My kids have frequently said the best part of the trip is the drive. My husband hates to hear that after we’ve spent thousands of dollars on Disney or a cruise. There’s just something about the road tripping that everyone of my family loves.
Pretty much every trip we’ve ever taken has resulted in some kind of credit card fraud.
When we got home from our road trip to California in 2018 and I was reviewing the statement, we could see purchase is going all the way down the East Coast as we have been traveling west across country. At first I wondered if perhaps the hotels we were staying at didn’t just clear their accounts through other states. But after talking to the chase Disney visa people we were able to identify which purchases had truly been ours and which ones have been someone else’s.
In 2016, my husband’s identity was stolen most likely just before we boarded the cruise ship. We had to file a police report when we got home. We only found out after we got home.
I drive often from Berks County, PA using I-83 to get into Maryland and around the D.C. Beltway to I-95 the rest of the way. Some tips:
Rest stops on I-95 make for quick bathroom breaks, but usually only have hand dryers - so -I always bring paper towels with me, I’ve shared them with some other travelers and they were always grateful for dry hands.
-I started taking the Richmond beltway as there is a nice Wawa just before you merge back to I-95 - this is the most southern Wawa until you reach Orlando (as a Philly-area person - I love Wawa’s so I choose to stop here over any other convince stores - I realize you may be a Sheetz person living in central PA, so Wawa may not be your cup of tea)
-further south, the Flying J gas stations/convenience stores have nice, clean bathrooms and a large selection of snacks and drinks if you just want something different than you packed after so many hours of driving.
-Once you reach Florida, I-417 is an alternate route to I-4 starting at the Sanford Airport (just north of Orlando airport), it has a bunch of tolls - but you can skip a lot of the crazy traffic on I-4 using it. Best part it drops you right into Disney property.
-you probably won’t have a problem with over-packing with the amount of people in your van (as you won’t have the room), but try to limit what you bring. I find when driving I throw everything in just in case, when flying I am a minimalist packer - so quite the change. I end up hating the clutter in the car about half way into the drive and it just gets messier the longer you are in the car.
-I also hate stopping in hotels overnight, as it takes too much time/effort to lug everything in from the car and take it back out in the morning. I try to leave late at night and then take a nap in the car at reststop or shopping center parking lot for an hour or two during the day and continue on without the hotel stop (there are two of us, so we stay awake the entire time while driving - so that we know the driver is alert - so the nap is needed for us - more drivers would allows for naps of spare drivers while moving).
The drive isn’t terrible, some times it feels like a slog on the way home, but I do enjoy the freedom of leaving when you want and not worrying about missing a flight or having to squish the souvenirs into the suitcase at the end of the trip.
Thanks! We would be taking I-83 as well. I’ve been to Wawa’s, though we don’t have one here, but thanks for the tip on that. We probably will stop at a hotel, but we will fill a large overnight bag for one night, which we have done for hotels when we have stayed at them for early morning flights. I tend to fall asleep when my DH drives and my best friend has fallen asleep when I’ve driven. We are not middle of the night people.
We will take a look at some of the alternative routes you mentioned for sure.
Omg, I love your wording of this Two trips ago, my youngest had just turned 1. We discovered how much he hated the car seat on our trip from central NY to Orlando. He cried so much that he “evacuated himself” (vomited) about halfway through Pennsylvania…needless to say, it was a very long trip
Drove from jersey two days ago! If you need a break, our salvation was the north Glynn recreation complex in Brunswick Georgia off of 95. Covered picnic pavilion, restrooms and 2 awesome playgrounds. Made my kids’ day. We did a two day drive and stopped in South Carolina for our overnight. Also made each state “themed” to a different Disney movie and had a playlist for them (new state means new song and guess the movie, so they got excited that we were making progress). Also had free printables tied to the themes (thanks to Pinterest!)