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  1. Default NJ to FL roundtrip

    Hi everyone,

    My husband and I are planning a roadtrip for the first time and we are not sure if we're on the right track in terms of what exactly to plan before going there. Our main goal is to go to FL and spend some time there and we figured why not take the car and enjoy the way instead of a plane as always. To be exact, we're planning to spend about 10 days--leaving from Old Bridge, NJ and heading to Orlando, FL. We want to visit Daytona beach on the way to Orlando. Dates: 12/23-1/3

    Here's what we would like to find out: (Most are probably silly concerns but it's our first time ever, so I apologize :D)
    -Is it ok to take our car or do we have to rent one? (we have a '10 Camry)
    -Gas costs to keep in our mind.
    -$ and if we should carry cash.
    -Things to keep in mind in terms of weather/traffic during Christmas time
    -Places to visit and/or avoid on the way there
    -If it's better to book hotels in FL in advance, or if we should find out once there..
    -Everything we probably missed from mentioning here.. since it is our first time ever to go on a roadtrip!

    ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Fear of the Unknown

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to plan ahead for an adventure you've never undertaken before, or to seek advice from those who have been through it, Just proves that your no longer 18 and know everything, The thing to keep in mind as you travel is that everywhere you'll be will be somebody's home town, not that much different than your own. I see no need to go to the expense of renting a car. Highway miles are a lot easier on your vehicle than negotiating stop and go traffic with a cold engine on your morning commute. You can figure rough gas costs using your own 'real world' mileage, guesstimates of gas cost and miles, and plugging those numbers into the "Fuel Cost Calculator" in the left margin of this page.

    Personally, I like to carry no more than $100-200 in cash and pay for everything with a credit card. That way you get a record of your purchases and some degree of protection on them as well. Just be sure to call your credit card companies before you leave to let them know roughly when and where you'll be traveling to guard against them shutting off the cards when "unusual activity" starts to show up.

    There are opposing schools of thought on whether to book ahead or just take pot luck on accommodations once you get to you destination. The advantage to the later is that it does not pin you down to a set schedule, while the advantage to the former is that you can shop around on the net in the comfort of your home before leaving and it's one less hassle while you're on the road. There is no one right answer for everybody, but if you are going to a popular area at the height of the holiday season, that might tip the scales towards making reservations.

    Finally, there are a ton of things along the east coast and along all the major highways. You should certainly try to avail yourself of a few of those on your drive. That's the whole point of a RoadTrip after all, That and to have fun.


  3. Default

    I would wait until you get there to book hotels. There are so many hotels all over Florida. Look at Kissimmie if your in the Orlando area. Its literally 10 miles of hotels and the prices are as low as $35 per night and up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default rentals and reservations

    Personally, I'd be taking my own car for this trip. You've got a brand new car, and presumably you bought it because you like to drive it, so there is certainly no reason why you would have to go with a rental car. Unless you're car is on a (f)lease where you're limited your miles, or you find a great deal on a rental, I'd just drive your new car.

    Personally, I'd lean towards making reservations for this trip. You certainly don't have to, but christmas to new years is about the single busiest time of the year in Orlando, so in general rates will be higher than usually and it may be a bit more difficult to find a room. There are so many rooms in the Orlando that there certainly will be room available, but I think you'll probably save time and find a room that best fits your needs for both price and location by reserving in advance.

  5. #5

    Default Busy!

    We visited the Disney parks last Christmas for the very first time. So, I don't have much to compare to, but it seemed very busy.

    In our case we booked in advance as we knew we were going to be in Orlando for X number of days before going to Clearwater for X number of days and then coming back to Orlando for another couple of days at Disney. Since the stay in each hotel was longer then a day and we would like certain ammenities and * level for less, this requires research. So, we did the research ahead of time and found somehting we liked and booked.

    I ususlly book ahead if I am going to be staying for more then a night.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Book ahead!

    As a former snowbird, I'd say book in advance. I don't usually book in advance, but the Holidays is an extra busy period in Florida as every snowbird from the NE is heading to that only "warm spot" in the continental US. Depending on which kind of accomodations you're looking for, you might have a hard time finding hotels rooms, even a few weeks before. Rooms in motel chains (ex. : Motel 6) might be a bit easier to find, but you'll definitely be paying more than your regular 35-40$/night.

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