For the holidays this year we are taking an unexpected and not-budgeted-for trip to Florida. Sadly this is due to a death in the family, but we will try to make the most of our time there by spending time with family in the warm sun and will definitely make a few trips to the beach.
But flying to Florida is not as affordable as it used to be, and certainly not now during the Holiday season. Even our tried and true way to save (flying Southwest out of Buffalo) actually costs more than flying from Toronto for once. Airfares are getting out of control, and I often wish we had more of a system like in Europe or the UK, where budget airlines seem to be the rule rather than the exception, and escaping to somewhere warm usually means a cut price flight to Malaga or Tennerife barely cost more than a fancy meal out.
I am no stranger to traveling on a budget, but I have avoided road tripsI fear road trips not because my kids are restless in the car, but because I am. The 20+ hours we will spend on the road fills me with a lot of nervousness, but we are going to face this challenge the same way we did flying with a newborn or our first time traveling with a toddler – we’re going to make like a boy scout and be prepared.
I have tips from friends who have done this drive several times and actually prefer it to flying. I am part of an amazing family travel community who have showered me with advice which I’ll also share with you.
We figure at this time of year, with this amount of notice, flights for four people to Florida plus a rental car for just over a week would cost between $3500 – $4000. We anticipate that including gas, food, and lodging the road trips should cost less than $500 each way. That’s roughly a quarter the overall cost, and then we would also have the comfort of our own car and car seats to get around while we’re there.
Please share any road trip tips you may have, and if you’ve done the drive and can make any suggestions, even better! I’ll fill you in on our progress, and will most certainly share all we’ve learned along the way.
Many thanks to CheapFlights.co.uk for inspiring this post.