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Recommendations for Road trip from Toronto to Tampa, Florida with small kids !

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  • Jul 22nd, 2019 11:35 am
[OP]
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Nov 9, 2015
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Recommendations for Road trip from Toronto to Tampa, Florida with small kids !

Recommendations for Road trip from Toronto to Tampa, Florida with small kids ! Best route, sight seeing, where to halt at night, precautions etc.........
Be positive & stay blessed :)
14 replies
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2018
152 posts
144 upvotes
I did something similar from Montreal. We left at bed time for the kids and our first stop was Washington DC. We spent two days there, left at night again and spent 3 days at Myrtle Beach. Then two days around Charlston. After that we went to Orlando for 3 days. 4 days in Key West. 1 Day in Miami. Then on the way back I drove Miami to Virginia Beach during the night. My wife spent the day with the kids while I rested and then Virginia to Montreal. It's a lot of driving, plan for a couple of days of rest after you come back and be flexible as much as you can with your plans. I prefer to drive at night, I feel it minimizes the impact on the kids even if they don't get a proper night's sleep it's better than having them awake in the car during the day, for their own sake.

I'm not sure if I would do it again. It was a great experience but I call it once in a lifetime lol.

The following year we flew to Las Vegas and rented a car there and we travelled to the Grand Canyon, LA, San Diego and SF then back. It was a much better trip. Good luck!
[OP]
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Nov 9, 2015
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FrozenFinger wrote: I did something similar from Montreal. We left at bed time for the kids and our first stop was Washington DC. We spent two days there, left at night again and spent 3 days at Myrtle Beach. Then two days around Charlston. After that we went to Orlando for 3 days. 4 days in Key West. 1 Day in Miami. Then on the way back I drove Miami to Virginia Beach during the night. My wife spent the day with the kids while I rested and then Virginia to Montreal. It's a lot of driving, plan for a couple of days of rest after you come back and be flexible as much as you can with your plans. I prefer to drive at night, I feel it minimizes the impact on the kids even if they don't get a proper night's sleep it's better than having them awake in the car during the day, for their own sake.

I'm not sure if I would do it again. It was a great experience but I call it once in a lifetime lol.

The following year we flew to Las Vegas and rented a car there and we travelled to the Grand Canyon, LA, San Diego and SF then back. It was a much better trip. Good luck!
Thanks buddy for the detailed explanation !
Be positive & stay blessed :)
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2018
152 posts
144 upvotes
No worries. Let me know if you want more specifics. Off the top of my head, Maryland was a big no no at night - it was downright scary at times. Southern hospitality is a thing. I loved South Carolina. The Everglades are cool just not the gator burgers - I still have the stench of burnt lizard on the tip of my tongue.
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
10101 posts
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GTA, ON
You can either go I-75 straight down to Tampa or go I-77 route which involves freeway interchanges.


I-75 is through Detroit & straight down until Tampa but the traffic tends to be heavier, boring, and hotels pricier.

I-77 route is through Buffalo via I-90 to I-79 to Hwy19 to I-77 to I-26 to I-95 to I-4. Obviously interchanges but route is scenic and drive is easy. I did this route, stopped in Rock Hill, SC on way down. Nice built up town/city. I wouldn't stop anywhere else, Charlotte is just north but if course $$$ because city, but anything between there and Rock Hill is sketchy.

I can't give you advice for coming back up since your timetable would be different then mine (I went to Orlando), so it's hard to estimate your driving time.


When are you planning on going as this will determine which route is best?
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Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
I replied in your other topic on Flying vs Driving
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/best-che ... 9-2299918/

But happy to further discuss the road trip if you post any Questions for me here

FIRST QUESTION I have for you though is how much time do you have for this adventure

Cuz one could easily stop dozens of places along the way

A two week trip would look vastly different than one where you have 3 or 4 weeks

Like the great example given by @FrozenFinger above
Love me all those stops he made on that road trip

But taking on too much
Can also account for the WHY on how come he might not consider doing it again

Road trips are the sort of thing you got to plan out well

And go with the attitude, this trip we hit X, Y, Z
Next trip... we’ll stop other places

Like I said in the other thread of yours
We’ve been doing this for over 40 years
And we still go back
Cuz we just cannot see it / do it all
Visit favourites and add in new spots every trip
Always more to see
In that 2000+ Kms stretch from Ontario to Florida
No matter which route you take
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Aug 5, 2008
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Night 1 - Lexington KY
Night 2 - Valdosta, GA
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Nov 28, 2013
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Quebec
FrozenFinger wrote: I did something similar from Montreal. We left at bed time for the kids and our first stop was Washington DC. We spent two days there, left at night again and spent 3 days at Myrtle Beach. Then two days around Charlston. After that we went to Orlando for 3 days. 4 days in Key West. 1 Day in Miami. Then on the way back I drove Miami to Virginia Beach during the night. My wife spent the day with the kids while I rested and then Virginia to Montreal. It's a lot of driving, plan for a couple of days of rest after you come back and be flexible as much as you can with your plans. I prefer to drive at night, I feel it minimizes the impact on the kids even if they don't get a proper night's sleep it's better than having them awake in the car during the day, for their own sake.

I'm not sure if I would do it again. It was a great experience but I call it once in a lifetime lol.

The following year we flew to Las Vegas and rented a car there and we travelled to the Grand Canyon, LA, San Diego and SF then back. It was a much better trip. Good luck!


I’m curious how much did everything cost?

Activities
Food
Hotels
Gas
Etc
[OP]
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Nov 9, 2015
369 posts
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PointsHubby wrote: I replied in your other topic on Flying vs Driving
best-cheapest-option-travel-toronto-tam ... 9-2299918/

But happy to further discuss the road trip if you post any Questions for me here

FIRST QUESTION I have for you though is how much time do you have for this adventure

Cuz one could easily stop dozens of places along the way

A two week trip would look vastly different than one where you have 3 or 4 weeks

Like the great example given by @FrozenFinger above
Love me all those stops he made on that road trip

But taking on too much
Can also account for the WHY on how come he might not consider doing it again

Road trips are the sort of thing you got to plan out well

And go with the attitude, this trip we hit X, Y, Z
Next trip... we’ll stop other places

Like I said in the other thread of yours
We’ve been doing this for over 40 years
And we still go back
Cuz we just cannot see it / do it all
Visit favourites and add in new spots every trip
Always more to see
In that 2000+ Kms stretch from Ontario to Florida
No matter which route you take
We don't have much time, one week to 10 days, mainly going to meet my grandfather's bro who is sick and then thought of going for a 2-3 day cruise and some main attractions near Tampa, not planing for much because of time limit and 3 small kids !
Be positive & stay blessed :)
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
10101 posts
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GTA, ON
sh8wh4sg wrote: We don't have much time, one week to 10 days, mainly going to meet my grandfather's bro who is sick and then thought of going for a 2-3 day cruise and some main attractions near Tampa, not planing for much because of time limit and 3 small kids !
If you're only going for 7-10 days then you may want to consider flying, again only because of the age of your younger two children. Also you just said you are hoping to do a short 2-3 day cruise, so unless you're planning to do this mid-to-end of your stay then you'll be cutting it short. You also haven't told us yet what time of year you're planning to do this trip.

If driving is still your thing then consider the I-77 route is easy. I did this and everything went fine. You can do the overnight driving as someone else suggested but if you're going to do day driving, best to leave Toronto early. I left at 4:30am and was across the border by 6am @ the Peace Bridge. Drive straight and into Grove City, PA by 830/9am, get gas, bathroom and breakfast/coffee @ McDonald's and off again. Summersville, WV by 1230/1pm... gas up again & lunch/pee. Through the mountains and depending on traffic, into Rock Hill, SC by 6-7pm. Sit down dinner and hotel and bed. As I mentioned, Rock Hill is built up, so there's plenty of restaurants and hotels, shopping mall, Walmart. Next day, up at 7am and on the road by 8am. Stopped somewhere in GA for gas (12pm) and Orlando by 4pm. For you, gas up again, Tampa by 8pm?

If all goes well with the kids, stop every 4hrs for stretching and pee. Might as well top up the tank as these times like I did. Limit the amount of water/juice for the kids to avoid unnecessary stops.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
[OP]
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Nov 9, 2015
369 posts
36 upvotes
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chimaican wrote: If you're only going for 7-10 days then you may want to consider flying, again only because of the age of your younger two children. Also you just said you are hoping to do a short 2-3 day cruise, so unless you're planning to do this mid-to-end of your stay then you'll be cutting it short. You also haven't told us yet what time of year you're planning to do this trip.

If driving is still your thing then consider the I-77 route is easy. I did this and everything went fine. You can do the overnight driving as someone else suggested but if you're going to do day driving, best to leave Toronto early. I left at 4:30am and was across the border by 6am @ the Peace Bridge. Drive straight and into Grove City, PA by 830/9am, get gas, bathroom and breakfast/coffee @ McDonald's and off again. Summersville, WV by 1230/1pm... gas up again & lunch/pee. Through the mountains and depending on traffic, into Rock Hill, SC by 6-7pm. Sit down dinner and hotel and bed. As I mentioned, Rock Hill is built up, so there's plenty of restaurants and hotels, shopping mall, Walmart. Next day, up at 7am and on the road by 8am. Stopped somewhere in GA for gas (12pm) and Orlando by 4pm. For you, gas up again, Tampa by 8pm?

If all goes well with the kids, stop every 4hrs for stretching and pee. Might as well top up the tank as these times like I did. Limit the amount of water/juice for the kids to avoid unnecessary stops.
Thanks a lot mate..... We are planing to do this either in Sept/Oct/Nov 2019.
Be positive & stay blessed :)
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
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sh8wh4sg wrote: Thanks a lot mate..... We are planing to do this either in Sept/Oct/Nov 2019.
That's when I went. Late September.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
[OP]
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Nov 9, 2015
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I can see round trip (YYZ to Tampa) direct flight for $370 range per person !
Be positive & stay blessed :)
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Jul 4, 2004
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Ottawa
sh8wh4sg wrote: I can see round trip (YYZ to Tampa) direct flight for $370 range per person !
I would be surprised if you can't fly from Niagara or Rochester for 1/3 of that but make sure you factor in the full cost (luggage, seat selection, parking, rental car, etc)
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michelb wrote: I would be surprised if you can't fly from Niagara or Rochester for 1/3 of that but make sure you factor in the full cost (luggage, seat selection, parking, rental car, etc)
Any idea how much will be parking at the airport for a week time ? Which are the close US airport for us (whitby,ON) ?
Be positive & stay blessed :)

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