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Old 03-27-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
evie308
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What is the cost of driving from Toronto to Orlando?

We are a family of 5 and we might consider driving instead of flying this year. If you drive a minivan, what was the average cost? did this include a overnight hotel stay?

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:01 PM   #2
scboyd
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Here are the costs from May 2012...
We drive a 2008 Pontiac Montana (extended wheel base)

Hotels... We tend to stay at Doubletree by Hilton when ever we can as I know Im going to get a clean and well maintained room for around $100 per night. We have done the Days Inn route paying only $50 per night but we just found the level of cleanliness and maintenance of the room and property was inconsistent. I pre-book the rooms as soon as I can so we get the best price available and I shop around with Hotels.ca and the hotels websites.


First Night: DoubleTree (2600 Yorkmount Rd Charlotte NC) $92 canadian

First Night on way back Holiday Inn Express (211 Lanneau ct Columbia SC) $101 canadian

Second Night on way back DoubleTree (340 racetrack dr Washington PA) $97 canadian


Food: We purchased muffins, cereal and snacks for breakfast for driving and we would stop for lunch and dinner. We also purchased buns, cold meat and cheese and a small jar of mayo for two lunches on the way back. Our cooler was filled with water, milk and juice. For dinner we stopped at Red Robin, Chick-a-fil, and Denny's Total for all of this food other than drinks which we purchased prior to leaving was $ 284.00 american

The kids are also given $15dollars each way to spend while traveling on little toys while we stop to stretch and rest at Walmart/target etc... This keeps the kids entertained for part of the day while in the car...

Total spent
Fuel: $405 american
Hotel: $290 canadian
Food: $284 american
kids $60 american

total: $1039 mix currency but dollar was very close to par at the time...

lSo basically it cost us $260 dollars per person to travel to and from Disney. I have considered the wear and tear on the vehicle but I can't justify including any costs associated with it because we actually don't drive that much when we are at home.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #3
coolspot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evie308 View Post
We are a family of 5 and we might consider driving instead of flying this year. If you drive a minivan, what was the average cost? did this include a overnight hotel stay?
You don't save that much money and it's a gruelling drive.

It is 2100KM from Toronto to Orlando; you'll need ~8 - 10 tanks of gas, which is ~600.00+. Then you'll need 2 - 3 nights hotel, unless you're able to drive 24 hours straight. There are other costs including food.

If you do drive, I suggest you make it part of your trip with stops along the way.

If you want to save money, look into flying from Buffalo instead - cheaper and friendlier airport. You should be able to get a flight to Orlando for ~$350.00 a person from Buffalo (or less when there is a seat sale).
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:11 AM   #4
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We just did it. We left at 3am and drove straight - no hotel stay. Left at 6am on the way back - got home at 3am. Brought snacks and stopped for lunch and dinner. 4 gas fills each way. I disagree that you don't save much. At $400-500 per person per flight for 5 and needing a car (we did) when we got there - it would have been a lot more. We don't find the trip bad at all - but we do a lot of long distance trips. My kids have been doing it since the two oldest were 3 and 1 - now 15 and 13 and my youngest is 10. When they were younger we would have to have more stops and sometimes a nights stay (look for a hotel with a pool and breakfast included - we like Holiday Inn Express also consistent cleanliness etc).
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Look up gasbuddy.com to estimate your gas costs for your trip. It will calculate the amount of gas needed depending on your trip mileage and make/model of vehicle, and the cost of gas/gallon along your route. Gas buddy will also tell you what the current price of gas is in various cities where you may be expected to fill up.

We've done the trip several times and don't find it particularly difficult. But we're semi-retired and make no attempt to do it in one long haul. We look at it as a way to relax BEFORE we get to WDW.

We bring lunch food and snacks with us, to decrease the time needed for mid day meal stops, and our breakfasts are free at the hotels we stay at. Dinner is usually a family-type restaurant close to the hotel, so not a big cost.

Speaking of hotels- we don't pay for them. DH travels quite a bit for his part time job, and amasses quite a few hotel loyalty points as a result. So we stay free at the Marriot owned hotels that we reserve in advance during the road trip portion of our vacation. I've read of other travellers who prefer NOT to reserve in advance, since they may not be sure exactly how far they will drive on a particular day. These guests make a habit of picking up the free coupon books at the state Welcome Centers found at the border as you enter each state. There are lots of coupons for good discounts on reputable chain hotels.

I don't think long distance driving has to be a terrible experience that must only be endured. The right attitude and a little planning can make the whole thing much more pleasant.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:17 AM   #6
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We have yet to drive, but are considering it this year also.

We have always booked flights from Buffalo, it is waaaay cheaper and often there is a sale on ranging from $89 to $140 (one way pp). We've also managed to use a car rental company for under $300 for a week (we rent a van or large car), usually much less. I do think that there is money to be saved, BUT that means cheap hotel (or not at all) and bringing along snacks and some food to have along the way. Oh and I'd imagine ALOT of patience too!!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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We're planning on driving in November. When we last drove, our kids were 2 and 6 months. We have a portable DVD player, oldest has a DSi and may also have earned an Ipod Touch by then to travel with.
We'll leave at 8PM or so, and I'll drive through the night to Morgantown, PA. DW will take over for an hour or so to give me a spot of rest and then pull over to let me take over till we get to Charlotte, NC. It'll take us likely 26 hours or so, but my brother's place over there is available for our November trip and we'll drive out of there.
We love staying at the Disney resorts, and would typically fly down to those since transportation is already provided, but this time we're also doing Universal for a couple of days and a beach day in Clearwater, so we'd have to pay for a rental anyway.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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Two other items we added in when we factored the cost between driving (in the west not the east though) was the cost of the extra vacation time we would need to take and the cost of wear and tear on us, not just our vehicle.

Door to door flying from Calgary to Disneyland is 7 hours, including going to/from airport, flying time, waiting for plane/luggage/rental car etc, allowing for ample time but of course delays could affect this.

Door to door driving, including an overnight stay, would be close to 40 - factoring in stops, staying overnight on the way, even driving some pretty solid blocks of time. Now granted you are looking at a few hours less from Toronto to Orlando but still it's an extra day pretty much.

If both parents work, that is 4 vacation days, which is not a real out of pocket cost I admit but added to it is that you arrive there and return home exhausted (at least we would) and that really would take away from our vacation experience.

I agree with a PP - if you make the driving part of your trip and you stop and enjoy the journey - then that is a value being added to it. There is also the added value of being able to bring whatever you want with you instead of having to limit your packing. So I think if you embrace it then it can be worth it.

We do not have a Buffalo equivalent here south of Calgary, you'd have to connect from any airport just south of the border to get to Disneyland, and that is another hassle so we watch seat sales and got $1600 for 4 direct from Westjet - not cheap but not crazy expensive either.

Good luck in your planning - it is half the fun sometimes!
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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We just drove from near Ottawa to WDW. It cost us almost $250 in gas (we took our 2012 Honda civic), $150 in hotels (first night booked on points and all hotels included breakfast), plus lunch and suppers, which totalled $250. Add on four days (and one evening) of driving and we almost lost it
While it cost us $3200 to fly 4 people Ottawa-Tampa last year over Christmas, we will never drive again!
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #11
Tortuga Rob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolspot

You don't save that much money and it's a gruelling drive.

It is 2100KM from Toronto to Orlando; you'll need ~8 - 10 tanks of gas, which is ~600.00+. Then you'll need 2 - 3 nights hotel, unless you're able to drive 24 hours straight. There are other costs including food.

If you do drive, I suggest you make it part of your trip with stops along the way.

If you want to save money, look into flying from Buffalo instead - cheaper and friendlier airport. You should be able to get a flight to Orlando for ~$350.00 a person from Buffalo (or less when there is a seat sale).
Not sure this poster knows what they are talking about. We have done this drive 8 times from Peterborough both ways 95 and 75(our favorite). In 2007 we had 7 ppl and a rooftop canvas carrier and spent a total of $400. Last May we had 5 of us in our 2008 Montana and spent a total of $350. That is pretty much our average for all the trips without the carrier with our family of 5. Before '08 we used a '02 Montana and very similar. Total of 7 fill ups. Hope this helps
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:52 AM   #12
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Not sure this poster knows what they are talking about. We have done this drive 8 times from Peterborough both ways 95 and 75(our favorite). In 2007 we had 7 ppl and a rooftop canvas carrier and spent a total of $400. Last May we had 5 of us in our 2008 Montana and spent a total of $350. That is pretty much our average for all the trips without the carrier with our family of 5. Before '08 we used a '02 Montana and very similar. Total of 7 fill ups. Hope this helps
7 fill-ups x 65L each x 1.00L = 455.00 in gas; OK, a bit off on the estimate, but perhaps your cars are more fuel efficient. What about food, packed your own? Hotel, drove 24 hours?

My estimates are accurate; I've done enough long distance driving to know the costs of the trip.

You also need to factor in wear and tear, 2-ways it's 4000KM+ which is one oil change.

I guess to each their own, I always fly since I find it faster and more convenient (but getting less so these days with the inane TSA rules) and we only have three.

Last edited by coolspot; 03-29-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #13
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We have done both driving and flying. Next month we're driving down. I think the larger the family the better the savings as far as driving goes. If there's 2 of you then it's not worth it but once you get into families of 4 or larger it can be worth it. We usually stop 2x going down and 1x coming back. Average cost per hotel/motel is $50. If you're looking for ways to save and have airmiles then you can cash in 950 points for a bestwestern $100.00 gift card. When you are getting into the state you plan on spending the night in, stop at the next rest area and pick up the hotel coupon books. It lists hotels and the rates. gasbuddy.com has my fuel cost at $352.80. We usually eat at fast food places on the way down and take advantage of the free breakfasts at the hotels. We've stayed at different hotel chains ie. Days Inn, Red Roof Inn, Knights Inn and 95% of the time they are fine. It is just a place to crash for 1night for us so we're not really looking for fitness centre, indoor pool, etc. You can basically do it on the fairly cheap or run it at par with a flight if you want to splurge. Driving down can be fun too. Scenic spots, ability to stop and shop, seeing things you can't at 36000 ft.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:14 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=coolspot;47944796]7 fill-ups x 65L each x 1.25L = 568.00 in gas; QUOTE]


average price along I75 rte in the US for gas is $3.57 US gal which is .94 litre which makes your total $427.00 in gas. If you want to factor exchange rate it would be $449.00
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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average price along I75 rte in the US for gas is $3.57 US gal which is .94 litre which makes your total $427.00 in gas. If you want to factor exchange rate it would be $449.00
The gas prices on the east coast are much cheaper than what I paid last week in California... it was cost to $1.10 or more in LA (3.90 - 4.20 per gallon)! I didn't realize the disparity was so big!
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