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  1. Default Our 1st Road Trip from Worcester, Ma to Kissimmee, Fl!

    My wife and I are planning our 1st road trip, we are scheduled to leave on a Friday in April and want to arrive in Kissimee on Saturday and hopefully not to late. We driving with two children ages 7(boy) and 9(girl), we don't want them to too bored but want to be get there as soon as possible. They both have gameboys and personal cd players and a dvd player, but we don't want them spending their entire time doing that kind of stuff, what else can they do? How much driving per day and about how many stops for bathroom breaks, are needed (well this is obviosly different for everyone but on average). Hopefully someone else has driven from MA to Fl and can give us any good info! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Possible

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Reality is going to stare you in the face on this one, I'm afraid. It's a minimum of 1280 miles from Worcester to Kissimmee through one of the most heavily travelled corridors in America. As a rule of thumb, one can, at best, average about 53 mph on the interstates when rest, fuel, and food stops are included. That means you're looking at over 24 hours of on-the-road time to make the trip. And trust me, two successive 12 hour days with children will not put you in Kissimmee "not too late" on Saturday, or in any mood to start a vacation. This is not to say that people have not made similar trips in less time. You can always find the group of college students who switched off drivers, slept in the car, and made the Boston to Daytona trip in 1 day. But that's not your situation. I'm going to heartily urge you to add at least another day to your trip, and let the family enjoy it and some of the many great sights along the way. As for others' thoughts on the topic of long distance speed runs with children, be sure to check this thread as well as those listed at the bottom of this page.


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

    Default Long Haul

    Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    A quick look shows your trip to be about 1300 miles. 53 mph is the rule of thumb for average speeds, when you factor in gas and rest breaks. In this case that means more than 24 hours of travel time.

    However, that's generally a best case estimate. While I'm not an expert on the East Coast, my limited experience with I-95 tells me you'll want to plan for at least an extra couple of hours to be stuck in traffic, particularly since you'll be traveling on a Friday. Making me guess your total travel time will probably be somewhere in the 26-27 hour range.

    If you really want to make it to Florida by early evening on Saturday, you might want to consider leaving Thursday night. You'll have more time traveling at night, when you can avoid some traffic and your kids can be sleeping, making the journey a little easier on them. Just be extra careful when driving at night, and find a place to stop when you do get tired.

    As far as keeping the kids occupied, I find a lot of the toys they usually play with can still be used in the car. Coloring books, and plain paper to draw on is always helpful too. Regular books that your kids can read during the trip can help pass the time, and I'd buy a $5 atlas just for them, so they can follow along where you are and where your heading.

    Also check out Are We There Yet? by Chris Epting and RTA's links for families

    Good Luck!

  4. Default

    Thank you for the advice! I didn't know that the average is 53 mph. Would it matter if we lefted early Friday morning say 3am. OKay that sounds a little off but my wife and I are both up around that time anyway, so we wouldn not be too tired and we know from experience that we can just get the kids into the car and get them back to sleep with no problem! That would give us some time with less traffic and people are in work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Better, but...

    I used to drive the first part of your trip all the time when I lived in Portsmouth, NH and had family in Delaware and DC. I would always make the drive in the middle of the night, but then I had the advantage that those were my normal working hours, and I only had to consider my dog and not children. For a report on a more recent experience of mine check this post and you'll see that on some Fridays, averaging 53 mph would be doing very well indeed. If you leave Worcester at 3AM you have some chance of clearing New York before rush hour, but are by no means assured of doing so. If you are delayed at all and get caught in traffic, your schedule will be shot before you have gotten very far. But even with good luck through New York, you would hit rush hour around Philadelphia. Baltimore and particularly Washington are not going to be picnics during the daytime hours either. I still feel that trying to make this drive in two days is going to be pushing you and your family to the limit, and leaves no margin for delays of any kind. Ultimately, the choice of how you're going to try to do this is up to you, but I still recommend that you find a third day so that the journey is enjoyable rather than a grind.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yes, let the kiddies sleep while driving!

    I think getting up and going at 3am is a great idea for traveling with young children. Especially if this is your normal schedule and you're used to being up that early. Why not get some miles on the road while the kiddies are still sleeping? I would plan for driving until the kids wake up, then have a stop in mind for them to eat and run around and get the wiggles out, and then plan for driving no more than 2-2.5 hours for the rest of the day, alternating driving with stops at places that are kid-friendly so they can move around. If you give them plenty of opportunities to move, they will enjoy the trip better and, thus, so will you and your wife. Add to that, they'll sleep better at night.

    Eating out of your cooler makes this easier to incorporate into your trip. Instead of stopping at restaurants, you can stop at a park, beach, whatever and let the kids run and play while preparing sandwiches or other easy meals. Eat, then let them play for awhile after eating before getting strapped back in the car.

  7. Default How about......

    SO we decided that we will Thursday will the only problem being that the children are already missing 6 days of school and we are hoping to aviod a 7th. What if we left after school around 4pm, would we miss the New York traffic or would be driving right into, because I believe we would getting there around 8 or 9pm. Assuming that works out and we continue driving for about 2 hours or until 11pm, then stopping at a hotel and then starting the next day between 7 and 8. I know there is no way around hitting traffic but are their any ways we can get around it?
    On the way back we want to take about 4 or 5 days and stop in Washington D.C. and maybe Hershey, PA. Are there any other good children places to stop off at that you guys know of?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It is a rule of thumb!

    Quote Originally Posted by gineseam
    I didn't know that the average is 53 mph.
    53 mph is a RULE OF THUMB used by roadtrippers to estimate how far they can drive over the course of a entire driving day in the easten section of the USA. 53 mph is the average achieved speed including rest and fuel stops over 8-10 hours of travel. When are on the road, you will find yourself hitting and/or exceeding the posted speed limit (65 - 75 mph) but our experience has shown that to average 70 mph, one has to drive several hours in the triple digit speeds over the course of several day trip. That is why on this forum we have adopted the following benchmarks: 53 mph in congested urban areas and 57 mph in rural expressways. This usually works out just about right.


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