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Old 02-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
Mama Mouse
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To Drive or Fly: That is the question

My husband and I are going round and round in endless circles trying to decide whether to fly or drive....and getting no closer to making a decision.

Here's where we're at so far.

If we drive our own vehicle the expense is gas and we'll probably replace the tires before we go so we're looking at about $600, plus two nights hotel and food. (Round trip. One stop each way.)

If we drive a rental car, the quotes I'm getting are looking like they're in the $350 range. Plus gas and hotel and food. So slightly higher.

With both of these options we have the benefit of having a car at our disposal and being able to maybe drive to the beach for the day, something we've wanted to do since our son's never been to the ocean.

The car ride is approximately 18 hours and it will be the longest car ride my 10 year old as been on. Longest before this was 8 hours.

If we fly, we spend around $1000. We'd be there in about 3-4 hours time. We'd take ME and disney transport most of the time we're there. If we want to leave property we'd have to rent a car or take other transportation.

The other negative to flying, I guess, is that my husband is a bigger fellow. Neither of us is small but I flew southwest just fine in 2010 but he wasn't with me on that trip and hasn't flown since 2001. He's worried about the whole customer of size thing. he HATES having attention drawn to him in front of other people so this is a big weight on his mind. Oh. No pun intended.


I'm just sooooo over trying to decide.

I guess I'm just looking for input. Other points of view. Pros/cons I may not have thought of.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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Well. You need new tires either way, so that doesnt count.

Basically it comes down tocost.

for us...4 plane tickets on south west cost $1,100

.........

we can drive out car for a cost of $300 in gas

.................

if we have to rent a car, ad $350 to that = $650...why rent a car when you already own one. i dont by into the wear and tear an extra 2,500 miles will put on a car. you own it...use it.

............

Its 16 hours for us. We drive all night, leaving at 5:00pm and arriving around 11:00am the next day. driving all night either bothers you or it doesnt.

our kids have 10+ trips...at as young as 9 months. they sleep all night so the car ride doesnt bother them. Dont stop. do it all at once and get it over with.


..................

for us, its $800 cheaper to drive then fly...so we drive frequently
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
Mama Mouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSLRuser View Post
Well. You need new tires either way, so that doesnt count.

Basically it comes down tocost.

for us...4 plane tickets on south west cost $1,100

.........

we can drive out car for a cost of $300 in gas

.................

if we have to rent a car, ad $350 to that = $650...why rent a car when you already own one. i dont by into the wear and tear an extra 2,500 miles will put on a car. you own it...use it.

............

Its 16 hours for us. We drive all night, leaving at 5:00pm and arriving around 11:00am the next day. driving all night either bothers you or it doesnt.

our kids have 10+ trips...at as young as 9 months. they sleep all night so the car ride doesnt bother them. Dont stop. do it all at once and get it over with.


..................

for us, its $800 cheaper to drive then fly...so we drive frequently
How are your kids able to sleep in the car? Our son is small and so is still in a booster. We put the high back back on it for long trips, at his request, because it has those wing things, but even with that he can only sleep shorter periods of time. I guess we've never tried all night so maybe he'd sleep longer then. I'm not really sure. He just always complains of being so uncomfortable.

As for the cost, you're right. The drive is MUCH cheaper and I've pretty much taken a rental car OFF the table. Husband wanted to consider it to have a bigger car to drive but it's not like ours is terribly small so we can handle it.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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To me, it's a no brainer. Fly. My time & sanity are worth more than the little bit of savings. We've had am flights where we were in MK by 10am. We've also flown down after school and can be in a warm bed by 10pm.
We all get a good night's sleep and are ready to go in the morning.

I don't necessarily think cheapest means best. If that were the case, I'd visit our local Six Flags instead of spending more to go to WDW.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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We love to drive to FL! But that's the key: WE -- as in all 4 of us! My husband and I love it. My kids, ages 9 & 6, love it. We also like long flights. We apparently don't like to get where we're going too quickly.

I wouldn't base it soley on dollars. I would base it on your family members' preferences, too! After all, it is everyone's vacation. Good luck deciding!
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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The most important part of this decision is what you want to do.

As for me, I *love* driving, and my family loves driving/riding, and the expense difference is so great that the decision is a no-brainer for us. I've posted a message about the great memories I have from our previous Disney road trips that no airline could ever have provided.

Keep in mind on your expense calculations that if you're planning the same time frame, don't count in the extra hotel day driving each direction. That is, if you're planning, say, 10 days, and driving/flying means getting there on day 1 and leaving day 10, you're still staying in a hotel somewhere on day 2 and day 9.

For me, the cost of flying is prohibitive, and we've had great memories driving. I always encourage people who've asked me to consider driving if at all possible. I realize its not everyone's tastes or temperament, but I've loved every mile we've driven on our four trips.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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We've driven from GA to MN a few times. That's a 24 hour drive. I will never, ever do it again.

Both kids get car sick so *I* was dealing with that - husband was no help, he'd pull the car over to the side of the road and have me deal with clean up.
My husband only wants to listen to talk satellite radio - no music. At the time I didn't own an Ipod so the radio was all I had.
Then he wanted to stop at every roadside Antique place we saw. I hate that. I just want to get where we are going.

You know on Spaceship Earth when you are choosing your vacation info of the future at the end of the ride? I'm always about the fun when we get there, not the journey on the way.

I thought I was going to kill him the last time before we got there, it was just such a horrible stressful drive.

So if it was me - I'd be flying. Driving that long of a distance wouldn't work.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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Flying is nice when you want to maximize your time at your destination. I've done several long road trips though, including the 24 hour (each way) trip to wdw. If you haven't done many road trips yet, they can definitely be fun. It's a great way to see the country. We had a family of 6 in the car and there was minimal fighting. Sure, there were times when we just wanted to be there NOW, but overall it's a great bonding experience!

That said, for my trip next month we are flying. We only have a 9-day time frame to fit in this vacation and rather than spending 4 of those days in a car, we're flying so we can spend those days at the parks.

If driving won't affect your ability to fit in everything that you want to do once you arrive, I say you should drive. It sounds like it's cheaper and if you're still able to get the vacation you want, the savings could be worth it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSLRuser View Post
Basically it comes down tocost.
I'm not going to fault people who like to drive, but the above statement is not true (well, maybe for your family).

Cost is one variable as is time at the destination. Regarding OklahomaTourists statement about using the same time frame, there's nothing that says you have to use the same time frame.

Let's use a typical weeks vacation with the added weekends on both days. You leave after work/school on Friday.
Drive 18 hours, you're onsite ~9am in the morning. However, if it was me, I'd have NO energy or desire to tour. All I'd want to do is sleep.
If you fly out on Satuday morning, you can still be at Disney around Noon or 1, and have the afternoon to do something.

On the other end of the vacation, you can leave on Saturday, putting you home some time on Sunday, again tired. By flying, you can leave late afternoon Saturday (having more time to tour), and rest Saturday night, and have Sunday to "recover".

It's really a personal choice. Some people enjoy the drive, others are in the group of "lets get there".
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
Shelly F - Ohio
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I would fly. Especially after I was talking to a woman last week at the pool who said they drove and had car trouble. They had to find a mechanic - who they knew nothign about- and spend two days waiting on their car to be fixed. She said she wishes they had flown because after the car repairs plus the extra cost of the hotel and the fact they arrived late and paid for the dinning plan so they had paid for a day on the dinning plan that they could not use. Plus paying out of pocket for food while staying at the hotel while the car was repaired. Not to mention they could not go anywhere while the car was being fixed because they had no transportation.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Shelly F - Ohio View Post
I would fly. Especially after I was talking to a woman last week at the pool who said they drove and had car trouble. They had to find a mechanic - who they knew nothign about- and spend two days waiting on their car to be fixed. She said she wishes they had flown because after the car repairs plus the extra cost of the hotel and the fact they arrived late and paid for the dinning plan so they had paid for a day on the dinning plan that they could not use. Plus paying out of pocket for food while staying at the hotel while the car was repaired. Not to mention they could not go anywhere while the car was being fixed because they had no transportation.
On the other hand, you can have flight delays that leave you stranded at an airport overnight, especially if travelling in winter through the "snow belt".
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:08 PM   #12
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I will tell you what you should do after April vacation!!

Currently we (dh, me, dd11, ds9, dd7 & my mom) are driving to FL from CT, Ft. Myers that is so south of Orlando.

We thought about flying but for the 5 of us in April out of Hartford is just crazy. I just found some flights out of JFK that would be around $350RT but I am about 2 hours from JFK & my mom is about an hour.

So I am back to driving. I need to get my car bags-games & crap for the kids ready soon since April will be here before I know it.

We figure gas is going to be around $500 RT, hotels around $400 RT, maybe $500. My mom said she is going to pay for some of it but she doesn't have to (she has money to burn since it's just her now).

If we flew we wouldn't rent a car & just use my sisters to get to the beach but my dh said he wouldn't feel right using it all the time.

DH & I have driven as far as St. Louis from CT in a 2 seater car with no space so a van with the 6 of us shouldn't be bad & my mom is going to fly home, I think.

We drove to MD a few years ago & it wasn't too bad. The kids have electronics & they can read, play games...and fight...
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:15 PM   #13
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On the other hand, you can have flight delays that leave you stranded at an airport overnight, especially if travelling in winter through the "snow belt".
Hey I am just quoting how this lady felt after her travel troubles. At least at the airport you would not have to have a car towed and find a mechanic and hope he can fix your vehicle and not rip you off. And hope you can make it to WDW and back home without any other troubles.

At least at the airport you can sit on the floor and wait. Which it did last spring with a bad thunderstorm rolled in and cancelled the last flights out for the night. Cost me nothing and only had to wait 5 hours for the next morning flight to take off.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #14
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Hey I am just quoting how this lady felt after her travel troubles. At least at the airport you would not have to have a car towed and find a mechanic and hope he can fix your vehicle and not rip you off. And hope you can make it to WDW and back home without any other troubles.

At least at the airport you can sit on the floor and wait. Which it did last spring with a bad thunderstorm rolled in and cancelled the last flights out for the night. Cost me nothing and only had to wait 5 hours for the next morning flight to take off.
No problem. I agree a car break down would be worse (depending on severity) than "stranded at the airport".

I'm still in the "fly" camp. Then again, I'm someone who wants to simply get to my destination. I have no desire to "stop and smell the roses". Maybe if I planned stops at various points (for us, Chattanooga, Atlanta, etc) to tour, it would be different.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #15
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I often think it will be cheaper to drive, but the last time I took a big driving trip, it would have been cheaper to fly. I would also want to save vacation days or spend as many days in the parks as I could.

If, however, you love driving and seeing the country, that's great too.
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