After a four hour car ride (2 hours each way) to visit family with my 11 month old, I am ready to swear off traveling until she is older. I timed the journey with her naps, but she couldn't sleep. It was lots of tears (which I'm SO not used to because she has not been a crier since the day she was born!) and one sleep deprived sad baby! Listening to her cry made me feel horrible for dragging her along on such a long trip. Now I am ready to call off Thanksgiving and Christmas plans because it just doesn't seem worth putting her through the torture! Any experience with traveling with older babies? What has it been like for you?!
Traveling with baby; heaven or hell?
We flew when she was 6 months old and she was really good, but I do think it helped that we were in and out of different environments (plane vs terminal) and she had a lot of things to check out. We then flew again when she was 12 months old and the flight was fine but driving 5 hours once we got there was kind of rough--she just got bored and we could only distract her with toys/snacks for so long. When she was 18 months old we took a really long drive (9 hours each way) and did most of it at night. I wouldn't take a long day drive with a small child if I could help it, but since we might drive for 1/2 hour to see friends on the other side of the metro area, 1 hour seems like a short drive to me, and to her, I think. In your situation I'd probably try to do it at night; since it is only 2 hours that should be doable. Or ply her with snacks and books and other entertaining items.
We did two separate trips involving 14 hour drives each way with our daughter at 12 months and driving through the night was the only way to do it. That, or very frequent stops with long periods out of the car, which wouldn't have worked for a drive that long. We barreled through and made great time, stopping only for gas and pee breaks. She slept the entire time. For shorter drives, like 5 hours, I've done it around nap time, but she still gets really upset toward the end. I would try to do those after bedtime too, if your baby has an early enough bedtime to make it make sense.