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Fall Getaway: 4 Ways to Travel to Orlando on a Budget Skip to content

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Getting to Orlando: Air, Road or Rail?

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

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.

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.



Car with trunk door open and beach items and luggage

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

St. Louis

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

San Francisco

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


Grandparents And Grandchildren Relaxing On Train Journey

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

St. Louis

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

San Francisco

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


Buses in the distance at Car Park

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

St. Louis

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

San Francisco

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


Family looking at cell phone aboard airplane

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

St. Louis

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

San Francisco

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

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