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Getting to Orlando: Air, Road or Rail?

Make it to Florida's amusement parks in better shape than the Griswolds

spinner image National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)Directed by Harold RamisShown from left: Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Chevy Chase
Don't let poor planning ruin your family vacation to Orlando. See our list for the cheapest way to travel.
WARNER BROS./PHOTOFEST

They say getting there is half the fun. That may depend on your mode of travel. If you’re planning an early-fall getaway, you need to consider not just the cost but also your time. We crunched the numbers for planes, trains and automobiles (plus buses) for round-trip travel to the popular vacation destination Orlando, Florida, from three U.S. cities. Here’s what we found.

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spinner image Car with trunk door open and beach items and luggage
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Car

About $300 in gas round trip, 20 hours driving each way

About $200 in gas round trip, 15 hours driving each way

About $875 in gas round trip, 44 hours driving each way

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Train

$372, about 27 to 28 hours each way, transfer in New York

$388, about 52 to 55 hours each way, transfers in Chicago and Washington

$584, about 94 to 102 hours each way, transfers in Chicago and Washington

spinner image Buses in the distance at Car Park
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Bus

$276, about 28 to 29 hours each way, with transfers in two cities

$226, about 22½ hours each way, with a transfer in Atlanta

$377, about 63 to 68 hours each way, with three transfers outbound, five transfers returning

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Plane

$178, nonstop, on Spirit Airlines, about three hours each way

$194, nonstop, on Frontier  Airlines, about 2½ hours each way

$438, nonstop, outbound: Alaska Airlines; returning: United Airlines; about 5½ hours each way

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