Today we are taking a five hour car ride to Atlanta followed hopefully by a 16 hour drive to Toronto next week. So how do we plan on doing this and keeping our sanity with three kids in tow?
There are two strategies which we usually adhere to.
For the 16 hour car ride; We leave after dinner and drive overnight. This is killer on one of us but we will run the kids hard all day and really tire them out. We will then have dinner and allow them to have another hour of running afterwards. We then put them into their jammies and start off about an hour before sun set. The kids will then typically fall asleep about an hour and a half into the drive and stay that way for about six or seven hours. This usually gets us to 10 hours of drive time. The idea is to make as much time as possible during this stretch making the second day as short as possible. In the AM of day two - we stop at a park and the fresh parent takes the kids to play for a couple of hours while the driving parent naps. We then try to do one more three hour run before the next break and will then be able to do two and a bit hour runs after that. This strategy is not for everyone and takes a lot of team work (and caffeine) but it makes the trip seem much shorter to the kids and that keeps us sane.
For shorter road trips: Toys, books and drink boxes oh my. iPads in this new age work even better. Once again a big key is run the kids before travel. The more energy you get out before you leave the better. I also have two or three new movies downloaded onto the iPad as well as two or three new game Apps. This will keep them busy. I also know that 2 - 2.5 hours is a realistic limit until a break is absolutely necessary so we plan gas ups and snack breaks around those times. Combining gas, food & potty breaks shortens the trip a lot in general.
To read Heather's version click here.