Probably the first and foremost thing on peoples' minds is "How am I going to get from the airport to the hotel. And, I gotta say, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done in my life. I'm not a big fan of feeling trapped or like something is out of my control in my everyday life, I'm even less so when I'm in a foreign situation. I mean, what happens if I'm on a train and I suddenly have to go to the bathroom? I simply can't risk it.
So, I knew that I was going to rent a car, as anything else would just leave me at the mercy of things that I couldn't control. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of driving cars that aren't mine. I am 100% certain that the minute I get behind the wheel, the whole world is going to magically become either a bumper cars track or demolition derby. I fear that I'm driving around with a huge bullseye on my car and tragedy will inevitably befall me.
I rented a car from one of the more well known companies based solely on price and rating (mediocre but not bad). The pisser of that is, though, that because It's considered an airport rental, the fee for renting it is a bit higher than if I had managed to find somewhere a little farther away. But, for the convenience aspect of things, it was (begrudgingly) worth it. Right outside the terminal doors, there is a section of sidewalk where you stand and wait for a shuttle from the company to pick you up and take you about a mile away to the rental offices. I saw shuttles for everything from Hertz to Fox, so I'm going to assume that, if you decide to rent a car, no matter which company you go with, there's a shuttle. The shuttle showed up in under 15 minutes and got me to the rental office in about 10. Renting a car is never a 1-2-3 thing and this was no exception. After I firmly repeated for the 95th time that I did not want the extra insurance, I eventually got my keys and made my way to the car.
And made the mistake of taking the freeway to Anaheim. Granted, it is the fastest way to drive the 40 or so miles, but once you hit those lanes, all rules of polite society go right out the window and it is every man for himself. I'm not going to go into it too much, but suffice to say, returning the car, I took surface streets back, despite it taking fully twice as long as it did to drive the freeway.
It was great having a car to drive; I was beholden to nothing and nobody and for the few days I was out there, I was free to do and go wherever I wanted.
If you are going to just come in for the convention days, you will, most likely, NOT need to rent a car. There is enough to do and see within walking distance that you probably wont be driving anywhere.
So then, what are your option?
The first and most obvious choices...and probably the easiest and least complicated are probably a taxi or ride share. However, you WILL end up paying a pretty good chunk of change for those.
The estimated costs for a taxi is anywhere from $125 - $175 depending on time of day and traffic. For a rideshare, it's about half of that. Still not exactly what one would consider cheap, but they better. Both should take you under an hour's time to get from LAX to the Marriott.
If that's more than you care to spend, there are a couple less expensive but much more time consuming options:
You could take a bus/tram combo from LAX to Fullerton Station on the outskirts of Anaheim. You're looking at about 2 hours of your time for about $30. In addition to the problem of it being time consuming, the Fullerton Station is also still 6 miles from the hotel. Now you're looking at more money and time for a cab from the station to the hotel. You could also hop another bus and it'll take you to the corner of Katella and Clementine, a 1 minute walk to the hotel.
Lastly, you could take a shuttle right from LAX to the hotel but the price is dependent upon the number of people that you have in your group. If it's fewer than...maybe 5...then it'll cost you about the same to go by rideshare.
I know that when you look at things, there's nothing really cheap and easy when it comes to getting from the airport to the hotel.
I do have a little bit of assistance to offer. I have created a Slack channel dedicated to people who are traveling into the expo from out of town.
I know that there are a bunch of Twitter groups and chats out there, but I've found that older conversations disappear and messages get lost, so for people who are new to the Expo, they won't be able to see what's been going on. Slack holds on to 10,000 messages, I think.
If you are traveling into Anaheim from out of town and want to share a cab or a ride with another Earper who's getting in around the same time you are, then send me a DM:
with your email address and I'll add you to the Slack chat. PLEASE DO NOT DM THE EDE TWITTER. We're trying to keep that clear for problems and questions. I should be able to have you added fairly quickly, but it may take a day to get you in there.
Hopefully, you guys will be able to connect with one another. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to DM me directly.