Taking in mind that time and money should be considered. (rent car, sleeping place) Should not take more than 1-2 days, should cost the least possible.

Train ? plane ? car ? RV ?

For those with specific minds, let's say hour is equal to 10 USD or so :)

  • 4
    Traveling in the US you'll find that trains are usually a terrible option (slow, expensive). If you don't mind the time, driving is very common, although domestic flights in the US are very cheap, especially to hub locations like NYC and Florida. Renting a car or rv long term is expensive, especially if you drop it off in a different city where you picked it up
    – blackbird
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:26
  • 2
    Depends how many people are traveling. It would make more sense to drive as opposed to flying if you are 3-4 people. I dont know why no one asked.
    – PSC775
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 20:58
  • @SpehroPefhany depending on the what?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 10:53
  • @phoog what the heck? Weird stuff deleted. I think I was saying if you needed a car at the other end (unlikely in NYC proper) the rental could be virtually free with unlimited km and a weekly rental, but the variable costs (gas tolls and accommodation) would remain. Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 21:24
  • 1
    @blackbird57 For the train, it depends on the aims of the journey. Trains are often cheaper than flights and more comfortable than buses, in particular for overnight journeys. Can eat on-board, enjoy the scenery, stretch out. It's not suitable when in a hurry or when getting there on time is essential, but the trains from Chicago to the west coast are an awesome way of seeing the country, in particular if you spend money on sleeper accommodation.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:23

7 Answers 7


Orlando to New York is 1740km so expect driving time to be more than 24 hrs whereas flying is 2hrs 30 min and should cost you around USD160/- one way.

Dont forget to include cost of stay if driving.

  • For non stop driving (Stops for Gas and Bathrooms) it's 20-22 hours.
    – Karlson
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 16:14
  • true, and since everyone's driving habit is different so total time may take 2 - 3 days including stays, drive time and ofcourse necessary stops in between. And if there are "must see" places enroute total time may extend.
    – vedic
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 16:26

As a native New Yorker, I've done this trip very many times via both car and plane. And I would only consider flying. It will be cheaper, faster, and much more pleasant for all. JetBlue is the best option in terms of comfort, though not the cheapest (if that's your main concern.) Countless other carriers do that route as well.

The only exception in my opinion is if you have a large amount of time to spend making the trip; perhaps a week. There are a lot of interesting towns and beautiful natural places between Florida and New York, and stopping for a day or two at many of them would break up the monotony of driving, as well as affording you some nice scenery. I have done this and it was very rewarding and pleasant.

By contrast, the interstate road by which you would drive if you were only interested in getting there the fastest (I95) has no remarkable scenery whatsoever, is poorly maintained in parts, is often subject to large, full-stop traffic jams for no apparent reason, is full of crazy/exhausted drivers swerving between lanes, zealous backwoods traffic cops, overpriced fast food, expensive gas, back pain from remaining sedentary for so long, and the onset of a crushing ennui that will be shaken only by the imbroglio of New York City traffic and consequently finding a place to park therein.

I think you should fly.


I've made this drive 3 times already and depending on what your driving depends on gas cost.
If you fill up before you leave its 3 additional full tanks to Long Island 20hrs on avg because there's always one area of super bad traffic.
We saved our stops for food/gas around meal times or in case of emergency but driving 75 seemed to be our choice of speed, 80 burns too much gas and 70 you tend to get caught up in traffic.

Food spots: we pack a cooler with snacks n sandwiches that way we a spend less money and time, also you eat better food than McDonald's crap.

Tolls are around 35$ including going into Long Island. We live in Orlando and if we drive straight thru leave at 3:30am arrive in evening the same day or we leave at 8/9am and stop in Virginia.
It's a boring trip until Virginia then road starts to curve and bend.
I hope this info helps someone, safe travels.


1) Cost depends on how many people are flying. For 4-5 people, it is far cheaper to drive. Flying a family of five is around $3000 on JetBlue depending on the season. Driving you have the cost of gas, meals and hotel (optional).

Gas costs depend completely on your vehicle. My toyota sienna (fully gassed up in NY) required only two stops for gas. One in Virginia, another in South Carolina. Figure around $200 for gas each way.

Hotel room if you don't want to drive non-stop is around $140 for a moderate chain hotel in South Carolina.

For meals we stopped for lunch at Chick-Fil-A and had dinner at Cracker Barrel, both cheap. Driving, on average, will be less than 1/3 the cost of flying.

2) It does not take 24 hours to drive from NYC to Orlando. It's about 16 hours total driving time. You need to leave NYC at around 3-4am to avoid traffic hotspots around DC and Richmond. If you are leaving on a weekend, traffic will be minimal unless there's some kind of major accident or major construction.

3) If you want to split the trip up, stopping in mid to southern South Carolina on the first day is a good idea. That's about 10 hours. You can get a hotel room in a nice chain hotel for around $140.

  • 1
    One way airfare today is about $250. My experience of I-95 traffic has been, to say the least, worse than yours. Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 19:36

If you need a (your) car at both ends, you might consider Amtrak's Auto Train, which gets your car and (I think) up to 4 people from Sanford FL (near Orlando) to Lorton VA (near Washington DC) overnight. Pricing is, according to a friend of mine who is doing that trip regularly, reasonable.


I have tried both driving and flying. Flying saves about 2 days, but is costly. We have a family of 5 and the tickets are about $1200 one way(and that's on the cheap days). Driving takes 2 days. People said it can be done under 20 hours but that's a hazardous proposal. It's just too dangerous to drive that long, even taking bathroom and meal breaks. I usually spend most of the first day driving, and find a hotel/motel in North Carolina at early evening. Then driving most of the time the next day too. By the late afternoon you should be in the orlando area, and feel exhausted(very sleepy too). The kids get terribly bored. I wish there's this high speed rail that can get people from NY to ORL under 6 hours.


Flying. I make this trip several times a year, so I am speaking from experience. 99% of the time I take flights on JetBlue or Delta from JFK to MCO - sometimes from LGA.

When flying, from Manhattan, it's an hour to the airport, an hour for TSA and being at the gate the suggested 30 minutes prior to boarding. The flight is an average of 2.5 hours, and then factor in how long it takes to get to your destination in the Orlando area - can't be more than 30 minutes anywhere (Disney, Convention Center, I-Drive). So from NYC to Orlando via air, you're looking at a time commitment of 5 hours. Flights to Florida are in the neighborhood of $300 - add on to this any meals, transportation to the airport, cost of a rental car on the Orlando end if needed, which are typically about $20/day in Florida - say $450.

I recently drove my parents' dog from Manhattan to a town in Central Florida that is 62 miles SE of Orlando. I left at 5 am and arrived at my destination 16 hours later. Expect the same if you drive with as few stops as possible - I did have to stop every 3-5 hours for both me and the dog: quick meals, bathroom breaks, re-fueling - you can definitely make it in a day, and with the low cost of snacks and water for the car, fast food meals and fuel.

Flying is the way to go. You're looking at a time commitment of 5 hours and a cost of $450. Even if you love driving like I do - it is not a great experience. Spending 2.5 hours on a cramped plane is better than 16 hours in a car. Driving is less expensive, but it takes 3x the time to make the trip.

You don't indicate if you are traveling with others, and if you are more concerned with saving time or money. Either way - fly.

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