View Full Version : NY to Orlando First Time Driving
02-23-2005, 12:51 PM
We are planning to drive from the Bronx to Orlando. We'll be leaving at around 6am on a Saturday. My DH will be doing all the driving and he does not like to drive at night so we figure on stopping somewhere between 6 - 8 pm and finding a hotel to stay in for the night. We then plan to leave the hotel again at around 6am and drive the rest of the way.
For those of you who've done the trip. How far can we expect to get the first day. We were hoping to make it to south of the border but after reading about how bad the hotels are there I'd like advice on where we could stay.
Also, if we stick to our schedule, at about what time can we expect to reach Orlando? I know it depends on how many rest stops we make but we aren't planning on many so can someone give me an estimate?
Also any other tips would be appreciated.
02-23-2005, 02:11 PM
I live on Long Island. It takes me about an 1 hour 15 min to get to New Jersey. I have made the trip to Disney, on a Saturday, in 18 hours 25 min. From where you are I would shave off about an hour from that.
If you leave at 6:00am by 6:00pm you could be almost in Georgia. Thats with just stopping for gas and the bathroom. When I stop for the night I stop in Kingsland Georgia. We stay at the Holiday Inn there. There are several other hotels there also, all very close to I-95. Kingsland is right on the border of Florida. When you leave the hotel you are in Florida in under 10 min. The second day of travel will only be 2.5 to 3 hours.
I don't like to drive at night either. We leave at 2:00am and drive all day. On a Saturday traffic shouldn't be bad.
02-23-2005, 08:38 PM
We've driven from Central New Jersey a couple of times. In the summer when we left on a Saturday we left at 4am and made it to Brunswick, GA by about 5pm. We did hit traffic going through the Carolina's. Alot of summer vacation traffic on a 4 lane highway (2 lanes each direction), and a lot of accidents. This was about 3 or 4 years ago so I don't know if the road has been widened at all. We only stopped for gas & potty breaks. Brought sandwiches with us and ate in the car while driving. From Brunswick, GA it took us about 4 more hours to get to Orlando. All in all, not a bad ride.
02-23-2005, 10:31 PM
Why is driving to Florida my favorite topic?
NYC to Orlando is listed as a 20 hour drive, but if you stay with the traffic and you encounter no accidents you may do it in less.
The half-way point is Fayetteville NC. No need to stop there, though, if you are starting at dawn. In 1974, we got as far as Savannah GA the first day, and that included a leisurely breakfast in the DC area, and the fact that I-95 was not completely finished!
Get one of those I-95 guides or go to the all-ears (sp?) site. (I differ with some of their details, but I will research before I challenge them.) Major motel chains cluster around I-95 at specific cities every 60 miles or so: Fayetteville, Lumberville, Florence SC, etc. South of the Border looks great but I have never tried their lodging or their food. Their gift shops are incredibly tasteless unless you like things like little potty scultures that include little people. (Not that there is anything wrong with them (!!!) but just where would you put them?) We would have enjoyed the very comprehensive fireworks shop except that it was absolutely forbidden to bring those things back into NYC.
My rule is the later you plan to stop, the fewer amenities you need. Our recent practice has been to leave at 4 PM on Friday, Presidents Weekend (!) and drive to Roanoke Rapids NC, arriving around midnight (or 2 AM if there has been snow in NYC. Snow has happened to us 3 times!) Snacks, no dinner. Big breakfast next morning. Motel 6 is a great place to arrive at 2 AM. You sleep, shower, and leave. If you want to hang around a pool or lobby, or relax in the room, definitely aim for a more expensive chain. This year we are leaving at 4 PM on a Friday in late April, but we are stopping somewhere around Richmond that night.
You MUST make a reservation (about a week ahead) if you plan to stop after 9 PM. Make a driving plan and stick with it! There is nothing more stressful and time wasting than the NO VACANCY sign at a late hour. You can not possibly know if there might be some gigantic NASCAR race in the immediate area that very weekend! It's a toll free call, and a deposit that you must cancel by 5 or 6 PM that night. Usually you know by then if you have come up with something better.
The only food available overnight is the stuff in the convenience stores attached to the overnight gas stations. Beware. If you really want dinner and plan to stop in a nationally recognized franchise, remember that they are not all 24/7 places. My favorite has been the TEXAS BBQ in Roanoake Rapids NC, and they even have a stuffed jackelope on display. (Somebody take the bait, please.) What I am saying is, stop to eat before 8 PM just to be sure. I wish I had info about good local places, but alas they are probably not near I-95 and they probably close even earlier.
Should you drive straight through? We once left at 4 AM and drove straight through to Ft. Lauderdale (3 additional hours) and got there about 2 AM. And then we slept most of the next day, so it was a wash. Motels are more expensive in Orlando. I would advise breaking the trip.
And I haven't mentioned the flat tire we had in Titusville, at 6 PM on Christmas Eve (another Ft. Lauderdale trip). This is the exact hour that everything closes on Dec. 24. Always expect the unexpected.
One driver? Even on the two-day plan, one driver usually needs more breaks than when you have a second person for a few hours relief. Minimal bathroom stops occur every 3-4 hours, hopefully timed to your gas stops. Get good mileage? You will have to stop anyway. Sorry.
Yes, we have flown. And then rented a car. (and enjoyed it.) Taxi/town car only once. But that's another topic.
02-23-2005, 11:12 PM
Ok, As a child my parents used to take me and my 3 siblings on that loooong drive every summer. My dad had this down to a science. This past summer, I decided to attempt it using his strategy with my own little ones (2.5 and 6). It worked like a charm... We left Long Island at 4:00am, that put us in DC about 8:30 or so, just in time for rush hour. We would stop and have breakfast at Maryland House rest stop and by the time we were done, traffic would be minimal. From there we drove to Lumberton, SC, which is just past South of the Border. We would arrive there about 3:00, which was about the time my kids (and DH) started getting antsy, so it worked out reallyt well. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants there. There is a WalMart too (that was nice to stock up on drinks and snacks for the car). We left around 8:00 the next morning and checked into POR about 4:00. We ran into a terrible thunderstorm right outsde of Orlando, so that sloweed us down a bit. On wdwig.com there is a TERRIFIC section on driving I-95. I printed these out for each state we passed thru and I knew every restaurant. gas station and hotel at every exit from NJ to FL...that was an invaluable resource. Hope that helps! Good luck! :cheer2:
02-24-2005, 07:19 AM
This site's got all kinds of info. on I-95 such as lodging, places to eat, etc.:
The I-95 Exit Information Guide OnLine - Everything for the I-95 traveler! (http://www.usastar.com/i95/homepage.htm)
02-24-2005, 10:52 AM
Thank you so much for all the tips. As I mentioned before DH will be doing all the driving and does not want to drive at night so we are definitely staying overnight somewhere. Can anyone comment on what to expect on the return home trip? If we leave Orlando at about 6am on a Tuesday where would that put us by 6pm that evening and where is a good place to stop?
02-24-2005, 11:46 AM
Don't dismiss South of the Boarder, we've stayed many times and never had a problem, and theres a lot to do there in your down time, we also like Kingsland and Brunswick Ga. On the way back, you might make Emporia Va, several nice places there exit 8 or 11, You dont say when you are going, but if the Kings Dominion theme park is closed, there are good deals at their Best Western, exit 98 Ashland Va.
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