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View Full Version : Who drives from the Cleveland, Ohio area???


BoilerGirl91
03-31-2008, 05:15 PM
My husband and I plan on driving down to WDW in October for our first family trip. We plan on leaving early on a Friday morning and driving to Savannah the first day, then a short trip to Disney the next morning. I figured for us to drive both ways with an overnight hotel stop would be about $600 versus $1200 to fly. My husband thinks I am nuts for not wanting to fly.

I have not flown since 9/11 and really don't want to. On top of that, I don't know if flying justifies the extra $600 cost. Both of our girls got a personal DVD planner from grandma for xmas and our older daughter has a nintendo DS, so I don't think it will be that bad.

What is your experience? Is driving doable or worth it will young children or should we just bite the bullet and pay the extra $600.

deej696
03-31-2008, 05:53 PM
I think for me, it would depend on how much you'll be effected by the drive once you get to WDW. Will you be worn out to the point that it brings down the first couple days, or will your excitement offset your fatigue from the drive? I've made the drive from the Orlando area to Sandusky several times, and it really wears me down, and I'm usually not even the one driving! On the flipside, $600 is a lot of money that could be put to good use during the trip. But I guess that is another point, would you just end up spending that $600 anyway when you get there. So far I dont think I've been any help, but those are my thoughts:rotfl: Have a great trip!

Ham Ham
03-31-2008, 06:06 PM
You should be able to get decent air fare from Southwest.

We've flown twice out of Pittsburgh for under $500 for the 4 of us.

Once out of Detroit on Spirit for $450 for the 4 of us.

Cleveland must be close to those prices.

Don't forget to include the cost of a retnal car if needed when in FLA.

Here's a fuel calculator. http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/

http://www.ccauthority.com/images/cleveland.jpg

BoilerGirl91
03-31-2008, 06:20 PM
I guess we will just play it by ear. Worse comes to worse, we will drive. Right now flights out of Cleveland on Continental run about 1200 for the four of us. Maybe as it gets closer, the prices will get lower.

thanks for the input.

pepe of ohio
03-31-2008, 06:23 PM
Been to WDW, 40 times, flown and driven and those trips were years ago. Did do a drive a couple years ago, worse then the ones of old. We took I-75 to skip the mountains and trucks, had alot of semis and the drive was grueling. used to do the I-77 trip many a time years ago, but we were alot younger and there was alot less traffic. I don't fly any more, we're close to Youngstown and the last 10 or so trips have been on Amtrak. Not promoting the train but we enjoy it, cost the wife and I, R/T $450.00. takes longer than driving 27 plus hours but no motel stop half way. We're relaxed and not stressed from the drive and get into WDW around noon, ready to go.

CleveRocks
03-31-2008, 06:30 PM
I never drove to WDW when I lived in Cleveland Heights. Thank goodness.

I love the idea of being near WDW in 2 hours instead of 24 hours or more. It would be great to have breakfast at Hopkins and lunch at the Magic Kingdom ... on the same day!

I don't think my little anonymous post on a message board is going to free you of your fear of flying, but maybe I can get you to think a little bit ....

There are more deaths on I-77 and I-95 every year than there are in 20 or 30 years of airline travel. Nationwide (not just on those two interstates), 50,000 people die in car accidents every year.

From 2000-2005, there were 6 fatal airline crashes, and 4 of them were on 9/11. That is 6 fatal crashes out of .. get this! ... 46 MILLION flights. 6 out of 46 million! That's an impressive safety record.

Look at it from a different way. Very few of us knows anyone who died in a plane crash ... but almost all of us knows at least one person who died in a car accident.

The cliche is totally true ... you will keep you and your kids safer by flying to WDW rather than driving. In fact, the flight will be safer than the rides to and from the airport!

Enjoy your trip, and tell Cuyahoga County I miss it (well, parts of it, anyway!).

BoilerGirl91
03-31-2008, 07:12 PM
Eric, I know you are so right. My husband tells me the same thing about driving versus flying. I guess there is something psychological with driving- you always think that you can control it whereas in a plane you are so out of control. We will see.

My aunt and uncle used to live in Cleveland Heights. I'm sure it is nice to be away from the Cleveland winters- this one has lasted forever. At least we had an opening game for the Indians today without snow. :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

CleveRocks
03-31-2008, 07:25 PM
Eric, I know you are so right. My husband tells me the same thing about driving versus flying. I guess there is something psychological with driving- you always think that you can control it whereas in a plane you are so out of control. We will see.

Oh, see now you've wandered into my web, so now I can just pounce! on you with this one ....

You have no control while driving. Yes yes yes, you have control of your own car. But do you know what is standing between you and death? Take a guess ... give up? A flat strip of yellow paint. Yep, that's all. You have NO CONTROL over people arguing or looking away or yelling at kids in the backseat or being burned by a cigarette ash or being otherwise distracted and then before they or you know it they've drifted over that tiny little yellow line, and then you and that driver are just another set of statistics.

We don't like to think about it, but the so-called "control" we think we have while driving is an illusion. We are at the mercy of all the other drivers around us.

Geez, that was some rough stuff. Sorry about that, but before long I'll have you flying everywhere and terrified of driving!

Ham Ham
03-31-2008, 07:37 PM
Mr Rocks

Everyday driving around town seems to be more dangerous than driving on vacation.

http://www.insurance.com/quotes/article.aspx/Car_Accidents_Happen_Closer_To_Home_Than_You_May_T hink/artid/104

We all take risks every day when we hit road. Whether by car, foot or bicycle.
I do share your opinion that the biggest threat on the road is someone else.

Pembo
03-31-2008, 08:05 PM
We've made the drive from the Cleveland area to Orlando 3 times in the last 4 years. If you only have a week for vacation, I can tell you that the drive seems much longer. Our first trip we were in Florida for 3 weeks, the second trip for 2 weeks. Last year we went down and back in a week.

My kids were 2, 6, & 8 the first year. They did much better than expected without a tv. The oldest 2 played gameboys or listened to a book on tape. I always pack a goody bag of junk just for the trip. Mostly dollar store stuff and other things of theirs that I've hidden for weeks before the trip. We take snacks and eat lunch on the road. It is an adventure and I enjoy the trip down. But I'll tell you, I HATE the ride home. It seems much longer and the excitement factor is gone. I just want to blink and be home.

If you find a great fare, consider it. I flew from Cleve to Orlando for $98 rt on Southwest in January. Also look at Airtran from Akron, I've gotten good prices from there as well. Continental always seems to be the highest.

It will be fun whatever you choose.

CleveRocks
03-31-2008, 08:32 PM
Mr Rocks

Everyday driving around town seems to be more dangerous than driving on vacation.

I totally agree. But it's not because vacation driving is somehow magically safer. Rather, it's because a typical 2 weeks of vacation per year means that no more than about 4% of our driving takes place on vacation, so about 96% of our driving falls into the "everyday driving around town" category. Makes sense that we have more accidents during a total span of 50 weeks than we have during a total span of 2 weeks.

[I only wish my father were still alive to see this and know that my Master's degree in statistics finally paid off for something!!!:rotfl: ]

It kind of reminds me of the old joke about the really stupid guy who hears that most accidents occur within one mile of home ... so he moved!:happytv:

masonsmousermom
03-31-2008, 10:31 PM
Until 6 months ago, we lived in Wayne County (about 1 hrs. drive south of Cleveland). As a family of three, we've travelled via car to Disney 4 times. Trip lengths ranged from 5 days to 2 weeks. It's We drove straight through for a couple trips, and stopped and stayed over at hotels on other trips. Here are my feelings:

1st trip: 7days
* Our first trip to Disney so we were so exited, we were happy to drive straight through, still had plenty of energy once we finally got there, and didnt' seem bad at all. We were so impressed with how smooth it went, we decided all of our trips we would drive and save the money.

2nd trip: 9 days
* We stopped over to SC for an interview that I had. We stayed in SC for 2 days; then to Savannah overnight, and then Disney 5 nights. Because it was such a choppy driving trip, it didn't bother us at all.

3rd trip: 2 weeks
* This time we drove down with the mother-in-law in the car; straight through yet again and still we were fine. Although, it was starting to get to us to make that long drive again.

4th trip: 5 days
* This was our last trip to Disney- last minute X-mas trip and man, I would never recommend that long of a drive for such a short trip.

Overall, driving has been a good experience for us. We wait until we get on the road and get the discount hotel guides at the rest stops. We've got some great deals on some nice hotels doing this, rather than booking ahead of time. Courtyard by Marriott for $50/night, for example. The road trip is part of the vacation for us...oh yeah...that and my DH is claustrophobic so he won't get on a plane! :rotfl:

wdwgypsy
03-31-2008, 10:32 PM
drive v fly. gas at 3.25 to 3.50 a gallon plus 70 and night for a decent hotel and
don't forget your time. How much is your time really worth. 32-40 hours of travel vs 4-6

According to Google maps it's about 12 hours to Savanna from the Cleveland area. But don't forget to factor in meal and bathroom breaks, even whipping into McD's drive thru takes time. Then throw in some traffic slow downs. So you might be looking more at 14-16 hour drive. No wonder hubby wants to fly.

just rough figuring since I don't know what your fuel mileage is but you are probably looking at around 600 just for the fuel cost. Plus motel stays, and food, snacks, etc. Figure those cost versus the flights.


Try farebuddy kayak.com etc for the best deals.

But truly the truest way to choose how which mode for leisure travel is how comfortable you feel. If you are going to stress the hours before and during your flight driving might be best after all.

marc1477
03-31-2008, 10:51 PM
Having never driven there I can't personally say, but we have always flown. Its alot quicker and with the price of gas and traffic snarls I don't think it would be fun to drive it.

AirTran flies out of CAK and they have non-stop flights to Orlando as well.

BoilerGirl91
04-01-2008, 08:13 AM
I just did the triple A fuel calculator and at current gas prices, it came out to $255 round trip Cleveland to Orlando for our Toyota Sienna. That seems pretty cheap. I figure about $100/night for a decent hotel, so 455 for gas and lodging. I think we would pack snacks and lunch. It is 12 hours to Savannah, but the question mark is how many times we will have to stop with two kids, so I am sure it will be closer to the 14 hour mark.

I hope we can get airfare close to 400-500 like several of you have mentioned and I will keep an eye on Akron-Canton as well.

Thanks for all the input. :worship: :worship: :worship:

keishashadow
04-01-2008, 08:38 AM
it's not the drive down, adrenalin keeps you going...

it's the haul back that's a pain (seems twice as long;) )

minnierocks
04-01-2008, 08:44 AM
We have driven from Akron/Canton area three times and flown once...
I do agree that flying is great...but that particular trip was on "Disney's Dime" ;)

I always watch airfare, but have never found a fare that is comparable to the cost of driving...so we drive! :goodvibes

We usually drive the biggest part of the trip the first day (about 10 hours) and then drive the final six hours, the second day. It's really not that bad. My kids travel well, and I usually buy them a new CD or something for the trip...so that keeps them occupied. I do agree that the trip home seems longer, but it is definitely doable.
:thumbsup2

castanhope
04-01-2008, 01:25 PM
I'm having this same debate right now! We're not planning our trip until Aug. 09 but I really can't decide whether to drive or fly. We are about an hour and 15 minutes away from Cleveland as well. When we went for the first time in Sept. 07, we flew out of Pittsburgh. We got what I thought was a decent rate and spent $1100 round trip for five of us. Now that my youngest will be over three however, we are going to have the additional costs of room, tickets, and dining for her, so that puts a major crimp in our transportation budget. So we were kind of figuring on driving although I really don't look forward to it. I feel safer in a plane (weird, I know) and I absolutely LOVE the fact that we can wake up in Ohio in the morning and be enjoying the Magic Kingdom by 1:00, that was awesome! Hopefully I will find a dramatic deal on airfare in the next year, or get some incredible hotel discount code because I would choose to fly if money were not such a factor.

breezy1077
04-01-2008, 06:14 PM
Do southwest ding. Our airports are cols. and Pitt. If you don't get the fare you want you can always still drive. By the way it only cost us $275 roundtrip to drive from cols. to Bradenton at christmas.

Pembo
04-01-2008, 07:30 PM
I agree with masonsmousermom, get the hotel roomsavers at the visitor's center to the state you plan to stay in. We have gotten great deals as well!

As for the stops we didn't have a problem...one stop in the mid-morning, one for lunch (we always picnic), a stop in the afternoon, stop for dinner and decide if the kids can go farther. We usually average 14 hours the first day. You can always stop sooner if you think you have to.

As for our lunch, we make sandwiches out of the back of the van. The kids run and play in the rest area. I bring bubbles and balloons for them to play with. I plan $125/day for each day on the road. I never remember to save for gas though....lol.

If you've never done the drive, you'll have a great time. It's very pretty, you go through a lot of states rather quickly. West Virginia has a beautiful visitor's center right over the border, nice bathrooms too. lol

billsfan
04-02-2008, 02:01 PM
If and only if you can fly out on a Friday or Monday & fly back on a Friday or a Monday, check out flying Allegiant Air out of the Youngstown/Warren Airport (YNG) into the Sanflord FL (SFB) airport. You can get tickets for $59 each way and I have seen that rental car costs out of SFB can be pretty cheap.

Steve

MrDiamond
04-02-2008, 02:23 PM
I've done both and I won't drive again. The cost of staying overnight, meals, wear on the car, vacation time staring through the windshield vs. a two hour and twenty minute flight is no contest.

I have direct flights from Southwest out of Cleveland for June that go about $260 (includes fees and taxes). That is cheaper than the Continental price you are working from. And that is the current price today (even though SW is dropping one of the two nonstops from Cleveland in May).

I have a 11:30am flight out from Cleveland and I'll land in Orlando before 2pm. I should be onsite around 3pm and have the rest of the day to enjoy myself. You don't have to leave your house early for that flight.

kydisneyfans
04-02-2008, 03:43 PM
We drove from Canton to Disney at least a half dozen times. Figure about 16 hours from there, so 17 from Cleveland. A decent room can be found for 75 or less with the exit books, even the state line welcome centers will book your ressie, often at a discount.

My parents have flown out of CAK via Airtran, we dropped them off at the CAK airport and picked them up in Orlando 16 hours later, it's ironic that we drove quicker than they flew, but they had a layover in Atlanta and weather delays.

As for the safety of driving vs flying, I do not know of anyone killed in an auto accident, but 6 acquaintences died within 10 miles of my backyard a few years ago on Comair 5191. When you drive past a mass gravesite 2-4 times a day, the prospective changes.

My feet stay on the ground.

JonS99
04-02-2008, 03:55 PM
There are more deaths on I-77 and I-95 every year than there are in 20 or 30 years of airline travel. Nationwide (not just on those two interstates), 50,000 people die in car accidents every year.



That is the beauty of stats, they can be slanted anyway a person wants.. The average person spends around 200-300 hours per year in a car, the average person spends less than an hour a year on a plane, so raw numbers will always make air travel look much safer..

yellowfish78
04-02-2008, 04:27 PM
We drove from Canton to Disney at least a half dozen times. Figure about 16 hours from there, so 17 from Cleveland. A decent room can be found for 75 or less with the exit books, even the state line welcome centers will book your ressie, often at a discount.

My parents have flown out of CAK via Airtran, we dropped them off at the CAK airport and picked them up in Orlando 16 hours later, it's ironic that we drove quicker than they flew, but they had a layover in Atlanta and weather delays.

As for the safety of driving vs flying, I do not know of anyone killed in an auto accident, but 6 acquaintences died within 10 miles of my backyard a few years ago on Comair 5191. When you drive past a mass gravesite 2-4 times a day, the prospective changes.

My feet stay on the ground.

Airtran also has one nonstop daily from CAK as well if you don't want to connect in ATL. They are comparable to Continental from CLE, and prices are normally cheaper. I just checked my dates and from CAK on Airtran, prices are at $99 each way.

uva185
04-02-2008, 08:36 PM
You will get a much cheaper airfare if you book closer to your date of travel (but not too close). Start looking at fares in July and book in August or September. Airlines routinely offer sales for particular periods but usually not for travel 6 months out. Since you are willing to drive just keep looking at airfares until you find one you like. Again, you have nothing to lose by waiting since you are willing to drive.

I usually fly even for short trips as I find it easier and more relaxing. I would much rather kick back with a nice cocktail then concentrate on the road. Once I rode in the car with a friend from DC to Key West. :eek: He wanted my help with driving so I couldn't back out and fly like I wanted to. The drive down was surprisingly easy since we were excited to get there (and I slept for several hours). BUT...let me tell you, that drive back was BRUTAL!!! Even with a overnight stop in Columbia, SC that was easily the worst car trip of my entire life. We didn't hit any traffic, it just felt like an eternity and we were all tired from having fun in the Keys.

If you can afford it....DEFINITELY FLY!!!

disneymom99
04-02-2008, 09:40 PM
Like others that have posted, we've done both -- and will never drive again!

The last 2 times we went, we flew-- once out of Detroit on Spirit and once out of Pittsburgh. We're going at the beginning of July and this time we're flying out of Akron Canton. We found RT airfare for the 4 of us for about $750:thumbsup2 .

We found that the extra money was worth it.

wendylovesdisney
04-03-2008, 09:03 AM
Sign up for southwest dings. I just got a fare of 64.00 each way from cleveland to orlando a few days ago.

corinascot
04-04-2008, 08:33 AM
We live in suburban Cleveland. Over the past 5 years, we have driven twice and flown twice to WDW. There are pros and cons for each.

I like the "control" you get from driving. On our first trip, we decided to stay an extra night. Couldn't have done that if we'd flown (unless we spent lots of money to change our flight.) Telling our ds we were staying another night was a very magical moment. Also, while it's unlikely you'll have flight delays, due to the time of year you're going and the weather in Fla. and the fact that the flight will most likely be a nonstop direct flight, but it can happen. I was stuck in Tucson for 2 extra days last year b/c of high winds in Dallas. Messed up the whole country.

Another plus to driving is that we can bring lots of stuff with us. We brought lots of food for the road AND for our room once we arrived at WDW. I brought a bottle of wine and dh brought is vodka and vermouth. I brought my favorite pillow. We didn't have to mess with finding a grocery store (and a way to get there) when we arrived at WDW. When we flew and rented a car we drove to a grocery store, but when we took ME, I packed a suitcase full of food. It was doable, but not as nice as packing our car with stuff from home, especially with the new liquid regulations on planes.

We also stopped at a couple other places on the way home. On another trip, we stopped and visited other family in Florida before Disney.


I thought the drive didn't seem that long and we arrived fairly rested. We actually had lots of nice conversations in the car and ds kept himself busy. We didn't even have a dvd player. One year, we left on a Friday night and stopped in W. Va the first night. Stopped in Kingsdale, Ga the 2nds night., just 2-3 hours from WDW GOt up early and we were at WDW by 10am. The 2nd trip we left in the morning and drove to Charlotte, NC, got to Fla. the next evening. We've stopped for one night on the way home. Years ago, we'd drive straight through to Fla., and drive all night. Too old for that now. I'd be too tired on arrival (or have an accident.)

The advantage of flying is that it's so darn fast and saves you a couple days travel time. The first year we flew, we used Magical Express and didn't rent a car. That worked out great. You might consider that. I bet you can get airfare that's under $200 rt pp. We've flown both Continental and Southwest and never paid over that and we went during spring break.

The other time we flew, we rented a car. That cost a bit more, but you have the convienence of a car. We needed it to visit family, but if we'd just been going to WDW, we would have gone with ME again.


Either way, you're going to WDW! You could always plan for driving, but keep looking for airfares. I wouldn't be surprised if you found a good one closer to your date.

taximomfor4
04-04-2008, 08:50 AM
I just did the triple A fuel calculator and at current gas prices, it came out to $255 round trip Cleveland to Orlando for our Toyota Sienna. That seems pretty cheap. I figure about $100/night for a decent hotel, so 455 for gas and lodging. I think we would pack snacks and lunch. It is 12 hours to Savannah, but the question mark is how many times we will have to stop with two kids, so I am sure it will be closer to the 14 hour mark.

I hope we can get airfare close to 400-500 like several of you have mentioned and I will keep an eye on Akron-Canton as well.

Thanks for all the input. :worship: :worship: :worship:


Just plan carefully. We did the drive from Lake County Ohio (east of Cleveland) to WDW for the first time in 2005. My kids were 2,5,6,&11. I used AAA and Mapquest to figure out how long the drive was. Then I added in a rest-area break about every 2 hours for 15 minutes (except the night driving portion). Well, lo and behold, the kids didn't NEED to stop that much. Nobody did. We don't speed, but still ended up at WDW in 2:30am instead of 6:30am. That was really, really bad!

Beth

p.s. The drive home is always super-easy for us. Nobody is anxious to just GET THERE, so we just clip along calmly in our happy fog. In fact, I don't REMEMBER the drives home!

BoilerGirl91
04-06-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks for all the input. I think we will see what the prices for flights are this summer and decide from there. Either way, we are just so excited to be going to WDW.:cool1: :cool1: