As much as I was dreading the drive from Michigan to Florida I was so happy the day was finally here! I didn’t do much research about the drive because we were leaving at night and didn’t plan on stopping anywhere, except to use the restroom and eat. There was no time to add in other stops, even though I really wanted to roam around Nashville and Atlanta. Looking back now, I would probably make the drive again. If you asked me that during the trip, I would have said HELL NAH.
We left Michigan around 6:30pm. I started the drive because Cody is a third-shifter so I knew he would do better driving in the middle of the night. McKenzie and Kasey each had their own little baskets packed of fun activities to keep them busy. I can’t even describe how incredibly well behaved they were the entire way. They didn’t start asking “are we there yet” until we only had an hour left.
We completed the drive in 20 hours, which includes all stops we made. If you are planning to make the drive from Michigan to Florida, here are some of my tips…
- Plan to spend around $80 in gas each way. (We drove a mini van)
- Leave at night if possible, roads are clear and its easier to use cruise control.
- You pass a few tolls along the way. We paid around $3.75 each way. If you have the exact change ready to go, it goes faster.
- Avoid Atlanta during rush hour!! On our way home we went through at 5:30pm. Huge mistake.
- If you are driving straight through, make sure other people in the vehicle are willing to drive. We switched drivers about every 4 hours.
FUN FACT: there are states where the highway speed limit is 55mph! It was torture.
Finally we made it to our resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This is a moderately priced Universal resort. It certainly didn’t feel “moderately” priced. I’ve heard that this hotel blows Disney moderates out of the water. There are two pool areas with slides and a lazy river. The cafeteria has a huge variety of food choices and the best thing of all. A STARBUCKS right inside the resort. I was down there every day at 7:00am and it was heaven.
They nailed the 60’s theme of the resort perfectly, right down to the “color-tv” sign out front and the Zest and V05 shampoos in the room. The resort is very kid-friendly so if you are the type of person who doesn’t like kids running around everywhere then it probably isn’t for you.
Cabana Bay is about 20 minutes away from Disney parks, which isn’t bad at all. If you’re going to Universal parks then there is a shuttle bus right outside the front doors. Every time we went to catch a bus, there was one already there, we never had to wait. They charge $12.50 for parking at the resort each day. We loved Cabana Bay and would definitely stay there again.
The first day we arrived around 3:00pm, check in time. They placed us in a family suite in Starlight (one of the many wings of the hotel). We were pool-facing and didn’t have any complaints with noise. We went right to the pool and the girls had so much fun going down the slide. I’m pretty sure they went down that thing 40 times. After the pool, we ate at the hotel cafeteria and went right to bed. We were exhausted from that long drive.
If you’d like to watch our travel day vlog: click here!
Stay tuned for our other Disney/Universal vlogs!