Road Trip With Kids

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Jane posted this 18 June 2019

Moms who've done road trips with toddlers (we're looking at about 5 hours), please give me ALL THE ADVICE... 

What time do we leave?  I'm leaning toward leaving at bedtime - 7 or 8.  But what if they're wide awake at midnight when we get there?  What if they wake up on the way there? We could wake them up in the middle of the night to go and pray they sleep in the car, but what if they don't?  

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Michele posted this 18 June 2019

I've done long road trips a bunch of times with my little ones. I didn't leave at bedtime for the same fear as you. Also, that would mean I'd be missing out on that valuable sleep. Through my experience, they mostly sleep in the car, so I tried to choose timing that was either early (4/5am) because it wouldn't interfere too much with their other sleep times (nap or bedtime) and they could wake up and be ready when we got there. Other times, I have chosen to leave right before their nap time and this also worked out well. However, you can't accurately predict how your child will be feeling that day so I suggest bringing some toys for the ride that will keep them occupied. The last trip I went on I bought a headrest attachment that held my iPad so they could watch videos. I'm not a fan of too much screentime, but it definitely helps to have a quiet ride.

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Melanie posted this 20 June 2019

I've done a couple trips. I leave early in the am when they are sleeping so we can get in a few hours of sleep for them. I bring tablets with movies already downloaded on them. I pack them each their own bag of fun including snacks, coloring books, a couple other books, and a snugly toy. 

Kayla posted this 04 July 2019

We typically try to leave mid morning. They usually have been up long enough that they'll take a solid nap. Pack a lot of snacks. Don't ever promise to be anywhere by any one certain time. Depending on their age you just have to be prepared to stop a lot.

MacKenzie posted this 10 July 2019

I've done multiple 7-8 hour trips to my mom's, always just me and my almost 3 year old (started when she was barely 2). I try to leave about an hour or so before nap time. That way she can get settled in, play with some toys or look at books, and then hopefully fall asleep for an hour or two.  

We always bring library books (she loves books), a tablet from the library as a last resort, lots of snacks, good playlists on Pandora, and a few new toys from the dollar store. Also, those water coloring books from Melissa and Doug are fabulous!

Mary posted this 10 July 2019

When my now 8 year old was 2 we took a drive to green bay, WI for a family reunion.  It was about a 5 hour drive.  It was a good first car trip actually and also knowing that we were driving towards family as a destination made things easier on our minds a bit if that makes sense.  We left in the evening, stopped for dinner 1.5 hours in, then he fell asleep and we were there by real late.  He wasn't phased because he had a break, a full tummy, pjs on, and was tired. 

Anna posted this 10 July 2019

We took a short 1.5 hour drive to a lake near our home with our little one when he was only 7 months old.  It was in March, and the weather was just neutral.  It was good practice, also to see how he would do sleeping somewhere else. 

Katie posted this 16 September 2019

We always try to leave later in the day. So they will sleep for at least half the car ride.  Also I always get my kids cheap little toys or snacks they love, that they get throughout the car ride to help keep their attention.  

Aisha posted this 17 September 2019

These are some great tips as I have a toad trip coming up. Distractions, distractions, distractions is the main theme here. Also snacks and entertainment options.

Susan posted this 6 days ago

We always leave about 30 minutes before bedtime.  We do the whole bedtime routine and make sure he has a full belly, put him in his pajamas, and then straight into the carseat.  I sit in the backseat with him while my husband drives.  That way I can read him a story and help him fall asleep.  We also use a portable white noise machine and that really helps!

Jess posted this 4 days ago

When I was younger I went to the zoo and daughter she loves going to the beach during the summer . 

Sadie posted this 3 days ago

I did a 5 hour trip with a 6 month old and 2 year old. We left about an hour before nap time (luckily they had the same naptime) and entertained for that hour. Then they napped for 2 hours. When they woke up, we stopped for stretching and food (about 45 minute break) and then back in the car. Good luck!