Driving to Florida with an overnight stop


#1

When you drive to Florida and have an overnight stop, do you pick a stopping point ahead of time and make a reservation at a hotel or do you just wing it and stop when you get tired?


#2

We always wing it. Never had a problem.


#3

We never wing it. We always stop at Jekyll Island in Georgia so we can walk on the beach, pick up shells and relax. We stop there going down and coming home.:wink: Our drive is only nine to ten hours but we love the beach at Jekyll Island so we always work it in.


#4

I asked this questions last week …my mom would lile to leave Sat morning and stop halfway and get a room so that when we arrive on Sunday we can get our park tickets and go to a park while we wait on our room since check-in is at 3pm. I’m driving from Memphis, TN so I was trying to decide if we should stop outside of Atlanta or cross on into Florida and stop.


#5

I think for you driving to Florida would be a better idea, Going through Georgia only takes about 7hrs. or so. I can’t remember where memphis is in tennessee,northern or southern part. So, it really depends on how much driving you want to do on you first day.


#6

We’re traveling from Michigan and were thinking of stopping in Charlotte, NC. Jekyll Island sounds fun, is it about a 4 hour drive from where you are? If we could hold out another few hours maybe that would be a good stopping point. It might be too far for us though on the first day.


#7

ok, I voted for winging it. Not that I would ever drive. I am too impatient to make this trip a 2 day ordeal :angel: There have got to be sooooo many hotels along the interstate that you won’t have to worry about No Vacancy. However, before leaving home, I would get an idea of what’s where and set that GPS to head on South (or East or West) :wink:


#8

The 1st time we just winged it going down with no problem. Then driving home we ran into a problem, there was a big stock car race in the place we wanted to stop.:blink: So being spring break as well as the big race we could not find a room within about 75 miles. About two hours later we found a room. So after that we planed ahead and made reservation.:blush:


#9

We always wing it going down because you never know when you will get tired. Actually, there have been two times when we got near kind of the area we had planned on stopping when DH said I’m still fresh, do you want to keep going. Both times, we ended up driving straight through. Just called Disney and got a room at a value for when we arrived the day early.


#10

It’s a 12 hour drive…but the reason we wanted to stop is because our room will not be ready once we arrive in orlando and we would like to take a bath and change clothes after that long drive before we go to the park. If we wait for check-in then that would put us getting at the park at about 4 or 5.


#11

We always wing it. It helps to carry AAA travel guides. It can be amazing the deal you can get on a motel room when you just walk up in the evening and bargain (if they have empty rooms). Also, you can usually get good coupons at states’ welcome centers.


#12

Will you be traveling on I-75? If not then what is the main road you will be on?


#13

Nine times out of ten, our room has been ready for us when we arrived, many times early in the morning. If it’s not ready, you can still take a shower at the pool area bathrooms (check with your resort, I’m not sure if all of them have this option) and then you can get a full day in at the parks. This is one of the best perks Disney does for its resort patrons, is to not make them wait until checkin and miss out on half of the day.


#14

I say call around at some hotels just to see how their capacity is.If you are finding that the capacity is being sold out then maybe winging it is not such a good idea. Find a place that you feel you may be stopping and go from there.


#15

We have driven from Memphis every time - we leave around 5pm and get to Disney around 7am. Except for one time, we have gotten a room right away and were able to unpack, shower and change. The time we could not get our room first thing, we could get it at noon or 1, so we checked in, got something to eat, had packed a water park bag with a change of clothes in it and went to the water park. My DH did all the driving, so he found a shady, quiet spot and slept while the kids and I did the slides. When we were able to get our room, DH stayed and napped while I took the kids to the water park. This way, DH didnt really miss a REAL park, and we got to work our way into Disney, making our second day our first day at a major park.

After you are done at the water park, of course, there are locker rooms with showers there, and as long as you leave before closing, not crowd.

This is all assuming you like the water parks! but they are a nice place to relax and if you have little ones, they both have little kid areas where you can watch them play (depending on their ages, of course.)

Love to hear of another Memphis MBer!:heart:


#16

We’ve driven in the past. For us it’s a 18 hour drive from Jersey. We always have winged it. We stay at a Hampton Inn in Savannah Georgia right off 95. And on the way home we stay at a Hampton Inn in NC. Never had a problem.


#17

Yes we will be traveling I75-S.


#18

[QUOTE=cowanfamily;950525]We have driven from Memphis every time - we leave around 5pm and get to Disney around 7am. Except for one time, we have gotten a room right away and were able to unpack, shower and change. The time we could not get our room first thing, we could get it at noon or 1, so we checked in, got something to eat, had packed a water park bag with a change of clothes in it and went to the water park. My DH did all the driving, so he found a shady, quiet spot and slept while the kids and I did the slides. When we were able to get our room, DH stayed and napped while I took the kids to the water park. This way, DH didnt really miss a REAL park, and we got to work our way into Disney, making our second day our first day at a major park.

After you are done at the water park, of course, there are locker rooms with showers there, and as long as you leave before closing, not crowd.

This is all assuming you like the water parks! but they are a nice place to relax and if you have little ones, they both have little kid areas where you can watch them play (depending on their ages, of course.)

Love to hear of another Memphis MBer!:heart:[/QUOTE]

Hello Memphian! :slight_smile: I did not include the waterparks in our package because I can not swim and figured that my children 5 and 6 were too young…boy was I wrong…I was informed that they have lots for younger kids to do in the waterparks…oh well…we will be going back sooon so maybe next time!
I have tickets for 7 days and we are only going to the 4 major parks so we really do not HAVE to go to a park on the first day but this is our FIRST time at WDW and I don’t think we can just relax on our first day(like many have suggested) because we are all so excited. I would wing it but I didnt want to arrive early and not be able to check into our room. Another thing with 12 hours of driving were u guys not tired once u arrived in FL?


#19

I would say stop somewhere close to the Florida line. Once you hit the Fl. line you only have about 2-3 hrs. to get there.


#20

We have a 16 hour drive from Southern Il. we always wing it. leave about 5P.M. and drive straight thru. My wife starts out and I take over when she is tired and drive the rest of the way thru the night and let her take over in the morning so I can catch a quick nap. we get to the resort around 11a.m. and have never really had a problem with getting our room at that time. But we do take a cooler and stop for a breakfest at a rest area in Fl. and let the girls and us streatch our legs. and then when we do get to the resort we just hang out and go from there. But we do have one little ace in the hole my DW sister lives about the right distance for on the way back to stop for a break coming back so we stop and visit for a evening an then drive the rest of the way back from there. my best advice is if you are driving from the north and have atlanta to go thru try your best to do it at night or however you need to so you can avoid as much traffic as possible. But when we go we can’t wait to get there so I would not be able to rest in a hotel overnight like that anyway. I would rather catch some ZZZZZZZZ’s in the van. and get as far down the road while the kids are asleep. I like what they said above if you think you want to stop call see if rooms are vacant or not if so just wing it cause you might make better or worse time depending on construction and other road conditions.