Driving from PA...


Sep 25, 2001
Hello friends....

I am heartsick over SOUTHEAST airlines closing up shop with no notice. I am stuck with tickets for Dec 23 to Jan 2 for our CHRISTMAS vacation that are no good. I checked into other carriers and the price is ridiculous.....of course the closer you wait til departure and the holiday season says it all. Nice shaft SE gave us! We worked so hard and saved all year to get this!

Anyway--before we cancel our trip we thought about maybe driving. We live in eastern PA. My hubby has rheumatoid and osteo arthritis and I am not sure how he can handle this. Anyone else is a situation like this? What do your kids do all the hours on the road. My girls are 10 and 15. I hated to cut our trip by 2 days just to drive. Do you drive straight thru....that would be ideal but is it reality? I just dont know what to do or think. I know some of my DIS buddies can offer me advice, tips, ideas....or even your ear to listen to me.

This is just so so sad. This was Christmas for us.

Thanks a bunch for listening....
My boys who are now 18 and 21 made several long car trips growing up. We drove to Texas, Alabama and Florida over the years. They read, listened to cd's, played gamboy, talked to each other and to us, looked out the windows and saw parts of the country they never would have seen otherwise. We stop every 3-4 hours and trade drivers and give everyone a chance to stretch, eat or go to the bathroom. My DH and I are driving to WDW next Nov without the kids who are in college.

I'd say most people I knew who grew up when I did in the 60's and 70's drove almost everywhere and we all found things to do. There's always portable dvd players now, but my boys never had one. They have their laptops now to play games on and watch movies, but they only do that for short periods of time. We usually drive straight through to WDW, about 14 hours, but we've also stopped a couple of times after 8-10 hours. It just depends on the time of year, weather, and how much time we have for a vacation. We made sure they had both flown a couple of times so they'd have that experience too.
Probably the price is out in left field also, but have you priced the auto train? You'd only have to drive to right outside DC for that.
We live in western NJ and have driven twice with a 6 & 13 yr old. We kept them busy with a TV, x-box and movies. We also drove straight through and it took us 17 hours. We are approx 50 miles from Philly and 50 from NYC. We took the 476 Blue Route to the PA tpk then to 95S and down we went. Try going online to www.airtran.com and see what they can do for you re: your SE tix, from what I understand they are helping stranded SE travelers.
Go, enjoy and have a wonderful holiday

Yes Airtran is offering to fly those stranded like today and another day or 2 to fly standby....at $50 each way. They cant even gaurentee they will have any stand bys. I called Airtran. As far as like my flights.....its regular price. I have been on this ALL day since like 9 this AM. I am so sick over all this.

I wonder what the train is like??

PS: THANK YOU all for listening to us and offering your support.
Just saw your other post on this and I'm sorry, wish there was something I could tell you. I'm sure that you have tried everything imaginable and are just heartbroken over the whole thing. I just saw on the newscast pple waiting there this am for their first trip to WDW, it was really sad. Poor kids. Anyway, if you can't find a flight I would really consider changing your dates, maybe even a day or 2 would make a huge difference, or driving down.
Good luck
Thanks for your support. I am just watching what everyone else is up to. I sincerely THANK YOU all for your listening ears and your shoulders to cry on :(

Thanks again....Stacy

We have driven it a few times over the years....now that the kids are older I'd say it would definately be easier...they could entertain themselves...

Driving straight through might be very difficult on your DH....from the philly area it is about 17 hrs....if your thinking of spliting it up I'd leave during the evening of the 22 and drive as far as I could maybe 5/6 hrs....then get up at 7 and drive the rest of the way....

Good Luck
I would recommend one of those portable DVD players for the kids. They are not very expensive now (I'll bet you can find one on sale). We drive straight through, but stop when needed.

We did this when our kids were 3, 6 and 12. (no dvd players then)

Now they are 16,18 and 23 and the two older ones will help with the driving this weekend. DW and DD are flying in on Sunday.

It can be done, and it's definately better than not going at all.

Pixie dust your way. :wizard:
I sent you an email privately but I dont mind talking here either. You have ALL been so supportive.

I live about 45 minutes north of Allentown...or you could also say 45 south of WilkesBarre/Scranton. Are you near me?

I only worry about dh cuz he has had a blood clot about 2 or maybe 3 years ago in his leg and I thought they said it wasnt good to stay in one position too long. The other thing I think about it the weather, ice storms...etc.

I need lots of Pixie Dust :)


Ok...I played with all the airports at either end....what I found was a decent rate from BWI into Tampa but only if you arrived on 25th... :earseek:

and the car rental rate was over $500 for a full size...

I think you should probabaly start planning out your drive...from Philly it is 17 hrs....if you take frequent stretching breaks I think your DH might do OK....I'd leave on Dec 22 as soon as you can and drive as far as you can...stay over night and finish out the rest of the trip on the 23....Good Luck...I'd be happy to help if I can
OK---If we drive how do I start the planning process? Do we leave early AM on the 22nd..if I can manage off work....How woudl you all start the planning if you were in my shoes? Ive only ever driven to Tennesee and that took us 14 hours with our camper....I cant say I was a fan BUT if we must..then we must.

Maybe I should book a cruise for off peak right after new years....lol

Thanks, Stacy
If you can get off an extra day at the beginning of your vacation...I'd go ahead and try...because if you have to be back by the 2...you will probably have to leave on New Year day....probably will be less traffic that day as it falls on a sat and most people would head home on the 2.
Do we leave early AM on the 22nd..if I can manage off work....

I would, listen I work in HR - go in to your boss, put the cards on the table, offer to take it as unpaid time, you'll make up the time, do whatever, but due to circumstances beyond your control, you need an extra vacation day. You planned accordingly, you did everything within the rules, you had no way of knowing this was going to happen.
I AM the boss----lol I operate a licensed daycare from my home. I have me and another FT staff person but if I take off I have no coverage and we shut down from dec 24 thru the 2nd. If I have the parents miss a day during that week I may be looking for clients. I dont want to mess them up either and I dont have anyone to fill in :( I am so upset over this. I wish I won the powerball tonite...lol

Still taking your thoughts and suggestions tho. It should be fun tomorrow AM when we all start calling SE.

Thanks again, Stacy
Stacy, sorry I did LOL when I read "I AM THE BOSS" Goodness as a one time working mother, I really feel for you. Is there any way you can get a college student (who should be out on Christmas break by then) who is studing to be a teacher to help out?

Although I've never driven the route myself, I do know several people that do it from up here. It takes 18 hours and don't try to do it in one long shot. I'll ask around up here for advice. A dear friend of mine did it a few months ago and her five year old got blisters from playing game boy but she said it was a small price to pay.

If you are going to drive I would consider booking a room along the way ASAP. You can always cancel it.

I feel awful for you. :(
Maybe I missed the answer to this, but could you work that day and get 4 or 5 hours behind you that evening? Then you could finish and arrive the next day. We drive from the Columbus OH area when we go, and with the exception of the WV and VA mountains, we haven't ever had weather problems. We usually go at the end of January.
Leaving after work the 22nd may be your best way to go - good suggestion. If there's any way you could drive that 1st evening and get at least as far as south of metro DC (Lorton/Woodbridge/Fredericksburg-or further if you can) that would help tremendously! That way you'd hit Baltimore/Washington after rush hours which is crucial. You'd still have a somewhat long 2nd day howeve (how long do you think your family can handle?) How about finishing the drive the morning of the 24th, spending 2 nights on the road? Yes you'd miss a day at WDW but if it's that or not go at all, it may be worth it.
Sorry about your change in plans. We were talking about flying Southeast ourselves over spring break. We're in Cleveland, but they fly out of Columbus. I went to their website and it wouldn't come up. Nasty surprise.

We drove last June from Ohio to WDW with our 9 yr old son. Ds has a bad back and I have some arthritis myself (but haven't had any blood clot problems). We were worried about how over 1000 miles of driving would go, but I have to tell you we were pleasantly surprised. We left on a Friday night after leaving work an hour early. I'd made sandwiches and we ate dinner as we drove. The roads were pretty empty and it was a peaceful drive. After dinner we listened to the Indians play baseball on the radio. After about 6 hours of driving we stopped for the night. Got up early and drove to FL the next day. That was a killer day, but ds played gameboy and read and generally amused himself pretty well. We don't have a dvd player and it was fine. We stopped every 2-3 hours for a BRIEF 10-15 min break to move our bodies around, and we stopped for lunch at a restaurant.

I would advise making several hotel reservations JUST IN CASE. You usually have til 6 pm to cancel. We had 2 reservations for Fri night...one about 4 hours from home and an optomistic res for a motel 6 hours away (we made it!) We'd been on the road a couple hours by 6 pm and we felt good, so I cancelled the one res. I had res for Sat night in case we didn't make it, too.

Unless we find terrific airfares for Easter week (that would be a surprise), we'll be driving again. It's not too bad.


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