The Road Trip: New York to Florida

So what is it like to drive 17 hours to Orlando, Florida with about 4 hours of sleep between two people?

New York to Florida Road Trip - 1

Like anything at first, it starts as this major adventure. Until it gets dark, you are tired, it’s pouring rain, and you just want to get there.

New York to Florida Road Trip - The Pouring Rain

We initially decided to drive through the night to Florida because the first night of our stay would be the last night we could use the Spring WDW discount. We took naps after work, and even set off a little early. Armed with snacks, books, and music, the drive really didn’t FEEL like 17 hours. But after awhile, time had no meaning. It felt like noon when it was 8 a.m.

For those who are curious about details: we basically took I-95 straight to Orlando. Pretty clean cut drive. Here are a few other questions you may be dying to ask us:

Did we save money driving instead of flying?

Yes. This was only circumstantial though. Flights were so expensive during this popular Spring Break/early Easter weekend to every locale we researched. Even the added expenses of hotels on the way back still made our trip that much cheaper. (Crazy, I know.) Sure we lost almost a day of sleep but once we got a really good one the night we arrived, we were pretty much back to normal.

Was it fun?

Yes and no. It was not fun when it was raining torrentially for the last three states of the trip. But it was lovely to see the sun come up in North Carolina and come out in Florida, and pass the state lines! Of course, nothing beats driving through the Walt Disney World entrance.

New York to Florida Road Trip - Walt Disney World entrance

Did you stop a lot?

I’m actually surprised we didn’t stop a  lot at all. Few bathroom breaks, a rushed breakfast break. We basically stopped for coffee, gas, and to walk around for 2 seconds. Maybe five times in 17 hours? I say that’s a triumph!

New York to Florida Road Trip - A Stop in South Carolina

Should I road trip to Florida?

I think this is fun for everyone to do at least once. You’ll certainly be patting yourself on the back for a long time afterwards a.k.a. I can’t believe we did that! I never thought I would do that, etc. It’s actually quite gratifying when you get over the boring highways.

New York to Florida Road Trip - 5
Saying hi in Georgia | Palm Trees in Florida!

Oh and a casual warning: you will feel all kinds of gross when you make it to your final destination. I promise.

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

5 thoughts on “The Road Trip: New York to Florida

  1. That weather looks nasty! I really thought about driving in June but from Houston it’s probably a 17-18 hour drive and with three kids (one of which is a year and a half old, and a three year old too) we decided we’d be better off not losing our minds before we even get there and will be flying instead. Maybe when they’re older.

  2. Hey, I recognize that overpass in the last picture! I’m in that area quite frequently.

    What a heck of a drive! I’m glad y’all made it there and back in one piece.

  3. I have done so many long, 18+ hour road trips to Florida! If you time it right, especially if you’re going overnight, you can avoid so much traffic and usually make great time. The worst is when you’ve going down I-75 (from the Midwest) and hitting Atlanta…basically any time during the day.

    Not sure if I’d ever have the gumption to do this again…more power to you and James!

  4. We always do road trips to Florida instead of flying. For us, it is about a 15 hour drive. We stop somewhere on the way there, but we drive all the way back in one day. We mainly drive because it is cheaper than flying, especially for three people. But then, I also like being on my own schedule instead of being at the mercy of the airline. And I’m not sure if the rest of my family would agree, but for me, it is fun! I like seeing everything along the way.

  5. I think it should be required to go on a long road trip like that. They’re amazing. You learn so much!

    Sorry about your bad weather. A few yrs ago we took a road trip from NYC to New Orleans (20+hr) and we got caught in really bad snow storms BOTH ways adding 10+ hrs. . . it was insane!

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