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  1. Default Madison WI to Orlando FL

    We are trying to decide whether we should fly to Orlando from Madison or drive the 20 hours and stay at a hotel mid way. With air fares during the spring break hovering at $400 per person, I want to drive and save some money. And since I have never taken a long road trip (over 6 hours), I am excited at the prospect. Any thoughts, advice? Thanks1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Computer programs vs the real world.

    Only a computer program could do that trip in 20 hours. In the real world you are looking more at 24 - 25 hours. And if you are taking this trip with your mother and daughter, like your last trip, you'd want to take a few day.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-20-2010 at 07:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default 20 hours? Not a chance!

    Welcome back to the RTA Forum!

    I've made this trip myself, and there is absolutely no way you could do this trip in 20 hours - and even doing this trip with just one overnight stop really pushes your limits and goes beyond what we generally recommend.

    I'll tell you how my family did this trip last spring (we actually stayed with a relative in St. Petersburg, but the distance is about the same). We left late in the afternoon (5pm-ish) on Friday. We drove to Marion in far southern Illinois - getting into our motel around 11pm. After having breakfast and spending a little time in the pool, we were on the road between 9-10am. We took a short detour through Land Between the Lakes, spending about an hour getting within a few feet of several Buffalo in the Bison and Elk reserve within the park. We then continued through Nashville, and south on I-65, stopping for a late lunch near the Alabama border, and eventually stopping for the night around 10pm in Dothan, about 30 miles from the Florida border. We were back on the road again by 9, stopped twice - once for lunch, and a second time at a park just to run around - and arrived around 5 or 6pm.

    Coming back, we went through Georgia. We left about 10am, didn't make any major stops until we got well into Georigia - where we stopped at the Andersonville prison camp/museum, arriving around 4:30 (giving us just 30 minutes to look around before they closed at 5pm), after stopping at a local bbq joint for dinner, we stopped for the night on the north side of Atlanta - getting in around 9 pm. The next day we'd planned to take have a fun day on the road, either going to Smoky Mountains or Mammoth Cave and spending the night somewhere in Kentucky, but after checking into or hotel, I learned about a family emergency, and we changed our plans into a sprint back home. We left our hotel at 6am, and even though we only make one stop for lunch just to get out of the car for around for about 30 minutes, we weren't in Madison until about 10pm. That was one of the most brutal days I've ever spent on the road, and can assure you, its not something you want to do with your familly unless its absolutely necessary.

    Simply put, I would strongly encourage you to plan to spend at least 2.5 days each direction. You might be able to push it down to 2 very long days - but that's going to leave you exhausted when you finally arrive in Florida, and if you're planning to spend your vacation at the Theme Parks, you're going to want to have as much energy as you can.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-20-2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: clarity

  4. #4

    Default Madison to Orlando

    I've driven this route a few times going to Daytona Beach. Can you make it in 20 hours? Yes. Can you make it in 20 hours and still have a good time? No. You will be dead on your feet for at least a day afterwards. Plan on stopping in Chattanooga, TN or someplace close to that. You might make it to Northern Georgia but that's pushing it. You will enjoy youself and will be more refreshed taking a stop half way.

    Given the choice? Fly instead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's 1300 miles from Madison to Orlando. To make it in 20 hours, you would have to average 65 mph. This is totally unrealistic, it would mean driving a substantial portion at speeds well in excess of 80 mph. This is why you cannot take computer drive times at face value.

    My mapping software does say 20 hours and 2 minutes. Add 20% to that and it could conceivably be done in two 12 hour days.

  6. Default

    Thanks for all your input. I really appreciate it! Being that I will be the only one able to drive, I think we are going to fly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The wise decision.

    Without the time available to enjoy the drive it is the right decision.

    Have a great time !

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