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Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

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Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

Hi, I need to plan our road trip from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale. This will be a first for our family--my son is six. We have a week and old like to get there ASAP then travel leisurely back with maybe two overnight stops.

My questions are:

1) What is best route down that's quick/direct. It was suggested that we maybe stop in North Florida since the last leg can be tough since we'll be there but not there.

2) we are thinking of driving overnight to start (i.e. leaving at 8 pm on Friday once our son falls asleep). Both of us will drive and see if we can make it 10 hours...doable?

3) on the way back we'd like to stop in Memphis and see Graceland. Other than that we are open but would like a scenic route with good food and kid-friendly stops. We've heard nice things about Nashville and the children's museum in Indianapolis, but are totally open to what would make for a leisurely ride home.

TIA

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

You should post of the road trips forum

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Libertyville...
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2. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

My only thought is that you might consider timing your drive so you hit Atlanta in the middle of the night, thus avoiding its worst traffic.

Chicago
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3. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

A lot of time in the car for a 6 year old! Why Fort Lauderdale? That is a long way down and not that great IMO

Have you compared the cost of gas, hotels, food etc and just the amount of time it would take to flying? A lot of times it is not that much of a money saver..

B.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

It's 1,300+miles, so there's no way you can drive in 10 hours. More like 20.

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5. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

Thanks--will do!

Chicago
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6. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

We drove to New Mexico with our 4 year old this past Christmas. Money wasn't the issue, we have a dog that we wanted to take, and you need a car anyway once you get there. Boarding the dog and renting a car made the trip the same price as driving. My son slept alot of course, plus we stopped at McDonalds play grounds, which are surprisingly abundant on interstates around the US. We would also play games in the car like "spot the airplane", "spot the white cars", "spot the cows", etc etc. It wasn't bad at all.

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7. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

Thanks--all!

I will a check Roadtrip forum.

I have checked driving vs. flying...flights during spring break are expensive and then having to rent a car once we're down there is an added cost. If the plane fare weren't jacked up flying would be cheaper way to go. But a car is still needed once down there.

We have been offered free accommodation with family in Fort Lauderdale so that's why it is the destination...

And I misspoke we. 10 hours--we were hoping to drive ten hours each day and make it down in 2...and by driving super early mornings (like at 2am) make it easier on the 6 yo!)

Many thanks for the responses so far!

Edited: 2:22 pm, March 17, 2013
Twin Lakes...
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8. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

I'd plan 2 nights down. We used to drive down every year when we had a condo available and wanted to have a car. We're an hour north of Chicago so a little farther than you, but used to shoot for Chattanooga the first night. I remember going thru a cave once the kids really enjoyed. Check out their forum and "things to do." Once hub wanted to push it and we made it past Atlanta, but youngest son got sick from the long driving days, so no point. Unlike your plan to take it a little easier coming home, that's where I'd push it. I really can't imagine being as close to home as Indianapolis and want to stop at a museum.

Have fun. Flying's better, but driving can be fun too. (pssst, don't speed in georgia.)

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9. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

We've driven to Florida a number of times. We typically leave around 4 AM, to beat Chicago rush hour traffic, and get at least an hour south of Atlanta in one day.

I recommend leaving early, especially in Georgia and Florida, We've hit heinous traffic jams when we don't leave very early.

Get plenty of DVDs and your son will be fine.

You'll hit traffic south of Atlanta. Wait it out or stop for dinner.

georgia
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10. Re: Need help planning drive from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale

Stop at Dalton, Georgia, just over the line from chattanooga the first night...if you leave chicago at 2 am, you will miss the big cities morning rush hour with the possible exception of louisville, which will not be that bad in the first place.. it takes about 10 hours to get to dalton, and 10 hours from dalton to fort lauderdale..you will have to leave dalton by 2:30-3:00 a.m. to miss the atlanta traffic, and you should have clear sailing after that. have fun!