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Old 09-02-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
tgeorge0207
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Getting nervous!!

SO 24 days from today will be our first drive to Disney (24 hours driving from iowa)..... I am so nervous as the time gets closer. It will be DH, ME, DS8 SDD8 and DD5. we have always flown but with the price of flights and baggage fair driving was the best option for us.

So.... can anyone give me the good the bad the ugly of their long road trips. What worked? What was a waste? any info would be great.

FYI we will be in a mini van and my kids tend to fight like cats and dogs
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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I usually pack a bag for each kid, books, coloring, notebooks, and the iPad!!! This year I told them they will probably be doing homework on the way down. It's a 12 hour trip for us. They sleep some of it. Good luck! I don't envy you! At least you have something to look forward to on the way there!!!
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
Pollyanna Poppins
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You are in for quite the road trip. We have made the drive from Iowa to Alabama way too many times. The good would be of course there's no snowy roads or ice storms to trek over currently. I also really enjoyed the scenery esp. seeing the Gateway to the West. I love that feeling of loading up for a trip on the road. The bad is the number of hours you will be on the road. Just when you're ready to puke you realize you're only 1/2 way there. The ugly was we were on a very tight budget actually we didn't have a budget because we had no money. My husband would drive straight through to save money on a hotel. Sometimes I would wake up and he'd have the window down in polar temps and a gigantic mug of coffee so he would stay awake. As we are now waving our youth goodbye there's no way we could ever do this now. A hotel is a must and thankfully we can now afford them. The excitement of seeing relatives is also gone since we have relocated to Alabama. So my advice is give yourself plenty of time for traveling. Enjoy the view if you see something along the way do it. Make the road trip your mini trip to Florida. Stop at the welcome centers along the way esp. if someone needs to use it. Give your kids road maps and let them see your route. Great way to study the states as well. By the way we lived in West Des Moines and Ft. Dodge. Where are you traveling from?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pollyanna Poppins View Post
You are in for quite the road trip. We have made the drive from Iowa to Alabama way too many times. The good would be of course there's no snowy roads or ice storms to trek over currently. I also really enjoyed the scenery esp. seeing the Gateway to the West. I love that feeling of loading up for a trip on the road. The bad is the number of hours you will be on the road. Just when you're ready to puke you realize you're only 1/2 way there. The ugly was we were on a very tight budget actually we didn't have a budget because we had no money. My husband would drive straight through to save money on a hotel. Sometimes I would wake up and he'd have the window down in polar temps and a gigantic mug of coffee so he would stay awake. As we are now waving our youth goodbye there's no way we could ever do this now. A hotel is a must and thankfully we can now afford them. The excitement of seeing relatives is also gone since we have relocated to Alabama. So my advice is give yourself plenty of time for traveling. Enjoy the view if you see something along the way do it. Make the road trip your mini trip to Florida. Stop at the welcome centers along the way esp. if someone needs to use it. Give your kids road maps and let them see your route. Great way to study the states as well. By the way we lived in West Des Moines and Ft. Dodge. Where are you traveling from?

We live in Urbandale
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:39 AM   #5
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12 hours for us so I buy 3 new movies, pack their Kindles & DS's, pack candy I usually would not buy, & I bring pillows, blanket, & stuffed animals. Meals are fast food so the toys in their meals provide a temporary entertainment. They still fight but we drive all night so they sleep too.

DH's aunt & uncle visited w/ us from Muscatine Iowa this past Friday. They said last year for their 50th wedding anniversary they took all their children, in laws, & grandchildren to WDW. In 38 more years I hope to do the same. Maybe my kids won't fight then!
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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We live in Urbandale
Oh yes I remember Urbandale. The guy I worked with at Marriott was from there. I really miss those apple farms with the kettle corn from Iowa. Two of my kids were born there and they're wanting to go back and see snow. Thanks for this post you've really had my mind go back to some simpler times for us. Have fun on your trip!
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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We drive, too! Last time we went, I had my "bag of goodies" and would dole out things when the kids got antsy. I bought 2 new Nintendo ds games for the girls. We also have portable DVD players for each of them, so I let them each pick our a couple movies to bring. I asked my neighbor if I could peek through their movie collection as well for something new for each of them. They each also had mp3 players which were nice. I hit up the dollar store and bought some coloring books and word searches. The Target dollar bins sometimes have good stuff, too - I was able to pick up a couple of books for older kids. I also packed a bunch of fun snacks for them.

We drove straight through (we left around 5pm on a Friday and rolled into Disney around 1-2pm Saturday afternoon) so the kids slept a good portion of the trip. Don't forget to pack pillows and blankets - it's always easiest to sleep when you're comfortable. We picked up drive-thru for dinner and stopped at a fast food joint for breakfast.

We are AAA members so I ordered a TripTik, but I was so happy we had a TomTom. The TomTom gave me the confidence to drive through Atlanta while my husband slept (granted, it was at 5 in the morning, but I still did it!)!

I've also read about bribing your children. Some people have said to give each of their kids a roll of quarters. Everytime they whine, complain, argue, or bother their siblings, you take away a quarter. Any money they have left when they get to Orlando, they keep.

IMO, the trip to Orlando wasn't a problem at all because we were so excited. The trip back home seemed to take a bit longer

Have a safe drive!
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperWife View Post
We drive, too! Last time we went, I had my "bag of goodies" and would dole out things when the kids got antsy. I bought 2 new Nintendo ds games for the girls. We also have portable DVD players for each of them, so I let them each pick our a couple movies to bring. I asked my neighbor if I could peek through their movie collection as well for something new for each of them. They each also had mp3 players which were nice. I hit up the dollar store and bought some coloring books and word searches. The Target dollar bins sometimes have good stuff, too - I was able to pick up a couple of books for older kids. I also packed a bunch of fun snacks for them.

We drove straight through (we left around 5pm on a Friday and rolled into Disney around 1-2pm Saturday afternoon) so the kids slept a good portion of the trip. Don't forget to pack pillows and blankets - it's always easiest to sleep when you're comfortable. We picked up drive-thru for dinner and stopped at a fast food joint for breakfast.

We are AAA members so I ordered a TripTik, but I was so happy we had a TomTom. The TomTom gave me the confidence to drive through Atlanta while my husband slept (granted, it was at 5 in the morning, but I still did it!)!

I've also read about bribing your children. Some people have said to give each of their kids a roll of quarters. Everytime they whine, complain, argue, or bother their siblings, you take away a quarter. Any money they have left when they get to Orlando, they keep.

IMO, the trip to Orlando wasn't a problem at all because we were so excited. The trip back home seemed to take a bit longer

Have a safe drive!


My kids would be broke & writing me IOU's before we got to the KY/TN line (less than two hours).
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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Books on tape. Little house on the prairie, hank the cowdog, Judy blume's fudge books and my did eof the mountain got us through many many long road trips more than movies or video games even though irl they loved movies and videos.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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That's a LONG time. WDW is 11hrs for us and we have family 8 hours away so we are used to road trips but not like that. DS is 5, almost 6, and a great traveler! Couple of thing I do, lift all limits on his 3DS game and then give him a new one. I buy them times, like black friday and always have a few hid. He really will play for hours and that's never allowed at home so he is thrilled!

He also like:
color wonder sets
Books for me to read to him
A super hero figurine or two
Lots of fun snacks....junky stuff he never gets at home!

We also play family games, We take the cards out of a Jr trivia pursuit game and ask each other the questions, play i spy, guess the person etc.

We don't stop a lot. It really does not help things and just makes it a longer trip. On our 8 hour family trip we do a quick 10 minute gas and potty break and a quick mcdonalds drive through and that's it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #11
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Two years ago, we made the long journey from Lincoln, NE, also a 24 hour road trip. We will NEVER do it again - I don't want to discourage you, but after that trip, we decided that the cost of airfare was well worth it. We just felt that 4 days worth of traveling would have been better spent at WDW! I should mention that it was 7 of us (4 adults, 3 kiddos) in a minivan. It was nice having a car while we were there, but lots of traveling. We did a lot of movies and napping, and we did stop in Tennessee and stayed one night. A friend of mine just did the same thing, and she had a great idea. She had a gift for the kids to open every hour on the hour that they were in the car. This kept them occupied and excited for each hour to pass. Good luck with your travels!
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:53 AM   #12
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We drove from Michigan to WDW in February. It was the best option for us with three young kids (6 4 2 at the time) because we had SO MUCH stuff to take with us. Strollers, clothes, car seats, etc.) I couldn't even imagine taking all that stuff to an airport. And being able to take all that food with us saved us a ton of money. However, during our trip down, someone shot out our windshield with buckshot at the last exit in Ohio and we spent a lot of time trying to get it repaired on our way down. There were pieces of it falling on the dash during our trip. We never got it replaced but it lasted. We were soooo tired once we got there. Of course, we drove at night to try and have a peaceful ride and no fighting kids. On the way home, we drove mostly during the day and stopped at a hotel to sleep when we were tired.

I did buy each kid a bag of goodies. Coloring books, new crayons, a new movie each and a bunch of snacks in each of their bags. They loved the bags and it kept them occupied a lot of the time. Of course, there was also homework for my 6 year old.

Just remember to take breaks when they get restless. It stinks to stop frequently but it helps everyone's sanity.

Our trip was great despite the trip down. We loved it there. However, I think next time, I will be braving the airport and seeing how that works out.

Safe travels!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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Do you have a DVD player. I find that helpful for long car rides.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #14
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I too am from Iowa and we have driven to Florida 3 times now with our children who are now 8 and 9. The first time we drove they were 5 and 6 and we drove with no stops at a hotel. I really feel that our girls are good traveler but some of the things that we did were to have the DVD player playing as much as possible, stopped and ate in a sit down restaurant to give us some time out of the car and try to make it as fun as possible. the worst part for our children was going through Georgia because it took so long to get through, Florida is only a state away and by that time we have been in the car a long time. I love to drive to Disney and would chose to do it over flying any day of the week. The last time we had gone down we stopped to sleep but that was because we left at 5 PM. The only thing that really stinks about driving is the road construction I do not know how to look it up but one time we took a CB radio and someone told us a way around some construction that saved us 2 hours of sitting there going no where fast.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:45 PM   #15
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I usually pack a bag for each kid, books, coloring, notebooks, and the iPad!!! This year I told them they will probably be doing homework on the way down. They sleep some of it. Good luck! I don't envy you! At least you have something to look forward to on the way there!!!
us too
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