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Old 02-05-2012, 10:20 PM   #526
JenSinMA
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Please--Help me decide!

Hi, All. I'm planning a trip to Universal this April during my kids' spring break and we're planning to drive (from Mass). We're experienced roadtrippers and have driven to Florida twice before. But this time, DH is probably not going to be able to come with us. He typically does 80% of the driving. So now I'm looking at about 22 road hours by myself. (Well, my newly-licensed DD could help a little, but I'm not comfortable letting her do too much highway driving on this trip.)

So, here's my question: Should I consider the AutoTrain? I'd still have to drive from home to Lorton, VA, ~8.5 hours, so I'm not sure it's worth it. But I do need our big vehicle in FL for our group of 7 (my 4 plus 3 relatives flying in to meet us.) And the train would get me into town in the morning of our arrival day, not having driven 4+ hours that day and the full day prior.

Have any of the avid drivers on the this board done the AutoTrain? Would you consider it in this circumstance? I should mention that the one-way fare (south) is pretty good--not much more than I'd pay for gas for our Expedition. The return fare is prohibitively expensive, so we'll be driving all the way back for sure.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #527
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Originally Posted by JenSinMA View Post
Hi, All. I'm planning a trip to Universal this April during my kids' spring break and we're planning to drive (from Mass). We're experienced roadtrippers and have driven to Florida twice before. But this time, DH is probably not going to be able to come with us. He typically does 80% of the driving. So now I'm looking at about 22 road hours by myself. (Well, my newly-licensed DD could help a little, but I'm not comfortable letting her do too much highway driving on this trip.)

So, here's my question: Should I consider the AutoTrain? I'd still have to drive from home to Lorton, VA, ~8.5 hours, so I'm not sure it's worth it. But I do need our big vehicle in FL for our group of 7 (my 4 plus 3 relatives flying in to meet us.) And the train would get me into town in the morning of our arrival day, not having driven 4+ hours that day and the full day prior.

Have any of the avid drivers on the this board done the AutoTrain? Would you consider it in this circumstance? I should mention that the one-way fare (south) is pretty good--not much more than I'd pay for gas for our Expedition. The return fare is prohibitively expensive, so we'll be driving all the way back for sure.

Thanks for any input!
Definately take the AutoTrain down. You will be more relaxed to start your trip. It is a very nice ride. We have come home on the AutoTrain 3 times. Have roundtripped on it once.

The reason for it being more expensive for the roundtrip is because you would be coming home with the snowbird heading north. When we have used it to come home we are heading north in fall when the snowbirds are heading south.

I wouldn't want someone who just got their license driving highway on such a long trip. It can be very taxing even if you have years of experience, plus she would have the responsibility of everyone in your car plus anyone else who might be involved in any accident. That is an awful lot of responsibility to place on a teenager. JMHO.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #528
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Definately take the AutoTrain down. You will be more relaxed to start your trip. It is a very nice ride. We have come home on the AutoTrain 3 times. Have roundtripped on it once.

The reason for it being more expensive for the roundtrip is because you would be coming home with the snowbird heading north. When we have used it to come home we are heading north in fall when the snowbirds are heading south.

I wouldn't want someone who just got their license driving highway on such a long trip. It can be very taxing even if you have years of experience, plus she would have the responsibility of everyone in your car plus anyone else who might be involved in any accident. That is an awful lot of responsibility to place on a teenager. JMHO.
Thanks for the advice, Disneyholic. Have you spent the night in coach? I wouldn't have roommettes or bedrooms, so I'm hoping I could get some sleep in coach. I hear the seats are pretty big and way better to sleep in than airplane seats.
Oh, and re: the new driver, you expressed MHO, too, exactly. Supervising a new driver is more nerve-wracking than just driving myself! Plus, she doesn't like going over 50mph. So, except maybe for early in the morning with NO traffic and no one tailgating us, DD won't be helping with this drive.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #529
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Thanks for the advice, Disneyholic. Have you spent the night in coach? I wouldn't have roommettes or bedrooms, so I'm hoping I could get some sleep in coach. I hear the seats are pretty big and way better to sleep in than airplane seats.
Oh, and re: the new driver, you expressed MHO, too, exactly. Supervising a new driver is more nerve-wracking than just driving myself! Plus, she doesn't like going over 50mph. So, except maybe for early in the morning with NO traffic and no one tailgating us, DD won't be helping with this drive.
We haven't done coach on the AutoTrain but did do it our first trip to WDW out of Philly. You won't get sleep like you do in your own bed, but if you consider you will be napping on and off instead of driving the whole way you will be more rested when you get there. There will be snorers and possibly babies or kids being a bit noisy. The train does tend to rock you to sleep. The seats don't lay perfectly flat so I used my soft duffle bag to fill the gap when I lay on my side. A small pillow or a rolled up sweatshirt will do the trick too. We have gotten the deluxe sleeper on all our AutoTrain trips. If I must, I would go back to coach, but I prefer the sleeper since we have our own bathroom right in the room. No sharing.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #530
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Hi, all! Getting ready to make the from NH.

We are driving with 2 young kids (4 yo & 2yo). Planning to leave around midnight Thursday night and hoping to get to mid-NC early Friday evening. Then drive the rest of the way on Saturday!

Anyone else on the road this weekend? I've got Mickey Heads in my windows!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:31 AM   #531
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We haven't done coach on the AutoTrain but did do it our first trip to WDW out of Philly. You won't get sleep like you do in your own bed, but if you consider you will be napping on and off instead of driving the whole way you will be more rested when you get there. There will be snorers and possibly babies or kids being a bit noisy. The train does tend to rock you to sleep. The seats don't lay perfectly flat so I used my soft duffle bag to fill the gap when I lay on my side. A small pillow or a rolled up sweatshirt will do the trick too. We have gotten the deluxe sleeper on all our AutoTrain trips. If I must, I would go back to coach, but I prefer the sleeper since we have our own bathroom right in the room. No sharing.
Thanks for this info! Just wondering how long is the drive from the LV to the VA station and which route did you take to get there?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:40 AM   #532
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Thanks for this info! Just wondering how long is the drive from the LV to the VA station and which route did you take to get there?
We use to take the Turnpike to 95. Lorton is off 95. Now we do the 22-78-81-53-695W around Baltimore-95-495W around DC-95 to Lorton, VA. It takes us about 4 1/2 hours to get there from Allentown area. I always give extra time because of traffic, construction & accidents. You don't want to miss the train, cause there isn't another til the next day and that one might be full. We usually leave about 8 in the morning to make sure we get there in plenty of time.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #533
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Autotrain?

This thread is "For 2,000+ Mile Round Trip Drivers Only" However, the Autotrain engineer may qualify.

As the trolls shout in the Maelstrom attraction: "Invaders! "Back over the falls!"

All the best.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:37 PM   #534
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Autotrain?

This thread is "For 2,000+ Mile Round Trip Drivers Only" However, the Autotrain engineer may qualify.

As the trolls shout in the Maelstrom attraction: "Invaders! "Back over the falls!"

All the best.
im not sayin nothin. i got in trouble the last time i said something.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #535
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Originally Posted by JenSinMA View Post
Hi, All. I'm planning a trip to Universal this April during my kids' spring break and we're planning to drive (from Mass). We're experienced roadtrippers and have driven to Florida twice before. But this time, DH is probably not going to be able to come with us. He typically does 80% of the driving. So now I'm looking at about 22 road hours by myself. (Well, my newly-licensed DD could help a little, but I'm not comfortable letting her do too much highway driving on this trip.)

So, here's my question: Should I consider the AutoTrain? I'd still have to drive from home to Lorton, VA, ~8.5 hours, so I'm not sure it's worth it. But I do need our big vehicle in FL for our group of 7 (my 4 plus 3 relatives flying in to meet us.) And the train would get me into town in the morning of our arrival day, not having driven 4+ hours that day and the full day prior.

Have any of the avid drivers on the this board done the AutoTrain? Would you consider it in this circumstance? I should mention that the one-way fare (south) is pretty good--not much more than I'd pay for gas for our Expedition. The return fare is prohibitively expensive, so we'll be driving all the way back for sure.

Thanks for any input!
im just reading your post. im with you and other on the new driver driving. i dont think its a good idea. my dd will be 19 on saturday and i still dont let her drive. i think she could do it but, dw is a nervous passenger (i have no idea why ) but i would look into the train. good idea.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #536
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Wink Feelin the burn!

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Originally Posted by BC1836 View Post
Autotrain?

This thread is "For 2,000+ Mile Round Trip Drivers Only" However, the Autotrain engineer may qualify.

As the trolls shout in the Maelstrom attraction: "Invaders! "Back over the falls!"

All the best.
Yeah, I was wondering if I'd get flamed for this. But I've been reading this thread in anticipation of driving the full 2,600 mile round trip again this April, and really wanted the input of this crowd on doing it solo vs. taking the train part way. I mean, I *know* what advice I'd get if I posted it on one of the train threads!

There's still a better than average chance I'll just buck up and drive the whole way anyway. The train sounds great, and the kids are lobbying for it. But the bottom line is, it costs $200 more, I'm spending a night in coach and not a bed, and I'm *still* driving 1700+ miles. I'm just not sure it's worth it.

So thanks for the input and for indulging my slight departure.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #537
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Yeah, I was wondering if I'd get flamed for this. But I've been reading this thread in anticipation of driving the full 2,600 mile round trip again this April, and really wanted the input of this crowd on doing it solo vs. taking the train part way. I mean, I *know* what advice I'd get if I posted it on one of the train threads!

There's still a better than average chance I'll just buck up and drive the whole way anyway. The train sounds great, and the kids are lobbying for it. But the bottom line is, it costs $200 more, I'm spending a night in coach and not a bed, and I'm *still* driving 1700+ miles. I'm just not sure it's worth it.

So thanks for the input and for indulging my slight departure.
May you and yours have a safe round trip journey no matter what method of transportaion you take.

All the best.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #538
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We're doing a road trip from Kansas City to Orlando in late May. I'm trying to find a good travel table for the kids to eat their snacks on. They no longer use car seats, but I'm wondering if this table would work. Has anyone tried a table like this for their kids not in car seats?
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #539
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Getting ready for that long trip down I95 again. Not doing a straight through this time. I am not looking forward to that drive again, we just did it in Aug and drove home with Hurricane Irene at our backs.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:08 AM   #540
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Getting ready for that long trip down I95 again. Not doing a straight through this time. I am not looking forward to that drive again, we just did it in Aug and drove home with Hurricane Irene at our backs.
How soon is that "getting ready" drive?

Our next one is later in March.

All the best.
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