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  1. Default From Tulsa, Ok to Orlando, Fl. Dec-13-09

    Hello Everyone,

    I'd like to know all your advices, inputs and recommendations regarding the trip below, thanks in advance!

    I'm planning to have my 2nd and biggest road trip from Tulsa, OK to Orlando, Fl with my wife and our 2 infants. This trip is expected to take around 20 hours as per Google maps. We both drive and we have a Ford Taurus 03 in a good condition with a 32k miles in it.
    So far we're planning to start from Tulsa at 4am to Atlanta in first day through 3-4 breaks passing by Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama which would take around 12 hours drive. Next day we'd start around 4-5am from Atlanta to Orlando with a couple of breaks, that should take around 8 hours drive.

    Does this make sense? what are the risks so far? any thoughts here?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Fly in the Ointment

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If it were just your wife and you, then I'd say sure - this might be at the extreme end of what I'd consider feasible, 600+ miles a day for two days. (Tulsa to Atlanta is 800 miles and NOT doable in a day as a safe and reasonable trip, period.) But with two little children, you are really pushing the envelope beyond what's practical. As we note here often, the time estimates you get from Google Maps and other such sources are pure fantasy, based on the assumption that you'll never have to stop to eat, to fuel the car, to go to the bathroom, to change the kids, or even slow down for traffic. If I were doing this trip with this personnel, I'd look to doe 500 miles each of the first two days, take frequent moderate breaks during the drive and some serious downtime each night, and finish up with a relatively modest third day of driving. That would put your overnight stops at roughly Tupelo, MS and Valdosta, GA.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    No wonder you're the Guru and moderator!

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your fast and clear reply that makes sense.

    I'm kind of tight in time as I need to be in work on Tuesday! But safety comes first. I think I'll try to take the big breaks at the spots you recommended but I might try to gain some night driving, How would you go with that if you were in my place?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Edited as my suggestion to leave a day early isn't possible now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default As Normal as Possible

    If the proposed stops I gave you before don't work because (as I understand it) you can't leave Saturday morning and must be in Orlando on Tuesday morning, then consider another alternative. Remember that one of the tools in having a safe and pleasurable RoadTrip is to keep to your (and your children's) normal schedule as much as possible. Trying to drive through the night or in the very wee hours of the morning when you're not used to it is a recipe for tired, inattentive drivers and cranky, mewling kids. If you can get going on Saturday evening, then put in a few hours and get to say Russleville, AR and get a good night's sleep before continuing with full day drives on Sunday and Monday with an overnight stop in Anniston, AL. Be sure to take advantage of the many parks along the Interstate to give yourselves some much needed, and enjoyable, breaks.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Buck, that's essentially what I said, until I saw that the trip is THIS weekend. He's long gone by now.

  7. Default It Worked!

    Thank you guys for all your inputs, I'm now back in Orlando and I'd like to share with you the trip details.

    We started late around 9am Sunday, from Tulsa, Oklahoma and along the way to Tupelo, MS we stopped only for gas, changing the kids once and eating while driving! Overall stops around 2 hours, arriving in Tupelo after about 450 miles at 7pm. The route was Tulsa OK, Ft Smith AR, Little Rock AR, Memphis TN, Tupelo MS. more than 5 hours drive only in Arkansas.

    Next morning we moved at 7:30am, also stopped only 3 times for gas and 1 time for lunch and kids change somewhere in Alabama before reaching Montgomery. We got lost a bit in Orlando, but arrived home around 10:30pm East time to make an overall 14 hours trip time with a pure 12 hours drive time!.
    The route was Tupelo MS, Birmingham AL, Montgomery AL, GA, Tallahassee FL, Orlando FL, Sanford FL.

    The overall trip was exactly 1175 miles (which was less than shortest path on Google Maps) and total drive time was around 19 hours (which is equivalent to Google Maps fastest path). Total trip time is around 36 hours. We had to slow down many times in Alabama due to the weather and road conditions, too many curves on Troy Hwy and didn't work at all with the heavy rain.
    I admit the kids weren't very happy, but we did our best to please them during the few stops, lots of toys in their car seats and all the snacks they like, besides always either me or their mom with them in the back seat.
    I respected the Garmin Nuvii 205 GPS ($89) along the trip except at that part in Orlando taking me through ancient roads and one of them was already closed, I had to use some logic then!
    The car was pretty good though it has a salvaged/damaged title from Texas.
    I expected to pay around $300 but it took less than $200, including 1 night in Comfort Inn, Gas, 3 meals and lots of snacks and coffee.

    I know these are too many details, but I hope it helps a future traveler!

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