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  1. #1
    LifeInShadesOfGrey's Avatar
    LifeInShadesOfGrey is offline Just a little bit silly :)
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    Default Travel with an 18 month old.

    Hi Everyone,

    DP and I are planning to drive to Melbourne (from NSW) at Christmas to see family. It is the only chance we will get, but we would like to drive as to see fam on the way too.

    My question is, DD will be about 18 months by then. What tips and advice do you have for an enjoyable long distance drive?

    We are debating over driving day or night. I would rather day and he would rather night as he thinks DD could just sleep the majority of the trip.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    We are doing the reverse of your trip at Christmas with a 2.5 year old and an 18 month old. Plus I will be 31 weeks pregnant.
    I am just subbing so I can use everyone's ideas too!
    I would have preferred to do the trip all in one drive at night, but hubby wants to stop overnight and rest.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

  4. #3
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    We did Sydney to Brisbane when DS was 14 months, we left at 4am and got there at 5pm with about 4 stops in between but it was too much for him in the end so on the way home we stayed overnight and it was so much better, he was not walking at the time which was probably worse as he could not run around when we stopped
    We took the iPad and loads of books/toys and food!

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

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    We often make the 10 hour trek to see family on the coast with DS. We make plenty of stops with time for a play. Also take heaps of snacks. Kids CD's that we all sing along to are gold. As are books. Another great idea I heard (yet to try this) is to wrap new and old toys up and you little one to unwrap them as you go along. Also google car games.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

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    We did Sydney-Brisbane and return recently with our 3 who are 4, 2.5 and 8 months.
    We stayed overnight and stopped every couple of hours. I planned our lunch stop on the first day at a playcentre and we stopped for 1.5hrs and wore the kids out.
    We got an IPad mount for the back of the headrest and headphones for the 2 eldest and loaded up their favourite shows and movies. We saved the iPad for when the kids were really over it.
    I taped string to some mini wind-up crayons and attached them to the clipboards with colouring in sheets, we had kids CDs to sing along to and I had a few little toys.
    The older 2 went grocery shopping with me and we bought LOTS of treats, but I also took a chiller bag of their "usual" foods including squeezy yoghurts, strawberries, etc.
    I was surprised at how well they coped with the trip considering we hardly use our car.
    The baby was over it and crying for about the last half hour of our 2nd day of driving both there and back, but besides that, no dramas.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

  10. #6
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    We did similar last Christmas by driving from Melbourne to Canberra and then back again with 14 month old DS.

    We thought about driving at night but in the end we didn't because although DS probably would've slept DH and I wouldn't have and we would've really struggled to catch up on that sleep!

    On the way up there we left mid morning and stopped at Rutherglen for a night which was a 3-4 hour drive from Melbourne and well worth it. We had a really lovely dinner at a little winery there, stayed at the hotel and got up early the next day and drove the remaining 4 hours or so with 1 brief stop for lunch. Made it soooo much easier and it was a nice little break for just us 3 before hitting the big extended family Christmas shenanigans.

    I would've been very happy to stay there for a night again on the way back but my DH refused. Fortunately though my SIL ended up coming back in the car with us which was truly awesome. She sat in the backseat with DS and kept him well entertained, God love her! I think we stopped twice in the 7-8 hours drive. Once for lunch and once more for nappy/coffee/petrol.

    Things that saved us:
    - lots of little snacks in the front seat that I would give to DS (sultanas, cheese sticks, crackers, fruit etc)
    - CD with children's songs on it (DH and I got right into singing along and making utter fools of ourselves whilst DS wasn't sure what to make of it)
    - letting DS have a good run around at a park when we did stop (burn through some energy to encourage him to sleep better in the car)
    - the iPad strapped to the back of my head rest so DS could watch Dora (we would save this for when he got super grizzly)
    - a few new toys and books that I'd whip out at various times

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

  12. #7
    AndrewTheEmu is offline Bubhub Ambassador - tongue in cheek
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    We have done both. Day & night (10hr drive) with DD when she was 18mnths.

    I'll never do night driving again. Neither DH nor I could keep our eyes open. It got so dangerous we had to pull over and nap at a pit stop (also dangerous)

    Daytime was a longer drive though. We really had to stop every 2 hours (like your supposed to the first leg DD lasted about 3hrs and a bit after that we stopped atleast every 2 hours so DD could run around.

    In the car we had a bucket of toys next to her seat. Lots of snacks. Wish we had a DVD player!!! Invested in one after the trip & it's a life saver. Window shades are a must! Blankets. Pillow. Cuddle toy. Dummy's on dummy chains. Kids music.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

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    we have done it too with a 3 year old and a 17 month old. firstly i can say that day driving is better than night. everyone is more alert and you can see everything around you. night driving you tend to have alot of semi's going that time and they have alot of lights on their trucks and sometimes we found it totally distracting. Personally, i worried alot at night, because the roads are just so so dark at times, if anything came out in front of you, you wouldn't have much time to see it. We also found we were more alert during the day, cos during the night, everything is black. seriously black. everything looks the same (well the darkness really) and time just seems to drag. i always thought what if we got a flat tyre, in the dark, how would you change it?!

    we got portable dvd headrests for the kids and they LOVED them. you can buy them to attach to the seats. they were a lifesaver.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey  (02-08-2012)

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    we are always driving lol. i'd rather do daytime driving less things to hit (usually) and my kids don't like to sleep in the car at night (think its because of the lights of other cars) so they are just awake all night and super grumy. we just take a dummy for our youngest (now 21months) and a lot of books and toys and a kids music cd. we stop every 3 hours unless someone needs to go to the toilet or eat etc.

    i take lots of car friendly snacks like bikkies, banana, fruit pouches, lots of water. i use disposables when we are doing long trips otherwise the carseat gets soaked (compression leaks)

    you can always turn the seat back to rearfacing if you child is still within the weight limits for the seat that makes sleeping a bit easier for them.

    good luck car trips can always be a bit stressful but worth it

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  18. #10
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    LifeInShadesOfGrey is offline Just a little bit silly :)
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    Wow thank you so much everyone for all the tips and advice! I will definately tell DP we are travelling at day time! I used to drive Syd to Melb and back at least once a month when I was single, between fam and would always drive during the day as I felt more comfortable. However when I would go with dad he would prefer night driving. I definately agree about animals etc and the trucks. They can be pretty crazy at 2am. I think I would feel safer with DD if we travelled in the day. I will tell DP I asked all you lovelies and majority rules! We travel during the day =)

    I like the thought of leaving at around 4am so will do that I think and stop alot on the way. I have an Ipad but never use it so might load heaps of stuff on there for DD to watch. How do I get movies or so on there to watch??

    I am going to save all the responses in word so I dont lose any tips closer to the trip =D

    I thought I would ask early because I would love to plan as much as I can so its not as hectik closer to the time.


 

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