I suppose this is something of a two part question. Let me start by saying I am very familiar with airports, so I am aware of the general time to de-plane, go get your luggage, leave the terminal, etc. However, I have never been to LAX, nor have I ever rented a car. Now to my question.
In June my family is planning a vacation to California. We will be flying in/out of LAX, and our vacation rental is in Santa Barbara. My family will be flying out of O'hare, and will not arrive until around 930 Saturday night. I live a few hours away from the rest of my family so I will be flying separately.
I am thinking of getting an earlier flight (landing around noon or 3 pm on Saturday). I was hoping I could take care of renting the car, go to Santa Barbara to check on the rental place and get the keys, and do a little solo sight seeing before I head back to LAX to pick up the family at 10 PM. So my first question - Is this a reasonable time table?
Google maps has the drive from LAX to Santa Barbara at 1 3/4 hours. That is obviously very doable if I arrive at noon and need to be to LAX at 10. However, I have always heard how bad traffic by LAX is so I am not sure what potential time that could add in. Which makes my second question - Is Google Maps travel time still reliable in regards to LAX traffic?