NYC to Orlando/Tampa w/baby
Hi Everyone. What a great forum!
When it was just me and my husband we just packed a few things, a map and some snacks and let the road take us but as a new parent, I realize spontaneity will probably be best left for day trips.
Honestly, I never knew the amount of planning that is needed for road trips. My dad would pack us in the station wagon and take us on mini trips once a month and a major trip once a year. God bless him and my mom.
I'm a new parent who has in-laws and family in Florida. I'm sure we'll be road tripping several times a year to Florida and would like to receive advice from been-there-done-that folks.
Anyway, since we will be making this trip several times throughout our child's life I've been reading the wonderful threads here and jotting notes down for places and routes for when she is older and can enjoy the ride and sites more.
For her first major road trip (she's already had a few day trips to CT and PA), we plan to drive from NYC to Florida, with stops in Athens, GA, Orlando and Tampa.
Since she's quite young, we figure perhaps 1 site seeing excursion during the drive is plenty. We plan to start our trip in the wee hours of night so she sleeps through most of it. On the way down, we can stop at a few sites down south (any suggestions?). On the way up, we can stop at a few sites up north (Washington DC, perhaps).
I am allotting a total of 7 days for this trip with a 1/2 day stop in Athens, GA, 1-1/2 days in Orlando and 1-1/2 days in Tampa for the popular presenting the new baby to family.
My questions are:
Is this realistic, especially for a first time family/baby trip?
Any recommendations for the site seeing excursions we hope to do?
Are there any preferred routes we should take? She'll sleep through most of the first half of the drive.
My baby loves new sights and sounds and we originally thought a stop on a bottomless boat trip or an aquarium would be a nice little jaunt for her. Any recommended aquariums or the like? Honestly, any baby friendly recommendations are welcome. She's an inquisitive baby and loves new things.
We're trying to save our money and avoid $$$ excursions until she's old enough to remember and maybe understand where she is at.
I'm sure this has been discussed here before in various threads so thank you in advance.
Last edited by pantrygirl; 01-26-2009 at 09:06 AM.
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
You're looking at around 2,400 miles of driving to hit all of the places you've mentioned. Normally we would recommend no more than about 550 miles per day for a comfortable, sustainable pace. With an infant, that should probably be less, so you need at least 5 solid days of driving, but your current schedule only leaves 3½. That is just not going to work.
Similarly, what probably would work best for your daughter is to minimize any disruption to her normal schedule. If she normally wakes "in the wee hours of the morning" for a feeding or diaper change, then it might work out for you to plan on starting your trip as soon as she has gone back to sleep. This is of course assuming that you and your husband will be wide awake. But really all you can accomplish doing this is a little time shifting. You should not try to then continue well into the next evening. You will simply be too tired to continue past the 'wee hours of the afternoon' safely
In order to even have a chance of covering the distances you're contemplating in the limited time available, you will have to stick to the Interstates: I-78/I-81/I-77/I-85/I-75 on the leg that includes Athens and I-95 on the leg that doesn't. Since your daughter is as yet too young to really get much out of major (and majorly expensive) stops, plan on just making use of the many parks, forests and refuges near the highway to let her (and you) get some fresh air and exercise as needed.
In short, I really think you need at least another couple of days for this trip, or to seriously cut back on the time that the relatives get to 'Ooh' and Aah' over your new baby.
Maybe less car and more train?
I used to drive to northern VT from NJ with my daughter when she was an infant, and while she would sleep at least half the way there since I was leaving at 3 am I was completely shot when I got there. Not to mention the handful of hours she was awake and couldnt be taken out of here baby seat.
If I were going to Florida I would drive to Lorton VA and get on the autotrain. You get to sleep on the train and wake up in Sanford, FL. There are private sleeping cars and your daughter could get to sleep almost like home and so could you and your husband while making some serious time. It would give you more like 4 days in Florida.
Also you could still see DC on the way back. As for Aquariums, the Georgia AQ in Atlanta was nice but you cannot beat Sea World for WOW factor.
Thanks for the travel times and wonderful suggestions.
I'm looking into extending my time off and possibly taking the train.
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