Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Mar 7, 2009
    Kimberly from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Hello, Kimberly. My name is also Kim and I to am a stay at home mom from PA. My question is: how do you feel about flying verses driving to Disney? Do you save money? We have flown the past two years but thought about driving this year with our 3 yr. old

    Well, it sounds like we have a lot in common!

    I can share my experience with flying vs. driving, but your savings will depend on whether you shop for airfare sales, rent a car and how many nights you'll need on the road. Let me share my most recent experiences.

    I like flying out of Baltimore better than Philly. It gives us more options than flying out of Harrisburg but it's not as chaotic as Philadelphia. I prefer Southwest and watch sales using their Ding service. In December, I paid $129 for a round-trip fare. With taxes for two people, the total was $258.

    When driving, we try to save on expenses and vacation times by breaking it up into 2 days of driving but leaving at 3 p.m. on departure day. My husband works a half day while I load up the van. We pick up my son at school just before heading on the road. On on our last drive we stopped in Wilson, NC around 9:15 p.m. A hotel offering a free continental breakfast saves money and time. We departed at 9:00 a.m. and arrived Orlando at 5:20 p.m. It takes us about 16 hours total. We've used many other scenarios so just let me know if I can help further.

    Our last driving expenses were:
    Hotel on way down - free using points (I usually transfer American Express Rewards)
    Hotel on way home - $77
    Gas $275
    Food $86

    I'll note that when our son was younger that I found it easier to drive. He was used to six-hour car rides to visit family, we could load up the van with his stroller, snacks, bottled water, etc. and having our own car on WDW property was extremely convenient.

    Just do some math and see how it works for you. Also figure in any extra time off from work. My husband is self-employed so when he does not work, he does not get paid.

    Happy travels!
thumbnail image for Kimberly

Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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