We are landing in San Diego (SAN) and going to a hotel in Mission Valley. We have a two year old toddler and luggage / stroller / car seat. How easy would it be to use the shuttle to the consolidated car rental area? Is it better to just take a taxi to the hotel and pick up a car nearby it?
The shuttles to the car rental area are pretty roomy unless you get unlucky and several flights arrive more or less simultaneously, in which case you could wait for the next one. They come around every few minutes at most.
There is quite a lot of seating, plus standing is possible. There is also a luggage storage area on the shuttle where quite a large number of bags can be placed.
I have flown into San Diego about five times in the last ten years and each time, I Have had no problem finding ample room on the shuttle for the two of us and my luggage, so I wouldn't be too hesitant to use it, even with a toddler.