Traveling between San Francisco and Los Angeles for just the weekend kind of sucks. Driving takes forever in traffic, buses are slow and crowded and, even with just an hour long flight, flying takes about as much time door to door as driving. Without taking a Monday or Friday off, your trip is squished between hours of inconvenient travel. Along comes Cabin, a new player in regional travel.
Cabin offers a vehicle essentially built like a musician’s tour bus to transport you overnight between cities. Their vehicles have 24 horizontal sleeping cabins on board that come with sheets, pillows, outlets, and privacy curtains―all built to allow you to doze off while the driver does all the work. Trips cost $115 each way, comparable to a plane ticket. The vehicle leaves SF at 11 PM and arrives in LA at 7 AM the next day (and vice versa).
“People that like our product really value their awake time,” says Cabin Co-founder & President Gaetano Crupi. “They want to spend the maximum time in SF or LA before they have to go back to work. We spent the past year building a completely bespoke vehicle and picking the elements of this relaxing hospitality experience. The name Cabin harkens back to this romantic notion of travel decades ago when people had private cabins on ocean liners and Pan AM planes. Luxurious travel that was almost as exciting as the destination.”
Co-founders Gaetano & Tom Currier set out to solve what they call the “500-mile problem” with their own moving hotel. As Crupi recalls, “Tom had this idea of band tour buses where bands actually live this way full-time and bringing that concept to market. We started with a prototype idea called Sleep Bus. We rented a coach bus, renovated it and this pilot that was supposed to run for two weeks absolutely blew up. There were 4,000 requests initially and we sold out every run in that time. We were actually angering customers because we didn’t have the ability to handle the scale. We knew we had something, so we raised capital from VCs [venture capitalists] in Silicon Valley and began working on what would become Cabin.”
Now just two weeks out from their maiden voyage, Cabin offers weekend and some weeknight service between the cities until they ramp up to nightly service starting in September. We checked the website: for skeptics who are expecting all the tickets to be sold out, the availability is looking good!
The vehicles are two stories: on the first floor there is a bathroom with running water, three cabins for people who have trouble going up stairs and a lounge area with two four-person booths, a three-person couch and an espresso machine. Crew members provide complimentary earplugs and make sure passengers are attended throughout the ride. The route they take uses a combination of highways 101, 280 and I-5 to ensure smooth roads for tranquil rides.
While Cabin is focused on SF to LA now, Crupi and Currier are dreaming big. “We want people to be able to think of their zip code in a 500-mile radius, or as their state. If you live in LA, and you want to wake up in Big Sur on Saturday, and then wake up in Tahoe on Sunday, and then on Monday morning you want to arrive at the office in time for a 9 AM meeting, we want you to be able to do that. **If you’re a parent who wants to take your child to Disneyland last minute and have them back in time for school on Monday, then we want you to be able to do that.”
After learning all they can from the SF to LA route, they hope to open routes along the eastern corridor (Boston, NYC, Philly, DC) next. Book passage and learn more about the experience at www.ridecabin.com.
Editor’s note: Children under 10 years of age are not allowed. Children between 10-16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.