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Old 11-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #21
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I know this is off topic. I apologise but I have to ask "Why would anyone drive from Toronto To Orlando instead of just flying from BUF and be in Orlando in three hours especially in the winter "?
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:45 AM   #22
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I know this is off topic. I apologise but I have to ask "Why would anyone drive from Toronto To Orlando instead of just flying from BUF and be in Orlando in three hours especially in the winter "?
No apology needed !

There are a number reasons people from Canada (and other states) drive to Florida.

(1) Need a car in Florida
(2) Undecided travellers. You can leave Canada anytime, you cancel your trip anytime. Just like last year I chose to drive because it was the first time after over 20 years that I drove long distance (I used to drive over 30 hours, 1 driver long time ago), at that time, I wasn't sure I was still capable to drive long distance without fatique.
(3) Weather condition: Bad weather, I can cancel the trip without penalty
(4) Some people don't like to fly
(5) More economical if you drive especially you have 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 people in a minivan (air tickets from Toronto to Fl is much more expensive than Buffalo. To make it short, everything is expensive in Toronto including air tickets because of the almost most expensive landing fee IN THE WORLD charged by the Toronto International Airport Authority)
(6) It's enjoyable to drive for some people. It's hard to explain as some people simply like the joy of driving across the country ...
(7) Driving gives oneself new experience

I may choose to fly from Buffalo to Florida in the future when it comes the time that driving is too much for me. By that time I will leave my car in snowbird destination in Florida.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:41 AM   #23
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I know this is off topic. I apologise but I have to ask "Why would anyone drive from Toronto To Orlando instead of just flying from BUF and be in Orlando in three hours especially in the winter "?
Haven't you read this thread? http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ild-53177.html
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:50 AM   #24
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One more reason:

People don't like the pat down performed by TSA, that's why they drive ...
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:04 PM   #25
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We have driven to FL from both NY and Chicago for a few years and have friends that drive down yearly as well. Some make no reservations, just drive until they are tired and stop at one of the hundreds of highway side hotels along the way. They’ve always found a hotel with a vacancy, even when needing a dog-friendly facility. We (me) prefer to map out the route and reserve ahead, but our travel and hotel requirements are very specific.

Highways are mostly not lit but still excellent all the way, while road conditions and traffic are unpredictable and will determine the progress you will make.

Most of the roadside motels of the major chains guarantee reservations that can be cancelled with no charge up to 4 or 6 PM on the travel day. One option is to make a couple of reservations at different points along the route, assess your progress in the early afternoon, then choose one and cancel the others then.

We took the Amtrak auto car to Orlando when we moved to Fl. No real complaints, very popular for snowbirds, but we wouldn't do it again unless there were compelling circumstances,
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:12 PM   #26
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It's most likely I will check in a hotel/motel before the Jefferson National Forest, then wake up early to continue our trip to Orlando as I prefer not to drive in the forest at night, it's just not safe !

As mentioned earlier, I made my reservation while I was stopping at a tourist centre last Xmas. The tourist centre was so nice they even let me use their phone to make a reservation phone call.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #27
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I have read that thread and in fact I will be experiencing it tomorrow . If my choice was driving twenty five hours in winter weather or have a pat down I would always pick a pat down but that is just me . I really do not enjoy long distance driving .
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #28
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I have read that thread and in fact I will be experiencing it tomorrow . If my choice was driving twenty five hours in winter weather or have a pat down I would always pick a pat down but that is just me . I really do not enjoy long distance driving .
According to Google Maps, my trip is about 22 hours. Other than that I will have to break it up into 3 sections (2 nights).

Ideally I prefer 8 or 9 hours per day. But I did a 16 hours drive last year (7am to 11pm with breaks in between), but that 16 hours was too much for me.

So on the way back to Canada, I broke it up to 2 nights, 9 hours each day, and it was comfortable for me.

This time, 12 hour is in between.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #29
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I have read that thread and in fact I will be experiencing it tomorrow . If my choice was driving twenty five hours in winter weather or have a pat down I would always pick a pat down but that is just me . I really do not enjoy long distance driving .
I'm with you on flying vs driving.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:20 PM   #30
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Wow, I can't believe how much discussion this topic has stirred up. Being from Ontario, I dismissed it as being silly and I thought it made us Ontarians look like rednecks who have never been anywhere.

I've put less thought in renting a car/truck in a developing country and driving across it.

Travel is supposed to be part adventure. Just let go some and go with it. Oh and here's some good advice...pack a lot less that you plan.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #31
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We find AAA to be extremely useful in situations like these. If CAA is an affiliate with access to the same tools, it might be well worth a membership, especially if this will be a regular peiodic migration.

The most useful tool is the TripTik. Not only helps plan the route but has an excellent inventory of hotels along the route. Also advisories for construction and areas of increased police vigilance. In addition, the guide books give detailed info on hotels that you can take along in the car.
Agreed. See post #3.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:54 PM   #32
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I think Robert Frost said it best:
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:16 AM   #33
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If I were you, when I got almost as far as Beckley, I would make a phone call to try for a room in a beautiful lodge in a beautiful little state park.

Hawks Nest State Park

It's such a pleasant place that it will refresh your soul for the rest of the drive.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:11 PM   #34
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I might be able to drive pass the Jefferson NF if I get there before 4pm. Then check in between Wytheville and Charlotte NC.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #35
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I did drive down to Florida last Xmas but using a different route (from Tennessee). I checked in the hotel before Nashville as it was dark and I didn't plan to climb the mountain from Chattanooga.

Woke up the next morning at 7am, the driving was smooth as it was a beautiful day. Climbing the mountain was OK with me, 60 km/hour speed.

This time, I am using the Buffalo route so it's brand new to me. I might stop before the Jefferson Forest if it's dark unless I get more info/experience from people who drive through the forest at night.

Climbinga the mountain from C'nooga?
are you referring to the uphill drive from downtown to get back onto I 75 South?
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #36
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LuvSouth:

I've always found the travel info site "TripAdvisor" to be most useful. I tend to be anal in my trip planning and lay out routes in advance. As I know my night stopover destinations I can read the reviews of motels for each area. Very handy and I've found the reviews to be accurate.

Best of luck,

Rich
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:51 AM   #37
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Climbinga the mountain from C'nooga?
are you referring to the uphill drive from downtown to get back onto I 75 South?
Well, I remember I left Nashville TN, to Chattanooga (in a valley surround by mountain), then up the hill very slowly in about 60 km/hour, then down hill, then Atlanta GA, then Florida
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:06 AM   #38
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LuvSouth:

I've always found the travel info site "TripAdvisor" to be most useful. I tend to be anal in my trip planning and lay out routes in advance. As I know my night stopover destinations I can read the reviews of motels for each area. Very handy and I've found the reviews to be accurate.

Best of luck,

Rich
Thank you !

I did read the review from Google Maps. There are lots of hotels/motels after typing in "hotels/motels near Beckley" or other towns.

I haven't tried TripAdvisor for this route yet but did read some reviews for hotels/motels in Florida from TripAdvisor.

LS
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:49 AM   #39
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LuvSouth, I went from Brampton to Orlando earlier this year and went down the center, although it was a faster route I got lost and spend another 6 hrs getting my sense of direction. Keep in mind I took 20 minutes to plan my trip and left without packing anything including directions..........Long story but there's a thread on this forum somewhere.

Let me know how you make out on your return including hotel etc, since I won't be driving straight through next time. I can claim stupidity only once and I'm too old to be that spontaneous again

Good luck on your trip.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:33 AM   #40
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LuvSouth, I went from Brampton to Orlando earlier this year and went down the center, although it was a faster route I got lost and spend another 6 hrs getting my sense of direction. Keep in mind I took 20 minutes to plan my trip and left without packing anything including directions..........Long story but there's a thread on this forum somewhere.

Let me know how you make out on your return including hotel etc, since I won't be driving straight through next time. I can claim stupidity only once and I'm too old to be that spontaneous again

Good luck on your trip.
.
Thank you !

This route (via Buffalo/Erie instead of Windsor/Detroit) is not "straight forward" as seen from Google Maps. Though I have a GPS with me, but I will spend time printing out the route, pay attention to areas where my route will change from Ixx to Iyy (not straight forward).

From my personal experience, I know that sometimes I will forget to look at road signs while driving, hence missing out exit ramps easily.

Even when I came back from Florida last year, I simply missed the ramp where people cross the bridge to Canada. BTW, that road sign was so close to the ramp that I wasn't the only person missing the ramp !

Road signs in the US are not as clearly marked as Canada's, plus some road signs are so close to the ramps in such if not pay attention, one can easily miss the exits.
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