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planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Maine
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planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

We a family of four that is planning a surprise trip to Florida sometime this year. We know that it will take roughly 2 days to travel. What we would like to know is a safe and clean place to stay along the way and if anybody has traveled this route, any suggestions. Thank you for your time.

Maitland, FL
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1. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

I go back and forth a lot Boston-Orlando. Is there a reason you want to drive? It is a long boring trip unless you plan to take time to see things. When you add up hotel costs, gas costs, food costs, and stress you need to think if this is the right thing to do. Just my thoughts...

Central Maine
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2. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Maine to Florida in two days is going to be two very long days.....you're talking at least nine hours of actual driviing each day....not counting pit stops, food stops, gas stops, or allowing for any construction or crash-related slow-downs.....and that's just from Portland, ME, to Jacksonville, FL, near the FL-GA border. If you're going to Orlando, Miami or Tampa, you'll need to add additional driving time.

And, as already noted, if you're on that kind of schedule, you're not going to have time to see anything along the way....except, of course, the traffic congestion in Hartford, CT; around New York City, NY; on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike; and around Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC. Then, once you're south of Richmond, VA, there's not really much except miles-and-miles of miles-and-miles....especially with the emphasis you're placing on "getting there."

Having done this trip a half-dozen or so times, I can tell you that no matter how well the family gets along when you leave Maine, by the time you drive to FL in just two days, someone or something will likely happen that will carry over into unhappiness during at least your first couple of days in Florida....and maybe longer.

Would strongly urge you consider adding at least a third travel day or look into flying....much easier on everyone's nerves....especially the driver's!

Maitland, FL
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3. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

When I go to our Southern Maine place I always fly Orlando-Boston and get great rates. I use Delta.

Portland, Maine
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4. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Not sure how far East you are in Maine, but yes, it will certainly be at least 3 day drive, especially since you have 4 people that will need pit stops throughout the trip. if you can swing it, I would suggest flying. I found better rates flying to Florida from Boston, as compared to leaving from Portland. There are lots of places in Boston that can include parking that is cheaper than parking at the airport.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

I drove Bar Harbor to Morehead City, North Carolina once and will never do it again. Too many major cities to go through or around: Boston, New York, Washington D.C. Yuck.

Maine
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6. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

I have driven from downeast Maine to Orlando, FL several times. I enjoyed it but then again I love road trips and actually enjoy driving and seeing different things. This was also before kids I have not driven there since I had a child which would change things a bit. I did it a couple times in 2 days but prefered a 3 day trip with some stops along the way to see some other interesting things like waterfalls, caves, etc. Is there a specific reason why you want to drive. With airfare prices now it may not be cheaper once you factor in gas and lodging.

When I did it I always did two different routes down and back just to break things up a little. One way I would normally do almost all I-95 then the other go inland via I-81 and others, the inland route may take a little bit longer but there is less traffic and it is a less stressful drive. There are all kinds of interesting quick stops to be made but since I have no idea what you like I cant really suggest. As far as safe places to spend the night I would suggest picking a city in the middle and checking hotel reviews in that area. Inland we often stayed in Virginia along I-81 somewhere and along I-95 we would stay around the Richmond area.

It is a lot of driving, if you dont mind driving it is alright but if you dont it will seem like forever. It is a very long time for a kid to be in a car but several people I know do it all the time. Any specific questions ask.

Maine
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7. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Thank you and others for their experienced knowledge. We as a family are looking to see things on the east coast, so that is why we may drive. But, than again, we may just fly, so we have more time in Florida.

Central Maine
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8. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Not sure what you want to "see" on the East Coast, but if you're going from Maine to Florida in two days, you're going to be limited to what you can see through the windshield or out the side windows......to me nowhere near as much fun as getting out of the car once in a while and seeing things up close.

And even at that, you're not really going to see much true scenery.....unless the heavily-developed suburbs or Hartford, CT, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC appeal to you. You don't really get that close to any of the "attractions" you've read about. Nor to you really see the Atlantic Ocean from I-95 because you're too far inland from the coast. The best analogy I can thing of once you get south of Richmond, VA is to compare it to I-95 between Bangor and Houlton.....lots of undeveloped, uninteresting roadside that just goes on-and-on-and-on, broken up every so often by an interchange with the usual collection of gas stations, fast food outlets and motels. Not what I'd call a "scenic" drive by any stretch of the imagination.

Maitland, FL
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9. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

Unless you stop and explore for a couple days in certain areas off of I95, it is truly a long and boring drive. Two days would be pretty much all driving, all day and a few hours crash at night. Not a relaxing start to any vacation!

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: planning a trip from Eastern Maine to Orlando Florida

I've driven from Bangor to Orlando 3 times. Like others have said it can be done in two days. We would leave around 3 or 4 in the morning, stop in Virginia quite late (any hotel off the interstate), and then leave again around 5 the next morning. If you did the trip in 2 days that would leave you absolutely no time to see anything but billboards and truck stops.

My husband, daughter and I have also meandered down the east coast stopping many times over the coarse of a couple of weeks (round trip ending up in New Orleans) and still hardly saw anything (didn't even make it into DC).