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Old 02-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
BLTSam
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Driving from NJ...Again?

We are planning a trip next month...so we are thinking of driving. It will be myself, my wife and our DD (age 3.5). We drove a little over a year ago, stopping 1 night, and it wasn't too bad. We are just trying to convince ourselves we will be good to drive this time, as our daughter is much more aware of the drive now, and does ask "are we there yet?". Convince us we should do the drive! Other feedback from those of you who have with children this age? Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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Drive through the night.

Leave just after dinner local NJ time. Eat dinner at home beofre you leave. Put the kids in comfortable cloths for the drive.

Stop for gas and bathroom breaks around 9:00pm. The kids will fall asleep. You can then drive for 8-10 hours without a peep from the kids while they sleep.

Alternate driving with someone. one sleeps while the other drives.

When the kids wake up, stop for breakfast. around 8:00am.

you then have a 4 hour drive or so left to go.

Doing it this way, you cut the cost of a hotel for a night. Drive at night when traffic is least. And turn a 17 hour car ride into a 7 hour ride for the kids.

this is how we do it. my kids have done this drive at ages as young as 9 months. This year they will be 6 and 12 years old. They love it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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You will need a DVD player and new movies that your DD has not seen yet.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
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Exactly!

Quote:
Drive through the night.

Leave just after dinner local NJ time. Eat dinner at home beofre you leave. Put the kids in comfortable cloths for the drive.

Stop for gas and bathroom breaks around 9:00pm. The kids will fall asleep. You can then drive for 8-10 hours without a peep from the kids while they sleep.

Alternate driving with someone. one sleeps while the other drives.

When the kids wake up, stop for breakfast. around 8:00am.

you then have a 4 hour drive or so left to go.

Doing it this way, you cut the cost of a hotel for a night. Drive at night when traffic is least. And turn a 17 hour car ride into a 7 hour ride for the kids.

this is how we do it. my kids have done this drive at ages as young as
We have done exactly this many times. I actually enjoy driving at night as I can pop my headphones on and listen to my music...a luxury as a mom of 3 boys 11, 7 and 7.

We're from NW NJ (near the water gap) and our twins were two when we started the overnight trips. We avoid traffic and most of the "are we there yets?" as the kids sleep for half the trip. As fellow DVCers I'll point out that even though we can be a bit tired on arrival day it doesn't matter because we always plan that day for pool and relaxation time.

We know it's not our one and only trip so DH and I will pull over and get a room if we're tired (nothing more important than safety) but it's never come to that.

Good luck. We feel that the savings of driving and the savings of DVC really make our vacations affordable.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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We drive each summer and our trips with DD5 have been different each year. Some drives have been better than others. I like the idea of wrapping a few gifts of small items and letting her open one when needed. Last summer we stopped for lunch and went into a Kmart someplace in the south and I let her have 2 picks. She bought a spiral notebook and a pack of markers and wrote squggles on EVERY page of the notebook. It took almost 2 hours! Well worth the $2.50.

One summer my parents drove to Disney with her via Bush Gardens Williamsburg. They had a roll of painters tape in the car, she found it and loved tearing tape and putting it on her legs. Silly, but it did entertain her.

Point is- little/simple things can be really fun for a preschooler. (We do bring a dvd player but I hate to see her passive for 15 hours...)
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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Love the idea of driving through the night to eliminate the "are we there yet". How have you handled the return trip from Florida back to NJ?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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The overnight is a good way if you can do it. I can't stay up overnight like that and drive safely, so my adjustment to this method is to leave early morning around 2:30 AM. By the time everyone else wakes up we are already in North Carolina, so while not as good as an overnight drive, it is better than nothing!

Coming home is always more of an issue as I am the only one who still wants to leave early AM!
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLTSam View Post
Love the idea of driving through the night to eliminate the "are we there yet". How have you handled the return trip from Florida back to NJ?
pretty much the exact thing ...just in reverse.

the day we fo home, we eat break fast, pack the car, but keep the close we will drive home in out and our swim suits.

We then spend the rest of the morning and early after noon swimming.

actually, the kids swim and get good and tired. My wife and i rest and take naps by the pool to be ready for the drive home.

We then shower at the reort pool and leave around 2:30 or 3:00pm.

the kids are tired from swimming, and we are rested from napping. we end up getting home around 7:00am (17 hour drive for us). That gives us the rst of the day to unpack, relax and unwind from vacation.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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For your little ones' comfort, don't forget to place an airplane sized carry on in front of their seat. Voila! Instant foot rest for them, and less back strain from dangling legs.

My kids don't love the overnight. They actually enjoy the ride all day ...so we're migrating to amcnj's plan! I still want some hours to myself, as I was the overnight driver.

We stop on the way home near VA Beach-- and then take the ferry the next day. So, we hit the Wawa in Orlando around 6:30 a.m., and have dinner in VA Beach at 7 pm at night. Lots of snoring from the back seat in between.

We also live in true Southern NJ, so once we're on the ferry, it's like we're already home.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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My wife, son(5 at the time) and I did the Disney drive from North Jersey last year. We left our house around noon and stopped in North Carolina for a nights rest. My son did really well, we got a dvd player, hooked it to the head rest and he watched a few Disney movies. We also brought tons of toys and a doodle pro for him to draw with. It was a easy trip, much easier then I thought. I drove the whole trip, I don't like my wife's driving.

Last edited by Rahjeir; 02-26-2013 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Done this twice with our twins. And similarly we too from Bergen County
.
The 1st time they were almost 5 & we had a minivan. We took out the middle seats & gave us a huge amount of extra room to roam. Luggage in the back.

The 2nd time was when they were 7. This time I purchased a 6 year old Conversion van which had like 17,000 miles on it....So So much better with a ton a room. TV, DVD ,VCR, Seperate radios.

Both times we left at 4:00 pm just after work....Van was already packed and ready to roll, so as soon as I got home from work, I switched from my work van to our home van & proceeded to hit the turnpike. Stopped briefly right b4 we hit the Del. MeM bridge. The beauty about leaving around this time is, we avoid the D.C. traffic. By the time we get down there it's roughly7:30 or so so it's well after rush hour traffic. We then stop for a bite, & kids get PJ's on. From that time(lets say 8:30) to when they wake at like 6:00 AM its just cruising at 75 mph.

Another top off of gas & breakfast before starting the next 6 hrs. We usually arrive before lunch. but the best is the kids are asleep for most of the trip...

For me , Yes I'm beat, but once the sun comes up I get a second wind & I'm super pumped for the upcoming trip
I said afteer the 1st time that we'd take it easy after we arrived on that 1st day , but that goes out the window & we end up staying for elctric parade or wishes or something crazy like that.

Now the ride home...That I can't describe...But in 1 word....S--ks.. LoL

Have a fun trip
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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For those of you who stop where is a good place to stop we are coming from south jersey. I would like to get most of the drive out of the way the first day. Tx
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
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For those of you who stop where is a good place to stop we are coming from south jersey. I would like to get most of the drive out of the way the first day. Tx
Check out the "For 2,000+ Mile Round-Trip Drivers Only!" thread, a place where most marathon NJ drivers "hang out."

All the best from someone who has driven from NJ to WDW 28 times since 2002!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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We're driving this Summer ( HOT HOT HOT!) from Northern Jersey, up by Delaware Water Gap, in a rental car.... I dont think our Mini van has it in it to make the trip, so we're renting here and driving.

I like the idea of driving through the night. I never thought of that. With the kids asleep, I think our stress levels will be much lower as they are not great on long trips.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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Use to live in NJ and trip was not bad. My wife also would wrap small presents for both kids. It got to the point that even as teenagers they wanted presents! Small things that would keeo them busy. Coloring books, joke books, baseball cards, small candy/gum treats, whatever they were into. Would open 1 an hour or so. Kept them quiet and busy.

The trip home for us was the tough one, not so much the kids they would be wiped, but the lack of adrenline for us driving.
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