Friday, February 25, 2011

Transportation: Our Drive From Indiana to Florida!

Getting ready to leave for Florida!

 Alright, so not everyone wants to drive 2500 miles on vacation with 6 people.  BUT we weighed the options, flying with 4 kids (one being 2 yo), cost, vehicle durability, kid's tolerance to driving, etc  And eventually we were pretty sure we made the correct choice in driving.

Still driving in Indiana

There are a few more things to really consider and breakdown if you are actually considering driving a long ways on vacation.
  1. Vehicle Durability-  We have an older Suburban and didn't know if it would be able to withstand driving through the mountains, and driving 2500 miles, period.  But in the summer we had to replace the engine and fuel pump in our truck, so half of the things we would worry about , were totally replaced!  Before taking your long trip with your vehicle, you might want to take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic, and have them look everything over.  Tell him/ her that you are planning to take a long trip in this vehicle.  Have them check your tires also.  Note- it's also a great idea to keep a small tool box in your vehicle "just in case"...  If you don't have a durable vehicle, consider the cost of renting a vehicle!  With unlimited miles, a vehicle rental might be worth the money!
  2. Gas Money- First, is flying (and a rental vehicle) going to be cheaper than gas money and a tune up?  What I did while planning this trip was figured about 3000 miles (which is a rounded number of miles I knew we would be traveling, knowing this from past years) and I figured the MOST expensive gas prices.  This can be a guess or if you are CLOSE to the time of travel, you can do a search for gas prices and the city you will be traveling through or TO.  So in the end, I had a pretty good  idea of how much money I needed for gas.  I always figure high.  Just in case.  You can figure an approximate number of miles for YOUR trip by going on Map Quest or Google Maps and typing in your total trip.  This will give you pretty close to the number of miles you will travel.  I would take that number and round it up, for all the in between running around!
  3. Kids Tolerance in Driving-  This is a big one!  But one of the best choices we have made in doing major driving with the kids is time of day.  For this trip, we picked the kids up from school and left (3:00pm).  We drove straight through, and arrived exactly 17 hours later.  How did the kids do?  GREAT!  Because MOST of the time, they were sleeping.  What this meant was LESS potty breaks, less food and DRINKS...  And less fights!  When the kids woke up, we were almost to Florida!  Of course they woke up a few times in the car, but quickly fell back asleep.  For the awake times we had plenty of things for them to do, and plenty of snacks.  I will share that stuff with you another day!

A few other small things to mention, We didn't want to worry about 4 kids (especially a 2 yo!) in an airport, plus luggage.  Ugh!  And with as much money as my kids have been saving, we didn't know if we could haul back everything that they wanted to buy!!!  :)

I am not in ANY way opposed to flying.  In fact, I know my kids would love it.  But with the cost of our vacation and the costs of flying, for this trip for what we needed to save, it made more sense for us to drive.  If the costs are lower for you to fly OR if you just can't stomach the thought of driving, you should definitely do what you are the most comfortable with!  It IS vacation after all!

Hopefully, I helped you figure out this very important aspect of your vacation.  If you have ANY questions, feel free to ask!

1 comment:

Mary Garven said...

I also have 4 kids - 2 college 2 high school -so I can relate - when they were litte and we did car trips I would give them their spending money in advance - all in change and then when there was bad behaviour they owed me money!!Worked great!!Love your blog!!