Advice for Very Long Car Trip

Updated on August 08, 2009
N.M. asks from Vero Beach, FL
6 answers

Hi Ladies,

We are moving and will be driving across country with our three kids, ages 3, 2,
and 5 months. We expect to be on the road for about a week.

We've done a lot of long plane trips, but never a car trip, so I'm looking for
tips/advice from those of you who have done long car trips.

One specific question: I have a portable DVD player, but I don't know how to
attach it to the car to make if viewable to the kids in the back seat -- any
ideas? Can you buy car chargers for these things?

Any advice is appreciated.


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answers from San Francisco on

you can get carrying cases for the DVD player that also attach to the back of the front seat at the headrest. They are relatively cheap too. Check with Wal-mart, Target, Best-buy or maybe even radio shack for them.

Keep snacks and drinks on hand, make frequent stops, and have plenty of easy quiet toys for them to play with.



answers from San Francisco on

We are a military family and have done varoius cross-coutry moves with from 1-3 kids all little. Our next will be with 5. The DVD player is nice. If it doesn't have a car plug you can get a power inverter that allows you to plug regular appliances in. We have a small CD organizer that we take our DVDs in. We like the Babu tray table for the toddlers and the MagnaDoodle. Individually packaged (bought that way or made by you) are easiest. If you can start really early the first day around 4 a.m. That way you can get 3+ hours done while they sleep. If any of your kids are potty trained take a small potty plus plastic bags with you. That way you don't have to find a restroom when needed. They aren't always close together. Take a ball (an inflatable beach ball if your short on space) that you can get out at parks and rest areas for the kids to play with and to encourage them to run around. Stop often but if kids are sleeping keep going until you think your bladder might explode. Sickers can be very entertaining to toddlers and firly inexpensive. Consider buying a new small toy or two along the way. Our kids started really liking books on tape around age 3. If you can somewhere in the middle plan a day with no travel or very short travel only during naptimes.



answers from San Francisco on

Music cds the whole family can listen to, maybe sing along with, are another idea.



answers from Sacramento on

First Years/One Step Ahead makes a really great portable tray that's soft and collapsible. It provides a great surface for coloring, playing and eating (there are also pockets on the sides, which are great for sippies and snack bags). We used these on a long 8 hour car trip and were very happy with the purchase. This tray would be ideal for your oldest children.

Definitely get the DVD player. We have one in our car and it makes long car trips SO much more bearable.

Good luck with your big move!



answers from Salinas on

That tray thing is a good idea. We made a 3 week National Park circuit in the west with a 3 yr old and 4-5 month old and crafts in the car worked great. Also stopping A LOT. We don't watch TV so we did it without the movie player. It can be done! You just have to engage and talk with the kids a lot.



answers from San Francisco on

Thats what I was gonna say is a portable DVD player...You can buy attachements to plug into your car to charge it...I know for me my tahoe has a dvd player built in and its connected to the roof so everyone can inlaws have the portables and they have a strap to go around the back of the front 2 seats Im not sure if that'll be high enough up to see though.. maybe check and see if target or somewhere sells some sort of attachement
Also for your older 2 the portable leapster games...or other versions of handheld games for younger ages..
Also of course notepads color crayons I put them in ziplock baggies...books..just their regular toys...
I wish you luck!!

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