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  1. Default From upstate NY to Orlando

    Hi All,

    Great website! Perhaps its listed here somewhere, but I couldn't find any detailed roadtrip reports from upstate NY to Orlando/Disney. In an effort to save some cash, this year our family (me, wife, kids 10 and 14) will likely be road tripping from upstate NY to Orlando. We have about a week, and hopefully/possibly I could push it to 10 days (ideal). I'm trying to get a feel for the best way to approach this. We've got an SUV, I have no problem driving a great distance, although the longest trip I've taken is upstate NY to Philly. I realize there is a huge difference between that trip, and one that will total about 20 hours. Here's my questions:

    Advice for driving all the way through as opposed to splitting it up?
    Best time of day to leave?
    If we do stop, best place to rest overnight?
    Best route to avoid major traffic headaches?
    Whats the fatigue factor like-ie, is it a real drag on your mind and body?
    How bad is the return trip, since I'm sure anticipation of getting there is a driving factor on the trip down.

    Any stories, advice, ect would be greatly appreciated.

    BTW, my one other question is the wear and tear on the the car. We just purchased a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe with low milage (which will be driven up by a trip of this nature). Can this car withstand the rigors of a 20 hour straight trip?

    Lots of questions, but we don't plan on leaving until August, so plenty of time to figure it out.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Great Days vs. Grueling Hours

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First things first: This is not a trip that should be thought of in terms of hours, but rather days. The computer based programs that are telling you that this is a 20 hour drive live in a virtual fantasy world where you can drive constantly at or above the speed limit, never have to stop for gas. never get hungry, never get tired, never have to go to the bathroom, never run into any other traffic, never see a traffic light or stop sign, etc., etc., etc. At 1200-1300 miles, this is at least a two day trip, and at that you would have no time to stop anywhere along the way other than for the most basic necessities listed above, and would still have to be on the road for longer than we would consider wise each of those two days. If you can devote three days to the drive each way, then it starts to become enjoyable rather than a constant slog and you can begin to think about stopping at some of the many great attractions along the way.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You should not need to worry about the vehicle - people take cross-country trips every day in vehicles older than that. Have it inspected by a competent mechanic or a Hyundai dealership before starting out, and combine an oil change with that.

    Something to think about - a road trip is actually easier on a vehicle than your everyday driving around town. It's the stopping and starting that puts wear on a vehicle, not steady-state cruising.

  4. Default

    The Santa Fe should be just fine. I use to do this drive on I-95 from NJ. We would leave at 7am and stop in Santee, SC by 6pm. Next day drive to Orlando and be at Disney by 2pm. There are lots of places to stop and break-up the trip if I-95 is your route.

    On a drive like yours, I like to get 3-4 hours out of the way right off the bat. Then I find places to stop and break it up every 2 hours. It's a mental thing. Rather than saying "only 14 more hours to Orlando," I'm saying "only 2 more hours until we stop and see Baltimore's Inner Harbor." I stop for lunch, then back on the road saying "Only 2 more hours until I see...."

  5. Default Agree to Disagree

    Although I understand where the above comments are coming from, I would recommend just traveling the entire trip down in 1 long voyage. I travel 10 hour trips often as I go to law school in ohio and live in new york and travel by myself most of the time. A 20-hour voyage is immense but with the help of your wife you should be fine. I would recommend leaving at around 8-10pm the night before and drive until the sun comes up. First it will give you a goal to reach (the sun) and also it will give your wife and children time to sleep for the easiest part of the voyage. I would let your wife drive for the next 4-5 hours and this will give you time to rest for the remainder of the voyage. You will arrive in the next 5-6 hours and the time will only be around 6-10pm depending on stopping for gas and food.

    The return voyage I would treat differently. As you stated the adrenaline for going on vacation will push you to drive down to Orlando. But the return will be much more strenuous. I would drive all the way up to D.C. so you get the majority of the trip accomplished. Get a hotel and leave the next morning.

    If you follow this plan a 7-day vacation will include:
    Day 0 - 8pm (leave)
    Day 1 - 6-10pm (arrive)
    Days 2/3/4/5 - Vacation
    Day 6 - 8am (leave)
    Day 6 - 8pm (arrive in D.C.)
    Day 7 - 8am (leave)
    Day 7 - 4pm (NY)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default disagreeing with reckless advice

    Sorry, but 20 hours on the road with just 2 drivers is not a smart idea. Assuming one driver will be able to stay fully awake while the other is fully resting is foolish at best. And of course, as has already been mentioned, its a fantasy to assume that you could even cover this amount of distance in under 24 hours anyway.

    Such a plan would seriously endanger the lives of this family, as well as the many others with whom they would be sharing the road. There are countless stories of people who've had there vacation turned into a nightmare by following this sort of advice. In fact, several states along the route have had to take aggressive action in both their patrols and road designs simply because of the number of crashes caused by people attempting to do this trip in one sitting.

    In addition, following such dangerous advice is counter productive - you end up so exhausted from the start of your trip, that you either need to sit out for 2-3 days just to recover, or watch the rest of your vacation suffer because you aren't in any condition to have fun when your body is so sleep deprived.

  7. Default Can't Imagine

    I can't imagine doing this in one full swoop. Two days is most realistic, with my initial plan to leave early Friday and drive until sunset, then finish the trip the next day, arriving at night. Of course, JetBlue could make this a whole lot easier for me by dropping their rates.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by zdog View Post
    Hi All,

    In an effort to save some cash..........
    This is where you need to keep your focus. Check out this thread, and AZ comments there...... everyone of those drivers thought they could handle it. It could end up costing more than JetBlue charges... what with car repairs, medical costs, etc. Drive to ensure that this will not be your last family holiday.


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