Monday, May 5, 2008

Road Trip

Michael, the twins, and I are heading to Myrtle Beach on Thursday for a week. It's about a 10-hour drive, and that doesn't include stopping to eat or stretch your legs.

I've been having anxiety about it for weeks now.

I figure if we leave around 9am, the babies *might* nap in the car for a while since that's around their usual nap time. When they awake, we can stop for lunch. If they cooperate, they should also nap between 1-2 pm. Later, we'll stop for dinner and get them into their pajamas.

We also have a portable DVD player that attaches to the driver's headrest; I'm hoping we can amuse them with a little Baby Einstein. (They've never been into B.E. before, but I'm hoping that with nothing else to look at other than the traffic on 95, they will somehow become interested). I've mentioned before that they are way into Amos Lee, so hopefully listening to his CD will shut them up for a while, too. (Yes, John, I know--I'm single-handedly responsible for keeping Amos Lee's career alive...)

Any tips for keeping them happy and occupied? It will take me a long time to recover if this turns out to be hellish.


  1. Hit the Dollar Store and pick up lots of fun little things for them. Save them and pull them out one at a time. If they're into unwrapping things, yet, wrap them up like presents to add time to the toy. DVD is great. So are audio cds. Take some books to read to them. And load up on snacks! They may not eat great meals on the trip, but they will probably snack the whole time they're in the car. Try the mini Ritz cracker sandwiches. Safe travels :)

  2. Plan to stop, often. I didn't take a long road trip until my oldest daughter was 3 1/2, and I was 5 months pregnant with my son. We stopped every 2 hours~thank goodness for the portable DVD player. But with younger ones, I don't think that is often enough. Hopefully they will nap for you for a bit and you can drive during that time. But, if they're like my girls, once they get out of the seat, they aren't going to want to go back in. So, give them a chance to motor around at a bit at stops~crawl on a blanket or something, so they can stretch out. Plenty of toys to play with (my girls love empty Poland Spring bottles).

    Good luck!

  3. I agree with the previous commenters. Things that worked for us:
    --new toys. They can be cheap, just lots of variety, so when they get bored of one road, you can introduce a new set. Even household things like tupperware, plastic spoons, etc. could work.
    --books: I would give them books to hold or hold them up to read to them.
    --kid music. We got a lot of play out of favorite CDs and lots of singing.
    --snacks! Snacking in the car was a great distraction. We tried for things with relatively minimal mess, like goldfish, Gerber apple bits, cheerios... Plus I gave them to them in little plastic easter eggs so they could hold them themselves, which was a big hit.
    We took a similar length trip when our kiddos were a similar age
    We turned the car seats forward facing for the trip which they loved (I know it's less safe, but I didn't see how else I could interact with them).
    --We brought their blankets and loveys from home for napping in the car. We actually left later than you, but ours only take an afternoon nap. More of our driving was after they went to sleep and they slept pretty well in sleepers post-bedtime.
    --We stopped at restaurants with table service (like Fridays) rather than McD so that we could have omre time to concentrate on them, walk around the restaurant, etc. They loved walking around holding our hands. Though McD are best for having a changing table and we stopped there earlier for changes and walking around.
    Don't worry too much! It'll be what it is, and eventually it will be over and you'll be on vacation =)

  4. We took Jackson to Vermont to visit my brother (7 hour drive) when he was 4 months old and again when he was 15 months old. He was never into DVDs or TV at home but somehow in the car, when it was right in front of his face, it mesmerized him. He was also never much of a napper but in the car for that amount of time he slept for HOURS (WAY more than normal) I can only attribute it to either the boredom or the humming of the car on the road. I sang to him and read to him a good bit for entertainment in between. It actually ended up being fairly painless, I was so surprised! I say this only to illustrate that it CAN go the other way and be better than you think. Try not to worry...and keep that fabulous vacation in mind. It'll be so great once you're there. Have fun!!!!

  5. We stop for a sleep over on any trip longer than 6 hours. Do it in two days - everybody gets a good rest and you reach your destination feeling less stressed. Regardsless, stop every 2 hours, let them run around and stretch their legs.


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