From Snow to Sun: A 10-Day Family Road Trip Adventure from New Jersey to Florida and Back

I’m excited to share the details of our recent family road trip from New Jersey to Florida and back. We embarked on a 10-day journey filled with fun, exploration, and unforgettable memories. Here’s a rundown of our adventure:

Day 1: December 21st: New Jersey to Washington, D.C.

Drive to Washington, D.C. (7 hours)
Hotel: The Baron Hotel, near Dupont Circle.
Estimated cost: $120 per night.
Explore: National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museums.

Day 2: December 22nd: Washington, D.C., to Raleigh, North Carolina

Drive to Raleigh, NC (7 hours)
Hotel: Aloft Raleigh.
Estimated cost: $100 per night.
Explore: William B. Umstead State Park, North Carolina Museum of Art.

Day 3: December 23rd: Raleigh, North Carolina, to Savannah, Georgia

Drive to Savannah, GA (7 hours)
Hotel: Thunderbird Inn.
Estimated cost: $90 per night.
Explore: Historic District, Forsyth Park, River Street.

Day 4: December 24th: Savannah, Georgia, to Orlando, Florida

Drive to Orlando, FL (7 hours)
Hotel: Avanti International Resort.
Estimated cost: $110 per night.
Explore: Walt Disney World or Universal Studios (check holiday hours).

Day 5: December 25th, Orlando, Florida

Relax in Orlando.
Explore local attractions or enjoy a festive day at Cocoa Beach.

Day 6: December 26th: Orlando, Florida, to Miami, Florida

Drive to Miami, FL (4 hours)
Hotel: Catalina Hotel & Beach Club.
Estimated cost: $150 per night.
Explore: South Beach, Art Deco Historic District, Little Havana.

Day 7: December 27th: Miami, Florida, to Key West, Florida

Drive to Key West, FL (3.5 hours)
Hotel: NYAH Key West.
Estimated cost: $130 per night.
Explore: Duval Street, Mallory Square, Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.

Day 8: December 28th: Key West, Florida, to Naples, Florida

Begin the journey back.
Drive to Naples, FL (4 hours)
Hotel: Lemon Tree Inn.
Estimated cost: $120 per night.
Explore: Naples Pier, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.

Day 9: December 29th: Naples, Florida, to Jacksonville, Florida

Drive to Jacksonville, FL (6 hours)
Hotel: Hampton Inn Jacksonville East Regency Square.
Explore: Jacksonville Landing, Riverside Arts Market, Cummer Museum.
Estimated cost: $110 per night.

Day 10: December 30th: Jacksonville, Florida, to New Jersey

Drive back to New Jersey (9 hours)

Estimating fuel costs

It can depend on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and current gas prices. Let’s assume an average fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon for your vehicle. The total distance for the round trip (New Jersey to Florida and back) is approximately 2,800 miles. Given these assumptions and an average gas price of $3.50 per gallon,

Total miles: 2,800 miles
Fuel efficiency: 25 miles per gallon
Total gallons needed: 2,800 miles / 25 miles per gallon = 112 gallons
Estimated total gas cost: 112 gallons * $3.50 per gallon = $392

The plan is kid-friendly, offering a mix of attractions and destinations suitable for families. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip with kids, consider the following tips:


Pack tablets, books, or games to keep kids entertained during the drive.
Create a playlist of kid-friendly music or audiobooks for the journey.


Bring pillows and blankets for a comfortable ride and potential naps.
Dress the kids in layers for varying temperatures during stops.


Pack a cooler with a variety of snacks and drinks for the road.
Have a mix of healthy options and some treats to keep everyone happy.


Ensure car seats are properly installed and meet safety regulations.
Pack a basic first-aid kit and any necessary medications for the family.

Rest Stops:

Plan regular breaks for restroom visits and to stretch your legs.
Identify kid-friendly rest areas with play areas if possible.


Choose family-friendly hotels with amenities like pools or playgrounds.
Confirm in advance if the hotels provide cribs or rollaway beds if needed.


Research family-friendly activities at each destination.
Include parks, museums, or attractions that cater to children’s interests.

Weather Preparedness:

Check the weather forecast for each location and pack accordingly.
Bring jackets, hats, and sunscreen, depending on the climate.

Travel Games:

Plan some travel-friendly games for breaks or evenings at the hotel.
Consider games like travel-sized board games or card games.


Discuss the trip with the kids, explaining the itinerary and exciting stops.
Encourage them to share their preferences for certain activities.

Let’s sum up the estimated costs:


The Baron Hotel (Washington, D.C.): $120
Aloft Raleigh (Raleigh, NC): $100
Thunderbird Inn (Savannah, GA): $90
Avanti International Resort (Orlando, FL): $110
Catalina Hotel & Beach Club (Miami, FL): $150
NYAH Key West (Key West, FL): $130
Lemon Tree Inn (Naples, FL): $120
Hampton Inn Jacksonville East Regency Square (Jacksonville, FL): $110
Total Estimated Accommodation Cost: $930


Estimated gas cost: $392 (assuming $3.50 per gallon, 25 miles per gallon, and a total round-trip distance of 2,800 miles)

Miscellaneous (meals, activities, unexpected expenses):
Budgeting around $50 per day for meals and other expenses.
10 days * $50 per day = $500
Total Estimated Miscellaneous Cost: $500

Grand Total Estimated Cost: $1,822

Note –

Please note that these are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary based on factors such as fuel prices, individual spending habits, and unforeseen expenses.

Please note that these are rough estimates, and prices may vary based on factors like booking in advance, promotions, and seasonal fluctuations. Additionally, the cost of activities, meals, and fuel should be factored into your overall budget.

Enjoy your holiday!

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