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Old 04-27-2011, 06:59 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,535,600 times
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We have made more cross country trips with kids than I can even remember. And we just moved from NoVA to Florida. We've made the trip back and forth from NoVA to Florida countless times because my in-laws live just outside of Orlando.

My advise...Make the road trip part of the vacation. Enjoy the drive. Stop and let the kids buy little souvenirs at gas stations and rest stops along the way. Remember, you are making memories. Some of my fondest childhood memories are our trips back and forth from California to Florida. We were stationed in Hawaii four different times. We flew from Hawaii to California, picked up our car, and drove all the way to Florida to see my grandparents many times. I remember the car ride more than I remember Disney.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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We have a 5 yr old and 16 month old twins.... we just did a trip to Jax in Feb. No big deal at all. 12 hrs with all the stops.... kids did awesome!! Driving to Sarasota this summer (which will be 4 hrs longer). I find driving much easier than flying with 3 small kids, security, car seats, strollers, luggage, pack-n-plays etc. When we lived in NM, I had no choice but to fly to Florida!! Now, I am happy to have all my stuff in the car with me. So, would we drive to Orlando? YES!! Maybe when the kids are older and I dont need all that crap, we will fly
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:07 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,322,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveokit View Post
We have a 5 yr old and 16 month old twins.... we just did a trip to Jax in Feb. No big deal at all. 12 hrs with all the stops.... kids did awesome!! Driving to Sarasota this summer (which will be 4 hrs longer). I find driving much easier than flying with 3 small kids, security, car seats, strollers, luggage, pack-n-plays etc. When we lived in NM, I had no choice but to fly to Florida!! Now, I am happy to have all my stuff in the car with me. So, would we drive to Orlando? YES!! Maybe when the kids are older and I dont need all that crap, we will fly
I couldn't take two trips. We drove down to Florida (stayed three weeks), but I then dropped the kids and my wife off at the airport at Ft. Myers and drove back solo. They only brought carry-ons and a stroller on the flight and most of the luggage and crap we bought went back with me.

The drive back was much more pleasant and relaxing for me, especially since I didn't have to listen to this CD of children's songs the whole way and stop every couple of hours for a potty break.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:13 AM
 
66 posts, read 176,400 times
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We've done the drive several times from NOVA to Orlando. But we do many road trips so our kids are used to it. When going to Orlando, we would leave around midnight. We will wake up the kids and put them in the car. We make a bathroom stop at a rest stop in North Carolina. They will fall back to sleep until around 6 am. We either have them eat breakfast in the car or stop somewhere when we need gas. We keep driving and stop for lunch, usually in Georgia. We are usually in Orlando a couple of hours before we can check in. The kids are fine with games, watching DVDs and snacks. The drive back is a bit longer because we usually leave when it is time to check out of the hotel.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:32 AM
 
10,595 posts, read 12,083,065 times
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Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
I couldn't take two trips. We drove down to Florida (stayed three weeks), but I then dropped the kids and my wife off at the airport at Ft. Myers and drove back solo. They only brought carry-ons and a stroller on the flight and most of the luggage and crap we bought went back with me.

The drive back was much more pleasant and relaxing for me, especially since I didn't have to listen to this CD of children's songs the whole way and stop every couple of hours for a potty break.
Sorry, but his made me laugh.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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My family and I have taken that trip many times. We usually drive straight though. I would suggest 95 the whole way. 81 to 77 is more scenic but will add time to your trip unless you live in the western part of VA or MD. You want to be south of Richmond by 6:00. We've found that being on the road by 3:00 we miss all rush hour traffic the whole way down. If you like a more leisurely trip stop in Savanna it's absolutely beautiful.

*Warning if you drive without stopping you WILL be tired*
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Michgc said "When we traveled in March, it was twice the price to head down to Florida than to take the Auto Train home. Now, with snowbirds returning, it may be the reverse".

I don't understand - you're saying that snowbirds go mostly south in March ?? But I think March would be when they begin returning north ? And wouldn't November through January instead be when they go south ?
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,169,745 times
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My parents used to take us on 14 hour drives....and boy - if we didn't behave or were quiet we'd be in a lot of trouble. So, it really didn't matter what time of day we all left. I've driven to Port Canaveral a couple of times....it took 12 hours one time, and just about 14 hours another time. Driving through the night is a piece of cake - but day driving isn't too bad either. At night we made much better time. I don't see a real reason to stop for a drive like that unless that's what you want to do...or stop somewhere interesting along the way to make it worthwhile.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,362,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebnllnb View Post
My family and I have taken that trip many times. We usually drive straight though. I would suggest 95 the whole way. 81 to 77 is more scenic but will add time to your trip unless you live in the western part of VA or MD. You want to be south of Richmond by 6:00. We've found that being on the road by 3:00 we miss all rush hour traffic the whole way down. If you like a more leisurely trip stop in Savanna it's absolutely beautiful.

*Warning if you drive without stopping you WILL be tired*
I'd LOVE to stop in Savannah. But so far it makes the most sense to leave early afternoon and drive straight through. We have some friends in Richmond and although it's only 2 1/2 hours away, it would be a nice break for the trip to get the kids tired. I'll also keep my eyes on the plane tickets. The idea of having everything in the car with you (like someone mentioned, pack n play, stroller etc.) is so nice compared to the idea of dragging all that stuff through the airport.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,723,155 times
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Once south of Richmond traffic is not a potential issue. When our kids were little, we'd leave in the evening and drive all night while they slept. We'd trade driving, about 2-3 hrs at a time depending on the time of night. It is rough, though, getting through that first day. Depends how young and healthy you are. If your kids are easily entertained while awake (e.g., most have dvd players in their minivans now), then perhaps a day trip is not a disaster for you. That way you can motel over the first night in the Orlando area. Leaving in the morning from NoVA is against in-bound DC rush "hour" traffic south to about F'burg.
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