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18.5 hour road trip with children, any tricks of the trade?

 
 
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 07:34 pm
So the hubby, myself and my two girls (3 and 12 months) leave to head to Tennessee in approx. one month to see my family. Due to my terrible fear of flying, we are driving (we did fly the last two visits but with the need for three seats, a rental, etc. it is also more cost effective to drive).

We are going to be doing a lot of driving at night. We will leave right after dinner and drive until 2 or 3 AM, which will be about 8-10 hours of driving depending on time, where the girls will most likely be sleeping. We are then going to stop to sleep for a bit. That still leaves 8-10 hours of daytime driving and being stuck in the car.

We have a dvd player and plenty of movies, but it will only last so long.

Any advice on what entertaining items to bring. I know we will make frequent stops/stretches and our goal is to drive as long as we can, safely, while they sleep.

Anyone else bring small kids on a long road trip?
Thanks everyone!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 4,507 • Replies: 47

 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 07:45 pm
@Crazielady420,
Buy some new toys they haven't seen before and that occupy them for a longer period of time. Engage them in lots of little conversations, singing songs etc. that always helps.
I remember our first transatlantic flight (16+ hours) when my daughter was around 4 years old. I was so anxious that she might act out and be bored
beyond tears, but I worried for nothing - she was perfectly fine, and talked
a lot to the passengers around her and watched her cartoons. I should have given her more credit....

Your girls will be fine too! Just make sure they don't get too much candy
or other sugary food items that make them hyper. As a emergency kit I always had some children's benadryl with me - never needed it but I felt
safer having it, just in case.
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 07:47 pm
@CalamityJane,
Thanks, I love the emergency kit idea, didn't even think about that!!! I usually just bring the diaper bag (has a few emergency items i.e. tylenol, bandaids).. I am def. making a kit now!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:06 pm
Don't have any advice re the kids, but are you sure you'll be ok driving at night?

Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:09 pm
@chai2,
The hubby is taking the day off to sleep before we head out, I drive during the day and he drives at night. We have done it before and driven straight through (without kids) and never had any issues.

That is why we are playing it more by ear and still getting a hotel room for resting. It is a big truck route so there are times where we are in between several mack trucks, so it depends on the traffic volume as well!

Thank you for asking though, :-)
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:18 pm
Putting in the miles overnight is the trick that worked for me. I would start late afternoon, after sleep shifting the drivers as much as possible the days before. We had a van with a bed in the back so the other driver could get some good sleep, and with this arrangement 1000-1500 mile segments were easy. We would then get a hotel for a nigh for good sleep/showers/tire the kids out in the pool/nice meal.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:20 pm
@Crazielady420,
Yeah, that's why I asked. I've driven through Tenn and remember those trucks, plus the hills. I can drive forever during the day, but no way at night.

Since you may have noticed from another thread I just came back from SD (20 hours one way) I have to say that audio books were a lifesaver. Maybe your library has them in the kids section, that might appeal to at least your 3 year old? I dunno, I guess the movies are better for them.

Maybe adult audio books while your husband is driving at night? Music gets boring (to me) after awhile. I know we were listening to this one book "The Third Rail" and the miles just flew by, it was so interesting.

Sorry I can't help w/ the small ones. I'll just slink away now.
George
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:24 pm
Two words:

Holy.

Crap.


You have some serious courage, Craze.
Either that or you're totally nuts.
Whichever, good luck!
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
I figured overnight would be the easiest on the kids, I even thought about driving from 6 Pm to 6 AM, then getting the hotel, letting the kids run around the room, stretch out (not old enough to unlock door) and watch tv.. that would only leave 6 hours of day driving and they could easily be distracted then.

Too bad we don't have room for a bed in the mini-van :-)
Thanks!
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:28 pm
@chai2,
I get such anxiety when the trucks surround us, but we went in my old grand am once, being in the mini-van might make it less intimidating.

How was your trip? I did see the thread. I will have to look into audio books, might be a good idea! Thank you!
0 Replies
 
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:29 pm
@George,
Ha, I know, both I think! I think the worst isn't the way there, but knowing we have to do it again on the way back!
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:31 pm
@Crazielady420,
Yeah, that's a sobering thought, ain't it?
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:33 pm
@George,
I'll post once we return, I may come back with less hair after pulling it all out of my head..
George
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:40 pm
@Crazielady420,
On our first long car trip I almost came back with less kids.
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:41 pm
@George,
That was to Toronto, but our youngest was seven.
Nigel is now 22, alive, and living in Medford.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:41 pm
@Crazielady420,
Quote:
I figured overnight would be the easiest on the kids, I even thought about driving from 6 Pm to 6 AM
I would leave at 3pm, get dinner at fast food with a play place at 7, leave 730 with kids in PJ's (make it fun) , and by the time the kids start getting really bored they will be ready to sleep. Then you get the serious miles in with few stops needed. The driver needs to pump the coffee and keep the radio on will the other driver sleeps. switch at about 2am. When the kids get up get some breakfast at Dennys or some such place so that everyone can get out of the car. Make this a long breakfast with lots of coffee. By that time you only have a few hours left, and the kids will likely not be too bad, getting them excited about where you are going is good. Switch drivers after breakfast.
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:41 pm
@George,
Ha, should I turn back now before it is too late! That is too funny!!!
0 Replies
 
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:44 pm
@hawkeye10,
The hubby drinks those energy drinks, neither of us are coffee lovers... unfortunately I cannot have caffeine (due to heart issues). But I do think that night driving is the best bet in the long run! Thank you!
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 08:44 pm
@hawkeye10,
Wow, you've really done this.
Hats off to you, sir.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 09:19 pm
@George,
George wrote:

Wow, you've really done this.
Hats off to you, sir.
It was fun, for a long time I wanted to be a long haul trucker, so long hauling in my 95 GMC Vandura gave me a chance to pretend . For 5 years I drove Sierra Vista AZ - San Antonio Tx which is 12 hours 855 miles with just me and the three kids once a year. I decided that that was about my limit, with stops it was 15 hours door to door.

I still miss that van, but two years ago it was on its last legs. Now I drive a o4 Mercury Grand Marquis of all things, beautiful in the road but not the same.
0 Replies
 
 

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