Getting To & Around KITP

Do not use travel packages.

If you are awarded travel funding by KITP, you must present itemized receipts in order to receive the reimbursement. Travel "packages" offered by Internet vendors typically do not include itemized expenses, so do not book travel through such vendors unless you can confirm that charges for each item will be listed separately (e.g., hotel, airfare, car rental, etc.).

If you are awarded travel funding from KITP, you must fly with a United States carrier, in compliance with the Fly America act. More details on the regulations may be found at​.

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) Information

Santa Barbara Ground Transportation

Ground Transportation to/from LAX

airbusSave money and often time; take Santa Barbara Airbus.

(Goleta Airbus Terminal is less than 3 miles from KITP.)

More expensive but door-to-door:  Roadrunner Shuttle, SuperShuttle.

Ground Transportation from Other Southcoast Airports

  • The nearest alternate airports served by a major airline (United) are in Oxnard and Santa Maria.
    • There is no public transportation to Santa Barbara from these airports, but rental cars are available.
  • Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) in Burbank, approximately 100 miles from KITP, is served by many major carriers plus Southwest Airlines.
    • There is an AMTRAK train depot a short distance from the terminal. It is possible to walk from the airport to the train depot, but there is also a free shuttle available. There are 5 or 6 trains per day to Santa Barbara and Goleta.
    • There is no shuttle bus from BUR to Santa Barbara, but rental cars are available.

Bike Rental and Repair

Many KITP visitors have gotten bikes from:

IV BicyclesIsla Vista Bicycle Boutique
882 Embaracadero del Mar
Isla Vista
(805) 968-3338 

They have an assortment of used bikes in varying conditions. IV Bike Boutique sells you the bike and then buys it back minus the rental fee.

Their current rates are available on their website.

Visitors have also rented bikes from "Play It Again Sports"

UCSB Bike ShopUCSB Associated Students Bicycle Shop offers a number of bicycle services right on campus. It rents and sells bicycles, performs repairs, and also has repair stands, tool loan, and repair instruction if you prefer to work on your own bike. The shop is located at Trailer 324, or by phone at 893-3610. There is an air compressor for filling tires that is located at the end of the trailer, which is available 24 hours each day. They have a limited number of rental bikes; call ahead to check whether one is available.

Santa Barbara CarFree has a list of other bicycle rental places.  Some participate in the Car-Free Discount program.

Some KITP visitors buy a used bicycle for between $100 and $180 and then sell the bike to an incoming KITP visitor. One drawback to this is that the KITP does not have facilities for storing the bike if the buyer arrives after you have left.  For a multi-month visit, this is likely to be cheaper than renting. 

See our biking page for information about maps and clubs in the local area.

Find an error?  Please email us.

The information on this page is based on past practices and feedback from past visitors. KITP cannot be responsible for the accuracy of this information, and this information should not be interpreted as advice on any subject or endorsement of any company.  Regulations and policies can change at any time.  Verify your arrangements with the rental agent and make sure that whatever an agent tells you verbally is included in the written rental contract.  Please notify us of any errors or updates needed.

Do not use travel packages.

KITP can only reimburse appropriately itemized expenses. Travel "packages" offered by Internet vendors typically do not include itemized expenses. In order to ensure appropriate documentation for reimbursement, no travel to the institute should be booked through such vendors unless the traveler has confirmed that each aspect of the package will be separately itemized (e.g., itemized hotel charges, airfare, car rental, etc.).

Mandatory Car Seats for Children

Under California law, children under the age of 8 and less than 4' 9" (145cm) must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Children under the age of 8 who are 4' 9" or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.  There are exceptions for certain vehicles and situations. 

Airport Tax and surcharges

There is a "tourism fee" throughout California of 2.5% - 3.5% (depending on location) plus other one-time concession surcharges when renting on-site at airport locations or at hotels.  You can avoid many surcharges by renting at an off-site, branch office and may be able to avoid this "tourism fee" by giving your local address in the Santa Barbara area.  Rental rates are also often cheaper than at airport locations.  Most such offices will pick you up and drop you off  at locations within a certain distance at no extra charge.

Some visitors from overseas have said they were still able to pickup at the airport and yet avoid the tax by prepaying their rental through a correspondent company.  Others have avoided the tourist tax and lowered their costs for much of their stays by first renting at the airport, returning the car a few days later after getting settled, and renting at a branch office giving their local address.  Oftentimes, there is no extra charge for returning the car to the airport.  Ask!

Rental Rates

Check company web sites for coupons and special promotions.  Weekend rentals are always cheaper.  The definition of "weekend" varies, e.g., National Car Rental's weekend rates begin Thursdays at 9:00AM and run through pickup time the following Monday (i.e., 4 days).  In order for your reimbursement to be processed, it is required that a daily rate, as well as the total, be stated on your confirmation and/or receipt. It is advisable to confirm this before you pay if you plan to rent your car through a search engine or consolidator (e.g., priceline or, rather than directly from the rental agency.

Note:  The UCSB corporate discount is not available to KITP visitors, as their rental contracts do not extend to nonemployees.  You might want to check with your home institution as to whether you are eligible for its corporate discount.

When you rent a car, you will be offered a confusing array of options, including insurance, by the rental agency and, sometimes, be told you need to purchase some of them.  It is often wise to have such additional coverages, but it will almost always be cheaper to purchase it elsewhere before you rent the car.  Some employers (including universities) provide supplementary coverage through contracts with certain vendors, so check with your travel department, as well as with your personal insurance agent, before you leave home. You need at least two kinds of insurance: Liability insurance and Collision insurance.

This insurance provides coverage in case a claim is made against you, for example, by someone who was injured or suffered property damage in an accident in which you were involved.  The state-mandated minimums are automatically included in the rental rate, but you may well wish to have more than these minimum amounts.  There are several alternatives to purchasing this from the rental agency.  Some universities or laboratories provide liability insurance for your work-related travel.  Sometimes, it may be included with your personal auto insurance or may be added for a small premium, or you may be covered under your umbrella insurance liability policy, or you may be able to amend it to reduce your deductible.  Contact your insurance agent to find out what coverage you already have or what it would cost to purchase.  Some limited liability insurance may be included with the credit card that you use to rent the car.  

This protects you against damage to the car you are renting.  It ought to be quite inexpensive to buy, but rental agencies often charge $15-$25 per day for such coverage, usually called either Loss or Collision Damage Waiver (LDW or CDW, resp.) Some major credit cards provide backup, limited collision coverage that is secondary to your personal insurance if your auto policy covers rentals. However, there are some premium or business-type credit cards that provide primary coverage that may be included in your annual premium or purchased separately.  For  comparison, if you have an American Express Card, you may be able to purchase extensive primary coverage at a total cost of under $25 for a rental up to six weeks.  Finally, there are numerous travel insurance companies that sell CDW insurance online, such as Trip Insurance StoreTravel Insurance Center at a cost well below that of rental car agencies. 

Insurance requirements can make rentals by non-U.S. residents quite expensive, adding $20-$30/day to the cost.  Several visitors have told us that they saved considerably on insurance costs by prearranging car rental via an agency in their home country or online before leaving home. Even if you do no not prearrange the rental, you may be able to purchase insurance coverage independently for much less than from the car rental agency.  For example, residents of Western Europe can buy a policy online at, operated by Towergate Underwriting Group.  (Although their policy provides coverage for a year for one low premium, note that you must renew your car rental contract after 60 days.)   If you will be renting for more than a week, you will almost certainly save money.  (Please let us know of any other such companies.)


Car Rental Agencies

KITP cannot endorse or recommend any particular company.   If you rent outside Santa Barbara (e.g., in Los Angeles,) it is a good idea to use a company with a branch in the Santa Barbara area in case the car needs to be serviced or exchanged.

Major Chains (alphabetically)

(805) 964-4848; fax: (805) 683-2039

  • No office at the airport, but provides shuttle to office nearby at 5940 Olney St (one minute from airport.) Direct: (805) 683-4715
  • Avis also has an office in downtown Santa Barbara at

34 E Montecito (at Anacapa St)
(805) 965-1079

(805) 964-6792 fax: (805) 683-3203

(805) 683-3012  (at the Santa Barbara airport.)

  • If you will be renting two months or longer, call 866-580-6222, and ask about their Month-or-More program, or send them an e-mail online with your contact information.
  • Enterprise also has an office in Goleta at 

5959 Hollister Ave (two minutes from airport)
(805) 683-0067; FAX (805) 683-3917

  • There are several offices in Santa Barbara:
    • 351 Hitchcock Way Ste #B160, (805) 569-3636;
    • 3210 State St., (805) 569-6222;
    • 601 Chapala St., (805) 966-3097.
  • Enterprise will rent without a credit card.

Airport: (805) 967-0411

  • Hertz offers multi-month rentals at prices comparable to long-term leasing.
  • For European visitors, Hertz offers a World-on-Wheels program that includes all insurance and taxes.  (If this link doesn't work for your location, look for it under Hertz "Products & Services" .)
  • Prices vary by location, even around Santa Barbara:

Amtrak Train Station
209 State Street
(805) 962-5305

  • Save by renting from a Hertz Local Edition (HLE) office:

In Goleta at
690 S.Fairview Ave (two minutes from airport)
(805) 967-9489 Fax: (805) 967-2094

In downtown Santa Barbara at
Fess Parkers Double Tree Resort 
633 East Cabrillo Blvd.
(805) 962-5305 Fax: (805) 962-5342 

  • HLE branches will pick you up and return you (within a certain radius.)

(805) 967-1202; Fax: (805) 683-8790
Toll-free: (888) 826-6890

(805) 681-1222; Fax: (805) 681-2568
Toll-free: (800) 847-4389

MTD BusesLocal Area Bus Routes and Information

  • Buses stop at the East Gate traffic circle nearby KITP.  Also, discounted MTD bus passes for 10 days or 30 days are now available at the UCSB Bookstore Customer Service Desk, in the University Center.

  • Buses carry a limited number of bicycles in front at no extra charge, so mixed modes of transportation are relatively easy.

  • Bus Pass Information and Application (limited to UCSB employees - visitors without salary are NOT eligible for discounted bus passes through this program; you must purchase them from MTD; other aspects of the TAP program may be available to visitors without salary).

  • The MTD BusTracker page includes up-to-the-minute bus arrival information, and links for both iPhone and Android Apps that allow you to track real-time bus arrival information on your smartphone.


KITP is in Kohn Hall, located directly across from the east entrance of the UCSB campus in Santa Barbara, California.

UCSB Campus Maps

Campus maps, including interactive version and UCSB/Goleta Map.


Campus Parking

View Interactive Map

Short-Term Parking

Lot 10 is very convenient to KITP. We generally discourage driving to campus if you are here for a conference or as a program speaker--daily rates for campus parking are $8-10 per day, and some recommended hotels offer shuttles. On the 5th Floor ONLY, a VIP pass for KITP visitors to purchase at $10/day. VIP passes may be purchased for a single or several days. Do NOT use the parking permit machine in Lot 10 to buy a 'daily permit' on a weekday (unless you have a handicapped plackard and will be parking in a handicapped space). You will get a ticket! For four hours or less, you can buy an hourly "coastal" permit and park in designated first-floor stalls. 

Monthly Passes

To buy a monthly permit visit the UCSB Transportation and Parking Services office and ask to buy a staff pass as a visitor to KITP.   Please visit the campus parking website for more information.

With this pass you can park in Lot 30, and Lot 10, which is next to Kohn Hall, but not in the parking lot outside the Munger Phyiscs Residence. 

Directions to Kohn Hall/UCSB

From Los Angeles International Airport:

  • We recommend the Santa Barbara Airbus, particularly if you must return to LAX for your departing flight. The Airbus is reliable, efficient, and offers a reasonable round-trip fare of approximately $88 (prepaid). The nearest Airbus drop-off point to the UCSB campus is the Goleta terminal at 5755 Thornwood Drive. The Airbus drivers can call a taxi to pick you up from the airbus terminal; just request this service when you're picked up at LAX.
  • If you are driving from LAX, exit the airport lot at Sepulveda Blvd., and follow Sepulveda Blvd. to the 405 North Freeway entrance. Follow 405 North to 101 North (Ventura Freeway). Remain on the 101 (for approximately one and a half hours) into Santa Barbara. Proceed through Santa Barbara and north for approximately 10 miles. Exit at the "UCSB/Ward Memorial" (Highway 217) offramp. Follow the signs onto campus. For campus directions, please review these UCSB maps.

From Santa Barbara Airport:

  • The most convenient way to get to UCSB from the S.B. airport is to call "Yellow Cab" at 965-5111. The fare for the cab should be about $15; if you use the cabs at the airport, the fare is higher.
  • If you are renting a car at the airport, turn right as you exit the rental car lot, onto William Moffet Lane. Follow the signs onto campus. It is less than a five-minute drive.
  • If staying at The Best Western South Coast Inn, simply use the airport courtesy phone to call the Inn for pickup.  If staying at Ramada Ltd., just take a taxi; your fare will be reimbursed.