The total cost of driving from Toronto, Canada to Fort Lauderdale, FL (one-way) is $154.52 at current gas prices. The round trip cost would be $309.04 to go from Toronto, Canada to Fort Lauderdale, FL and back to Toronto, Canada again. Regular fuel costs are around $2.64 per gallon for your trip.

This calculation assumes that your vehicle gets an average gas mileage of 25 mpg for a mix of city and highway driving. All currency units are U.S. Dollars. If you prefer international units, the equivalent petrol pump price is 69.7 cents/litre. This assumes a typical fuel economy of 9.4 L/100 km. You’ll go through 58.6 gallons of gas during this trip. This is equal to 221.8 litres.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Driving from Toronto to Florida

Canadians always love to escape the cold, dark and slushy days of winter in favour of warm, sunny destinations, and one very popular destination is Florida. If you are thinking of relaxing on sandy beaches, a family adventure in theme parks, embarking on a cruise ship to the Caribbean islands, hitting the golf courses or March Break celebrations, Florida is enough to make you smile.

Note that the weaker Canadian dollar, at approx. C$1.27 to purchase a US$1.00, has become a major obstacle on whether you can afford to vacation in Florida. If you are concerned with your travel budget, you should consider a road trip to Florida as gasoline prices are averaging around 65 cents (Canadian) per litre in many US states.

When it comes to planning a road trip from Toronto to Florida, it is imperative to give yourself around 20 to 24 hours of driving time. Your time will increase depending on the number of stops, delays and your destination. Airfare to Florida ranges between C$400 to 800 per person depending on seasonal demand and the airline.

Advantages of Driving from Toronto to Florida

The budget required to fly a family of 4 to Florida, including the cost of airfare, parking and taxi fees, luggage fees, food and even car rental expenses are estimated conservatively at C$2,000 to 3,000. When you compare flight costs of C$2,000 to 3,000 vs. $500 to drive to Florida from Toronto for a family of 4, you can quickly make a driving trip into an affordable vacation.

Additionally, driving also gives you the freedom of adventure. Indeed there are so many enticing places to stop on the way to Florida from Toronto. A road trip to Florida allows you to visit beautiful scenic and historical areas, meet friendly locals and power shop at the outlet malls along the interstates.

It is necessary to understand that flight travel is not merely about the flying time. You may need to wake up early allowing the extra time required to get to the airport, perhaps park your car, check in about 2.5 hours before the flight, sometimes add a connecting flight, border security, gather your luggage and get a car rental. When flying, have it in mind that from the time you wake up to the time you arrive in Florida, it can take up to 12 hours or longer with delays.

Howbeit, you can drive for about 12 hours during the first day and arrive in sunny Florida by the second day. Many first time drivers who have completed the road trip to Florida have commented that the drive was a pleasant experience. But you have to be realistic with your comfort zone because a daily 12 hour car ride may not agree with everyone.

Tips for a Successful Road Trip to Florida from Canada

The path to Florida is well worn with lots of daily flights and families taking road trips. Well, if areas on the way to Florida are highly elevated, your vehicle may have to consume more gas because the engine would need to work harder to make it up there. In some cases, certain vehicles may not even be able to climb up the land. Nonetheless, here are tips to keep in mind to ensure a successful trip.

  1. Choose Your Driving Route

From the Toronto area, there are two popular ways to enter the U.S. Interstate highways, one from the Windsor/Detroit Bridge for the I-75 towards Orlando. Alternatively, you can use the Niagara/Buffalo area bridges for the I-79/77 and I-95 towards the Florida Coast. Check with CAA or Google Maps to get printed driving directions for a safe and enjoyable drive. Don’t rely entirely on your digital devices.

  1. When and Where to Stop for Food and Hotel

Normally, your routine will start from your home, then through US Customs in the early morning to avoid cross-border traffic. At this point you will have to plan the drive along the Interstate highways, which provide safe and convenient stops for gas, rest breaks, welcome centres, food, shopping and hotel. If you are leaving early, remember to grab breakfast along the route but often bring along granola bars, muffins etc. and just eat in the car.

  1. Check the Weather Forecast in Your Driving Region

Most experienced travellers along this route use a weather App to check the 3-day weather conditions and look for potential poor driving areas so that they can plan an alternative route. When deciding whether to drive I-77 or I-75 to Florida, the I-75 route has less chance of major snowfall while the I-79/77 route passes through mountain areas with an increased risk for snow during winter.

Use the app to find regions with lower gas prices when you need to fuel up. Your savings can add up at the pumps too. Cheap gas is usually found in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia so gas up when leaving those areas.

  1. Route Driving North

Here is the estimated driving times and destinations heading north from Miami, Florida along I-95, I-77, and I-79 to Toronto, Ontario.

  • 8 hours from Miami FL to Savannah GA
  • 12 hours from Miami FL to Charlotte NC/Columbia SC
  • 18 hours from Miami FL to Beckley WV
  • 24 hours from Miami FL to Toronto ON
  1. Routes Driving South

Below is an example of estimated driving times and destinations heading south along the I-79/77 and I-95 routes from the Toronto area and entering the USA via the Peace Bridge in Buffalo NY. Remember, know your limits, plan your stops and enjoy the drive.

  • 8 hours from Toronto to Beckley WV
  • 12 hours from Toronto to Charlotte NC/Columbia SC
  • 18 hours from Toronto to Savannah/Brunswick GA
  • 24 hours from Toronto to Miami FL

Conclusion

Driving from Ontario to Florida can easily save you lots of money plus you get the added adventure of visiting the various regions of the U.S. flying and driving carry roughly the same cost. One of the big factors here is the value of your vacation days.

While the costs are similar, there is far less headache if you fly. Driving really becomes cost effective when you have a family of 4 or more or if you want to head south during the peak season for March Break. Don’t let the economy and rising oil prices stop you from taking your next trip.

Ajaero Tony Martins