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Trip Orlando To Washington By Car - Tips Needed  
User currently offlineLanas From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 978 posts, RR: 13
Posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7962 times:

Hi guys

I was wondering if you could help me out on this.
Next year (approx March) I´m planning a trip to the US. Basically it´s going to be a visit to Orlando and then northbound to the Washington DC and NY areas.
Since I´ll have the time and also love driving and travelling by car, I had the idea of renting one and drive the Orlando-Washington leg instead of flying. I also believe it might be cheaper (I´ll be travelling with my girlfriend), but this is not the main reason why this came up.
So, the questions that come up to my mind are:
1) Is it, in your opinion, too long to drive? I´m not planning to stop that much. I understand the total trip should be around 800 miles.
2) What could be the total costs involved? I´m familiar with the car-rental costs, but not with the fuel ones.

I´d be glad if you could give me your feedback on this.  thumbsup 

Thanks in advance

Cheers  Smile
Lanas.-


"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4799 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7946 times:

Hi there,

Sounds like a great trip. There's no point visiting the USA and renting a small car, so go as huge as you can. Try to get a Chrysler 300C or a Mercury Grand Marquis etc. Then you'll really feel like you're in America. It isn't the same driving a Toyota Corolla or other small car  Smile

Orlando - Washington - NYC is almost 1100 miles however. If you do it over three days / two nights it shouldn't be too bad, but that is still some serious miles. Remember to factor in enough time for construction and rush hour traffic.

If you are staying in Washington DC over the weekend, I find it is better to stay in a suburban area such as Reston VA. You can park your car at a Metro station and take the train into the city and it is a much less stressful experience.

Fuel costs are ridiculously low, at least compared to what I am used to. You'll probably use about $150-180 in fuel in a large car and about $120-150 in a smaller one.

However, the drop charge from MCO-NYC will be quite expensive. With Hertz it is $300 but could be less at other companies.


User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7941 times:



Quoting Lanas (Thread starter):
Is it, in your opinion, too long to drive? I´m not planning to stop that much. I understand the total trip should be around 800 miles.

Purely from a driving perspective, you could cover 400 miles easily in a day, with numerous stops for food, drinks, fuel...

I personally think you've got a great idea! Drive around 400 miles one day, find a nice and cheap hotel, do another 400 or so miles the next day. You can always stop off at places of interest along the way too!

Good Luck!  Big grin



Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2528 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7935 times:



Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):

Orlando - Washington - NYC is almost 1100 miles however. If you do it over three days / two nights it shouldn't be too bad, but that is still some serious miles. Remember to factor in enough time for construction and rush hour traffic.

3 days?? Good lord, why so long?? I've done Florida to NJ in one day many times. It's long but it's not painful.

If you like to drive then go for it... There's not much to see once you get past Jacksonville though, so I'd prefer to fly and spend the extra time in DC where there's actually stuff to do. Amtrak also has the 'auto-train' that runs from the Orlando area to somewhere in Virginia if I remember right. You can rent a car, drive it on the train, and sit back and enjoy the ride from the train.


User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4799 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7932 times:



Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 3):
3 days?? Good lord, why so long?? I've done Florida to NJ in one day many times. It's long but it's not painful.

Because the journey is part of the holiday. Why rush it and keep eating at McDonalds three times a day?


User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7252 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7909 times:

Well really if you stay on the highways there is not much to see. Florida is pretty boring maybe stop in Saint Augstine and spend a night in Charleston South Carolina? I am not saying the State is boring I think Florida is the best state in the country but the drive is nothing special and the drive in Georgia, South Carolina, North Caroline or Virginia wont be amazing either. But it will show you some real American places. Washington DC is great and you will have alot of fun there, NYC of course is a great place also. Fly out of DCA its just about the best airport in the US. Orlando is alright as long as you like the theme parks and all.

If you get a big car which I reccomend getting a huge SUV because its just alot more fun for someone coming from Europe you will spend around $65 a tank 250miles a tank so 800/250=$224 for fuel. But really it might cost you $90 a tank or $50 a tank right now its impossible to predict what the gas prices will be like.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):
Sounds like a great trip. There's no point visiting the USA and renting a small car, so go as huge as you can. Try to get a Chrysler 300C or a Mercury Grand Marquis etc. Then

This is very true, and if you want to really be American either get a Ford Mustang or a big SUV!



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3148 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7852 times:

Hola Tocayo!

Just make sure if you do this trip, do it after March 11th (your 25th birthday), as you'll have to pay an underage fee of 25 bucks/day for being under 25 and renting. If you rent something like a Mini van or bigger, it'll be 35 dollars/day (tax not incl.)

Nice trip!

Saludos,
Gaston.



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
User currently offlineAjd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 7843 times:



Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 5):

If you get a big car which I reccomend getting a huge SUV because its just alot more fun for someone coming from Europe you will spend around $65 a tank 250miles a tank so 800/250=$224 for fuel. But really it might cost you $90 a tank or $50 a tank right now its impossible to predict what the gas prices will be like.

Last time I checked, Argentina wasn't in Europe  Wink

I don't really have any new advice, but definitely go for the bigger car if you can afford it. You'll want the extra room on a long trip. I went to Arizona a few years back, travelling to all the storage sites like Kingman etc, and going down to Tucson. The SUV we had for those 1500 miles in about 5 days was so much more worth it than a smaller car.


User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7807 times:



Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 3):
Amtrak also has the 'auto-train' that runs

That is some good advice, its not horribly expensive accomodations wise, the real cost is shipping the car. thats another, iirc 500 bucks.



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3596 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7797 times:

Orlando to Washington DC is about 13 hours driving non-stop at 70 mph (except for gas/pee/fast food...) The route is all interstate (I-4 East to I-95 North)

Gasoline will cost about USD$100 (800 miles/20 miles per gallonX$2.50/gallon).

Car rental companies will usually charge extra for a 1 way rental.


User currently offlineLanas From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 978 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7728 times:

Hi guys

Thanks for your replies!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 6):
Just make sure if you do this trip, do it after March 11th (your 25th birthday), as you'll have to pay an underage fee of 25 bucks/day for being under 25 and renting. If you rent something like a Mini van or bigger, it'll be 35 dollars/day (tax not incl.)

Yes, I already took that into account.  Wink
Thanks for the tip!

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 3):
I'd prefer to fly and spend the extra time in DC where there's actually stuff to do.

That´s true as well. Í´m comparing time+costs so as to make a final decision, but having 1 more day in any city would be great.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):
However, the drop charge from MCO-NYC will be quite expensive.

Interesting that you mention it. I didn´t found it so expensive in the car-rental sites I´ve been visiting. I´ll keep that in mind. Thanks

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 4):
Because the journey is part of the holiday.

Exactly!  Wink

Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 5):
its just alot more fun for someone coming from Europe

 Wow!

The plan is to do it non-stop, since both of us can drive. I´m planning on a small car instead of going for SUV. Luckily I already lived the american big-car-experience some years ago  Smile

So, to sum up, I should be calculating a minimum of US$ 100 for the fuel and then the car rental costs. Interesting.
Also, another question: will a diesel car make a difference, regarding the fuel prices?

Cheers and nice weekend to all!  thumbsup 

Gastón.-



"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1600 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7718 times:



Quoting Lanas (Reply 10):
Also, another question: will a diesel car make a difference, regarding the fuel prices?

At least in Florida, diesel is way more expensive. Gas in Orlando, when i drove through yesterday was somewhere around $2.40/gal. Diesel, was in the range of $3.20/gal or more, can't quiet remember. I didn't know places even rented diesel cars in the states?

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineFutureSDPDcop From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1293 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7711 times:

Try renting a car from off the airport property. Rental car companies usually have lower rates. I know most rental car companies have airport taxes they charge when you rent from a airport location.

Also, if you are doing the driving on a weekend, look at renting from an Enterprise Rent a car location. They usually do half rates on the weekends, just FYI. Oh and they will pick you up.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2556 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7704 times:



Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 4):

Because the journey is part of the holiday. Why rush it and keep eating at McDonalds three times a day?

If you're planning to drive 24/7, a one day jaunt is not unreasonable. For a single driver, 800 miles is about the max. Longest drive I've made was Dallas, Texas to Chattanooga, Tennessee in one day. Tucson to LA isn't any big deal. Two stops to use the bathroom and get a quick bite-thirty minutes max. Leaving Tucson, the first stop would usually be Blythe, California. I'd get the coach up to 70 and set the cruise control-scenery wasn't a consideration since many of the runs were overnight.

If you want to see the real sights, take the US highway-a little slower but much more interesting scenery.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineJ_Hallgren From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7700 times:

I live near Tampa in the winter and Cape Cod in summer so drive some of this route twice a yr...my tips are more specific:
1) buy gas at truck stops - Pilot or Flying J - usually cheapest that you can find
2) goint north, i fill up in Tampa, then just over the border in GA (exit 3 or 6) as price drops due to lower state taxes...also buy on occasion at exit 87 in GA..however, as i go thru Charlotte NC to see friends, i don't know any places in SC or NC along I-95...but in VA, there are truck stops at Ashland that have good pricing..if you're going to NYC, buy gas in NJ just after Delaware Bridge or in Bordentown...never buy gas in NYC if at all possible..too pricey.
3) take time and look for scenic things along the way...
4) Wash DC traffic can be really heavy and the streets can be confusing with the one-way and others blocked due to security and such...i try and get there during middle of day or after normal business hrs



COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7323 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7698 times:
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User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5520 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7670 times:

I did a drive very similar this past August: Charlottesville, VA to Orlando, FL. I pretty much took I-95 the entire way, and you'll likely take the same highway. It's a pretty flat trip the entire way, but the tobacco fields of North Carolina were pretty cool to see. We did it in one day; we left around 10am and arrived around 11pm. It's totally doable in one day with a few people. With one person, it would be advised to leave pretty early.

User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8690 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7573 times:

http://www.pilottravelcenters.com/Lo...erview_Map.aspx?leftTemplate=false

http://www.petrotruckstops.com/location_search.sstg

http://www.tatravelcenters.com/Content/LocationSearch.aspx?page_id=568

http://www.loves.com/Default.aspx?tabid=60

Hope this helps. I stop at all four of these whenever I go places. The food inside these places usually cheaper and better.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7548 times:

I just did Charlottesville, VA to Jacksonville, FL and back over the weekend. Each way was roughly 10 hours on I-95... which is pretty damn boring. There really isn't a major city between Richmond and Jacksonville. You just skirt west of Savannah. So you will want to get off the highway.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 13):
If you want to see the real sights, take the US highway-a little slower but much more interesting scenery.

I like this idea and maybe take 2-3 days to do Florida to DC. I think Savannah or Charleston would be a good stop. Then maybe up to Wilmington to see the USS North Carolina. And being an aviation enthusiast you need to go to Kitty Hawk.

Here is a possible idea... http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sadd...27&spn=12.896483,19.775391&t=h&z=6

This way you'll get to see more.




As for the car get whatever fits your budget. I would generally prefer a mid size or better. Generally will be a better highway ride and quieter versus a compact.

Quoting FutureSDPDcop (Reply 12):
Try renting a car from off the airport property.

An off-airport Enterprise or Hertz neighborhood location may have significant restrictions on daily mileage and become very expensive for a one-way. Picking up at MCO and doing a one-way may work in your favor and will likely be more convenient.



And bring along a GPS with an up-to-date database and a good road atlas of the east coast.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1658 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7543 times:
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Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):
However, the drop charge from MCO-NYC will be quite expensive. With Hertz it is $300 but could be less at other companies.

At the time of the year you will be doing this trip, one thing you might want to look into is the seasonal specials the car rental agencies have to move some of their fleet south in the fall and north in the spring.

Hertz is one of these car rental companies that shifts part of their fleet from south to north in the spring. They don’t usually advertise it, but if you call them they might have this special available. These specials work out really good for the company because instead of paying to ship their cars, they make some money and get their cars to where they are needed.

Usually they give you ten days from pickup to turn the car in at selected cities and no drop off charges or mileage fees added and usually is a flat rate depending on the car size.

Some other larger car rental companies also do this like Avis and National.


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