My family and I recently drove all the way from New York to Florida for the second time in my life. Our main reason for taking this trip is so that my younger brother and cousin are able to experience things like Disney Land and Sea World during their childhood, but the adults on the trip are appreciative of this vacation as an opportunity to escape from work and enjoy a nice resort with family. My family chose to drive down because it is cheaper, but we also believe in the value of experiencing a long road trip, especially in the summer weather. Through the full bladders and cramped legs, we were able to make it to our destination and enjoy ourselves during the ride.
There is not that much that I remember about my family’s first road trip to Florida since I was ten years old at the time, but I remember a few blatant differences between my first and most recent drives. First was how much less room there was in the car this time. Last time we took two cars, but this time we shoved seven people and their luggage into an eight-seat car. The most amazing thing is that my mom was able to maneuver and situate so many people and so many belongings without compromising anyone’s comfort. Even with enough leg room, it was difficult to stay comfortable and restful for nearly a full 24 hour drive. Towards the end everyone, myself included, began to become restless and agitated, but thankfully we were able to contain ourselves for the rest of the ride.
The second difference between the two that I saw was how much more of the drive I payed attention to and enjoyed as opposed to the first trip. At ten years old, I was not very capable of focusing my attention on what was right in front of me. I had the bad habit of looking forward to the exciting things of the future while disregarding the situation at hand. Now that I am older and more mature, I can be attentive toward what is going on directly in front me, such as what routes we take to get you to Florida, and how much money gets spent on gas.
The third and biggest difference between the first trip and this trip is my turn driving. Obviously, I did not get this opportunity ten years ago. We split the driving between the five licensed drivers, each having a shift of three hours. I had the fourth shift, which caused me to be driving through Virginia and North Carolina. Throughout the trip, but especially while I was driving, I noticed how much cheaper gas is in every state. Only a few places in Virginia had gas pricing similar to New York’s. I also enjoyed the scenery and conversations while I was driving.
If you have the option between driving and flying, then I would suggest driving. When in a large enough group, driving is much more cost efficient, and it is definitely more fun. It may be stressful or uncomfortable at times, but the overall outcome of a road trip is a good time.