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[–] wtfeva 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

If you have kids, drive at night. You can switch out so that one of you aren't too exhausted to handle the kids, but the real tip is to start travel in the evening. Yeah, sleeping in carseats sucks, but it works and you can get a shit ton of driving done if you have an emergency. You still have to give the kids an out-of-vehicle break at some point, but nighttime is the righttime. Otherwise, yeah, plan that shit out.

If you don't have kids, don't waste money on hotels. Switch out and stop at Flying J, Loves or other large stops with many trucks. While sleeping in a vehicle sucks bigtime, its only for a few hours while one of you recharge. Keep records on regular trips of mile markers where 'good' rest stops are that are clean and have cameras as well as the Flying J/Pilot, Loves, etc are.

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[–] Slayfire122 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Many states also allow sleeping overnight at rest stops. Campsites can also be a great place to stay during the off season. They often only cost a few bucks. I personally wouldn't stay at campsites during the busy season out of courtesy. If absolutely needed, you can also sleep in church parking lots, preferably the kind where the parking lot is behind the building.

Also, only being able to drive 5 hours in a day would be frustrating. I can easily do 12+ hours in one day or 8+ over multiple days. When moving though, the military gave me 1 day for every 350 miles, and that was very easy and pleasant driving that little in a day.

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[–] Dark_Shroud 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Plenty of Walmart's now allow people to park over night with RVs or similar. Mine had several parked in the back of the lot this last summer.

So one night shouldn't be too much of a problem as long as its towards the back.

We used to do one night at the rest stops. Usually the ones where the truckers pull over are "safer" and a good sign that over nights are allowed. Just make sure to use the buddy system and that the kids know not to leave the vehicle at night. Although now child locks make that easier. My father's old van had a bright red reflective paint mark so you could see if the side door was unlocked or not. And he & I checked it all the time for safety when traveling.

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[–] Its_ok_to_be_white 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Agreed. On the best of trips, it's hard to average more than 60mph, so only five hours a day is crazy.

Knock out twelve hours at night, let the spouse take care of the kids while you sleep it off, and move on again. Chicago to LA is an easy 3-day trip, but do-able in two days if you're a masochist.

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[–] wtfeva 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm normally an asshole, so pardon my history. However, my sis/bro-law had to travel with the kiddos regularly on a 15 hour drive. They were the ones who taught me the night-time method. She had to drive more because he had back problems and needed more .. maneuverability (if thats a word).. She did suffer when she got to moms and had to sleep a bit before enduring the family bullshit.

I'm stuck with a longer drive, but am luckily/unluckily child-free (however you look at it).

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[–] Funkypurplekitty 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Yes we have always started trips at bedtime with kids.

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[–] Vvswiftvv17 [S] 2 points 0 points (+2|-2) ago 

Nope. Sorry that is terrible advice. Driving at night does not work. While you are driving your kids are sleeping. That means when you are done driving for a leg you have two exhausted adults who are ready for bed but a carload of kids who are not going to let you sleep because they just had their 8 hours. Someone is going to have to stay up to watch them. Also, no matter how hard you try, sleeping in the passenger seat is not going to leave you well rested enough to take over driving safely. Plus, you still need to stop regularly so you can let the kids circulation even out. They cannot sit in car seats for hours on end because it can cause serious complications. If you drive at night that severely limits where you can take them.

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[–] Dark_Shroud 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

The vehicle and the kids are a big part of this working or not working. My father had a great van and my parents met in the marines so they would power through sleeping one night in the bucket seats in front. As kids we had plenty of room to fully move around during the trip and even lay down in that old van. He had bench seats in the back so I comfortably slept on the floor while my siblings each took a bench.

I'm going to be buying a hard top camper trailer for road trips before I've even married let alone had kids of my own. So pulling over at rest stops or Wal-marts that allow it will be very doable even with kids.

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[–] QuaffWhileThouCanst 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Hehehe, “you died of dissing Terry”. Terry was always so sensitive.

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[–] Empress 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Great post! Just added this to the sidebar.

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[–] Vvswiftvv17 [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Thanks!

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[–] valk2 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

What might work for you, might not work for everyone else. Everyone's kids are different. I am glad you found what works for your family. Keep this in mind when you're responding to other's on this thread.

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[–] Funkypurplekitty 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Good tips. Love the tub idea.

I stock up on snacks just bc I don't want to take the time to stop at a store while we are on the road.

We always stop at micdonlads so the kids can play and I call before we stop to make sure they have a play area. I've found its very had to find outdoor play areas if you don't know the area you are in.

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[–] blackdovespeaks 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

My mom used to keep apples, bananas and oranges whenever we traveled. Its a really good habit, and to this day I always make sure I have fruit in my backpack or bag.

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[–] Naught405 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I don't think I could do this. I can do Denver to Boston in 29 hours straight or with one 6 hour hotel stay (35 hours). There is no way I could survive more of it than that. I know you have kids with you but 5 hours a day?? That is too slow. That would take a week just to do my trip, if I could actually drive 80 for 5 hours every day. I know it sucks with kids but can't you make them sit down and listen to stories or watch movies for 10 or 14 hours? (won't they just cry for a while then go to sleep?) I would have turned around after the first day for real that is incredibly too slow.

3 hotel stays from LA to Albuquerque????? It costs me 200$ for gas food and hotels to do 1900 miles, less if I don't stop. (I do that trip, and Denver to Portland, OR a few times a year, in my personal car, to see family)

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[–] Vvswiftvv17 [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

It isn't safe for children to sit that long. They could get sick, or worse, suffer blood clots from poor circulation. When you have kids all the rules change.

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[–] Naught405 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

If your kids are actually at risk of thrombosis after 5 hours in the car they have some extremely serious medical condition, like Karo syrup for blood or something. (For real, DVTs happen to obese bed ridden patients in their 40s, not healthy active kids). I just don't think 'sit down and shut up' for a couple days in the car would be that horrible. I could see doubling your travel time for bathroom breaks etc but 5 hours a day? that seems like a very part time effort, more of a hotel vacationing across the country than a road trip.

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[–] Dark_Shroud 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I hate to tell you this but kids change the game in very serious ways. Especially if you don't have a large van or similar sized vehicle so they have plenty of room.

My family did the long road trips back in the day and we had plenty of space to move around in the back seats reading and enjoying the road.

My father made up the time difference by driving half way through the night and us sleeping in the car at a well populated rest stop where you'll see trucks. Again my father & mother reclined their seats and we had bench seats in the back. So I slept on the floor while my siblings slept on the seats.

The only way around this is a Tesla that will auto drive and allow you to use the super chargers where even if you pay it will be far cheaper than gas.