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<p>We are planning our Spring Break vacation in March and have found a wonderful place in Arkansas where we can rent a whole house for not much at all!  However, I am dreading the drive.  DD will be 17.5 mos at that point and I just don't know how she'll do in the truck for that long.  I will likely be driving and DH will be riding his motorcycle behind/in front of us.  My thought is that maybe we leave the house at 3:00 a.m. and get some good hours of driving in before she wakes for the day, but then I'll be dead on my feet for the rest of that day and then on the way back.  I'll also have our 11yo with me part of the way when he's not on the back of the bike with DH.  My thought is that if we leave at 3, we can get 5 good hours of driving in and then maybe add 4-5 with stops.  But that makes for a really long day...  waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa</p>
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<p>Has anyone done this?  We'll be going for the week so heading up there early on a Sunday and then leaving on Friday.</p>
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<p>What did you do?  How did it work?  Is this crazy?  How often did you stop?  For how long?   Mapped distance, it's 8 hours.</p>
 

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<p>We're going on a 900 mile (one way) car trip for christmas w/ 16 mo ds.   We made the same trip at 5 mo and 9 mo for christmas last year and a wedding.  We always stop for the night halfway.  I don't think 400 miles is that crazy, though, it's a little harder when you're driving to entertain the baby.  For our trips I ride in back with ds, and dh drives.   We drove all night on one of the trips, since dh had been working nights and sleeping during the day anyway.  It was great, ds woke up only when we stopped for gas, which is less than he wakes up in the night at home.  I recommend bringing lots of fun music to sing along to, and having a basket of really interesting toys and snacks in your reach so you can hand her things one at a time as she gets bored.  Maybe it would be easier if you rented a car so you could all ride together?  We generally don't have to stop too much more than we did pre baby.  We linger a little longer at fast food joints when we eat so he gets to blow off some energy then.  Maybe look for a park or a mall with a food court and an indoor playspace to stop at along the way?  We also make sure to top off the tank if we do make an extra stop so that we're less likely to need to stop and wake him during a nap.  Good luck.</p>
 

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<p>We go 7hrs regularly.  We try to leave at 3am so the kids sleep, stop at 7am at McDonald's for breakfast and a long leg stretch (if the weather is nice, the kids can go to the outdoor plaything there) and then drive on, stopping only for potty breaks.  It's easier for us to just do it then take lots of breaks.  Dh usually drives while I sit next to the baby (now 9 months) and the older kids read, draw, play with their action figures and watch movies on the iPod Touch.  At 17 months, I read a lot of books and the magnadoodle was AWESOME.</p>
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<p>Does your husband have to take the motorcycle?  It'd probably be easier for you if you were all in one car so someone could sit near the toddler to help entertain her.</p>
 

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<p>We do an 8-10 h (one way) drive regularly.  I have done it since DS was only about 2wks old.  We have a DVD player set up and toys (video games at this point).  I leave early...and he used to stay asleep at that age until the sun was up.  We stop to stretch the legs, have some food, pee breaks...in our 8-10h drive I stop twice.</p>
 

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<p>This summer, I drove to chicago (it's about 13 hours from where I live).  I did the trip in two 6-7 hour days.  For T-giving we did a 6 hour drive to St Louis.  My rule on long road trips is that as long as he's sleeping or happy I don't stop (unless I'm about to run out of gas or pee on myself).  T-giving... we only made on stop both ways.  When I do stop, I make it a longer stop (about an hour)... I find a park or McDonald's with playground, or a store or something where we can wander around and stretch.</p>
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<p>I also try to coordinate driving times with nap time.  And my goal is to arrive at our destination with at least several hours for him to blow off steam and run around before bed time.</p>
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<p>I would love to try the driving through the night thing... but there's no way I could do that and not fall asleep at the wheel.</p>
 

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<p>My daughter was 17 months old when we went on a roadtrip vacation this past summer.  I was worried about taking a 17 month old, an almost 5 year old and a 7 year old on such a long trip, but it went really well.  We travelled from Western PA to Shenandoah, VA to Gatlinburg, TN to Asheville, NC to Wilmington, NC to Ocracoke Island and back to Fairfax, VA-over 2000 miles in all.  We started out around 4:30 in the morning on the first day.  Dd woke up for a little while in the beginning of the trip and went back to sleep for several hours.  We had lots of snacks, different toys and books and her brothers to entertain her.  You really never know how things will go until you try.  Getting a very early start worked out well for us, though I know that some people like to drive through the night.  Getting a little sleep first works well for me!</p>
 

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<p>I did a 400 mile trip solo this fall with a 17m old and 2 other kids. it sucked royally but we survived. It was rural roads, we had all sorts of delays, it took close to 10 hours with all the stops I had to make. Did mention the toddler had croup as well? What got us through was my 7 year sitting next to the toddler, she entertained him the whole way. I'd keep her 11 year with you to entertain. No hope of trailing the bike there? That would be the easiest.</p>
 

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<p>Wow, these are all great suggestions!  And most of all, I feel reassured that somehow, just maybe, the trip up there and back won't be all terrible as long as we can make a couple of pit stops to play and run around.</p>
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<p>Just to clarify, the main roads in Texas for motorcyclists are pretty boring.  I am also a motorcyclists - just happen to be on hiatus due to not being able to strap the baby seat to the back.  <span><img alt="ROTFLMAO.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" width="39"></span>  I am fully supportive of DH riding his street bike up there and us taking the boys' dirt bikes in the bed of our truck.  DS will start out the trip in the truck with me as it'll be too dark and cold at 3:00 a.m. for him to be on the bike since he doesn't have a fully lined jacket and pants.  Once we get into Arkansas, I hear that the roads are beautiful with much to look at, especially on the smaller roads.</p>
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<p>We'll likely buy a portable DVD player and get a magandoodle, like several suggested.  DD will continue to be facing backwards, though, as that's safest for her and she still fits beautifully.</p>
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<p>Keep the suggestions coming!  We may have a running list of survival tips!  <span><img alt="thumb.gif" height="18" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif" width="23"></span></p>
 

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<p>we drove from georgia to vermont and back home this summer and dd was 17months. we just drove the same trip again when she was 21 months. it's rough but doable. the first time she was rear facing and wanted more interaction from us. the second trip she was forward facing and was way more entertained. for a month or so leading up to each trip I stock piled new books, toys, or stashed some of her favorite things and packed the back seat full of things for her. I would space out giving her something new to play with and giving her snacks. She was still nursing for both trips and has always been a comfort nurser so that was hard because she would get cranky and want to nurse. we stopped a lot. and i mean a lot. diaper changes, just getting out of the car and letting her run at a rest stop or getting gas. I learned that some toys that have things that can fall out of the car seat were a bad idea because she would get frustrated and I couldn't keep reaching back to find her stuff. we don't have a tv at home but I would have totally gone with the dvds!! we tried each trip different ways, waking up really early and getting on the road and then just leaving when it's daylight. they both left me exhausted. I would just recommend giving yourself lots of time to stop and take it easy on the trip...nothing worse than pressure to get somewhere adding to the situation. I know my post isn't the most upbeat. It was exhausting but our trip was around 23 hours each way there and back, twice....so your's shouldn't be that bad. <img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif">  books, dvds, our dd really like a waterdoodle (like the magnadoodle but it uses water like those buddha boards) and lacing beads (those were the ones that kept falling all over the car), playsilks for peekaboo and puppets. I also found cookie tins and filled them up with things for her to explore. Or shoe boxes or something like that. I just gave her the box filled with stuff and it entertained her for a while going through and checking everything out. Hope some of that helps.</p>
 

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<p>I did 1300 with an 18 month old by myself (add to that the fact that I hadn't had a car I could drive before then so I totally didn't know what to expect!  I figured it'd take me a week to get home!).  I broke it into four days, the first being the longest (middle CT to middle OH - 10 hours).  My son does travel well.  I think the key is to not make any grand plans, just go with it.  I woudln't get up too early, not safe to drive tired.  Stop when she gets fussy, let her roam a bit, or even just get out of the seat, get food and then go again.  I got him a special toy that he LOVED, I got it at my first stop on the first day.  You  might find it doesn't take more time.  But then I tend to stop a lot while on long drives, helps me stay awake.</p>
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<p>I've done more cross country road trips than I can count with my kids. DH is military so we live far away from family and I can't stand flying. We've done south dakota to new york at least eight times. New york to oregon. Oklahoma to new york a bunch of times. Oklahoma to mississippi. Mississippi to new york. Oklahoma to south dakota. South dakota to florida. Florida to new york. All of these have been done multiple times and I'm not counting short under 500 mile trips. Over half of these trips I've done alone with the kids when I wanted to visit family in new york and DH couldn't take leave or was overseas. With one child it was easy, with two under two it was difficult. With three it was rough but our third was not a car trip fan until lately. With four under six it's a monster that requires tons of planning.</p>
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<p>My advice:</p>
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<p>- do not alter your routine; I've tried on many, many occasions to leave really early or drive until very late to take advantage of sleep time but I've always regretted it. Sticking with your routine makes the trip seem easier and just like a regular day with extra driving.</p>
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<p>- have your neediest, usually the youngest, child in the easiest spot to reach. Keep sippy cups, toys, blankets, etc. on the passenger seat so you can grab and pass back. Have plenty of prefilled sippy cups ready, they will be dropped.</p>
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<p>- 300-400 miles is the max for kids under six to do in a day. Everyone will be miserable if you try to drive longer than that. It means more money for the trip but is your entire family being miserable worth a few hundred dollars for hotels?</p>
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<p>- look for things to do on the way. If you're near somewhere with a zoo or museum try that, places like the louisville slugger factory and fun and tire everyone out. If that's not possible look for stores or malls to walk around in. They're safe compared to parks in areas you're not sure about the safety of and you can pick up a snack or a postcard after walking around. </p>
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<p>- if the kids are really cranky or tired stop. STOP. Save everyone's nerves and take a break or stop for the night early.</p>
 
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