My family recently embarked on a 15 hour road trip (to coincide with our out of state move), with our infant and toddler sons in tow…yup, driving with our 10 month and 22 month old baby boys. I must admit I was pretty anxious leading up to the ride, trying to plan and figure out what would be the best “plan” for making it to our destination with minimal whining, crying, screaming and complaining. Plus, other than a trip I had made with them to Orlando and Tampa (from Miami), we’d never hit the road with them before…
All in all it turned out pretty good and we avoided any major meltdowns and were able to make the 15 hour trip in good time! Our strategy to first drive to Jacksonville (5 hours + an hour stop halfway), during the daytime, with a lunch break and their afternoon naps while finishing the first leg of the drive, then a late afternoon swim/dinner break with a routine “bath” before the nightly bedtime, before finally doing an overnight 10 hour haul to Virginia…worked! Sure, there were small cries and fussy moments during our red eye drive, but doing that stretch while they were tired and asleep for the most part, proved to be for the best. Yes, Mommy and Daddy were beyond exhausted when we arrived at our destination, however the non-stop strategy was best for us. We did keep lots of milk, snacks AND an iPad on deck too!
I just can’t imagine driving for long periods while they’re awake and wiggling, squirming and struggling to free themselves from the car seats…or the alternative making an excessive amount of stops. Before our trip I also solicited advise from some more experienced “road trippin” families, and I thought I’d share some of their suggestions with you too!
Christy – “iPad with lotsa new cartoons/movies…and headphones for each munchkin.”
Michelle – “Tons of snacks, stop at a park a long the way, wrap small toys and give them “good boy” presents. Drive fast!“
Ayana – “15 hours isn’t so bad. I agree with iPad, toys, and stopping one time to play. If you can’t find a park or it’s not weather conducive, remember that places like McDonalds and Chick-Fil-A have those indoor play areas too if you’re in a pinch.”
Monica – “Early morning or late evening drives worked for us. They slept while we had our time to talk without interruption. An exhausting activity like swimming or playing at a park before driving might help as well.“
Rochelle – “We took our time and didn’t try to go for longer than 6hrs total driving. iPads, toys, songs and a long lunch break made all the trips pleasant for everyone.”
Karla – “Benadryl and the frozen soundtrack!“
Ann – “Say a prayer.”
Robin – “Plan a swimming stop. That always makes kids exhausted.“
Erica – “Stop to pee, otherwise keep going, you’ll be there before you know it.“
Thanks to everyone who chimed in and wished us well on our trip! I’m so thankful we made it without incident…and this completely reinforces my gut to fly when possible..even if it might cost a few more bucks…I have the anxious, “are we there yet” issues…I’m not cut out for long treks on the road! 😉