This weekend we had a wedding to attend in Boston. This was our first big road trip with Chloe. Her longest car ride before this was about 3 hours, so we knew that a 6 hour trip was an entirely different story! It was, especially with the trip up taking us 8 hours of driving, but Chloe was awesome! So here are a few tips that worked for us.
We got off to a late start as we usually do. We were aiming to leave around 9 when Chloe woke up, but we didn’t really get on the road until noon. This ended up working in our favor because Chloe fell asleep almost immediately, which brings me to Tip #1: If you can, start out at nap time!
On the trip up, she slept for the first hour, and she took another nap later. On the way home, we left around naptime, and she slept for almost 3 hours, which was great! The trip home took about 6 hours of driving time, so her long nap was perfect.
This was a quick trip, up on Friday, back on Sunday, so we packed pretty light but I packed A LOT of toys! I packed two bags of toys, one for each leg of the trip, including a couple of new toys and some old ones she hadn’t seen for a while. Having a lot of toys, and a couple of bags turned into a great game, so here’s Tip #2: Pack a bag full of as many toys will fit (the smaller the better because you can fit more), and give your child the bag. Chloe was entertained for a while by unpacking the bag over and over again. I actually had two bags that I was using at once, so when she emptied the first bag, I had another one ready for her. Occasionally she would take the time to play with some of the toys in the bag too, which elongated the game. This worked well in the hotel room too, because we kept the bag of toys handy and she would unpack (and sometimes repack) the bag.
6 hours is a long time to be sitting in a car for anyone, especially a little one who is just getting used to using her feet and moving around a lot. So if you’re able to, follow Tip #3: Break up the trip! Our original plan involved stopping halfway through the trip up for a couple of hours and going to a playground for a while to get out of the car and let Chloe have some fun. As it turned out, we only stopped once each way, for a bite to eat. We were out of the car for about an hour but the break was well timed at the halfway point of the trip, and it was enough for all of us to get some fresh air and some food.
Once we were in Boston, Chloe had a great time. We spent some time sitting in the park, she tried some of our food wherever we went (I think her favorite and mine was the veggie burger that I got Saturday night), and she had some nice naps too. The last piece of advice I have is Tip #4: Go with the Flow. I was really stressed out when we got a late start, but it worked out fine in the end. It is nearly impossible to make solid plans when you have a young child, and it will be better if you can just relax and have fun with it from the start. Taking a family trip can be a lot of fun, and a change of scenery can be nice for everyone. So buckle up, sit back, and enjoy the ride!