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Old 10-09-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
LuckyGirl777
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Driving from NJ: I-81 or I-95?

We are leaving in about two weeks to go to WDW. We are driving down. (We are not flying because I am terrified of flying)

Anyway! We are going to break it up into two days, and stay over one night on the way down and back up. We are going to try leave early in the morning, stay over, get up, repeat. No driving through the night etc.

Two questions...

1. Is the inland route (81 to Charlotte etc) better than 95? I'm very familiar with the traffic that you can hit in the whole NJ/PA/DE/DC corridor and I'd rather be moving even if it is a bit longer?

2. What is a logical stop-over on the way down and the way back up?

Thanks!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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We take 95 down, but do it in one day. We are leaving this Friday. We leave around 7pm to avoid the traffic and it helps keep the kids in their normal sleeping time frame.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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we drive down from Connecticut & have taken 95 down. Can be done in one day, but we do stopovers as well. Stayed in Virginia, the Carolinas. The traffic is stop & go. We've travelled different times of the year & it's the same areas you usually run into to stops. We leave early in the morning & again could make it through in one day so it really is not that bad. Drive carefully.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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We live near Reading Pa and used to drive to WDW. Left at 5AM, picked up I-95 and stopped 45 minutes past Savannah Ga. Gas, food and pit stops (3 kids) apprx 6pm. Next day, left at 6AM and arrived in WDW apprx 1PM and went to Downtown Disney to start our vacation. I-95 was really not too bad. Now with eleven of us, we fly. Don't want to waste the time and with five kids, mayhem rules.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Funny this should come up now. My wife and I are in the middle of this right now. We drove through NYC/DC on Sunday morning. Not much problem in NYC and we even were ok in DC itself. But on 95 south of DC we were very surprised at the amount of traffic delays. We pretty much decided that on the return trip we would do the inland route.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
Brook1099
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We will be driving in 3 weeks. Our family has done the drive every year since 2004. My husband insists on going 95. We are central jersey so going to 81 is out of the way, but I would love to try one year. We have left many different times of the day and night, and 2 am works the best for us. We have stayed in Florence and Santee SC and Savannah GA. I prefer GA as the stop because we only have about 4 hrs to Orlando the following day. We have also drove straight thru and that just doesnt make for a happy family. A few times on the way home we have drove straight thru but most times we stop and stay in Virginia right before 295.

Have a great trip.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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I think some depends on where in NJ you are starting out from. I am down in the southeastern part, and taking the inland route is too far out of my way to be practical. That said, the time of year, the day of the week and time of day you expect to leave makes a big difference. On a workday, I leave around 2:30 am and am in the Orlando area by 5:30 to 8:30 pm depending on traffic/weather/stops. If you are leaving later in the day and might hit DC during its expanded rush hour times, you might want to consider the inland route. Weekends are probably less critical, but that can vary with the time of year as you might hit beach traffic in some states as you travel along 95and I have also read that the time of year can affect the inland route, so far as snow/ice. But hopefully two weeks from now will still be clear of that stuff! As far as stopping, that is something you will have to decide, as to how far you want to get that first day and how much traveling you still want to do that second day. Personally I would prefer to do most of the driving the first day.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
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I've never driven all the way to Disney, but I have family in NC and we have driven to SC. We took 81 once and it was much longer and to me, more stressful. I don't find 95 to be that bad, I've driven alone with my son through it, and because of Turnpike traffic we got there right around rush hour. They changed the roads a bit around DC so cutting through wasn't that bad and I hit the normal backup right after, but it was still no worse than driving here. Actually, I made it from DC to Richmond faster than I have made it from here to the shore on a normal summer weekend.

As far as where to stay, how much driving can you do and be ok? We talked about driving and figured we would stop around my sister's in NC, it's 10 hours from here and then another 8 from her. My limit in the car is about 12 hours, you don't want to be near me after that. I have friends who make the trip in one day, it's definitely doable but I prefer to stop around 10-12 hours. **We've never driven to Disney, but I have family all over the country and we drive there. I can deal with travel days for family, not for the mouse.**
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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Oops, I should have written where I was starting out from....we live right by 78 where it intersects with 287.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Funny this should come up now. My wife and I are in the middle of this right now. We drove through NYC/DC on Sunday morning. Not much problem in NYC and we even were ok in DC itself. But on 95 south of DC we were very surprised at the amount of traffic delays. We pretty much decided that on the return trip we would do the inland route.
That's interesting...good luck on your return trip inland!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
LuckyGirl777
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Thanks everyone, still reading through and trying to decide!

I would feel better on 95 in general, other than the traffic situation. The earliest we could leave would be 630 am which means we would probably be ok getting through DC in time.

But then I've heard that Fridays all day are bad in DC?

And then living where we live (where 78 crosses 287) it's also tempting to just go west from there to 81 and avoid even the whole NJ traffic scene around Newark etc.

Tough decision!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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the latest we left was 4 a.m. from ct. and no matter what day of the week, we always hit DC traffic.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #13
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We are in NJ and driving for the first time and taking 95 in 3 weeks!

81 isn't traffic free either. I lived in VA and went to school in SW Va at Radford which is right off 81 (1991-1996). It was trucks galore then and I'm sure is worse now. in 93 we drove to WDW for spring break from there. We did 81 for awhile and then cut across to 95. Good lord is North Carolina a long state to cross! It felt like half the trip. We could have gone further south on the inland route, but our AAA agent said cutting to 95 was easier and faster.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
LuckyGirl777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katrina1122 View Post
We are in NJ and driving for the first time and taking 95 in 3 weeks!

81 isn't traffic free either. I lived in VA and went to school in SW Va at Radford which is right off 81 (1991-1996). It was trucks galore then and I'm sure is worse now. in 93 we drove to WDW for spring break from there. We did 81 for awhile and then cut across to 95. Good lord is North Carolina a long state to cross! It felt like half the trip. We could have gone further south on the inland route, but our AAA agent said cutting to 95 was easier and faster.
Yeah, I'm also wondering around cutting through at Richmond and hooking up with 95 there.....hmm....but that adds a lot of miles.

Good luck on your trip!
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brook1099 View Post
We have stayed in Florence and Santee SC and Savannah GA.
We just spent two nights in Savannah, which really just gave us one full day there, and really enjoyed the city. So much history there and such a beautiful city. Highly recommend having dinner at Olde Pink House if you do stop there.
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