Keep the kids awake all night the night before, they will sleep on long rides. This works for lots of things. Did the same before I had a surgery scheduled early in the morning a few years ago, came home and slept the anesthesia off and some of the pain.
Posts: 2364 | Location: Usually Somewhere | Registered: July 28, 2011
I feel your pain. My parents moved to FL around 9 years ago. Well we got the brilliant idea when our triplets where almost 3 and our oldest being almost 5 to start going down to visit.
The first trip down was pure hell. We left mid day with the intent of driving through the night and arriving at my parents house early morning. Driving through the night with the kids in car seats was a complete crap show. One would wake up screaming, so whoever was trying to sleep would climb in the back and calm them down. Climb back up front only for 10 minutes later the next one to wake up and it just went in a circle. If I got an hour of sleep in the 6 hours my wife drove that night I would be shocked.
As the years have progressed they've gotten much better at traveling and now being 10 and 8 they've got it down for the most part. Last summer we bought a 6x10 enclosed trailer and we use that whenever traveling now. It allows us to bring essentially whatever we want including the kids bikes, multiple coolers, and food for the week. We also started putting a camping toilet in it and now our fuel/restroom stops are 15-20 minutes. We also now leave around 1-2 in the morning which gives me a few hours of driving in peace and also gets us south of Richmond before rush hour hits. By the time the sun finally starts to rise is when I'm beginning to feel the effects of driving in the dark which works out well. We usually arrive at our destination around 7-8 pm that same night with driving straight through.
In short yes it does get better, but it will be a giant PIA getting to that point
Posts: 721 | Location: PA | Registered: December 05, 2010
I feel your pain. Having little ones and traveling long distances can be tricky. Looking back on it, I have to laugh at what we did and the things we learned. I still wouldn't trade the memories for anything, both good and bad.
Originally posted by 92fstech: You just need to make more trips! We drive to my in-laws in FL several times a year, plus at least one long road trip out west for vacation, and my 4 kids are acclimated, now. They're 13, 11, 8 and 6, but we've been doing this since they were born. When the youngest was 2 months old, we did a 2 week road trip to CA towing a camper...it was crazy, but it was a blast and we have great memories. They know not to drink a bunch, because we're not stopping till we need gas, and they also know better than to mess with each other because dad has long arms and can reach back there if I have to! They don't have tablets or movies, either... entertainment is looking out the window, or whatever audiobook I have on to keep me awake.
We've started packing food, because even if you can find something open, it takes forever to stop, order, and eat...and it's gotten crazy expensive, especially as the kids get bigger and hungrier. We have stops down now. We try to find a truck stop or some other big gas station that's easy on/easy off the highway. My wife takes the kids to the bathroom while I gas up the suburban, then move it to a parking spot away from the pump. About the time I'm done with that, they're coming out. I go in to pee whole she makes and distributes sandwiches out of the cooler in the back. By the time I get back, she's usually about done and we're back on the road. 10-15 min max per stop, with all fuel, bathroom, and food needs satisfied.
With me working nights, we've also done what Yooper suggested on occasion...drive all night so they just sleep. I take the night shift, and my wife takes the day....it works out pretty well.
There are some good tips ^^^. I do think the frequency of long trips helps. My daughter (who's 26) has always been a good traveler - but we traveled frequently back to my home town which was an 8+ hour drive from the time she was born. She still enjoys road-trips w/ her dad .
Didn't have a lot of extra cash when she was little, so we'd pack our "traveling food" (Wraps, cheese, sandwich meats, veggies...). Super easy to pull over into a rest area and whip up some lunch.
92fstech's comment of "because dad has long arms and can reach back there if I have to", made me laugh because my dad had long arms too - I remember dad's right arm coming over the seat and each of us kids trying to maneuver away...
Posts: 1612 | Location: MN | Registered: March 29, 2009
Just drove 2955 miles roundtrip from Texas to WV and back through Kentucky with a 2.5 year old. Luckily he was pretty good on the road for the most part. Definitely don't want to do it again any time soon.
In the near future you will look back upon these times as the Halcyon years, seriously. So in the midst of the inconvenience and in-car travel miseries, know it will pay off with fond memories of the necessary, albeit sometimes seemingly unpleasant, stages of life all children must go through. It's not really fixable because there's nothing really wrong, except for your nerves getting rattled. But if you love your kids you will nevertheless enjoy the memories of all the stupid, comic miseries of early childhood, amidst all the good times too. But for trips specifically, any tips you can pick up from this thread are good if they work for you, up to and including bribery, deception, and good old fashioned spoilage. When travelling anything goes if it works. Not at home, but traveling definitely. Good luck fellow traveler.
Lover of the US Constitution Wile E. Coyote School of Auto and Home maintenance.
Posts: 7215 | Location: Nowhere the constitution is not honored | Registered: February 01, 2008
After our trip to Cancun a few months ago, the wife, myself and our 16 year old daughter. I told my wife we were never taking the daughter anywhere by herself again. She was very unpleasant, a real party pooper. Our last trip to the Panhandle we brought one of her friends, worked like a charm
********************* “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
Posts: 3669 | Location: GA | Registered: September 23, 2009
No travel vacation for my family when the kids were under six years of age. I don't think when they are that young they care where they are, as long as someone is caring/entertain them. We would go 45 minutes away, that was enough time in the car.
my kids are 11 and 13 and have been about everywhre from boston to chicago to texas to florida.
I find the key is to dump the i pad. its easy but it makes them dependent on it and kind of wires their brain up.
Coloring books, car games, i spy, maybe a dvd on where you are going, plenty of snacks. then when you get to where your going and you and the wife want a quiet-ish dinner, then break out the ipad
Until the 1 yo is 3 your doomed. Hang in there are treasure it, it will get easier but you will miss your kids passing out on you in crappy hotel, or helping them barf up a corndog that went wrong at a fair. All i can say is keep going.
__________________________ The entire reason for the Second Amendment is not for hunting, it’s not for target shooting … it’s there so that you and I can protect our homes and our children and and our families and our lives. And it’s also there as fundamental check on government tyranny. Sen Ted Cruz
Posts: 4858 | Location: Boca Raton, FL The Gunshine State | Registered: July 30, 2002