Driving from Massachusetts - South of Boston

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by deb010305, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. deb010305

    deb010305 Mouseketeer

    Feb 10, 2012
    This April (school vacation week) will be our first trip driving from Massachusetts to WDW - we've always flown but airfare was crazy . We are south of Boston, and would appreciate any tips or advice on routes or places to stop.
    We plan on leaving about 4 am on Friday morning and driving 14 hours or so and then stopping overnight. Looking for suggestions on clean and safe places to stay that night.
    On the way home we are planning on leaving WDW (sad just thinking about it) around 11 am and driving 6 or 7 hours.
    Thanks in advance !
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  3. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Apr 29, 2004
    We've done this drive twice in the past six months, most recently two weeks ago.

    On the first day, be sure you allow for extra time going through NYC. You'll hit it at rush hour if you leave home at 4:00 am. If not held up by traffic, 14 hours would put you in mid-state North Carolina. (We stopped in Fayetteville this last trip) From there to WDW is about another 8 hours.

    On the way home, Savannah (where we stopped because we love the city) is about 5 hours from WDW, so I'd look for something about 100 miles north of there.

    If you have an iDevice, get the iExit app. It shows you what services (food, fuel, hotel, etc) are available at the upcoming exits. The free version was so helpful on the drive down that I paid for the full version just to support the developer.
  4. francie57

    francie57 DIS Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Depending on how long it would take you to reach CT I would avoid 95 through CT if possible. You might want to consider the MA pike to 84 and take 84 through CT to 684 to 287 over the Tappan Zee and down the Garden State and then pick up the Jersey Turnpike futher down.
  5. deb010305

    deb010305 Mouseketeer

    Feb 10, 2012
    Thanks for the advice.
    We were planning on going over the Tappan Zee Bridge and avoiding both CT and NYC.
    Any other advice will be greatly appreciated !
  6. olwyngdh

    olwyngdh DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2010
    Do not, I can not stress this enough, do NOT, stay at South of the Border!! It is a fun kitchy place to stop and look around, but do NOT stay there!!!

    To say it was dirty and we imagined axe murders bursting though the door all night would be an understatement. That might have been because of the loud party a few doors down though, and I am not sure that they didn't have hookers there....
  7. JoeCathyAngelina

    JoeCathyAngelina Lord be willing, If all goes well, The creek don't

    Apr 14, 2004
    My wife hates to fly.
    The first time we went to Walt Disney World, April 2004 with my 3 year old daughter We decided to go to WDW a couple of months before we went with little planning. We rented some points off the DIS forum, checked the airfares a couple of times and picked up a trip tick from AAA.

    We drove from my office in downtown Boston to WDW Old Key West stopping only for gas and bathroom breaks.

    After the first 3-4 hours in the car driving the rest of the way to WDW isn't that bad; more like a series of short trips.

    Our Trip to WDW started Friday, 3/26/04 at 1 pm: Miles, Stopped, Time

    Leaving, Boston to Walt Disney World: Friday, 3/26/04, 1:00pm
    1, Boston to New Jersey 212 212 6:00pm
    2, N J to Aberdeen MD 183 395 9:07 pm
    3, MD to Rocky Mt NC 266 661 1:36 AM
    4, NC to Florence SC 209 870 4:40 am
    5, SC to S Newport GA 210 1,080 7:58 am
    Arrived, GA to WDW 251 1,331 12:00 PM

    Started, Friday, 3/26 0 1:00pm
    Finished, Saturday, 3/27 1331 12:00pm
    A 23 hr trip with 5 stops along the way down
    76 gallons of gas, $131 for the gas, 17.78 mpg 58mph
    Driving around WDW 21

    The Trip Home started Friday, April 2nd 11 AM: Miles Stopped Time

    Leaving Walt Disney World to Boston:Friday, April 2nd 11:00 am
    1, WDW to St Augustine FL 116 116 12:44 PM
    2, FL to Savanah GA 178 294 3:55 PM
    3, GA to Florence SC 174 468 6:22 pm
    4, SC to Battleboro NC 181 649 9:30 pm
    5, NC to Aberdeen MD 295 944 2:17 am
    6, MD to Bloomfield NJ 181 1,125 5:30 AM
    Arrived, NJ to Boston, MA 237 1,362 9:30 am

    Started, Friday, 4/02 11:00 am 0
    Finished, Sat, 4/03 9:30 am 1362
    A 22 1/2 hr trip with 6 stops on the way home
    81 gallons of gas $126 for the gas 17.58 mpg 60.5mph
    Driving around WDW 62

    157 gallons, $257 for the gas, $44 tolls, 17.68 mpg, 59.2mph 2776

    The traffic was a mess from Hartford through Delaware on the way down.
    It rained from North Carolina to Boston, Mass. on the way home

    Me and my wife alternated turns driving our Nissan Xterra when we stopped for gas. My 3 year old held out a lot better than I thought she would on the way down and on the way back to Boston, WITHOUT, tapes, DVDs, video games, just a lot of singing and sleeping.

    It's not that Bad!!!

    April 2005 we caught a break in fares and flew down and back out of Logan on a non-stop with American Airlines , $504 round trip total for the 3 of us.

    April 2006 we caught a break in fares so we flew down and back out of Logan on a non-stop with Song/Delta , $496 round trip total for the 3 of us.

    The 2007 story and stops are pretty much the same as 2004.

    We drove from my office in downtown Boston to WDW, Orange Lake Country Club, stopping only for gas and bathroom breaks.

    After the first 3-4 hours in the car driving the rest of the way to WDW isn't that bad; more like a series of short trips.

    Our Trip to WDW started Friday the 13th of April 2007, at 3:45 pm:

    Destination, Miles, Total Miles from Boston, Time

    Leaving, Boston to Walt Disney World: Friday, 4/13/07, 3:45pm
    1, Boston to New Jersey 208 208 7:49 PM
    2, N J to Laurel MD 219 427 11:44 PM
    3, MD to Rocky Mt NC 250 677 3:36 AM
    4, NC to Manning SC 219 896 7:00 AM
    5, SC to Kingsland GA 226 1,122 10:30 AM
    Arrived, GA to WDW 203 1,325 2:00 PM

    Started, Friday, 4/13/07 3:45 PM
    Finished, Saturday, 4/14/07 2:00 pm
    A 22 hr trip with 5 stops along the way down
    63 gallons of gas, $175 for the gas, 21 mpg

    The Trip Home started at 9:45 AM, Saturday, April 21,2007
    Destination, Miles, Total Miles from WDW, Time

    Leaving Walt Disney World to Boston: Saturday, April 21st 9:45 AM
    1, WDW to Kingsland Ga 194 194 12:44 PM
    2, GA to Manning SC 226 420 4:16 PM
    3, SC to Rocky Mt. NC 218 638 7:42 PM
    4, NC to Aberdeen MD 292 930 12:26 AM
    5, MD to Newark NJ 170 1,100 3:27 AM
    Arrived, NJ to Boston, MA 246 1,346 7:30 AM

    Started, Saturday, 4/21 9:45 AM 0 Miles
    Finished, Sunday, 4/22 7:30 AM 1346 miles
    A 22 hr trip with 5 stops on the way home
    62 gallons of gas $175 for the gas 21 mpg

    Total miles 2,671, about 21 mpg, about 70 mph
    Total gas 125gallons $350
    Total Tolls $50

    April 2008 we caught a break in fares so we flew down and back out of Logan to Tampa, 4/19-4/26, on a non-stop with AirTran , $753 round trip total for the 3 of us.

    April 2009 we caught a break in fares so we flew down and back out of Logan to MCO, 4/18-4/25, on a non-stop with Delta , $627 round trip total for the 3 of us.

    April 2010 we caught a break in fares so we're flying down and back out of Logan to Tampa, 4/17-4/24, on a non-stop with Delta , $717 round trip total for the 3 of us.

    April 2011...for our 4/16/11 - 4/23/11 trip we booked a 2 bedroom at the Silver Lake Resort. We caught an airfare break with the Direct Air/friends and family promotion out of Worchester Ma; Round trip non stop for the 3 of us $449 total.

    April 2012...for our 4/14/12 - 4/21/12 trip we booked a 2 bedroom at the Orange Lake C.C. Resort. We caught an airfare break with the Direct Air/friends and family promotion out of Worchester Ma; Round trip nonstop for the 3 of us $507 total; update March 13, 2012 Direct Air announces they’re bankrupt so we resort to the backup plan, Route 95, the scenic midnight ride. The ride was the same as 2004 and 2007, no big deal.

    As the story goes;
    I always compare the cost and time of flying with the cost of driving.
    If flying cost more than twice the cost of driving and it's not a non-stop round trip flight then we drive.
    This year, back in May, when the April 2013 spring break fares and schedules came out we caught a break and we're trying something different with a United non-stop, round trip Newark to Tampa flight, $750 total for the 3 of us. Since we do a lot of 3-4 hour drives on our winter weekend trips to Ski country, the 4 hour drive to Newark is no big deal.

    Lord be willing,
    If all goes well,
    The creek don't rise,
    and there ain't no melt down,
    We'll do it all again next year.

    Good Luck all,
  8. monorailsilver

    monorailsilver DIS Veteran

    Jun 20, 2002
    OP we will wave to you as we are driving.

    We are also driving down for April vacation and leaving on a Friday (assuming its the same Friday as you).

    We are leaving from CT, obviously! Our town borders the CT river at the shoreline, well 5 miles up.

    My Dh and I have driven thru NY many times and as long as we left by a certain time things were good.

    Luckily for us, I grew up 30 min from the NY border so we are spending Thursday night at my moms and she is coming with us (we are going to my sisters house in ft. Myers). That will save us about 50 minutes drive time Friday am.

    We plan on leaving around 6am and we will make it thru the NY and CT traffic with out a problem.

    I am hoping to get to either the Georgia state line or the Florida state line that day.

    It will be Dh, me, my mom, dd11, ds9 & dd7. The longest we drove was to ocean city Maryland and that wasn't bad. But this is a tad bit longer.

    The kids have electronics but I don't want them on those the entire ride. I am printing them each their own trip tik so they can't ask me where we are. It will make them look at signs and their surroundings. My oldest requested a scavenger hunt. I am sure there will be some kind of bingo.

    I also hear the Easter bunny is bringing them travel/activity books, lots of them. He (ahem...she) is doing a dual purpose basket.

    On the way home (my mom is flying home), we are planning a pit stop at DtD. We are headed to WDW in August and I always buy ornaments. My Dh told me to buy them in April so I don't have to risk breaking them in August on the plane.

    I wish you luck and safe travels.
  9. iman

    iman Mouseketeer

    Dec 23, 1999
    All the recommendations are good but I also strongly recommend going the Tappen Z bridge. Hampton Inns and Holiday Inn Express are all clean and reasonable if you need to stop. Stay away from Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, etc. It is worth the extra $20. IMO
  10. Deesknee

    Deesknee <font color=blue>When we were kids (long time ago)

    May 10, 2004
    Incredible break down. Thanks Joe! We've only driven once. So, we could certainly use this info as well.

    OP - The only thing I would like to add that I didn't notice is to get the express pass for the tolls. We bought ours in NJ, and wished we had purchased it earlier. Also, we didn't stay anywhere along the way, and honestly we felt like we lost atleast 1 day in WDW because we (adults) were all so tired. Have fun & enjoy the trip!
  11. Trish.Glenn

    Trish.Glenn Mouseketeer

    Feb 16, 2007
    I live on the south shore also and have driven twice. The last time straight through and it was NOT a good idea. I agree with a pervious poster get lots of good sleep and stay at a good hotel along the way. You don't want to loose a day once your at Disney. Good luck!
    We left in the middle of the night and our DD slept and no traffic in NYC.....my husband works nights so this was not a big deal.
  12. gdrj

    gdrj DIS Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    I have to disagree............. not about the part about Not staying, the part about it being fun. Driving down 95 I feel like I need a shower just for driving past it at 60 mph! AVOID AVOID AVOID. :scared1:

    As far as where to stay I usually pick up the room saver "green" coupon books. Mostly so I know where hotels are. If there is only 1 hotel at a exit and 15 miles further down there are 8 hotels, I will usually go to the most populated exit. Also I will use my garmin to see what food is in the area. If its just "Billy Bob's Rib Slaughter House and fixin Bar" I go to the next exit.
  13. Our2Girls&Disney

    Our2Girls&Disney DIS Veteran

    Dec 13, 2005
    I've always wondered if I could do this. This is such a long ride I cringe just thinking about it. We always fly, but we live in NH and we have different vacation week then MA does.

    Now, my brother and his family drive every April vacation, they live in MA. They tell me it is not that bad. The ride home is definitely worse then the ride there. They think it is very doable for the amount of money they save. They also go by way of the Tapanzee, then straight down 95. They do not stop for the night, they usually drive straight through, they switch at every rest stop and one sleeps while the other drives. Driving though the night is tiring, but they do it, they survive, and they are willing to do it again.
  14. aleksandr

    aleksandr Mouseketeer

    May 3, 2012
    We live in NH and have driven down the past two April vacations and will be doing the same this year.

    We usually take it easy, doing the trip in about 2 days. We'll pull the kids out of school for a day or two on either end of the vacation week to avoid cutting too much time into vacation.

    2 years ago we left in the afternoon and drove to the end of the Jersey Turnpike before stopping for the night. Next night we made it to South of the Border, and then the next day made it to family in the Daytona area with plenty of time to spare.

    Last year we left at 8 or 9PM and only made it so far as the CT/NY border near the Tappan Zee (better for us to have gotten out of the house and on the road even if only to drive for 3 hours than to be delayed the next day). The next day we arrived in Richmond for a planned 1 day stop-over. We left in the afternoon from Richmond and only made it deep into SC. The next day we again made it to family in the Daytona area.

    As far as South of the Border goes, I'm pretty ambivalent. It's a relic of a much different time and the property shows it. (I remember staying here as a kid on a trip down to WDW in the late 80's). We did stay for a night 2 years ago in a "deluxe" room. The furnishings are dated and there is no cable TV, but the room was clean, there were no signs of bedbugs, and I like being able to park my car right outside my room. We never once felt "unsafe" here. We didn't avail ourselves of any of the restaurants or attractions, just slept and left.
  15. Fantasiesabound

    Fantasiesabound Mouseketeer

    Mar 13, 2013
    :wave2: HI there!!! I will be doing it from Central MA. Always have flown every other April vacation but this one was out of control with prices right from the start of bookings!

    What I have learned from going to college in Georgia and doing this way...way...back then was to have your stays planned and reserved and it seems to be a good idea this go round because right at the exits where you most likely want to break, there is already limited availability at the decent hotels that I have checked out.

    We will be staying the first night (we leave Saturday morning for April vacation) in Wilson, NC at a Country Inn and Suites - the one in Rocky Mount was booked full. We wanted a place with an indoor pool, given the snow pack we still have this seemed like a safe bet to ensure you can actually swim and rest in a pool.

    On the way back we will be staying in Hilton Head on the beach and then its a little up in the air about the second night stay - planning on doing three days to drive back home to allow beach time and some sightseeing along the way as I know the way home will be hard.

    I have made three ring binders of activities for the kids, crosswords, scavenger hunts, car bingo, lots of paper for doodling, word hunts, coloring, etc. The binder will help make a solid surface.

    I have set up a hot spot for wifi with my iPhone so we can be wifi mobile on all our devices, including a laptop in the car.

    I went to a flea market in Lancaster and picked up 10 movies on DVDs the kids hadn't seen already for $20.

    I have three rows in my SUV so each kid has a sleep area (I have two kids) with pillows and blankets.

    We'll put something in our windows saying we're on our way to WDW, so wave hi when you see us! :wave2::crowded:

    Good luck, but everyone I talk to who has done it says, no big deal, and everyone who has never done it cringes... I am guessing the crowd who has done it knows what they are talking about!

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