Road Trip? WTF?!

I am experiencing some mild to moderate anxiety over an upcoming family road trip. What the heck are we thinking? How could I ever agree to this? How could my husband think that it’s a smart idea to drive to NYC from Toronto (8.5 hours non stop) in the middle of the summer, in my mini van, with both of my kids and my in-laws? Somebody pass the straight jacket now. And send a deck of cards and cigarettes. (People who are institutionalized play cards and smoke a lot, right?)

“It’s going to be fun” – Delusional Husband

“The scenery will be amazing” – My Brother in Law

“Mommy can I play with your iPhone?” – Five Year Old

“I’m staying home” – Me

This is the craziest idea since the thought that my children could sleep in their own beds for the entire night simultaneously popped into my head.

There is no turning back. We are committed. My husband’s sweet cousin is getting married and my daughter is her flower girl. This pretty much guarantees that the trip is going to happen.

My beautiful three year-old flower girl freaks out for the last ten minutes of a two-hour drive to the cottage. Every. Time.

So tell me good parents and readers, what ideas have you to help me on this unavoidable hell that I will be living in July? And please don’t say fly. We have been through that scenario and it’s just not possible.

I’d love to hear how you’ve survived similar trips. I’d also love to hear some creative excuses for why I have to stay home or meet them there – at the airport.



  • http://twitter.com/karmasdogma Karma Brown

    We just did a 12-hr road trip to Maine for a family wedding a few weeks ago! Now we do *just* have one kid, a 3-year old, but she’s equal to at least two with her fiery personality : )
    We were just well prepared – I packed a cooler of easy-to-eat but at least moderately healthy snacks (fruit, cheese, crackers, veggie chips, raisins, applesauce…you get the idea), bought a bunch of stickers and a few books and kept them hidden until the morning of our trip, brought along our name your tunes CD, and of course, downloaded multiple episodes of Little Bear for the iPad! We stopped twice for food and pee breaks, and some running around time, and we survived. She did go a bit loopy around hour 10, but we played a lot of eye spy and sang Old MacDonald & The Wheels on the Bus WAY WAY WAY too many times to count.
    Good luck – it will probably go better than you’re imagining!

  • http://twitter.com/karmasdogma Karma Brown

    We just did a 12-hr road trip to Maine for a family wedding a few weeks ago! Now we do *just* have one kid, a 3-year old, but she’s equal to at least two with her fiery personality : )
    We were just well prepared – I packed a cooler of easy-to-eat but at least moderately healthy snacks (fruit, cheese, crackers, veggie chips, raisins, applesauce…you get the idea), bought a bunch of stickers and a few books and kept them hidden until the morning of our trip, brought along our name your tunes CD, and of course, downloaded multiple episodes of Little Bear for the iPad! We stopped twice for food and pee breaks, and some running around time, and we survived. She did go a bit loopy around hour 10, but we played a lot of eye spy and sang Old MacDonald & The Wheels on the Bus WAY WAY WAY too many times to count.
    Good luck – it will probably go better than you’re imagining!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=761555081 Celeste M Anderson

    we did a 13 hour drive(non-stop) from alberta to manitoba about 2 years ago with 3 kids under 4. 
    i made activity boxes for the boys, there were a few crayons(not lots they just get broken and lost), a colouring book, some smaller toys, some snacks(not sugary ones), and picture books. and i also had some gravol(it didnt do much for my kids but they are all different). oh and i brought along my laptop with a power converter so the kids could watch dvds.
    we made it through the kids were amazing! by the last 2.5 hours they were getting really tired of being strapped in, so i was bad and loosened the belts.
    anyways, i hope that helps with your trip.
    celeste.

  • Helen

    Could have been worse, you could have had your 6mth pregnant, i need to pee alot sister in law with you aswell…he he!!!

  • George

    8.5 hours is nothing…. just make sure you take things to keep the kids occupied. When my daughter was young I would take coloring books, kids books for reading, kids CD’s for listening to… but the best one was the travel bingo cards, they have a sliding window as a bingo chip. We had 2 types, one was things you would find in the city and the other was things you would find in the country. Those kept her busy for a few hours.

  • Amanda

    Well here it goes my hubby and I are leaving on vacation in 2 weeks with 4 kids in tow 13, 11, 5 & 3 all girls . We are going to Florida and are driving straight though. We have done this before and the way we did it worked very well . We leave around 3 pm in the afternoon we hit the US by Dinner time get out let the kids strech and have a dinner break than back on the road for the night as hubby and I take turns driving . we make sure kids have alot to do movies video games and  toys . they seem to enjoy the ride sleep all night then morning we stop for breakfast eat strech and hit the road again and are in Florida by dinner time. the stops we make are pee breaks . doesnt seem to go that bad lets hope I have not jinked myself this time by writing this :)

    Amanda mom of five daugthers and frist grandson on the way 

  • Steph

    what happened when you flew? lol we have a trip coming up with our two babies and my son hates being in a car seat already!lol

  • Mich

    Dollar store crap – stock up on a ton of it, whip out new things when you need a break from watching movies, and toss when they are bored with it at the next pit stop. I know, not environmentally friendly.  This is the only time I do something like that and it creates some fun to help pass the time.  And make sure you get two of the same thing of everything to help save the “I WANT THAT ONE TOO”.

  • L Copelin

    You should definitely drive. We’ve driven all over with our kids. We drove from Mississauga to Nova Scotia (two full days of driving) when our son was almost four and our daughter was only 20 months. We drove to Fort Myers Florida when our kids were 6 and 4 and Hilton Head when they were 7 and 5. They will pick up on your attitude. If you show them you are excited about the trip they will be too. If you have a positive attitude about it they will too.

    We always told the kids they couldn’t watch t.v. or use screens until after lunch on the trip so they would get used to the idea that watching the new scenery and talking or colouring or playing with little toys was fun too. We played a lot of music they liked on the car stereo as well as music we liked. We would take turns letting everyone in the car choose a song. We bought lap desks with cushions underneath for both kids and those were great to play and  draw on.

    A couple of years ago we flew to Florida when the kids were 10 and 8 and all of us missed the road trip part of the vacation! Times we spent driving in the car together were wonderful. We looked at the drive as part of the adventure rather than just as a means to an end. 

  • Julia, Oakville

    Just got in last night from a 10 day road trip to New Brunswick with my 6 year old.  I did the first 5 days on my own.  Long days and over 4000 KM.  She was a dream.  No complaints in the car ever.  Books on tape from the Library were awesome, movies, I Spy, making up fictional stories, drawing, journalling, Archie comics, healthy snacks in a cooler and a positive attitude.  I think you will find it better than you imagine.  Good luck!  If all else fails, a bit of bribery or candy never hurt anyone permanently! :)

  • Linda

    Every summer I do a road trip alone with my 4 kids (9 and under) for 17 hours straight. Really not a big deal. DVD player in the van (they have no tv in the house) and a great attitude. Try to put yourself in their shoes. They have to sit there for 9 hours with no control over anything. 

  • Karina

    We have been doing the same trip every year for the last 4 years, since mine were 3 and 1. It’s a piece of cake. We start our trip at 11pm-12am (they wear pj’s) and the kids sleep all through the night. My hubby and I take turns driving while the other sleeps, by the time the kids wake up we are almost there, we stop for breakfast, let them play for a few minutes and off we go to finish the trip while they watch a DVD or just talk for about another 1.5 hour. 




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