To drive or not to drive that is the question?

Started kicking around the idea of maybe driving to Disney from Tulsa, it’s only 18 short hours! I know part of me thinks I’m crazy for even considering it :astonished: but it’s an idea nonetheless. I was wondering what’s the farthest anyone has driven to Disney? In retrospect was saving the money worth the long drive? Thanks as always guys!

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Check out BeFrugal’s Fly or Drive Calculator It takes into account thinks that people normally forget (like wear and tear on your car) when trying to figure out if driving is really cheaper than flying


We drive from Ontario - it takes about 22-23 hours. I’m not sure how much flights are from Tulsa to Orlando, but from Toronto (closest for us) it would have been double the cost of driving - even with gas, two nights in hotels, and restaurant stops. This is for 4 people. For us, getting the extra time off wasn’t a big issue so we didn’t mind spending the time on the road. If we only had a week of holidays, it wouldn’t work out so well. But for us it was worth it and part of the fun! :smile:

We have driven from north of Chicago. It is about 19 hours. There are five of us so it does save a lot of money. It is also nice to be able to take everything you want and have your vehicle there. Each time we drive though we say that it will be the last time and yet we end up doing it again! I think the drive can be a fun part of the trip but only if everyone can look at it that way and you have plenty of time.

I usually drive. 17 hrs there, 16 hrs back. I like the drive and usually save money, and I like having my car to drive to the parks or off site. That being said you always have to take traffic and wear and tear on car and possibly overnight hotel expense into account. Finally, if you think of trip with dread and trepidation , pay the money and fly.

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@brklinck, cool tool! Thanks for posting it!

I have a 7.5 - 8 hour drive and I hate it. If there was any such a thing as a "reasonable’ rate from Pensacola to Orlando, I’d fly in a heartbeat…

We drove from Kingfisher :slight_smile: It seemed like it took forever :frowning: It was a nice drive going and a beautiful drive home, but so tiring ton sit in the car that long on the way home :frowning: We are trying something new next month :slight_smile:

bciranow, we are driving from Saint Louis for a Spring Break trip. Some of the things that everyone brings up are good points. I would much prefer to fly, but for 4 it was just going to be too much.

We decided to rent a car to eliminate wear and tear, and to get some extra room for the trip. Ended up getting a premium crossover because all of the minivans were gone. For what is essentially going to be 10 days of car rental, we are getting it for less than $300. We do have gas, and we are taking 2 days each way, so there are overnight hotel stays, but we are fortunate enough to have points for those. Still, the rental and gas may end up being less than one plane ticket.

I think a lot depends on the ages of those involved as well as how well they do on long car trips.

I hope this helps.

We drove with DS5 from DFW. We did it in 2 days. I wish we either drove more the first day (did 10 hours) or had a day to recover before going to park. 7 hours driving on 2nd day plus time change really wore us out and we were not as ready for park first day. We drove to have car since we stayed off site, and DH just prefers driving (not necessarily to save money). It can be done and we really enjoyed driving, but will be flying this time since we have DS1 now.

Same here. We worked out the cost to fly, was 2,500 if we were lucky. For four of us. Plus we would have no car in FLA. More if we rented a car.

Driving was WAY cheaper. Sure, it took 2-1/2 days, but still. Maybe $175 US for hotels each way, packed lunches and free breakfast at motels. Dinner on the road is $30 or less. Gas is cheap in the US, spent maybe $100 on gas each way, probably less. I would say we spent about $325US each way.

I would take that over $2,500 and paying for transportation any day. And road trips are awesome!

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I know it may not make it MUCH easier, but could you maybe stop halfway, get a hotel for the night, and then finish the next day? It cuts into your DIsney time, but might help keep you sane. LOL!

When I was a kid, we used to drive from Saskatchewan… that’s north of Minot, ND. It was cheaper and we had a car to visit our relatives. But that was a 4-5 day trip back when we got 2 weeks off over Easter and Dad had 3 weeks of vacation time.

Now, we often drive from Toronto (north of Buffalo, NY) and we take 2.5 days to go there and 2 to get back. We make the hotels we stay in on the way part of the trip, making sure they have indoor pools and nice restaurants nearby.

So is it worth it? It depends on how much you save, how much you like or hate driving long distances (some people can’t stand more than 2 hours in a car) and how much time you have.

I will say, my SIL’s family did it a few years ago from near us and they went straight through. The kids, who slept in the car, were fine, but the adults all slept most of the next day, so that was a bust. They would have been better off stopping one night in a hotel than not being fit to start their vacation when they got there.

Depends on ages of kids… We flew to my brother’s wedding in Wisconsin instead of doing the 21 hour drive. Between hauling the car seats through the airport for 3 kids, the rental car, and the 5 hour drive after we landed… now granted we didn’t get to get picked up by Magical Express and be whisked away. We had to drive more. For that, I would have given anything to have OUR VAN and not have to deal with hauling the kids and carseats, etc. So if you think you’ll just use Magical Express and won’t want to go off property for anything flying seems like an okay option with little kids. But if I had to do it all over again, I would drive 21 hours to Wisconsin in a heartbeat.

If you are thinking of driving, but you’re unsure of your vehicle, consider pricing a rental from your home and driving that. We’ve done that several times, after a breakdown one year in our own vehicle. There’s no point in putting the miles and stress on my car when I can rent a van that’s better on gas and has more room and is reliable for much cheaper than airfare.

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