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View Full Version : Flying vs. Driving


Hoosier37
03-06-2012, 04:00 PM
We live about 1.5 hours from Indianapolis, which is the airport we would use to fly to WDW. We did that last time - got up at 2am, left the house at 4am, made it to Orlando by 9:30.

DH has mentioned driving, because flying is so expensive. This would be a 16-18 hour trip. Even figuring overnight stays, food, and gas I think we come out quite a bit cheaper driving.

So, how hard is the drive? Part of me thinks a long car trip would be a great family memory, and we'd see the country and save money. Part of me thinks that the drive home, exhausted and depressed, would be very difficult.

Would you recommend joining AAA before taking a long trip like this? Any other tips? We're hoping to book a trip for next summer, and if we drove instead of flying the cheaper price would make it much more likely that we could go.

HayGan
03-06-2012, 04:07 PM
We have driven from SW PA (16-17 hrs.) several times and we really enjoy it. We have tried two different methods - 1) driving straight thru the night and arriving in the morning and 2) leaving early in the morning and arriving late in the evening. We have found that we prefer the 2nd option. Our kids stayed entertained with road games & electronics. My husband and I really enjoy the discussion along the way as well. On the way back we always stop somewhere for the night (the drive back isn't as exciting because - well - vacation is over :( ) We typically stop in NC to go gem mining but I'm sure you could find someplace fun along your way home to make it better :)

I would certainly recommend getting AAA for a trip like this! Not only is it good in case of emergency, there are also TONS of places where you can get a discount with it!

neodisneyfan
03-06-2012, 04:11 PM
Drive!! We drive every year either to Disney or Destin,FL. We live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It saves us a ton of money since there are lots of us that go in one car. My dad has an excursion and we usually take my niece and nephew, my sister, myself, my son and daughter, my dad sometimes my mom and my husband. When everyone went one year my sister took the girls and flew down so the car wasnt as crowded. The reason we drive is because most of us just don't like to fly and its cheaper. This past year I suggested that we fly since there were only 5 of us going to Disney and the kids all told us no because driving was one of the best parts of the vacation! We have so many great memories driving to our destination over the last 15 years that when we have family get togethers we spend a lot of time reliving them. The kids have so many little things that they HAVE to do like get sun drop soda when we hit the southern states because they did not have it here in the north. Or getting boiled peanuts (that we dont have in the north either). So I say drive and make some great memories!!

Also we get DVD's from the public library and the kids watch on the way down. They usually judge the time we have left by how many movies they can watch. They will ask how many more movies til we get there!

Hoosier37
03-06-2012, 04:12 PM
You drive straight down and don't stop for the night? Wow - we'd probably have to stop overnight on the way down. DH has a bad back, and also a clotting disorder. So frequent stops for stretching and walking are necessary.

We'd switch off driving, and I would love to get there in one day but I don't know if DH could make it and still be functional while at WDW.

HayGan
03-06-2012, 04:20 PM
You drive straight down and don't stop for the night? Wow - we'd probably have to stop overnight on the way down. DH has a bad back, and also a clotting disorder. So frequent stops for stretching and walking are necessary.

We'd switch off driving, and I would love to get there in one day but I don't know if DH could make it and still be functional while at WDW.

That is how we do it. I drive a majority of the time (my DH has bad back plus he hates driving!) We stop several times along the way for food, stretching, etc. We really find it better than 2 days of long driving. Like I said earlier, we prefer to leave early in the morning and get in late at night (around midnight) so that we can get a full night's sleep and are ready to go the next day.

HeatherC
03-06-2012, 06:33 PM
We drive about 16 hours from MA to SC a few times a year. We really like it. What we do is stop on the way down then do the drive straight through coming home.

We leave around 6am and drive till 6pm...have dinner, check into a hotel, bed early, sleep in a bit , eat our free breakfast and usually arrive around 1pm.

Coming home we also leave at 6am but get home around 10pm. LONG day, but so nice to wake up at home in the morning.

Our kids are 15, 13, and 10 and are great road trippers.

I think if you think it will be fun, it will be! We buy special treats, rent movies and just have fun together. Makes for great memories.

Brer Chump
03-06-2012, 07:04 PM
The kids have so many little things that they HAVE to do like get sun drop soda when we hit the southern states because they did not have it here in the north. Or getting boiled peanuts (that we dont have in the north either).

Hello fellow NE Ohioan. On your next trip have the kids try Cheerwine soda. It's only available in the Mid-Atlantic to Southeast. It's like red pop. I always have to get a case or two when I am in VA.

5 at disney
03-06-2012, 07:12 PM
We live an hour from Indy and did the drive about 5 years ago. We did a longer drive the first day and a shorter drive the second day. I would recommend to get south of Atlanta on the first day if you can otherwise the traffic is crazy. Also, regarding the drive home, we took two days again. It really went fast as we were ready to get home and be in our own beds. Hope you can make this happen.

ctlovesgt
03-06-2012, 07:20 PM
We are Hoosiers too and love the drive. Last time we drove from Michigan to WDW with two kindergarteners and had a lovely time. It added to the adventure and family time. We pack for the car and for the resort seperately. Thinking through car meals and snacks as well as fun things to keep the kids occupied. We usually make special activity kits for them to make the most of the trip. Little things like chenelle stems (pipe cleaners) or making pictures out of yard sale dot stickers can be great fun to those stuck in the back seat. We also play car games (going to WDW and in my suitcase there's a ...), have sing alongs, listen to books on tape, and just spend time talking and listening to each other. By the time we get to WDW we feel like we've reconnected as a family and are ready to really enjoy the trip and the time together. On the way home, we plug in the portable DVD player for the twins and they usually end up napping quite a bit.

LLLSRL
03-06-2012, 07:21 PM
We drive 29 hours from Northern Wisconsin. The first time we drove for about 14 hours, then slept in a hotel and drove the rest the next day. The 2nd time we pulled our camper so we slept in that for a few hours and the last time we just slept in our vehicle for a few hours, lol. We always have a great time driving there, so exciting looking at all the different cities and places we have to drive thru, but i must admit the drive back isnt the greatest but then again after a great vacation its always a little depressing coming back home whether you drive or fly. None of us have ever flown and we really dont want too so we will continue to drive every time :)

look1angel
03-06-2012, 07:34 PM
I used to do the drive from Georgia to New Jersey with 3 kids & I'm so glad those days are over. We'd drive straight up there & then took 2 days back. We did it about 4 times when they were little. Then every 5 years we'd head down to WDW; 8 hour drive, not bad at all. Plus airfare for all 5 of us was over the top. :eek: We had the conversion van so that was always nice.

Now here I am, all kids grown & I fly whenever I can. I don't even like the 7 hour drive to WDW (it was 8 with kids) God willing, in 3 yrs I'll be living in FL :thumbsup2

Obviously since it's usually just me or one of my kids we fly to WDW whenever I can get a really good fare. I once could get $140.00 RT
This past Jan my daughter & I drove to WDW & it was time well spent between the 2 of us (she's 28)

I'm going solo in June & happen to come across a decent airfare for $200.00 It just went back up to $300 so I figured with gas prices the way they're climbing I got a good deal. Plus for me, I want the extra time in the park now not on the road.

Driving there as a family saves money & the conversations that take place are usually priceless :) My kids still remind me of the games we played, songs we sang & the silly stuff we did. :cloud9:

peabody58
03-06-2012, 07:35 PM
We drive from central IL (18 hrs) to WDW. We have it down to a science now.

Leave 6 AM, stay overnight in Cordela, GA.
Leave next morning by 9 AM, arrive at WDW around 3 PM.

Return trip leave WDW by 3 PM, stay overnight in Macon, GA.
Next day we're home by 8 PM.

Round trip cost including food ad 2 nights lodging: ~ $500 for 2 adults.

Having our convertible with us at WDW is priceless. Great fun and we do a grocery store run for our DVC villa.

Hoosier37
03-06-2012, 08:12 PM
I'm actually starting to think driving might be fun - so, how hideous would traffic be in say, June?