11 answers

2 Kids, 1 Baby, 15 Hours in the Car YEAH!!!! Ok.. Help..

I actually am very excited to go on Vacation with my family. BUT 15 hours in our Minivan, I know will be hard for my kids. I have the DVD players ready, what else should I bring to make this car trip easy for all. Any tips for activities, good car snacks?? Even cool organizer ideas would be helpful! What worked for you? THANKS =)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for ALL your great advise. We survived!! We left late at night, so the kids slept for a big chunk of the time. My one big concern was the baby, how do you nurse him, without getting him out of his seat, and putting him in danger. We couldn't always pull over immediately. So I made room next to his carseat, left him and myself buckled and leaned close enough for him to nurse. Ackward, but it worked!! And we were both safe. I even put blankets down on the seat so I could just shake off crumb mess at the end...guess what?? My oldest got car sick, and my other daughter wet herself while she slept, I removed the blankets, changed them, and tightly tied the blankets in a bag, BAM done! Didn't skip a beat. And if there is a medal for this journey, I definitely nominate myself! Just kidding! Thanks again ladies for all your help!!

More Answers

i must say lucky for you you have the dvd player cause last yeah i didn't and had a horrible time with the 18 month old on our 5 hour drive. but as for you question make sure that you have "clean snacks" like prepackaged sliced pealed apples or even lucnhables not good ideas would be chips and anything gooey your van would be a wreck by the time you got there also try bringing activities my mom often takes the 5 hour trip from delaware to pennsylvania to bring my little sisters to see their father and having something to do always helps so the favorite toys will minimize yelling and make sure to take plenty of breaks honestly the best timei had on my vacation last year was playing tag at the rest stops it tired out the baby and got all of us glad to sit for a little while. i hope you have fun and goodluck with the drive

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I recently did an 8 hour trip with my two kiddos by myself in my little kia rio, lol! (initially in a snow storm and then just sparatic squalls) we only made one, maybe 2 potty stops- not quite sure how they did that!)anyway, my kids are 3 and 4 now and this was just a few months ago. Your 3 and 6 year old should be cool with dvd's and stuff. I had enough battery in the dvd player for one movie and that helped for sure during a patch of boredom. other than that i had packed a backpack of toys for each of them. my daughter had stuff like my little ponies and barbies while my son had a few cars and random things he likes and they both had coloring stuff (color wonder is the BEST!!!) so they were able to do a few different things as they wanted. the 8 month old is prolly a bit tougher. Will you be traveling mostly daytime or any chance you can drive at night? I've found in the past that planning to drive at least half the time in the sleeping hours works great when they are younger.then you don't have to worry about entertainment for a good chunk. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have the best advice because it comes from personal experience, I am originally from Louisville, KY, and moved to Rochester, NY when my first son (who is now 8 years old) was just a baby. Since then I have been making the trip home to visit at least twice a year, I also have two other children since I moved to NY, so I have three boys a 8 year old, a 7 year old, and a 3 year old. That trip is ten hours from my house to my mothers house. I haev found over the past eight years that the best time to travel is at night, so if it is possible I would say rest up and do most of the traveling through the evening hours, because the kids will fall asleep in the car. So there won't be any arguing (which is inevitable when you have siblings is a car for a long period of time together), plus for a long period of time during the drive there won't be any of the where are we now, and are we there yet questions that as parents we just love to answer about oh a thousand times during every long car trip....LOL! So as I said if it is a possibility I would start your trip around anywhere between 5-6 at night kids will be asleep in a matter of hours. If the two older kids are old enough, I would also say if they have anything like gameboys, etc. charge those up and bring them along with pletny of games to share, this works well for my two older boys, who seem to be able to stay up later and later now days. However the little one is always asleep within a few hours as soon as the sun goes down it isn't long before he is out. Hope this helps, and if you need any other advice, or have any other questions let me know.

1 mom found this helpful

When I flew with my boys to North Carolina a couple months ago, it was suggested to bring "presents" for them. Go to the dollar store and buy special little toys/games you know they'll love. Wrap each one up and every couple hours give them a new "present". It's great because it's something new that will hold their attention for awhile. Make sure it's nothing messy and a good car toy. For a buck you won't care if it gets lost or breaks. Another trick for the car. Forget about juice boxes. Get sports bottles with the freezable middle. (I got mine at Target for $1 each) It's great, you can put whatever they want to drink in it and it stays cold. Not to mention... NO STRAWS, WRAPPERS, EMPTY JUICE BOXES... NO MESS!
good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We used to live in Orlando, Fl but all of our family was up here. We drove on our vacations here (22hrs straight through). We started doing this when the kids were little to get them into it. One thing that helped was that we would leave at like 2am so they could sleep in the van. By the time they woke, it would be time to stop and get something for breakfast and get them dressed. We would pack a picnic lunch so we could stop at a rest area to let them stretch their legs and relax. Shoe organizers (the plastic ones that hang on a door) work for holding things, but we used backpacks (smaller ones when they were little) and let them pack what they wanted to bring in it--with in reason (they couldn't bring the whole toy box). My kids are older now (16, 15, 12) so when we drove it was before the times of portable dvd players so they had their walkmans, barbies, coloring books, etc. We also let them pack some snacks in their backpacks (fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers, goldfish) so letting them pack some things gave them a little bit of control and the feeling that they were helping with the trip.

1 mom found this helpful

Last summer we drove to Florida, 24 hours, with my then 15, 18 and 2yr. and of course my husband. and all the grown men complained except for the 2 yr. he was great. we watched dvd movies all the way down and brought a lot of food, snacks, toys and stopped about every 3 hrs. for a stretch. we made it there and back and we were in my Durango no minivan. Have fun and be very patient.

1 mom found this helpful

We took our first long car ride with my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter. We did a 2 day drive down to Myrltle Beach from NY. The best idea that I had was the "Snack Bag" I filled a small tote bag with every kind of snack that I could think of - graham honey bees (these were so cute!), crackers, popcorn, pretzels, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers - and the secret weapon a little bit of candy and a couple cookies.

My kids are going through a "snacking" phase, and every hour it was "I'm hungry" They picked snacks from the "snack bag" and happily munched while watching the scenery.

The other thing that was a hit was - the night we stopped halfway down we had eaten at a Cracker Barrel - a resturant that has a "general store" attached to it (if you don't know) They ate their dinner and got to pick out a toy from the store - which they played with all the next day in the car. (I, of course, had to pick them up off the floor behind me about a million times, but that's just a given!)

Finally - my husband and I saw every McDonald's playland through Pennsylvania. We stopped about every 2 hours. My 4 year old was very good about telling us when he had to use the potty - and it was good timing for leg stretching. They would start to ask when the next playland was, which could be trying, but it gave them a short goal to look forward to instead of "9 hours left to drive"

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We just took a road trip from NY to KY during spring break. It was about 12 hours in the car. We have the portable DVD player with 2 screens. I let the kids pick the movies they wanted to take. The older ones have Nintendo DS Lites that they got for Christmas. Plus it had just been my 8 yr olds birthday and she got a new set of books in the mail the morning we left. She read 2 1/2 of them before we got half way to KY! I put the 1 yr old in the back seat with the 8 year old. She helped feed him, and he was very happy to have movies to watch. My 6 yr old sat beside the 5 month old and would give him a bottle whenever he was hungry. That cut down on long stops. It would be quick to just change diapers and have potty breaks. Luckily the 5 month old didn't get too fussy from not being burped.
I don't remember how old your kids are, but when mine were even younger I got them metal lap trays. You should be able to find them near the registers at Walmart. That was great for coloring. We also, of course, brought along crayons and coloring books. Also a couple of travel games. Those last few things were before I set aside the money to get the DVD player. That alone will probably keep your kids occupied for the entire trip! I would try to split up a 15 hour drive into 2 days. The baby is going to get tried of being the carseat after about 9 hours, and will probably be non stop crying. Ours did anyway.
For snacks we packed mixed nuts, chips, goldfish crackers, and Cheese It's. Yeah, they were messy, but that's what a vacuum cleaner is for. Or better yet have your oil changed when you get back at one of those places where they vacuum for you! lol
If you are bottle feeding make sure you take water from your house (we packed a 3 gallon jug so we had our own water) or bottled water. Keep a can of powdered formula in the front, and bottles prefilled with water. That way you don't have to worry about a cooler, and how you are going to warm the bottles. I think that's all. :) Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

My kids have been great little travelers ever since they were born... some say it's because we do travel a lot... but I say, it's because I am a smart mom (like yourself) who plans ahead!!

I have my kids participate in the planning, packing and prep of the trip as much as possible. (And when they are asleep I recheck everything.) This helps build excitement.

We map our route and go online to check special interests spots along the way too.. You can photocopy the map for them to each have a copy and have them highlight the route as you go... always good to stick education in there somewhere.. hee hee.

But the trick I have always used, and is so much fun to me, is the mommy bag. No one knows whats in it, but on long trips, I take something out of it every hour. You can tailor the "stuff" that goes in the bag, but I always make sure I have
some new things.. crayons, stickers, pencils etc. I might include silly putty, mad libs, activity books, find-it books etc. depending on their age. Dollar stores are a gem for good finds cheap! I do usually let the kids pick out one new toy
that is under $5 which usually buys me the first couple hours.
I pack books on tape and fun musically tapes for kids too.

But my most favorite item in the mommy bag is the 1 minute homemade book I always pack for each kid (I have 3 also). I take several pieces of paper, fold them together in half, then get a piece of colored construction paper, fold it in half and place over the white pieces like a book cover. Then I staple the edges and write on the cover "Jack's Book, Ian's book etc."

The pictures, stories and games they create with these books is amazing.

I am also not at all uptight about keeping the van clean on a long trip. We have snacks when we are hungry, we take shoes off when they are crowding our toes and we have fun!

Hope your trip goes well. You sound like you already have a terrific attitude and a lot of spousal support... I'd say that will get you half way there. The mommy bag might help get you the rest of the way.... Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My suggestion would be to drive at night. Thats what my ex-husband and I used to do with our 2 small children and it worked great.

About Me:I am a single mother of 2 beautiful children, 1 girl now 7 & 1 boy almost 6.

A word to the wise, limit the drinks for those hours and know after a drink pee is within 20minutes. It makes travel much better to travel @ night and put kids in car sleeping.
Good Luck!

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