18 answers

Ohio to Alaska - Drive or Fly?

Hi moms! Here is my dilema lol. We are being transfered from Ohio to Alaska. We are leaving on a house hunting trip soon (we are flying) and in about 3 months we will make the big move. They have given us the option of driving or flying when we make the actual move. Flying would be quicker and easier - except it takes 40 days to ship our car. So we could drive instead. The upside to driving - get to see the country, they pay for everything (food, gas, hotels and mileage), plus no waiting for our car. The down side - omg it's 4,000 miles! It would take about 10 days. We have a 4 year old child and a dog. My husband really wants to drive. He wants to see all the sights (especially driving through Canada). I am not sure what to do. I want to drive too, but I am afraid a few days in and I am going to be regretting it! Whats your advice? Drive or fly?

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My friend just moved from HI to FL, driving with a 1 1/2 y. She said it was the best trip ever! They saw many of the sights, could control when they stopped and so forth. My vote is to drive.

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When I was traveling cross country I met a man who was driving their car while his wife and children flew. I say 4,000 miles is just too long for a 4 yo. I also wonder about the roads to Alaska from US. They used to be in very poor shape. I don't know how they are now.

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I'm a huge fan of driving. That'd be my vote. I'm in Ohio, too, and we drive to Florida a couple of times a year. It's only a quarter of what you're talking about, but we do it in one to two days - we started doing it when my son was about 5. But I would make it a vacation and make stops along the way to sight see - Chicago has a great Legoland (that's 5 hours from Columbus), that'd be stop one -- Mt. Rushmore would be in there somewhere, Seattle's fish market, and I don't know what else. But that's how I'd do it. If not now for the move, at some point, that'd be a great experience for everyone. My friend moved from Columbus to Austin and that's what they did -- sightseeing the whole way.

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ALCAN highway in the SEP / OCT timeframe is NOT a road I would want to be driving on. When you leave Ohio, things will be fine ... but as you get to the ALCAN, probably not so much. Suggest buying the annual MILEPOST book now, so that when you get to AK, you have some ideas of things you can see while you are there, both on the house hunting trip and once you move there. AK is BEAUTIFUL ... we spent 1 month inland while I was a youngster (Dad was stationed in the islands) and used the MILEPOST for all our traveling inland. Best wishes and enjoy this time in beautiful surroundings.


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I wouldn't pass up the chance to have the ultimate, all expenses paid, roadtrip. Is it possible to stretch it out longer, so you can make more/longer stops? It would be an amazing experience, especially for your son!

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I would fly in a heart beat. We drove from Houston to Conneticut with a kid. Took us 3 days because said child and hubby got sick. I swore I would NEVER do that again. We drive a lot but that is just too much time in a car for a child.

Is selling your car in Ohio and purchasing a new one in Alaska an option?

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My MIL drove to Alaska a couple of times in her life. My cousin drove to Oklahoma every couple of years. It took her 9 days to make the trip in her little rabbit.

I can honestly say I would take the vehicle and minimal items and drive. Sight see, take your time, plan on stopping in the tourist traps, see America and Canada up front. It may be the only time you do the drive and it will be wonderful. There are all kinds of side trips to take, glaciers to see, small towns that put on shows for tourists, there are lots of ships that do the Inside Passage every few days so I know the towns along the coast have a good tourist business going. It won't be just another small town with nothing to see or do.

Also, if you are going to be in the Anchorage area during the winter months find out if the still do the racing on the frozen lake. My sister did that when she lived there with my Uncle. She got to meet one of the Smother's Brothers and a price of some European country. It was a great big deal way back then...

I think if I had a good vehicle and could do traveling comfortably then it would be my first choice. Flying is fun I hear but seeing the wonder of creation is more fulfilling to me.

When my MIL was dying she said she had one regret. She didn't take enough pictures. She would have liked to be able to sit and look at albums and reminisce. It was sort of sad since she had met Ronald Regan, he held my hubby for a long time that day. My FIL is retired Navy and Ronald Regan was filming Hellcats of the Navy. He got to meet him and took my MIL and hubby, who was an infant at the time, so it was fun to be able to say he met him...she didn't get any pictures of this.

I would say take a video camera and a good camera that is waterproof, maybe a digital one so you can download your pictures at the end of each day then have more empty space for the next day.

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I would love the drive, but I don't think you're going to be happy after a couple of long days in the car with your 4 YO. He is going to get very bored. In fact, I can just see my GD crying when she's told after 3 days on the road that there are only 7 left! LOL!

For the sake of sanity, I would fly.

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I would drive. We drive from FL to Ohio every year (ok not this summer because my vacation is gone due to surgery). It's fun to stop when you need food, gas or want to see a site. Plus you have your car once your in Alaska to drive around and learn your new town, get some food, etc. What a fun move!

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I say drive. But make it an adventure, and don't set the limit on 10 days. Stretch it out to 14 or 20 days so that you can take breaks and not be in a rush.

I was just actually reading this article the other day, and it might be of help to you:

You will probably not get another chance to do this. And while your 4yo will probably not remember a lot of it, it will be the trip of a lifetime for you & DH to remember. :)

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