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Old 12-11-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
Nana2Callie
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Drive straight thru - how do you decide?

How do you decide whether to do this or not? We've never done it, but are tempted to try this time. We have an 18 hour drive and 2 drivers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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We play it by ear. If we get tired we stop.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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We used to do the drive straight through bit but we are too old for that nonsense now! I hated it as DH would do most of the driving and as evening came and we would think about stopping he would usually claim to feel "great" and want to continue "straight through". Of course at about midnight or so he would start feeling sleepy and I would have to take over ... usually in the rain and when all of the raido stations went off the air! I can't tell you how many "dawn drives" I made back in the "old days"!

If you can handle it ... go for it!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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We're wrestling with this decision for an upcoming trip. I'm a night owl, so staying up through the night is not a problem. It does catch up the next day when the adrenaline/excitement of going to WDW wears off. We've got 2 drivers....make stops every 2 hours to stretch legs, gas, restroom....whatever is needed.

What largely affects the decision is getting through the DC area and dealing with I95 traffic. We've done the 81 etc. route, but prefer 95. We try to time it to miss major traffic areas around rush hour. Driving through the night, we hope that traffic will also be less and the drive more relaxed.

Driving home is a different matter. Last time we drove straight through (16 hours). This time, we intend to break it up. We'll see!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:46 AM   #5
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We are thinking about this now too. We have about a 16 hour drive without counting stops. We have left at 3am in the past, but this time we now have two kiddos. I am worried about how DS6 and DS2 (he will have just turned two) will do on the drive. A part of me is thinking about leaving at 8pm, just so they will be able to sleep for most of the ride.
About 13 years ago DH fell asleep at the wheel after a night of being up. This is what makes me nervous about driving through the night even though we will take turns.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:07 AM   #6
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A friend of mine and I made the 26 hour drive straight through from Oklahoma to Ft. Myers Florida. We would switch when we stopped to fill the tank. The drive down was fine the trip back was horrible. We stopped on the way back halfway to sleep.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nana2Callie View Post
How do you decide whether to do this or not? We've never done it, but are tempted to try this time. We have an 18 hour drive and 2 drivers.
I know a lot of people drive long straight through hours on trips, but I'm definitely not in that camp. Some good friends did that, towing a trailer, he fell asleep, wrecked, she was killed.

And for what it's worth, you *cannot* always tell when you will fall asleep. Your body just shuts down. No one intentionally falls asleep at the wheel.

I feel, better safe, than sorry, stop and get some rest, and you will be more relaxed on your vacation.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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My drive is not as long as yours... 13 hours (actually 14 or so, including time for bathroom breaks/stretch breaks and to eat, and one fuel stop). But I did it by myself (with an 8 year old, who wasn't much help with the driving, lol) with no problems. Caffeine helped, and the stretch breaks were wonderful. I packed a basket of snacks and a cooler with drinks to minimize stops. We stayed near Orlando in a cheap hotel the first night, and checked in at the resort and hit Epcot first thing that next morning (we got lucky, and our room at Pop was ready at 8am).

I would LOVE to fly next time, but it's just so expensive...
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moms View Post
We used to do the drive straight through bit but we are too old for that nonsense now! I hated it as DH would do most of the driving and as evening came and we would think about stopping he would usually claim to feel "great" and want to continue "straight through". Of course at about midnight or so he would start feeling sleepy and I would have to take over ... usually in the rain and when all of the raido stations went off the air! I can't tell you how many "dawn drives" I made back in the "old days"!

If you can handle it ... go for it!
This is true for me too!! No more straight through drives for us!


OP, we have about the same drive and have 2 drivers too. Having done this drive all different ways (straight through leaving at night, straight through leaving at 4am, stopping over night) we have found that stopping overnight works best for us. We have kids & I hate the overnight drive & stopping in rest stops at 2am! I don't feel safe. Also the drive just takes too much out of us.

We will be driving down on Thurs & we plan to be on the road by 2pm & drive till we get to Florence, SC and stay at the Hampton Inn. That should give us about a 7 hour drive the next day. We'll be well rested & leave early. Once we arive at WDW we have no plans other than to "hang out" at our resort. Even a 7 hour drive will tire me out! lol
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofyfigment View Post
We play it by ear. If we get tired we stop.
this is exactly what we did.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:55 AM   #11
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I have driven straight through with 2 drivers at night only once. Never again! I was supposed to be resting until my mom got tired. The problem was, I did not get tired until about an hour after I took over. We acutally got pulled over in Alabama at about 2am because my mom was drifting over to the shoulder. The officer thought we might be drunk.

I have driven as the only driver with my boys the 16 hours straight but that was on the way home and leaving at 6am. I am fine that way and I can just get to the house and sleep. On the way to WDW we drive 12 hours then get up early the next day and make it to WDW.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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We are lucky; I am driving from DE in June and we have three drivers; each gets a third of the drive.

The teenager with my friend and I (her daughter) has already driven to Ohio by herself, so I am fairly confident she will be able to do the first third.

My friend cannot afford to fly the three of them down there (her son is coming too) and she had no problem going it alone and meeting me. But I consider this part of my bucket list.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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We always drove straight through from Pittsburgh, which is about 16 hours with the car, 18 or so if we we're pulling the trailier. Our reasoning is we can sleep in (right...like that ever happened...Dad always wanted to be at the park first thing!) and head to the parks at mid-day and be well rested instead of just having driven from say Jacksonville or somewhere in GA/SC, then set up our camper, then head to the park. Now we fly as an 8-9 day drive to Orlando is little to much for me My two cents!

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Old 12-16-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
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We drove straight through (17 1/2 hrs not including stops) last year. We just wanted to get home. We swore we would NEVER do it again! We now do it in two days and everyone is happier. Plus we feel it is much safer. There have been studies shown that driving while tired can be equivalent impairment wise to driving while drunk. Getting there quicker is just not worth it for us. We don't make hotel reservations ahead of time. We drive the first day until we need to stop (we shoot for over half way depending on what time we leave) and then just find a decent looking hotel.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:58 PM   #15
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We're just north of Baton Rouge and we won't drive straight through. One of us always has points for a a free room, and even though I can always clear up the bursitis in my hips with steroids, after a few hours of sitting in a car, I do stiffen up, even if I don't normally hurt.

Totally not worth it to us. I usually get up really, really early and go into work about 6, then leave a bit early, say at noon or 1. I get home, DH has the suitcases in the car and has dropped the dogs off at the kennel, we leave, I nap a little. We drive to somewhere around Marianna, have supper, sleep. We get up early and drive straight thru to Disney. We usually have time to do DS that evening. Some other people in our area do the same thing, but prefer to get to around Live Oak or Gainesville, but they go in the summer when the parks are a little more crowded, so they want to get to the parks earlier than we do.

I drive about 3 hours, maybe 4 the whole trip. DH likes to drive, and not driving is easier on my bursitis-y hips because I can move around and change position.
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