Roadtrippers! — The Bump
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Roadtrippers!

What's your strategy with a 14 month old?  We are debating just leaving in the am and seeing how far we get; leaving super early, like 3am, and hoping she stays asleep through normal wake up time; or trying for the all night driving fest.

We are heading to Montana.  It is normally an 8 hr drive but we are expecting to spread it out over two days and stop whenever K decides car seats are evil.  K does okay in the car, but lately two hours seems to be her limit and then she needs to get out and move.  This time there will be someone in the back seat with her so maybe that distraction will help stretch it out.

J + J = K image Photo by J. Shelton Photography Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Roadtrippers!

  • Does she nap in the car?
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  • We are debating going on a road trip next month. Ella doesn't like the car and rarely sleeps in it anymore, so that's why we're not sure. However, if we do go I'll plan a trip to the dollar store for a whole bunch of things that can help keep her busy and give her something new every hour, lots of snacks, lots of pit stops, watching youtube videos of elmo on our phones, and just hope that she gets tired enough that she falls asleep for a couple hours! I'm also dreading getting her to sleep in a hotel room where we'll all be sleeping in the same room, but figure eventually she'll have to fall asleep... and if she doesn't sleep at night, hopefully she'll sleep in the car the next day. :) I'm already feeling like the vacation may not be a vacation. haha!
    E. 1.27.10, C. 11.1.11
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  • We always drive to Bozeman. First time we did Liam was almost 2. 12 hours straight. He did ok. They had a little DVD player to occupy their time. We got out in Spokane and in Missoula for a couple of hours each. We always leave by 4 am. Even if they wake up they are still quite out of it. It makes us reach Spokane by breakfast and when we need more gas. If you are already planning on an 8 hour trip in two days, I think she will be fine. Snacks and toys and anything goes. We listen to books on tape too which are fun for the kids. Have fun. We aren't going to Montana this year and I'm kind of bummed. 
    Tracey Mom to Logan and Liam
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    I live for those smiles!
  • If she's ok for a few hours at a time, I would think you could pretty easily just leave at 6, drive til 8.  Take a little break for some snacks/breakfast and maybe running in a park or something.   Then drive from 9-12 and break for lunch and some more stretching.  Drive from 1 til whenever it falls apart.  If she naps, then maybe you can push through the last 3 hours.  If not, get up, take a break til after dinner, and drive the last couple of hours in the evening.
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  • We have driven from MI to PA several times, and a normal trip is 8 hours. With the little ones its about 10-12. We generally leave about 5 pm, after DH gets off work. We drive for 2.5 hours, stop to eat dinner and run around. Then we go as long/far as a tank of gas will take us. Ella watches a dvd (you can borrow them from the library - she loves the signing times dvd's and the scholastic book ones - we would get the ones that match books we have so she can follow along) for most of it. When we do have stop for gas, we hold our breath that Thea will keep sleeping. So far she has. :)
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  • If it is normally an 8 hour drive you can easily do it one day. (I did 15 hours in a day with an almost 12 month old.)

    If you are morning people (or who ever is driving is) then just leave early in the morning and plan to drive until breakfast time. Then give yourselves at least an hour out of the car. Then drive for 2 more and take at least a 30 minute break (walk around a Target or something.) Then drive for another hour or two and have lunch then take at least an hour to eat and then find someplace to play (grab some bubbles at the morning Target stop). Then after you tire the kids out you can usually get 2-3 hours during nap time. Then you might need to stop one more time...or maybe not.

    If who ever is driving is a night owl then leave after dinner.

    If neither applies just drive when ever you are ready in the morning. Use the same philosophy as above. Just have PJs ready so after dinner you can put PJs on and drive and through until you arrive. 

    I actually find that if I break up driving into multiple days they know what is in store on day 2 and they start hating the car right away. 

    8 hour is really not too bad. If I can do 15 hours (in 2 days) alone with my 3 kids (the youngest was 6 months at the time) then I am sure it will be a lot easier than you think it will be.  

    Mama to Z - 5.5 years, G - 3.5 years, & M - 1.5 years.
  • Where in Montana are you driving to? We go twice a year to Hamilton, South of Missoula. We are the type who drive at night on the way there, then daytime on the way home. We usually leave about 6pm or so then stop real quick in Ellensburg to let C run around. After that stop, he is mostly asleep. We do stop at the flying J to get supplies in Idaho, and if he is awake, another quick run around. After that he is out. We make more stops on our way home. This last trip we stopped in Vantage and played on the grass and had a picnic. We bought a travel size magna doodle, scout, cars, and our dvd player to occupy him while he was awake. Other than that, we play our trips home by ear and if we feel he needs out, we stop. We do it the same way when we drive to B.C. to see my mom. Hope it goes well!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image ckmommy:
    Where in Montana are you driving to? We go twice a year to Hamilton, South of Missoula.

    We're going to Philipsburg, just south of Hamilton.  We'll actually drive through Hamilton I believe.  I've only been once, DH's mom grew up on a ranch there and her brother still runs it. 

    Thanks for all the tips, maybe we can push this through in a day as long as we accept the breaks in advance.  All your stories are making me feel braver! 

    J + J = K image Photo by J. Shelton Photography Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We drove from northern Alabama to northwest Arkansas with our two girls about two months ago when Hayden was 13 months.  I honestly thought the driving was easier than the plane rides to either location.  Both of our girls do well in a car normally and are good nappers in the car.  We left about 9am and did not make our first stop until lunch time in Memphis.  They had a bit of a meltdown somewhere around the Tennessee border, but got over it within about 10 minutes so we did not stop.  We made a few stops in Memphis and then drove another few hours to Little Rock where we stopped for about an hour to switch rental cars.  After that it was another 90 minutes or so until we go to the hotel where we were staying. 

    The DVD was essential for us.  It was more for Jillian, but admittedly Hayden is a pretty good TV watcher too.  I don't think a DVD would have been as successful with Jillian at the same age because she was not as used to the TV.

    Good luck!!!

    Jen - Mom to Jillian (10/2008) and Hayden (4/2010)

    My Blog

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  • If you go through Spokane, there is a huge park downtown called Riverfront Park that would make a great stop - it's only about 5 minutes from I-90.  There is a goat sculpture that "eats" your garbage with a vacuum in its mouth, a nice little playground with a giant red wagon slide, and a carousel that I bet K would love riding.

    While E is pretty good in the car, we've had our best success leaving about an hour before bedtime; she falls asleep a little early and then sleeps through most of the trip.  Our aunt/uncle always leave around 3 or 4 a.m. with their little crew (2, 5, & 9); the kids usually fall back asleep for a few hours, and then they can keep them entertained in the car after they wake up with breakfast and movies/toys.

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  • Personally I'd rather do it in 1 day than 2. We do a 10 hour drive about once a year and we leave right around 10 or 11 am. Play games, sing for a few hours then get in a good nap. Stop after nap for dinner and then movies or sleep till we arrive. The key is waking up early and going to a park or play hard for the morning hours before getting in the car. Have a great trip! Just scope out possible hotels before you leave so if you have to stop you know where to go.
    BIG Brother born 10/19/07 little Brother born 1/31/12
  • So we drove from Seattle to Sunnyvale, CA with our 3 year old and 16 month old. Two hours or so is really about the max for sure. We stopped a lot but also stayed with family along the way. The longest stretch was the 8 hour portion which we drove in one day. It actually took 12 hours because we stopped a lot, had a car issue at one point. Good times.  I would say just be well prepared w/ food because you might have to stop somewhere really small and random and have a car picnic. Good Luck!
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  • image kaskade:

    image ckmommy:
    Where in Montana are you driving to? We go twice a year to Hamilton, South of Missoula.

    We're going to Philipsburg, just south of Hamilton.  We'll actually drive through Hamilton I believe.  I've only been once, DH's mom grew up on a ranch there and her brother still runs it. 

    Thanks for all the tips, maybe we can push this through in a day as long as we accept the breaks in advance.  All your stories are making me feel braver! 

    Got it. So for us on the way home our normal stops are The Silver Dollar, Flying J in Idaho, Vantage if we can make it (Moses Lake of not), then usually Ellensburg or Cle Elum. We have been able to time things relatively well with C since we do drive so much. We also just let C travel in comfy clothes and have slip on shoes by his seat. I really hope it goes well.
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  • I have family up near Flathead and we do it in one day in the summertime.  It takes forever because we stop for snacks and fresh diapers every 3 hours but its only one day.  In the winter we stop in Coer dAlene.  I think its the Best Western (or is it Red Lion?) with a pizza joint a block away for a family friendly dinner.

    I can't believe all the Silver Dollar love.  St. Regis is the best Tourist Trap evah!

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