Friday, March 2, 2012

Weighing the options

We are going on vacation this month.  Well, it's scheduled anyway.  With the constant health of Dan's dad looming overhead- we typically keep our schedules very fluid depending on how many trips to their home we will make a week and how his health is holding up.  Whether or not we will get to actually go on this vacation is still undecided.

But lets say we get to actually go.

We are going to Orlando.

Home of the happiest place on earth, the worlds largest McDonalds and a store with a build your own Mr. Potato Head (my personal favorite).  There is room service, beautiful pools, water slides, breakfast with Mickey.  I am excited to take the kids to experience all of that, at a time when they will actually remember.

But three great big things stand in our way.  Kentucky.  Tennessee.  And Georgia (the state that NEVER ends).

Last time we drove for more than 6-8 hoursish, I declared that I would never, EVER, drive that far again.  If we ever went back to Orlando- we were flying.  And I meant it.

And then last Fall Dan booked this fancy trip for us.  And I reminded him at that time that we were flying.

He didn't respond.

This morning I realized that our trip is less than a month away and OH.MY.GOSH. we better be getting our plans made.

So I did a multi website search for airfare.  $684.  Each.     Thats $3420.  I'm not sure what land you all live in, but in my world that is well over the budget for the entire vacation.

But I swore.

But I am also cheap frugal.

It is 973 miles from my front door to Mickeys.  14.96 hours if we drive 65mph without any stops.  Even at stop signs. 10.24 hours if we drive 95mph.  Still too long.

Perhaps it's been a while since you have traveled for hours on end in the car filled with children.  Let me refresh your memory.

There is whining.  And not just me.  All of us.  Dan is driving- so he tunes everything out so that he can 'focus'.  Which is interesting because when it's my turn to drive- he tunes everything out so that he can sleep.  Total crap man.

Ahem.  Back to the refreshment.

First, they fight over who gets to pick the first movie.  And then there is complaining over what they picked.  Then it's too loud.  Then it's not loud enough.  Then there is complaining about why they can't just use the headphones.  Then no one can find the headphones.  The batteries are dead.  Then I spend 20 minutes with my rear end in the dash trying to find the bag with the batteries in it.  Then they don't want to use them anyway.  Then Dan wants his radio station.  But he can't because they have the movie in without headphones.  Then someone wants a snack.  Then they spill it. Then they decide to color but someone has the only black crayon and clearly their world is melting.  Then someone has to pee.  We are still in Indianapolis.

It's not a fun unicorn balloon party by any means.

Granted.  Things have gotten way easier than traveling with toddlers and babies.  Much easier.  So much so that I am actually considering driving to the sun this month.    973 miles, 21 mpg, 46.3 gallons of gas to get us there.  $185 each way.

How can you argue with that kind of math? Even if you add in a hotel stay half way- we are under $400 to get all of us there.

Last time we drove to Florida, we decided to drive through the night and let the kids sleep.  Which sounded like a great plan.  Dan took the first driving turn.  It was daylight, and we were excited.  I couldn't rest.  Then my turn.  Peachy.  Dan's turn- getting late, kids drift off to sleep. My turn.  Which lasts for the next 8 hours. 

Dan couldn't wake back up.  Occassionally he would pop up with his eyes rolling around in his head and mumble about it being his turn- but seriously?  Who could go to sleep with someone like THAT driving?  He would have dozed off and killed us all.  Long story longer, we arrive at our destination at 9am.  8am their time.  I roll up to the hotel like a woman who just finished a marathon- proud of myself for getting us there! Only problem, check is not until 4pm.  The kids are rested and ready to hit the beach.  I am so tired and crabby I could have died.  And neither Dan or myself made a plan for the next 8 hours of what to do when we can't change clothes, find our swim suits, or rest.

Should we choose that route this time- we need a better plan.  MUCH better.

$370 driving or $3420 flying.  I'm still debating which is the better value.


The Smiling Mommy said...

Every time I read your posts, I'm shaking my head, and saying oh yes me too, yep thats us, totally get it etc etc!! LOL I say drive, and then you can use the extra money you've saved for a mommy day, a spa, a manicure, or just a relaxing cup of coffee!! You'll have fun once you get there, so you'll sacrifice only 2 days of sanity? Right? Whichever you decide, I hope it's a fabulous trip, and you all have a wonderful time, and arrive safely! Smile!!

Anonymous said...

Micken: Check out TravelZoo and also Soutwest Airlines. Think you can probably find better fares for around a total of $2000 which is a lot better than $3400. Good luck.

Mynde said...

Thanks Miss Penny- we'll keep looking but I'm going to vacume out the van just in case : )