This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by simplosys 5 years, 10 months ago.
January 28, 2008 at 2:24 am #183187
Has anyone driven to Florida with Children? Do you have any tips about what to bring, when to leave etc???
We are driving and our kids will be 1,3 and 5…..we’re not going til NovemberJanuary 28, 2008 at 2:30 am #967687
when i was little my mom lived in Fl and my dad lived here, in PA…She would drive up here to pick us up, and we would drive back…my sister was 3, i was 7. She used to pack lots of crayons, paper, different kinds of activity books (Like the crayola colorwonder ones they have today, markers that make no mess = good for the car!) We would also play a game (her and I, my sister was too young) where we would have to find the alphabet A-Z on license plates…but they had to be the FIRST letter of the plate…that kept me busy for awhile….
Also timing is key…we would always leave at 2 or 3 am…that way she would drive from 2am-2pm, and we would be more then halfway already. She would stay at the hotel (if you have 2 drivers you can just switch to make it even faster)
rest stops were always fun…South of the Border is still me fav place to stop
Of course now you can buy a travel DVD player for the car..My MIL has one and it has 2 screens, one for the back of each front seat…works nice so all kids can see if you dont have one in the car already!
GL!January 28, 2008 at 3:04 am #967691
Are you going to north Fla or south Fla?
That makes a difference as far as the weather goes. South Fla is beautiful that time of year!!!
The weather is usually great. By then rainy season is over, the humidity starts to die down. The temp is anywhere from 70 to 90. And the level of humidity will determin just how hot that feels. At night it will get chilly and if a “cold” front comes through you may need jeens or sweatshirts. But typically shorts and tshirts are all you nees. (just be prepared) The fast few winters have been warmer than normal.
Are you going to disney? or to the beach?
We always drive at night because traffic is not as thick, then maybe the kids would sleep?!January 28, 2008 at 3:12 am #967692
Well, I’ve never driven w/ kids, just one kid. I’m sure it’s much worse–no, more interesting, w/ more than one. Esp. w/ 1, 3, 5 yr olds!
I agree to travel as much as possible in the hours when they are sleeping, esp w/ very young children. Esp, if your kids sleep easily in the car. Depending on what the schedule of the adult drivers, that could mean leaving at 5pm at night if you can or leaving very early like 3 am. We don’t have to worry about this as much now that ds is 8. But the best trip ever for driving back from Florida to Indianapolis when ds was 4 we drove all night.
Another great thing about driving overnight is NO TRAFFIC through the big cities!!! Going through even Atlanta at 3 am is a breeze. I don’t know where you are and what cities you have to go through, but places like Nashville and Atlanta can have HORRID traffic. Hitting big cities during rush hours is something to consider no matter when you are leaving. W/ online sites like randmcnally you can really get a good gauge of distances between cities. We have actually saved time before by leaving later and not getting stuck in traffic.
Driving at night can be difficult for some people. So really know your drivers abilities. Don’t drive overnight if someone has bad night vision. Driving through Georgia at night is long and straight. Central SC, hill after hill. The mountains are very curvy and dark at 2 am. Be sure to communicate w/ the other drivers. Take turns napping before you both get exhausted. DH learned the hard way. He wouldn’t turn over the car until he was totally exhausted. I kept asking and asking, but he said no. So at 3am he gave me the wheel in the MOUNTAINS when I was tired and SUPER slap happy. I was seeing double at one point. Not good.
Rest areas are great stops 24 hrs for restrooms or for daytime picnics. Families still use these alot. One nice thing is that there isn’t much for kids to beg you to buy there. Also if driving over night, if you are desperate for a nap, look for a rest area that advertises night security. Pulling over would be better than a wreck.
W/ three little ones, I’d also suggest looking for Mcdonald’s or Chick-Fil-A’s w/ kids play areas. If you don’t want to have your meal there (which we try to avoid), just get a small snack or a drink. CFA’s have nice indoor play area for lil ones. We’ll get an ice cream at either place and let ds run around for 15-20min. Its cheap and he gets energy used up. Just remember to get in a play stop before playlands close–8-9pm.
Several interstates have online sites that tell some of the stores and restaurants at each exit. I found one for our trip to SC in Dec and it was very helpful for planning where to stop so I could walk around. Also helpful for finding a grocery near an exit so you can get supplies more reasonably than gas station if needed (if space is tight esp. in vehicle).January 28, 2008 at 3:20 am #967693
We have driven from central IL to the Orlando area for our family vacation many times. I’m guessing 12 times total.
We did it as a couple, with young children, and when DS#1 was old enough to drive. Several times we drove straight through. Other times, we’d stop 1/2 way in Georgia. We have flown too.
My sis & her family w/ 2 grade school kids, just returned from Northern FL to IL in a 14 hour trip nonstop, except for gas and potty breaks. They had a VCR and movies for the kids, as well as a cooler full of food – mostly healthy.
Yes, it is easier to drive at night w/ young children, while they sleep, as long as the adults can carefully drive and stay awake.
I always had healthy snacks on hand, fruit snacks, raisins, fresh fruits & veggies cut-up, juice drinks, cheerios, etc. When they were young, also kept milk in the cooler. Quiet toys like books, little cars,
and car games were fun.
I remember one trip, we listened to the kids favorite sing-a-long tape in the car. We had it all memorized by the end of the trip.
“Today is Tuesday, Tuesday – string beans, Monday – wash day, We wish the same to you!”
Do not let your children go to any bathroom alone. Go with them constantly.
If your children are good travelers, things should go smoothly. Our boys were always good travelers.January 28, 2008 at 5:59 am #967707
Well I was born and raised in Pa moved to Ga in 94 we used to come to Fl alot…Now we come from Ga to Pa….Takes about 12-14 hours…I normally bring some toys and stuff for the kids to play with in the car…Maybe a few books for your 5yo to look at…If you got one of those tvs you can put in your car or a portable dvd player that would be awsome…
It wont be too bad of a trip…We normally come to Pa once a year….June 1, 2008 at 8:25 pm #990335
hi there, my last year’s trip is still fresh in my head, imagine a car with a lot of excited screaming kids and me, you will get the picture. Here are a few tips but I am sure that you will know them already,
1. make sure that everyone has their favorite toy or book
2.make sure that everyone has gone to the bathroom and is already to take the road trip.
3. DO NOT BUY sweets or any other sticky substances to give to them, stick to fruits, eg, apple – best choice
anyway the above list should give you an idea of what I did, which was the exact opposite of all that listed above and lets us just say that i do not want a repeat performance anytime soon.
regds and have a great trip.:)
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