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  1. Default Maine to Florida in May

    I'm planning a trip from Northern Maine to Southwest Florida (Fort Myers) for approximately the second week in May. Although there will be two of going and able to drive, and its POSSIBLE just to drive straight through in about 24 hours, I think the smart thing to do would be to get a hotel halfway (Virginiaish). I was thinking about flying, but with gas prices the way they are now, It's actually cheaper to drive, and then I will have my own transportation to get around the city and won't have to worry about that as an added expense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Florida sounds inviting at this time of the year, doesn't it!

    Though you didn't say exactly where you're leaving from in northern Maine, I used Waterville as a starting point and figured that it's about 1650 miles from there down to Ft Myers. Unfortunately, that's down one of the busiest interstates in the country, I-95, known in some places as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. You really don't want to be on it between Boston and DC, you'll want to take some alternative route!

    Even so, 1650 miles is not a one day trip, even with 2 drivers. A good rule-of-thumb to use is that one drives and the other is a 2nd pair of eyes and navigator, so the passenger should not be snoozing. It's really not even a 2-day drive, it's more like 2-1/2. Another good rule-of-thumb for planning is to stop driving at 600 miles. That's about 10-12 hours on the road, and about the maximum that commercial drivers are allowed to drive at one stretch, then they must retire to the bunk (not the passenger seat).

    Fly vs drive - add up your gasoline, your overnights, the extra meals consumed, the extra snacks, and the wear-and-tear on your vehicle. Then the 5 days of driving (round trip) vs a few hours in the airport and in the air. That's how we make the decision, whether to fly and rent a car, or drive ourselves, when we have a short time.

    How long do you have total for this trip?

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 01-03-2016 at 09:21 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    That is a THREE day drive, not a 2 day drive. Exactly where in northern ME?

  4. Default

    It's comfortably a 3 day drive, but we're sort of limited for time so I'd prefer to do it in 2. Aroostook County, ME. About as far north as you can get. Actually, I'm at the VERY BEGINNING of I-95

  5. Default

    I'm in Aroostook County, at the very beginning of I-95. 12 hour driving days are long, but we're kind of limited on time so I'd like to be able to do it in 2 days, but I also know how fatiguing it is to drive that route, i've done it a couple times. I don't mind driving through the cities as long as I can hit them later at night to avoid heavy traffic, but also If I were to bypass them I could get away with skipping some pretty heavy tolls, which is a plus.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default "Comfortable" is Not What Counts

    Quote Originally Posted by djwilli94
    It's comfortably a 3 day drive, but we're sort of limited for time so I'd prefer to do it in 2.
    Comfort is not what matters here. Safety is. Not only yours but that of everyone who will be forced to share the road with you without knowing that you're an impaired driver. You're proposing that you drive 1800 miles in two days. If you were an experienced, professional, long-haul driver you would be prohibited by law from driving more than 1200 miles in that time frame, and for good reason. Study after study has show that driving drowsy is every bit as dangerous as driving drunk. Highway death statistics also point to drowsy driving as one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths. On a personal note, I will tell you that I used to work the graveyard shift (aptly named) in a hospital emergency room just of I-95 in southern Maine and we could pretty much count on seeing young ('seven feet tall and bullet-proof') drivers come through our doors on a regular basis in the wee hours of the morning. They all thought, like you, that they could handle it or that they didn't have any choice because of time constraints. They couldn't and they did. Your plans to drive 900 miles one day down the most congested and enervating road in America (known among professionals as the Ho Chi Minh Trail), get a short night's fitful sleep, and repeat again the next day is foolish on its face. Please don't expect us to aid and abet you in this effort, let alone encourage it.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-04-2016 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #7


    For 2 people, RT, Portland, Maine to Fort Myers, FL, in mid_May is around $650. You likely will spend around $350 in gas, another $100 in tolls, $150 in lodging and $100 for meals, more or less. That is $700. We can cross the "t's" and dot the "i's" on the gasoline MPG of your car, the price of gasoline, and your lodging and food costs for 2 to 3 days of travel each way. The trade-off is more quality time at your destination!

    Not sure what train options you have from Maine/Boston, probably not great, but that is another option. Doesn't save you much time over driving but is safer if you're talking about 2-days each way.

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