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Holiday Transportation Planning

Here are 3 transportation methods to get from Isla Vista to your travel destination when visiting home, friends, or family for the holidays. 


In the Isla Vista area the closest airport is the Santa Barbara Municiple Airport (SBA), which is located about 3.2 miles from the center of IV. While it is a smaller airport, major airlines such as United Airways and American Airlines fly all over the United States from Santa Barbara. The airline offers daily multiple nonstop flights from major cities such as Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. If your destination cannot be found in the SBA airport, LAX is the largest airport in Southern California. Various buses travel between Santa Barbara and LAX, including the Santa Barbara Airbus, which has a shuttle that takes people directly from 750 Technology Drive in Goleta ​​to the airport. Make sure your coordinate a ride to the Airbus whether that’s a friend, taxi, Lyft, or Uber. 

Train System 

Santa Barbara is served by two Amtrak routes. The Pacific Surfliner winds along the Southern California coast between San Luis Obispo and San Diego, while the interstate Coast Starlight travels from Seattle to Los Angeles. The train offers a more environmentally friendly way to get to your destinations in California. With wifi and food service, the train allows you to get work done while you travel home using fewer carbon emissions. 

Bus System 

Multiple bus systems pick up right on UCSB’s campus or in the Greater Goleta Area. The Clean Air Bus Express has routes that serve Buellton, Lompoc, and Santa Maria, however, they are only operational on weekdays. The Coastal Express bus routes serve Oxnard and Ventura. The FlixBus picks up passengers from the southwest side of UCSB’s bus loop or from downtown Santa Barbara and has stops throughout California as well as connections to Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas. For longer destinations, the Greyhound bus system picks up from UC Santa Barbara or downtown Santa Barbara on Chapala Street. The bus travels all over the United States. 

Tips for Traveling this Season

  • Book your travel plans early and way in advance 
  • Be sure to arrive at least an hour to your transportation site to accommodate for unexpected changes to your travel 
  • Research your transportation service and destinations COVID-19 policies as some may require testing or proof of vaccination to travel  
  • Make a checklist of items needed on your travels beforehand so you don’t forget anything 
  • Have your tickets and required identification handy at all times 
  • If you are traveling on an airplane, bring a spare change of clothes and toiletries in your carry on to account for potentially lost luggage
  • Have a fun vacation!