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  1. Default Planning a drive from NYC to Orlando at end of August with wife, 2 kids & 1 toddler.

    Hello all, I came across this site looking for any tips or advice for long family trips. Its great to see that there is a forum for this kind of topic to discuss this.

    I am planning a trip to Orlando Fl, from New York City at the end of August, (28th to be exact) 2010. With a family of 5 and plans on heading to Disney World its just way too much to add 4 flights into this trip so our other alternative is to drive.

    After checking out Google Maps it seems like this will be an 18hr road trip. I am checking into a house I rented on the 28th but I plan to hit the road on the 27th around 8pm. I figure if I head out around that time the traffic wont be so brutal for us and can get the kids to sleep most of the night so by the time daylight hits we can have atleast 10-11 hrs in the trip.

    I plan on making pitstops every 4 hrs or so but I do not plan on sleeping overnight in a hotel or motel room. I plan to keep on trucking straight threw till I get there.

    Does anyone have any experience taking long road trips with toddlers in the vehicles? Im not too worried about my 2 older kids, 9 & 11, more so of my 21 month old lol.

    Also, any route suggestions as far as major highways to take? I drove to miami before twice using the I-95.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Are there multiple other flights that you will be taking before getting to NYC? I have this feeling that you are flying from California to some other locations before NYC.

    We don't recommend driving over 10 hours/600 miles per day. If you look around this site you'll see this referenced time and time again. That goes doubly if you're planning on leaving in the night and driving all night long. Google's directions may be a bit optimistic with that time - they're assuming you will be able to drive the speed limit along the entire route, and that's not likely to happen. Driving is definitely an option, but if you can make it into a two day trip, you will be much happier at the end of your drive and much better prepared to enjoy your time at Disney World.

  3. Default

    Hey Tim, acutally we live in NYC and are planning to head out from here. I will be trying to drive as much as I can for aslong as I can without having to stop and hopefully get there as soon as possible obeying the speed laws ofcourse.

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

    Default a recipe for disaster

    I really can't urge you strongly enough to reconsider your current plan. It would be putting your life, your family members lives, and the lives of everyone else on the road in an extreme amount of danger, there's just no other way to put it.

    First of all, its an absolute fantasy that you could make this trip in 18 hours. Google's estimates assume that you'll never see traffic, never have to slow down, and never have to stop for food or fuel. In the real world, where you are driving on one of the most heavily traveled routes in the world, if you can complete this trip in under 20 hours you'd be doing extremely well.

    But far more importantly, driving without proper rest is deadly. The number of serious accidents caused by driver fatigue is in the thousands, and in fact, the number of crashes from people who try to do what you propose has forced officials in Virginia and the Carolinas to try to take increased steps to stop drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel.

    There just is no way to do what you are planning to do safely. Its far to much to do in the best of circumstances, and trying to do it when leaving at 8pm (presumably you're not leaving earlier because you have work or other obligations) and then driving during hours when your body will be shutting down because it expects - and needs - sleep means there just is no way that you can be at an alertless level needed to drive a 2 ton machine at 70 mph. Your plan would be illegal for a professional driver, and it is actually been shown that driving this kind of distance will make your driving ability deteriorate to the point that you will be every bit as dangerous a drunk driver - and if you are concerned about speed limits, I can't imagine that you'd ever consider driving drunk with your kids in the car.

    Getting to your rental house and or visiting disney world is not worth your putting your familes lives in extreme danger. Again, please reconsider and give yourself both the time and rest you need to make this trip both enjoyable and safe.

  5. Default

    Thanks for your response Michael, much appreciated. What about taking turns between my wife & myself? Since you put it that way, I guess I can drive till I feel tired and find somewhere nearby to sleep at. I guess there is no rush to get there at a specific time, so you are right, its not worth risking my families lives. Thanks again.

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


    Thank you for taking another look at your plans.

    Two people really doesn't help here for a few reasons.

    First, when you're driving through the night, you need a second person awake to help make sure the driver isn't falling asleep - so neither one of you would be getting the rest you need. Second, simply being in a car for this many hours is exhausting, even if you aren't driving, and even if you could have someone sleep, getting a quick nap sitting upright in a moving car isn't nearly the same as getting a good night sleep. If you were talking about the difference between driving 500-600 miles a day and 600-700 miles a day, a second driver would make a big difference, but this is just too many miles and an impossible situation for it to make any significant difference.

    The other thing I would strongly caution about is the contradiction that is driving until you feel tired. Someone else here has said this better than I can, but basically, you are counting you your overtired and exhausted body -which by definition will not be thinking 100% rationally - to help you come to the rational conclusion that you no longer able to continue to safely drive. In other words, I wouldn't plan to drive much later than you normally stay up, and the second you feel even a little bit drowsy, that means it is time to start looking to stop.

  7. Default

    Thanks Michael!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'm not going to try to beat a dead horse, but I'm going to make a suggestion.

    Leave NYC early morning on the 27th - at your normal head out the door to go to work time. Drive to Fayetteville NC and get a hotel. Repeat the next morning. Do the same thing in reverse for the return trip.

    By the time you account for fuel, food, and rest stops, you are going to be in the car for 12 hours each day. With the kids and especially the toddler, they will need to get out of the car every few hours and run around for a while.

  9. Default

    Good suggestion glc. Thanks. I was actually planning on working the 27th but it seems like a good idea not to and head out that morning.

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