to LA, the cost shot up dramatically. I think that getting a car for $720 for five weeks is a pretty good deal, on the whole.

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: Train or bus

Curious if you used CarHire3000? They generally don't have drop off fees for the companies they use.

$720 for five weeks sounds okay, but it the price is too low, my antennae always go up. Who is the rental through?

Dunedin, New Zealand
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6. Re: Train or bus

Enterprise, who have been talked about favourably (I think here) and came tops in a customer satisfaction survey which came out recently. I did try carhire3000 and several other third party suppliers, but booking direct turned out to be the cheapest. That's $720 plus insurance, btw.

San Diego
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7. Re: Train or bus

Take the train, upgrade to business class and sit on the left side for the best views northbound. It's a nice trip from San Diego to L.A. and if your rental car pick up/drop off is at the airport, you can take the airporter shuttle bus from Union Station directly to and from LAX.

San Diego
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8. Re: Train or bus

Many folks from Oz and the UK use those 3rd party sites because they include insurance and don't charge them drop off fees. I wonder if you priced it with those things in mind???

IF you have priced out everything and it still comes out more expensive by more than the train fare will cost you then I understand the pick up in LA.

9. Re: Train or bus

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