The Santa Barbara airport (SBA) is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute cab ride from the lab. Most of the major car rental companies have facilities on site.
The Los Angeles international airport (LAX) is 100 miles away and can be reached by plane in 30 minutes, car in 2-4 hours (depending on traffic), or using the Santa Barbara Airbus.
Visitor parking on campus is $8/day and located ~10 minute walk from the lab. Payment can be done by credit card in the parking lots.
You may be able to find lodging on campus at the UCSB Faculty Club. This is in located in a quiet location within 5-10 minutes walk of the laboratory. The price is $270/night.
The closest off-campus hotels are located in Goleta, and may have prices as low as $150 booking.com; all are sufficiently distant that a rental car is advised if you want to come and go at odd hours. Driving time 5-10 minutes.
Nicer and more-expensive hotels are located in Santa Barbara. Driving time ~15-20 minutes.
Low-cost food is available on campus during normal business hours.
Additional low-cost food is available in Isla Vista, ~20 minutes walk from the lab.
Yes, this is the nicest place on the planet. Start here for an entree to local sites.
The cheapest possible visit is to fly into LAX, take the Airbus to Goleta, Uber to campus, stay at the Faculty Club and walk to meals.
The most time-efficient visit is to fly into SBA and stay on campus.
The most flexible visit is to fly into SBA and stay in downtown Santa Barbara.