as anyone took a toddler on a long trip? like 10 hrs of driving?

Jessy - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 209 moms have responded )

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i want to take our son hes 2yr on our 1st family vac. to myrtle beach

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Nicole - posted on 01/07/2010

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I have taken two kids on a long trip before. We have a two year old and a one year old and live in Idaho and drove to Seattle (12-13 hours). I suggest getting a portable DVD player. It really helps keep them entertained. Whenever you stop for gas you can let them get out and run around. We have also driven at night so then they sleep the whole time. I am not sure if that helps but Good Luck!

Bri - posted on 01/23/2010

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I have traveled extensively with my daughter since she was just a few weeks old- flights, van rides, and even train.



1) DVD is great but don't rely on it.... sure it's convenient but don't forget the old fashioned games that parents had to use 30 years ago before the DVD player- keeps kids from getting bored with movies and engages different parts of the brain and even body parts.



2) Music- do sing alongs (hokey pokey even while they are in the car seat), or just listening to music.



3) Books on tape- check the local library! Our toddler was 2 when we listened to Harry Potter on a long trip... not that she understand the story and plot line but she loved listening to it and would get upset when we had to turn if off for something.



4) Toys and books and things that you do NOT use at home- we have a small collection of stuff that we do not keep out at home so that it's fresh and new on trips. Color wonder markers are awesome, as are the color pages that are dry erase. Frosting containers are great for storing crayons- they fit in cup holders and you don't have to worry about the crayons melting all over your seats!



5) Potty training- may or may not set the child back. Stop every hour or two and make it a rule that everyone has to at least try. But be prepared- there was more than one occasion that I pulled over and she went in the weeds on the side of the road.



6) Snacks and drinks good- keep them healthy and then throw in a treat/candy/ice cream part way through as a bonus.

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2010

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as everyone said DVD player is always nice. can also do color wonder markers for the car if your worried about him marking everything. before any long trip in the car we make sure to put down a hand towel in the carseat just in case something happends. much easier to take out a towel and put into a bag then it is to take off the carseat cover and wash it. keep extra clothes handy as well. driving at night does make it easier but i wouldn't suggest it unless you have someone to look after kiddo once you are there, otherwise your gonna have hyper kid and really tired parents.

Dorothy - posted on 01/07/2010

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We have taken our children across the US (from NM to NY) took us 3 days. My son was 3 years and our daughter had just turned 1. I agree with the other posters, the portable DVD players are THE BEST for long trips!! Plus my kids slept alot of the trip and still slept at night. We also made sure to make long pit stops along the way to let them run out their energy (McD's and BK's are life savers for that).

Sara - posted on 01/07/2010

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We have made several 9-11 hour trips with our girls (4 yrs. and 21 mos.), starting when they each were just a few weeks old. We don't have a DVD player or anything, so we look for other ways to keep them entertained. We always bring along books and toys in a large bag. I only pull out one or two of those at a time. That way, there's always more surprises to come. We try to stop at least two or three times (more if necessary) and let them get out and run around for a few minutes. We also try to time our departure where they can either take a nap in the car or leave at night so they can sleep in the car. As messy as it is, we also keep snacks and eat our meals in the car. Eating meals in the car takes up at least 20-30 minutes of the travel time.

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Elizabeth - posted on 01/24/2010

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Watch the portable dvd players. Everyone is suggesting it, but my son gets car sick when watching them. Even when just watching for a few monutes, he threw up soon after. It took us twice to realize what it was. He likes to color and we point out things to find outside. Frequent stops help, too. I know it takes longer, but much less stress.

Cricket - posted on 01/23/2010

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we went on a family trip to Myrtle beach when she was 14 months and we just pulled over like at a park for bit to eat lunch a couple gas station she pretty much slept most of the time but she did real well ,...She loved the beach ,..she loved playing in the sand and digging in the sand with her pale and shovel that i got at walmart. It was a very good time. Hope that helps

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2010

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I've taken my 2yo daughter on several trips... 8 hour plane ride combined with a 4 hour car ride. One of the best tips that I ever got was to hide her favorite toy(s) about two weeks before the trip and then "introduce" it while on the plane/car. In addition, I always have new books and/or toys that I give her when she is reaching her limit of sitting in the car seat. I can honestly say that we have had enjoyable trips each time and no issues.

Alisha - posted on 01/23/2010

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yes. i have . my son was 2 at the time we went on a 1 hr trip from mass to sc he did real good jus make sure to bring gameboy or somethin he can play n any entertainment cuz they get board of sittin in the same spot fo a while. make sure to stop frequently and strech his/her legs. the only thing bout my son is thst he threw up im guessin he was car sick so bring some plastic bags jus in case.. all kids r different so good luck!

Cynthia - posted on 01/23/2010

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We took our triplets to Florida from Charlotte which turned out to be 17 hours in the car due to an unplanned stop in Atlanta. They were about 20 months old and they did fine. We tried to stop all large malls that had a play area so they could stretch their legs. We also had a DVD player in the car that helped a great deal.

Dusty - posted on 01/23/2010

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I gotta agree DVd players work wonders, Books, toys, coloring books are great! Go to your local library get books w/tapes they are quite! and change around who sits in the back if you can. Good luck Be Safe!

Christine - posted on 01/22/2010

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Hi My 2 year old, is just going thru potty training, and what I found best is to bring a little potty along and have it in the trunk, so you can put him on when ever he ask for it, or/and when you think he may have to go, i usually do it about 15 min, after she had something to drink. I personally did not want to go back to diapers, just because we take a trip. Of course I always have a few extra clothing item's for her, just incase.

Brenda - posted on 01/22/2010

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i do not believe a child should set in front of a dvd or anything like that there are toys cames and other things you can do there are learning games you can teach your kids colors using other cars,teach them how to count by asking them and you will have to follow along on this one,how many cars can you count in five min. or how many big trucks do ya see.little games like that get the whole familey involed and the kids injoy it alot.

Brenda - posted on 01/22/2010

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i do not believe a child should set in front of a dvd or anything like that there are toys cames and other things you can do there are learning games you can teach your kids colors using other cars,teach them how to count by asking them and you will have to follow along on this one,how many cars can you count in five min. or how many big trucks do ya see.little games like that get the whole familey involed and the kids injoy it alot.

Jeanne - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have a 2 year old as well. When we travel we do like the other moms. I have found that it is helpful to avoid naps if possible that day and let him run off as much energy as possible. We normally will leave in the evening and take his dvd player with a couple of his movies. He will usually watch the movie and fall asleep. If he does wake up it is usually for milk or juice (which I take with me so we do not have to stop ) or a snack then we'll turn the dvd back on for him. Good luck, I hope you have a wonderful vacation.

Shauna - posted on 01/22/2010

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My duaghter gose on long trip every 2 to 3 months. The one thing we make sure we ahve is toys that she like and lots of snack foods.

Aroha - posted on 01/22/2010

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make the trip fun, portable dvd player, lots of food and plenty of stops. We pretend to be tourists LOL well alot of the sights our children are seeing for the first time. So we let them run around and have a little play. They soon fall asleep. Its great.

Jen - posted on 01/22/2010

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We did several roadtrips with our kids. In May they were 8 months & almost 2 and we went on a 13 hour road trip. In August they were 11 months & 2 and we went on a 14 hour roadtrip. In December they were 13 months and 2.5 and we took a 15 hour roadtrip. All three times the kids self entertained. We're thinking of getting a DVD player for next time but so far we haven't needed one. We gave them some books and toys to play with.



The best thing I can suggest is don't drive over 8 hours in one day. Plan stops for lunch and snack time to keep them on their schedule and try to find a fast food place with a playground.



As far as flying - it's a lot easier. Don't forget the car seat :)

Julie - posted on 01/22/2010

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We took our daughter when she was 2 on a road trip to Gulf Shores, AL it is a 13 hour car ride from our house. I went and got her some new books and toys from the dollar bin at Target and would give her a new book or toy every hour or so to keep her preoccupied. If your son is anything like my daughter was at that age DVD's didn't really hold her attention so I had to improvise.

When you stop to get gas or food let him get out and walk around, hopefully he will sleep for you too! Good luck!

Julie - posted on 01/22/2010

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We took our daughter when she was 2 on a road trip to Gulf Shores, AL it is a 13 hour car ride from our house. I went and got her some new books and toys from the dollar bin at Target and would give her a new book or toy every hour or so to keep her preoccupied. If your son is anything like my daughter was at that age DVD's didn't really hold her attention so I had to improvise.

When you stop to get gas or food let him get out and walk around, hopefully he will sleep for you too! Good luck!

Alysia - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son just turned 2 and he has already been to texas, california, and florida. We live in new hampshire. We went to texas when he was 3 months, California when he was 9 months and Florida when he was 1 1/2. It was alot of fun as long as you have help . Good luck

Alysia - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son just turned 2 and he has already been to texas, california, and florida. We live in new hampshire. We went to texas when he was 3 months, California when he was 9 months and Florida when he was 1 1/2. It was alot of fun as long as you have help . Good luck

Rebecca - posted on 01/22/2010

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Everyone has great suggestions!! We just drove from NC to CT, during the day, with our 7mth old and 3 1/2 year old. We only had to stop 4 times for a total of 3 hrs. Then we had 13 hrs of drive time. I was able to sit in the back between the carseats and we played videos on our laptop. I tried to keep their schedules pretty well the same (sleep, eat, play). Cracker Barrell was a great place to stop for lunch since they have a long front porch. My toddler ran back and forth with my hubby while I shopped! :) If he's potty trained, make sure he goes at each stop so you don't have to make extra stops for that!

Rachelle - posted on 01/22/2010

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bring lots of toys and....dont expect them to stay in their carseat the whole time. I know its not the safest thing to say but there is no way u can expect that out of a toddler...we are taking our 3.5 yr old on a 27 hour trip...straight thru is the plan! we will have lots of toys and playtime on the floor of the van...

Heather - posted on 01/22/2010

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It is really hard, but the only advice I have is a TV in the car. I really don't like to do that, but on a long trip it is a lifesaver. Also, stop every couple of hours for 30 min or so and let him walk alittle. Hope that helps.

Stephanie - posted on 01/22/2010

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yes....we drove through the night while ours were sleeping (ages 1,3,5,13). We bought DVD players so they could watch movies or listen to a cd. We drove for 15 hrs and still had our sanity when we got there. On the way home we drove during the day.....I don't recommend that with little ones!!!

Tara - posted on 01/22/2010

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keep lots of snacks and different toys or activities available. Be prepared to make a number of stops to break up the monotony of the drive for them. If you are really lucky they will sleep through a good portion of the trip.

Keisha - posted on 01/22/2010

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Sure have. I took my twins boy 2 months old at the time now 4 months, and our two year old daughter back home to Missouri for Thanksgiving. The trip toke 20 hours. They all did great. We left at their bedtime so they slept most of the night.

Tracy - posted on 01/22/2010

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over the last 9 years i have traveled many times from new jersey to north carolina (8-11 hours depending on traffic) with my at the time only child from age 2 months to 3 years. when she was 3 we took a train from new jersey to georgia, then a bus from georgia to alabama where we now live. i have traveled from alabama to naples florida (12 hours) and back when my oldest was 5 and my son was 1, and since my youngest was born we have traveled from alabama to north carolina many times (about 10 hours). i have never had a problem traveling with my kids. i leave the house about 2 hours before dinner time, we stop to eat, before i know it they are asleep and i drive thru the night with a quiet car. i take them to mcdonalds for breakfast (making sure they have a play area to stretch their legs for a few mins) then back on the road til the end of the trip. it might take a little bit of planning but after all the horror stories i have heard about traveling with kids, the extra planning is worth it. its a road trip, and they love it. the kids are now, 9, 5, and 3 and they loooove long trips, without all the technological babysitters like dvds and video games. traveling at night lets them get the rest they need and gives me time to relax without noise for a few hours.

Traci - posted on 01/22/2010

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yeah i know how that goes. my oldest daughter you to do that to me. we would pull off the side of the road open both doors and let her pee on ground. we went to mountians last week and my 3 yrs had to go but would not pee on side of road. so i told my hubby we are taking the potty chair with us for sure.

Mishel - posted on 01/22/2010

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portable dvd w/his favorite movies & even if he's potty trained, put him in a pull up! We took my daughter on a 6 hr trip & she was potty trained but we got on a stretch of road w/no outlets, broad daylight & no trees (we were n the desert!) & b4 we could pull off, she peed all over the car seat!! Had to dig thru the siutcase 4 clean clothes, a roll of paper towel to sop up the car seat & an old jacket to line it w/afterward!! Def left one for the memory book!! Good luck!

Traci - posted on 01/22/2010

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we have taken our kids on road trips since they were tiny. My kids are 16,13,3,15months, we went to san fransciso when my 3 yr old was 6.5 months and thats 8 hrs and we went to disneyland when he was 2.5, and my 15mnth old its a 4hr drive with no stops. we do a lot of stops if needed,. I always try to leave really early in morning,. if not i wake them up really early and play with em, and wear em out so by the time i get on the road at 8 or 9 am they are tired and ready for a nap. they sleep for at least 2 hrs. the only problem i have with my son is he gets car sick. Also i have tinted windows but i stil put a receiving blanket in the window and i have a portable dvd player and i play his fav movie. we have a bag of toys for him. with everything from cars to crayons and color book. once he wakes up from a nap i stop right away, let him run around and go to bathroom, same with my baby. i also take a cooler and have lots of different drinks and snacks for them. \



this is what i have done with all my kids , i have always traveled with them. just be patient and have lots to entertain him. good luck and hope you have a great vacation. oh if your child gets car sick you can give benedryl

Anne - posted on 01/22/2010

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We took my son on a three week road trip when he was 5 months old and then on a airplane across the country when he was 1 year old. DVD player helps...and we also booked a red eye flight, so he will sleep most of the way. LOTS of snacks. things to do and remember he's little so lots of breaks.

Heidi - posted on 01/22/2010

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We take our 3 kids ranging from age 20 months to 6 years old on long trips once in a while. We are a military family and so we live aways from family and we like to celebrate holidays with family and such. Our children however are used to taking the long rides but its not always easy. It takes planning, make sure you have snacks for your kid to eat and activities to keep them active. They will take a nap probably on that length of a ride. Our rides have ranged from 12 hours to 17 hours long. We just moved and it took us 3 days to move with 3 kids because we had to stop so much but our tavel time was about 26 to 27 hours. I always plan snacks and drinks for my kids and plently of activities to keep them busy. If you have a portable dvd player and he likes movies that is one of the best things ever. Keep your child occupied and he should do fine, when they get bored is when they get annoying.

Brittney - posted on 01/21/2010

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I live in Nebraska, my father in Michigan, and my mother in Georgia with flight tickets as expensive as they are we are always on the road. My girls love watching movies. So take my laptop and download movies to it and let them watch movies when they are up

Danielle - posted on 01/21/2010

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If both of you are going and one of you don't get car sick when you read, I would suggest taking some of your sons favorite books. If one of you could sit in the back with him for a while you could play "I spy" and pick out the colors of cars. My son has a aquadoodle, the travel one and it's great, all you need is water in the "pen" and you don't have to worry about your son making a mess. Another fun thing to do would be to make a cd of age appropriate songs or kids bop or something of the like. A travel DVD player would be a good idea only if you travel long distances frequently otherwise it could become a pain on those half hour errands when he wants to watch his favorite movie. Bring a lot of healthy snacks for him so you don't turn a 10 hr trip into a 12 or 13 hr trip. Another good idea would be any toys that he likes that won't drive you crazy, preferably quiet ones for your sake. And chances are, with that long of a trip, he will probably take 1-3 naps depending on what time you leave and what time you arrive. Hope this helps and I bid you safe and comfortable travelling. If he's good make sure to get him a shark tooth necklace (boys love that kind of thing) and some salt water taffy!

Seana - posted on 01/21/2010

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I took my son who was 2 at the time from Lansing MI all the way to St. Pete FL...took 24 hours. My son slept about 75% of the time. When he was awake we had to stop like every hour or so to let him run around and go potty and eat. I bet he does great. Good luck.

Betty - posted on 01/21/2010

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Pull ups! Still catches it if there is an accident, but not the full diaper so at rest stops, they can be pulled down just like big-boy pants.

Carrie - posted on 01/21/2010

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I took my 2 yr old on a 11 hour driving trip down to Disneyland. He did great, just schedule in some rest stops. I also had a bag of activities that he could do. I purchased a cheap cookie sheet( as a table) and some magnets to play with on it. I also packed him some cars to drive around and a magic color coloring book to play with. He also had some books, and they were all within reach so he could pick and choose. I also had packed snack sized bags of his favorite snacks in his bag. Between all this and sleeping he and his 4 yr old sister did great on the drive.

Jessica - posted on 01/21/2010

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We have done a 12 hour trip in 1 day with 4 kids. Ages 5,4,2,and 8 mo. We did not have a DVD player, though it would have much easier. We often make a 3 hour trip with them and have just had their little backpack with their toys in it, if they drop their toys they have to wait and get them when we stop for potty or gas. We are not up to driving all night, we just do it during the day. If it gets to be too much for us and the kids, then we stop overnight at a hotel with a pool.

Susan - posted on 01/21/2010

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I've taken our 2 1/2 yr old everywhere. he even came to Mexico on our Honeymoon when he was 18 mos. He's been to California, 3 times, Texas twice, DC twice and Phili (we live in Brooklyn). He travels quite well. We do bring his sound machine and one of his blankets from home and often let him sleep with us the first couple nights. Enjoy!

Denise - posted on 01/21/2010

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Hi, I am the mom of a 10 year old son and 1 year old twin girls. The day after the girls turned 1, we went on vacation from Calif. to N.C. We flew, but it was still a more then 6 hour flight, including layovers. Other then the planed being crowded, it was fun to have the little ones with us. If we can travel with 2 one year olds, a two year old should be a breeze. Good luck.

Lisa - posted on 01/21/2010

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I flew with my son at 18 months for 18 hours to Korea, and then back at about 2 1/2 another 16. My advice would be to travel at night during your child's normal sleeping hours if at all possible. Also, I had a bag of stuff just for him that as he would get cranky or bored with what he had I would pull something new out of- mostly new things that I had bought just for the trip, but very small things. One of the biggest hits was a sticker book where you matched the stickers to the outline of the sticker shape on the book. DVD's didn't work so well for me, my son didn't have the attention span to watch an entire movie (we didn't watch a lot of tv anyway so maybe that's why?). Also, lots of little snacks. Good Luck! :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2010

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We took our boys on a trip and we bought little gifts before hand and wrapped them. Then, every time we stopped, we gave them a prize. They loved it and had something to look forward to! Oh and driving at night is good too! :)

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2010

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When my daughter was 10 months old we drove from NE PA to North Carolina (supposed to be around 10 1/2 hr drive) its took us like 12 1/2. Then we went again when she was almost 13 months...she slept most of the way both times. Its so much easier if you leave at night!! The first time we went down at night and came back during the day....they get VERY antsy! The 2nd time we left NC at 7:30 AM....It took us 14 hours to get home! lol But I made sure she had bags of toys and books to keep her occupied and snacks and stuff like that, but as long as you stop and let them play around and walk around it works out a little bit better =) Hope this helps!

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2010

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When my daughter was 10 months old we drove from NE PA to North Carolina (supposed to be around 10 1/2 hr drive) its took us like 12 1/2. Then we went again when she was almost 13 months...she slept most of the way both times. Its so much easier if you leave at night!! The first time we went down at night and came back during the day....they get VERY antsy! The 2nd time we left NC at 7:30 AM....It took us 14 hours to get home! lol But I made sure she had bags of toys and books to keep her occupied and snacks and stuff like that, but as long as you stop and let them play around and walk around it works out a little bit better =) Hope this helps!

Courtney - posted on 01/20/2010

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i just recently was so terrified to take my kids on vacation my sons were 1 & 2 and my nieces 5 and 15!!! i took plenty of snacks and drinks crayons there favorite blankets and teddys they sleep with and who knew there was no whining at all!!!! It was amazing!! portable dvd players can also be found for really inexpensive and that really helps!!!!! dont be scared just plan it out and let them help. My kids each got a spongebob backpack that had a handle and rollers..(i found at walmart for about 10 dollars) i let them fill it up with their own special toys and like i said everyone did great!!!!! even sleeping in a hotel for the first time was much easier than i thought it would be!! Good luck! hope this helped!!!

Kimberly - posted on 01/20/2010

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Summer of 2009 I took my two-year-old son, James, and his four-year-old half brother, Phil, out to Denver, Colorado, from Chicago, Illinois. It's a 21 hour drive if you go straight through, but since Phil's mom and their grandma didn't sleep well in vehicles we stopped for the night. The trip itself wasn't too bad. We had a small dvd screen that we had the boys watching movies on for some of the trip. The trip went really well, the only thing we would have changed was we would have let the boys drink more water during the ride and then had to have made several more bathroom breaks, it's just difficult to find somewhere to stop when there isn't an exit for several dozen miles.

Otherwise I have family four to five hours away, it's a long drive for the little ones but if you can keep them entertained with a movie or a game and make sure you take a few stops just to run and stretch your legs, let you son run around for a bit, it'll make the overall trip a bit longer, but he should sit better for it then.

Adriel - posted on 01/20/2010

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Last summer, we took our daughter from NWArkansas to Minneapolis (12 hours). She was almost 20 months old. First off, we always had one of us in the backseat with her, so that she could see a parent. Secondly, we packed several bags that stayed in the car's cabin with us: a toy bag, a book bag, a food bag, standard diaper bag. Thirdly, we scheduled our trip so that the long stretches of driving were during her nap times. When she would normally wake up, have lunch, and play for a while, we stopped in Kansas City to pick up my friend, and spend time with her family. And when she would normally wake up from her afternoon nap and play, we were getting close to Minneapolis. It went pretty well because we planned ahead. The problem we had was that after we'd driven to Minneapolis, spend three days driving around up there, and then another day driving back to Arkansas, she didn't want to get her car seat the next week. Every time we had to just run to the store, she'd cry because she didn't want to spend another 12 hours strapped in. This passed after a couple of weeks, though.

Irene - posted on 01/20/2010

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We recently drove from NYC to Orlando (21 hours each way) and to our surprise, my daughter so well behaved. We made sure to take lots of movies (the car has a DVD player) which she watched the entire trip down. She slept for a while and looked out the window pointing things out. We stopped every 3 hours to use the bathroom and she often used the potty.



I guess my best advice is to keep some entertainment with you.

Nicole - posted on 01/20/2010

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I would have to say i agree with all the other moms, the dvd player is a god for long trips. my daughter has been taking road trips since she was 2 mths old. bring lots of books, and hand held activity toys. i also try to set take off time right around time for a nap and that takes a couple hours off the trip also. bring lots of snacks and make one stop lunch or dinner , adds maybe an extra half hour on to the trip but gives them a chance to stretch and run around a little bit. Good Luck and happy travels!!!

Susie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I don't want to be redundant with the DVD suggestions or leaving at bedtime and driving at night (though that's what we do for our 12-hour trips!) I will say your best bet for the potty training issue is to bring a portable potty from home and have them do their business in the car (if there is room). That way you don't have to deal with gas station germies and it's familiar to him. We have a minivan and it works out nicely for us--plus you can just pull over to the shoulder if it's an emergancy.

Crystal - posted on 01/19/2010

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Along with the portable DVD player and lots of DVDs, we also pack a small cooler with sippy cups pre-made with lot of different drinks. Dry snacks like chips, cheerios, bite size oreos. We have left early in the morning and at night. Early morning works best for us. We put my son in his car seat in his PJs and he'll usually sleep for a couple hours. We'll stop after a few hours and change him into clothes. Then we'd pull out some some small toy a few hours later. We just try to do something every few hours.

Leron - posted on 01/19/2010

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This was a good post because we're heading to San Diego from Nebraska in a month with our two year old. It should be an interesting trip! We have a handful of new toys and books to bring out every so often. Thanks for the tips!!

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Yes, and it's tough but doable. Pack toys, books, CDs and even movies (if he likes them and you have a portable or in-car DVD player), snacks, drinks, and diapers. Try to plan the trip to take advantage of naptime or bedtime; put him in an extra-thick diaper, or put two diapers on him at once; and plan to stop and let him get out and walk around from time to time.

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