Toddlers: 24 Months+
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Road trips

Wow, I have not posted in a REALLY long time but I guess that is what being a parent to a toddler is all about.  I  am hoping to get some advice on road trips with a 2 year old.  We are doing a long distance road trip that will have us drive 10 hours each day, but with breaks for lunch in between and to stretch our legs.  It is happening so no sense in telling me I am crazy and trying to talk me out of it at this point J  However, I wonder if you have some suggestions to offer.  One of the thoughts we had was to drive mostly at night and arrive fresh in the morning to the extent possible.  Are there any other tips you could offer for road trips?  We are going to pack lots of toys, books and videos but honestly speaking we know we are battling with a short attention span and will have to mix it up.

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Re: Road trips

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    Can you find some parks along the way to stop and play?  Just lunch and "stretching your legs" doesn't sound like enough fun for your kiddo.  You say "each day" so I'm assuming this a multiple day trip.  I think your DC will need several longish breaks to do something.
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    Thanks for the quick reply.  We are working with 2 10-hour days en route but will spend 5 days at our destination and 1 day to recover when we get back.  Hopefully it won't be too grueling.  When I say stretch our legs I am thinking of a 1 hour break where he can go to a park and get our of his car seat.
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    Our last road trip was 6 hours with a 2.5 y/o and 5 month old!  We opted to take a longer route because the fastest route (by maybe 30-60 min.) had a whole lot of nothing around it.  The longer route went by more towns so we pinpointed certain attractions every 2 hours along the route.  Attractions like a nearby mall, Target, park, etc.  Everytime we got close to an "attraction" we would assess the situation and if the kids were still good we pushed forward.  If not, then we had a place we knew we could stop at and didn't have to spend time driving around trying to find some relief. 

    Another thing I did was bring along new toys and books.  Normally in my car I have a basket of car toys and books that DD always plays with.  We provided that but I also put an additional basket in there with new books and toys.  Once she tired of her usual basket of goodies I presented her with the new basket.  We also brought the DVD player as our last defense but thankfully it never got to that point.

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    We drive from OK to TX a lot, about 8 hours.  We try to leave around his nap time and he'll nake a lot of power naps. 

    Food, food, food. We put fish crackers in a cup, raisins, etc.  He likes to have them in his own cup holder.  He also will watch movies on the iPad. 

    We stop every few hrs at a truck stop and walk around and play. 

     Good luck!

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    2-Step2-Step member

    I would split it up so you do a few hours in the morning, then find a really fun place to stop where your LO can get out some energy - swimming, park, bounce house, whatever! Then I'd do lunch and hit the road for nap time and go another few hours and stop for dinner and a some more running around somewhere. I'd do the majority of the driving between 7pm-12pm and then sleep for 6-7 hours.

    My advice is to bring a snacks, portable DVD player etc for in the car, but the key is going to be getting as much energy out as possible during stops.

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    We did a 14 hour day and a 6 hour day in June.  On the way home we did two 6 hour days and an 8 hour day.
    We are about to emark on a 14 hour roadtrip there.  We will again hit a waterpark on the way home and have a 6 hour day on the way and an 8 the next.
    I recomeend a DVD player.  If Dylan was watching Dora or Mickey she was in heaven.
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    We try to find lunch places with indoor play spaces so the kids can really run, climb, and burn off energy. Even if that means DH and I eat while the kids play, and then they eat in the car. We've done a lot of long road trips. MA to TX 4 times, East TX to Cali, etc. Driving through the night is the best, but when you have 10-14 hours of driving time and need to eventually sleep sometimes that doesn't always work out. GL and have fun! A few kids music CD's usually save us, a mini magnadoodle, snacks, and everything else you suggested.
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