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Car trip with a 17 month old. Any advice?

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM
  • 16 Replies

 I think we will be leaving Feb. 13. We are driving from Pittsburgh PA to Lancaster PA. I'm not exactly sure how long it takes but I think it's between 6-8 hrs. It's possible we will be stopping in Altoona, which is like half way there.

Do you think it would be better for the baby to stop and take a break from riding in the car or just keep going?

He has been on the trip to Altoona quite a few times, he starts getting cranky after about 2 hrs in the car and we have to stop, get food, and let him walk around a little. After the stop he is fine the rest of the way, but that's only about another hour.

 

I'm pretty nervous about this trip. I feel like a 7 hour drive will turn into 10 hours because of stopping and stuff like that.  

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
FaerieMommie23
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Bring lots of toys and things to keep him occupied. Snacks and stuff too. Try sitting in the back with him when you can so you can play with him and keep him company. I would limit the rest stops to 1 or 2 maybe limit the time you stop also so you wont be delayed too much.


R.I.P Uncle Bruce

MarchMarie
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:04 AM

 If you are worried about it taking longer, just leave earlier. Take your cues for stopping from him.

Relax and enjoy your trip, nothing is worse than a tense vacation/trip!

spunky946
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Pittsburgh to Lanchaster only takes about 4 hours or so.  I've done and it's not that bad.  Just take snacks, toys and dvds.  We just stop and have lunch and let the kids run around.  If the baby is sleeping, my advice, just keep on going.  We drove from Pgh to Baltimore last year, and we stoped for lunch in Bedford and drove 3 1/2 hours straight because both kids were sleeping.  It was great.  Try to plan the trip around naptimes if you can.  My in-laws live outside Philly, so we go there quite often.  We actually are going in a couple of weeks and then going to my BIL for the superbowl.  Since he lives in Lanchaster we are going to stay in a hotel because it is an hour west from my IL to my BIL.  Then we are going to stop in Hershey on the way home.  Let me know if you have any more questions. 

OwensMama824
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:05 AM

What kind of snacks are good? Crackers, chips, cereal?

I really wish I had one of those portable DVD players. He will sit and watch Elmo for hours, it would make it much easier.

Quoting FaerieMommie23:

Bring lots of toys and things to keep him occupied. Snacks and stuff too. Try sitting in the back with him when you can so you can play with him and keep him company. I would limit the rest stops to 1 or 2 maybe limit the time you stop also so you wont be delayed too much.


Kays_Mama06
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:07 AM

We've gone to Clearwater before with our son and he was around that age. It was 2 1/2-3 hrs (including traffic) and we kinda just timed it so we knew he would take a nap. So when he woke up we were only an hour out and we had food to give him.

I will always try to plan trips that way.. Its just easier and less stressful.  



OwensMama824
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I was thinking about making a little side trip to Hershey. Do they have anything for little kids? I saw it on Jon & Kate Plus 8, they went to chocolate world or something........ how far out of the way is that?

Quoting spunky946:

Pittsburgh to Lanchaster only takes about 4 hours or so.  I've done and it's not that bad.  Just take snacks, toys and dvds.  We just stop and have lunch and let the kids run around.  If the baby is sleeping, my advice, just keep on going.  We drove from Pgh to Baltimore last year, and we stoped for lunch in Bedford and drove 3 1/2 hours straight because both kids were sleeping.  It was great.  Try to plan the trip around naptimes if you can.  My in-laws live outside Philly, so we go there quite often.  We actually are going in a couple of weeks and then going to my BIL for the superbowl.  Since he lives in Lanchaster we are going to stay in a hotel because it is an hour west from my IL to my BIL.  Then we are going to stop in Hershey on the way home.  Let me know if you have any more questions. 


nurbabe82
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:10 AM

We drove from DE to Orlando when our son was 18 months old. I just packed plenty of snacks and drinks and some toys. He did great. We stopped a few times to give all of us a break. I don't know if you have one but a portable dvd player is great too.  

spunky946
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

They have the chocolate tour and a small zoo, but I have not been there.  Hershey/Harrisburg is only about 45 minutes or so from Lanchaster.  You will pass Hershey on the turnpike on the way to Lanchaster.  There is also an amusement park, but it's probably not open right now.   

Quoting OwensMama824:

I was thinking about making a little side trip to Hershey. Do they have anything for little kids? I saw it on Jon & Kate Plus 8, they went to chocolate world or something........ how far out of the way is that?

Quoting spunky946:

Pittsburgh to Lanchaster only takes about 4 hours or so.  I've done and it's not that bad.  Just take snacks, toys and dvds.  We just stop and have lunch and let the kids run around.  If the baby is sleeping, my advice, just keep on going.  We drove from Pgh to Baltimore last year, and we stoped for lunch in Bedford and drove 3 1/2 hours straight because both kids were sleeping.  It was great.  Try to plan the trip around naptimes if you can.  My in-laws live outside Philly, so we go there quite often.  We actually are going in a couple of weeks and then going to my BIL for the superbowl.  Since he lives in Lanchaster we are going to stay in a hotel because it is an hour west from my IL to my BIL.  Then we are going to stop in Hershey on the way home.  Let me know if you have any more questions. 



Zanna8008
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM

when we drove from TX to ID  with 18 month old she did really good slept alot and we stoped every couple of hours  to let her get out...but there was 6 people so every couple of hours someone had to go potty or something...:) lots of toys and lost of snacks :) it took us 4 days to get there but thats ok because we got to see alot along the way took lots of pics and just had fun. before we go  on another trip though i will have a portable dvd player my kiddo is just now getting into watching cartoons and i think that it will make it go better.

I say just do it like you would normally do anything with a small child...if you see that you can keep going go if you see a melt down coming stop...they will let you know what they need :)

littlebit1980
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Get a dvd player to keep him occupied. We traveled from Clovis, NM to Hampton, VA with our kids 2 years ago and they were life savers. We usually drive 1-2 times a year down to GA which is a 12 hr drive. We usually only stop to fill up for gas and the kids do fine.  The last time we went we made it in 10 hrs. with only the breakfast and 2 gas stops.

What we do is get up and drive 2 hours for break fast. We have breakfast, potty stretch, etc. and get back on the road. We don 't stop until we need gas again.  My kids are allowed to have a sips of drinks so they don't need to potty or whern the youngest was in diapers changed until our next gas break. We made it to GA in 10 hours last time with only a breakfast, gas, lunch/gas stop.

 

 

 

 

 

Leah Gillis,
8 years as a Air Force wife and loving it.

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