24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

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DarkHelmetII
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24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by DarkHelmetII »

Driving 12 hours each way round trip (so 24 hours total drive time) with a one year old and a 4-year-old. Cost of renting a car pretty much negligible luckily for us. Of the three options what do you recommend:

1) Honda Accord (we own this)
2) Rent larger sedan, SUV, or minivan (with three seat second row) - one parent seated in between the kids for segments of the drive
3) Rent 2 x 2 x 3 minivan with captain's chairs - with then two sub-options
a) both kids in 3rd row
b) one kid in one of the captain's chairs, assuming this can be done safely / legally

Any input welcome!
niceguy7376
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by niceguy7376 »

12 hours in sedan style seating is strain with young kids.
I would prefer any size SUV or minivan for height.

As for the minute details - it would not matter if there are bucket seats or bench (normal in rental vehicles and in suvs)
Carson
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Carson »

Is your 1-year old rear-facing? Can your spouse actually fit between the two installed carseats?

I am a sch-medium sized woman and I fit between the carseats of my 1 year old and 4 year old for drives, as needed - both in our VW Wagon and Mazda 3. It wasn't necessary to be back there the whole time and sometimes even made it harder to be honest. We never rented a minivan when they were that small, but we did when they were bigger. The third row was not all that great and infact was more difficult when I needed to parent without being able to hand them something.

IMO, planning the timing of the drive around naps and feeding time was way more important. Also, I was grateful we have a roof box to keep our luggage out of the car space. That way the car compartment only had a small plastic box between the two of them with some novel car toys.
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Andyrunner
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Andyrunner »

If it is normally a 12 hour drive, expect a 14-16 hour drive with kids that young. Potty breaks, food, if possible find a playground or open park for them to run around in. It also helps to get a few hours on the road before they wake up. Meaning you get on the road at 4:30am and hope they sleep in their seats till 7am.

If one parent can squeeze between the two seats for an hour of playing/reading books, etc. then I don't think you would need to rent a larger car. I don't think the 3rd row would be helpful just maybe a wider car. We have an outback and an adult can manage for an hour or two between the car seats.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by stoptothink »

We do similar road trips with 2 kids (currently 8 and 5) a handful of times a year, in a smaller car than an accord (jetta). The driving part is never "fun", but I really fail to see how more space (than is required for them to totally stretch out, extend their arms in all directions, play with a tablet, etc.) makes it better. Like others, when our kids were really small, my wife would often sit in the back with them (and she's not small, 5'8"). I would only consider renting a vehicle when more space is necessary because you are bringing stuff; we've taken dozens of long road trips and long camping trips and haven't run into that situation yet.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Accord.

Something like a van is higher. Do the kids care? No. A 3 row vehicle has more room by far. Do your kids care? No.

This question is asked a lot wrt renting vs driving your own car. If you're not considering to drive/not drive a Pagani Huayra, then ok, it makes sense to ask. For an Accord, the normal rules apply. What costs you money to own a car is split about in thirds. Insurance, depreciation and gas. With a rental, you're still paying insurance and gas, and time is going by, so some depreciation as well.

Just drive your own car.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
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DarkHelmetII
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by DarkHelmetII »

Carson wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:34 am Is your 1-year old rear-facing? Can your spouse actually fit between the two installed carseats?

I am a sch-medium sized woman and I fit between the carseats of my 1 year old and 4 year old for drives, as needed - both in our VW Wagon and Mazda 3. It wasn't necessary to be back there the whole time and sometimes even made it harder to be honest. We never rented a minivan when they were that small, but we did when they were bigger. The third row was not all that great and infact was more difficult when I needed to parent without being able to hand them something.

IMO, planning the timing of the drive around naps and feeding time was way more important. Also, I was grateful we have a roof box to keep our luggage out of the car space. That way the car compartment only had a small plastic box between the two of them with some novel car toys.
1-year old if rear-facing. Idea is to be between kids for feeding, entertainment etc... Not that I like the idea, just exploring options right now.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by DarkHelmetII »

tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:09 am Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
To see family. At the risk of immediately turning this into an unproductive debate: I want to fly but mother-in-law is freaked on COVID-19. So what is typically a < 4 hr door to door trip is going to be a 14+ hour boondoggle.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Sandtrap »

MiniVan
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by FiscallyResponsible »

I have driven to Florida from Michigan every year with my now 5 and 3 year old for the last 4 years. That's a 19 hour drive (if no stops other than gas). We do it with a full size truck or Suburban (depending on year). If I were you, I would just do it with the small vehicle (save yourself the unncessary rental costs). We always use the following strategy:

Leave around 7pm. This is key. It's close to bedtime so the kids (for us) sleep most of the way until about 6 in the morning. Less stops, less traffic. Atlanta and Florida traffic is terrible pretty much all day. Cincinatti is bad at rush hour. We shave a lot of time off by not dealing with traffic and having sleeping kids. Depending on what cities you go through, this is huge. This works as long as you have a spouse that can nap while the kids nap and will spell your for a few hours when you get tired. This always allowed us to get there in a straight shot. The last few hours are bad (but might not be so bad if only driving about 12 hours).
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:33 am
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:09 am Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
To see family. At the risk of immediately turning this into an unproductive debate: I want to fly but mother-in-law is freaked on COVID-19. So what is typically a < 4 hr door to door trip is going to be a 14+ hour boondoggle.
I guess I don't understand: if MIL is "freaked" about Covid-19 why the trip? I don' think I'm "freaked" by Covid-19, but I don't see the people closest to me in person any longer. They aren't a part of my household, and that seems to be the objective: to minimize encounters with people not in your existing pre-Covid household. Are you sure it's worth traveling that far just to stand six feet away from your relatives with all of you wearing a mask?
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by whodidntante »

If your car is new and nice, maybe destroy someone else's new and nice car with wear and mileage. If going on a road trip, renting may be cheaper than driving a car you own.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

FiscallyResponsible wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:45 am Leave around 7pm. This is key.
If I started driving at 7pm, I'd be dead by 11pm from hitting a bridge abutment. No more Covid-19 worries for me! Seriously this is something I'd have to work myself up to for weeks in advance. Plus I drive slower in the dark so that would at least partially cancel out the traffic time savings.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by SmileyFace »

I would definitely opt for a mini-van if I were forced to be in a car for 12 hours with 2 young kids. My top-end time for driving is/was 6 hours (we did break that once and took an 8-hour trip) - otherwise we would/do opt to fly. Are you driving for 12 hours one day or splitting between two days with a stop in between? Might want to consider latter if you aren't already.
I think assuring you have stops planned out (make sure there are trusted and open rest-stops and you know where they are - the stops at public restrooms should "freak out" your Mother-in-law as much as a flight would) - and plenty of entertainment (tablet, toys, etc.) for the 4 year old seem are probably more important than car choice. At some point your 1-year old (or 4-year old) might decide they have had enough of sitting in a car and resort to crying or screaming in hope to affect an end-of-trip - I certainly wouldn't' have the patience as a child's behavior can outlast my patience level - best of luck!
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by HomerJ »

DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:21 am Driving 12 hours each way round trip (so 24 hours total drive time) with a one year old and a 4-year-old. Cost of renting a car pretty much negligible luckily for us. Of the three options what do you recommend:

1) Honda Accord (we own this)
2) Rent larger sedan, SUV, or minivan (with three seat second row) - one parent seated in between the kids for segments of the drive
3) Rent 2 x 2 x 3 minivan with captain's chairs - with then two sub-options
a) both kids in 3rd row
b) one kid in one of the captain's chairs, assuming this can be done safely / legally

Any input welcome!
We drove 20 hours each way to Disney World from Kansas City and back. Once. :)

But minivan with two captain chairs for the kids (NOT a bench) is the way to go.

Oh wait, you said 1 and 4 year old? that's tougher.

Mine were like 12 and 6... We left Florida on the way back at 5:00 am, and they reclined their captain's chairs and slept until half-way through Georgia. Priceless.

Hmm.. I'd still go with the two captains chairs, with a parent in one and the 4 year in the other, and baby in the third row (Parent in captain chair can easily reach back or move back through the gap to take care of young one).
Last edited by HomerJ on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by mmmodem »

We just completed a 3000 mile cross country trip by car. Due to Covid-19, flying was out of the question. Renting a car is also a no, no. Thus, we drove our own car.

We moved the 10 month old rear facing carrier to the middle position from it's usual spot behind the driver. The 3 year old stayed forward facing behind the passenger. This made for easy ingress and egress to sit behind the driver and care for the baby on occasion. An unlimited data cell phone plan with YouTube Kids kept the toddler entertained. We also downloaded a few Netflix cartoons when data coverage became spotty. We had to buy a seat headrest stand to hold the phone or the toddler would touch the screen and cry there was no connection. We had Horizon shelf stable milk at arm's length to top up the milk bottle for the toddler whenever she called for it. We anticipated this happening a lot and had water bottles to water down the milk. We stopped almost every 2 hours to switch drivers, change diapers, eat, fuel up, and restroom.

What we learned was that the baby will cry whenever they feel like it. Just tell yourself to make it to the next stop for the breastfeeding or diaper change.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by sport »

When our 2 kids were small, we traveled all over the country in a 4-door sedan. We would put the Coleman cooler between the two car seats. The cooler provided a place for our lunch food. The kids could play with their toys on top of the cooler, and it kept them from poking/annoying each other. We always carried lunch food on road trips because we never knew where we would be when we got hungry. For dinners, we would find a decent restaurant near the hotel. The hotels always provide ice cubes that we could use in the cooler for the next day. On a long trip, we would find grocery stores to replenish the lunch food.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by armeliusc »

It does not matter. If it were me, I'd drive the car I have. We have done ~30-hour round-trip (14-hrs something one way) with 2 kids, 2yr & 4yr old on our Honda Civic and it was just fine. Take stops, take a walk as needed, and just enjoy the time in the car. It could be fun.

If anything, I'd rather have the two kids on the same row than on separate rows. Our kids both entertain each other most of the time, punctuated by some complains and fights and typical sibling rivalries. But that what makes up for their (and ours) "entertainment". Having the kids sit on the 2nd row, closer to us, would also make any need to attend to them much easier. All of this argues for a two-rows car actually, e.g. a compact SUV or a sedan.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

whodidntante wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:51 am If your car is new and nice, maybe destroy someone else's new and nice car with wear and mileage. If going on a road trip, renting may be cheaper than driving a car you own.
I used to rent frequently when driving long distances over short time spans. Now that my car is getting older and up in miles I wish I had done that more often. Although highway miles are easy on a car, they're still miles and will bring you to maintenance windows sooner, and ultimately to replacing the vehicle sooner. Plus if something happens to a rental car along the way (mechanical, accident) you're more or less covered and can get on with your trip with minimal hassle. The flip side is dealing with rental car tire problems (which as far as I know aren't covered unless you buy the super-expensive CDW) and possibly glass, which again may not be covered without CDW.

Having said that, the other downside to renting is that there's no assurance you'll get a car that "fits" you (things like legroom.) This seems to matter more to me as I get older. Bigger cars (notably minivans) aren't always bigger in every measurement.
Last edited by tibbitts on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by rgs92 »

FWIW, I just drive until I just get too tired to do it anymore and for me that is about 6 or 7 hours elapsed time including a few stops for stretching/bathroom breaks. I can't really plan since I don't know how I will feel. I'm pretty healthy and fit, and this driving pattern has been true since I was a teenager. So I suggest just getting in the car and stopping when you get tired and going to a motel.
300 or so miles is about my max for a day I have found.

I would definitely get a bigger car or SUV. (An Accord would make my squirmy after an hour or two...)

I usually don't eat much until I'm done driving for the day. I'll drink something like Naked Juice smoothies along the way to avoid hunger pangs, or eat a banana or two.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by DarkHelmetII »

tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:49 am
DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:33 am
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:09 am Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
To see family. At the risk of immediately turning this into an unproductive debate: I want to fly but mother-in-law is freaked on COVID-19. So what is typically a < 4 hr door to door trip is going to be a 14+ hour boondoggle.
I guess I don't understand: if MIL is "freaked" about Covid-19 why the trip? I don' think I'm "freaked" by Covid-19, but I don't see the people closest to me in person any longer. They aren't a part of my household, and that seems to be the objective: to minimize encounters with people not in your existing pre-Covid household. Are you sure it's worth traveling that far just to stand six feet away from your relatives with all of you wearing a mask?
MIL is concerned that we will get COVID 19 in airport / plane and give it to her. Not saying that is logical or illogical, but what we are dealing with. Assumption is that there is materially less exposure driving relative to flying, again, which may or may not be a correct assumption.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by ThankYouJack »

I'd vote minivan so the parent in the back has more space, but I don't think it makes a huge difference. We've done long trips with kids (3 adults, and 9 month old in Civic for 12-14 hour stretches...23 hour travel day flying over seas w/ 3 & 6 y.o.) The key isn't so much the car but is to be well prepared. Pack plenty of their favorite snacks including lollipops for the 4 year old and puffs for the 1 year old to help avoid meltdowns. Hold out on electronics as long as possible, play plenty of road games and other games. Bring tons of stickers and tightly wrapped gifts so it takes the kids a while to open. Plan on stopping a couple times to stretch the legs.

I would probably leave around noon, hope they get good naps in and fall asleep in the car around 8pm. Plan for the worst but hope for the best. I don't think it's as bad as what some people make it seem
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by gmc4h232 »

Separate Cars. Spouse and kids in one and you in the other.

Also I hear that Zoom is a popular alternative for visiting with the inlaws....
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by rgs92 »

I think your MIL is being reasonable in her concerns. Just IMHO. I feel driving is preferable.
MathWizard
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by MathWizard »

Minivan.

Make sure it has a video entertainment system or
bring your own.

The kids are quite young. When that age, we only did 8 hours in a day, or
drove at night. Yes, Midwest to Pennsylvania, 6pm to 6:30 am. I took the 10pm
to 6:30 shift while everyone else slept. Since it is your in-laws, you can sleep in at
the end. To bad there aren't fully autonomous vans.

Recommend headphones with books on tape (or Audible now) so the kids are
not disturbed when sleeping.

I've been tempted to buy/rent a class B motor home for a long trip during the pandemic.
They're awfully pricey though.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:11 pm
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:49 am
DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:33 am
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:09 am Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
To see family. At the risk of immediately turning this into an unproductive debate: I want to fly but mother-in-law is freaked on COVID-19. So what is typically a < 4 hr door to door trip is going to be a 14+ hour boondoggle.
I guess I don't understand: if MIL is "freaked" about Covid-19 why the trip? I don' think I'm "freaked" by Covid-19, but I don't see the people closest to me in person any longer. They aren't a part of my household, and that seems to be the objective: to minimize encounters with people not in your existing pre-Covid household. Are you sure it's worth traveling that far just to stand six feet away from your relatives with all of you wearing a mask?
MIL is concerned that we will get COVID 19 in airport / plane and give it to her. Not saying that is logical or illogical, but what we are dealing with. Assumption is that there is materially less exposure driving relative to flying, again, which may or may not be a correct assumption.
I'm not an expert on Covid transmission, and increasingly it seems like nobody is. I can see potential hazards either way you travel. But I would do Zoom, and revisit the trip possibility next year. It sounds like the MIL would be completely on board with that.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Katietsu »

Does the primary driver have a preference? I find I get tired of driving sooner if I am driving a tall vehicle like a minivan or larger SUV. I can drive further in a lower crossover or sedan. The mid size crossover is usually the most comfortable seating position for me. My husband hates the view from a sedan. So, he would prefer to do a 12 hour drive in any kind of SUV and minivan. I think this is of higher priority than any of your other considerations.

If you rent a car, I would rent it for the day before. That will give you time to swap the vehicle if there are issues with it or if you find it uncomfortable. Make sure you tell them that you do not want a base model. If you have not rented much, you may not realize they even still make cars without power seat adjustments.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by sport »

rgs92 wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:13 pm FWIW, I just drive until I just get too tired to do it anymore and for me that is about 6 or 7 hours elapsed time including a few stops for stretching/bathroom breaks. I can't really plan since I don't know how I will feel. I'm pretty healthy and fit, and this driving pattern has been true since I was a teenager. So I suggest just getting in the car and stopping when you get tired and going to a motel.
300 or so miles is about my max for a day I have found.
In my experience, hotel reservations made in advance can be substantially less expensive than walking in and asking what is available. I have also found that hotels fill up and finding a room may not be so easy. Of course, much of this is location dependent.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by rgs92 »

Well, you are right on this. I did get burned on some high hotel rates when I did this when I hit the road. However, I'm thinking the hotels have pretty low vacancy these days.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by bloom2708 »

Consider renting a Ford Expedition Max with middle row bench. It probably won't be cheap.

The Ecoboost engine bets 20ish mpg. Comfortable ride. You might be able to find a Suburban with middle bench, they mostly have captains in the middle row.

For feeding, the middle bench seat is going to be a must. Wife sitting between the kids to help occupy time.

I've done similar trips. It is not fun, but you manage with multiple stops. Getting a chewable dramamine type product to prevent barfing is a good idea. Nothing wrecks a car trip like a 4 year old throwing up on everything. :shock:
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by alfaspider »

rgs92 wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:13 pm
300 or so miles is about my max for a day I have found.
300 Miles seems ridiculously short if you are on U.S. interstates. That's only about 4 hours of actual driving. I've done 1,000 as a single driver, but I'd say that's about my limit so as to avoid encroaching on sleep time. With kids, more like 8 hours of drive time is probably the limit of what is fun, but it will depend on the kids and ages. For what it's worth, we are departing Saturday for a trip of about 1200 miles with kids 1 and 3. The plan is 800 miles on day 1, though we have bail-out contingencies if the distance is too much. It's 12 hours drive time with a 1 time zone change. Plan is to leave at 5:00 am before the kids wake up, so we have a few hours of drive time before their normal wake-up. In theory, we'd get to the first day destination around dinner time. Will be bringing lots of snacks and toys. Day 2 will only be 4-5 more hours of drive time, but gives us leeway if we don't make it the full distance day 1.

As for the vehicle, your Accord should be fine unless you are bringing unusually large objects along. I don't know where people get the idea that you need an enormous SUV for everything.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by alfaspider »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:42 pm If you have not rented much, you may not realize they even still make cars without power seat adjustments.
Lol. I prefer cars without power seat adjustments. Quicker and easier to get it set up like you want.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

bloom2708 wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:14 pm Consider renting a Ford Expedition Max with middle row bench. It probably won't be cheap.

The Ecoboost engine bets 20ish mpg. Comfortable ride. You might be able to find a Suburban with middle bench, they mostly have captains in the middle row.

For feeding, the middle bench seat is going to be a must. Wife sitting between the kids to help occupy time.

I've done similar trips. It is not fun, but you manage with multiple stops. Getting a chewable dramamine type product to prevent barfing is a good idea. Nothing wrecks a car trip like a 4 year old throwing up on everything. :shock:
As far as I know you would have to rent from a Ford dealer and I'm not sure most of them have a Max to rent. I've rented common sedans from car dealers (when sedans were common) but that is a fairly unusual vehicle.
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by stoptothink »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:21 pm
rgs92 wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:13 pm
300 or so miles is about my max for a day I have found.
300 Miles seems ridiculously short if you are on U.S. interstates. That's only about 4 hours of actual driving. I've done 1,000 as a single driver, but I'd say that's about my limit so as to avoid encroaching on sleep time. With kids, more like 8 hours of drive time is probably the limit of what is fun, but it will depend on the kids and ages. For what it's worth, we are departing Saturday for a trip of about 1200 miles with kids 1 and 3. The plan is 800 miles on day 1, though we have bail-out contingencies if the distance is too much. It's 12 hours drive time with a 1 time zone change. Plan is to leave at 5:00 am before the kids wake up, so we have a few hours of drive time before their normal wake-up. In theory, we'd get to the first day destination around dinner time. Will be bringing lots of snacks and toys. Day 2 will only be 4-5 more hours of drive time, but gives us leeway if we don't make it the full distance day 1.

As for the vehicle, your Accord should be fine unless you are bringing unusually large objects along. I don't know where people get the idea that you need an enormous SUV for everything.
I've done 1k+ miles in a single day multiples times alone. In fact, I did Houston to Salt Lake City (~1450 miles) three separate times in one ~23hr shot (no, I don't recommend it). With kids, we (at least twice a year) have made the ~650 miles trek to visit family in California (in compact cars) since my kids were infants; never even crossed our minds to break that up into multiple days. Always interesting to read the differences in comfort levels. The "need" for enormous cars is a uniquely American phenomenon.
tibbitts
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:41 pm
alfaspider wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:21 pm
rgs92 wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:13 pm
300 or so miles is about my max for a day I have found.
300 Miles seems ridiculously short if you are on U.S. interstates. That's only about 4 hours of actual driving. I've done 1,000 as a single driver, but I'd say that's about my limit so as to avoid encroaching on sleep time. With kids, more like 8 hours of drive time is probably the limit of what is fun, but it will depend on the kids and ages. For what it's worth, we are departing Saturday for a trip of about 1200 miles with kids 1 and 3. The plan is 800 miles on day 1, though we have bail-out contingencies if the distance is too much. It's 12 hours drive time with a 1 time zone change. Plan is to leave at 5:00 am before the kids wake up, so we have a few hours of drive time before their normal wake-up. In theory, we'd get to the first day destination around dinner time. Will be bringing lots of snacks and toys. Day 2 will only be 4-5 more hours of drive time, but gives us leeway if we don't make it the full distance day 1.

As for the vehicle, your Accord should be fine unless you are bringing unusually large objects along. I don't know where people get the idea that you need an enormous SUV for everything.
I've done 1k+ miles in a single day multiples times alone. In fact, I did Houston to Salt Lake City (~1450 miles) three separate times in one ~23hr shot (no, I don't recommend it). With kids, we (at least twice a year) have made the ~650 miles trek to visit family in California (in compact cars) since my kids were infants; never even crossed our minds to break that up into multiple days. Always interesting to read the differences in comfort levels. The "need" for enormous cars is a uniquely American phenomenon.
Enormous cars are a convenience and comfort for most people on long trips. I used to drive somewhat farther, but last fall I drove 500 miles in one day. I was okay up to about 300 miles, but after 500 miles I suddenly found myself in so much pain I was almost unable to walk. I was only about 50% better the next morning. I was driving a smaller car that I hadn't driven anywhere near that far per-day in 4 years. I do wonder if I'd had a larger car with more comfortable seating position. But I still wouldn't drive very far in one day now, and when I (rarely now) drive at night I always drive slower to make up for limited visibility.
mx711yam
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by mx711yam »

None. Sounds like hell.
Rudedog
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Rudedog »

Minivan........we've had a minivan (Chrysler or Toyota) in our fleet since 1992.......great for trips with kids.
Lalamimi
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Lalamimi »

When I was young (early 60s) we would go from Arizona to Arkansas for family visits. Dad drove at night. Cooler and we slept in the back of the station wagon.
We had a family gathering for Christmas holiday this past year, and our daughter drove with a 1 yr old and a 3 yr old. 3 hours . She said never again.
I think if you go on a few short trips, that might help. Don't make the wife sit in back the whole time. 4 hours max for this situation. Maybe leave in the early evening from home, hotel at 10, back on road after breakfast, stop and stretch at a park, have lunch, dope the kids with carbs and drive like crazy rest of way.
RonSwanson
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by RonSwanson »

Minivan FTW
atikovi
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by atikovi »

Can't you give the kids something like Ambien so they sleep most of the way?
mnsportsgeek
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by mnsportsgeek »

It really depends on the kids. If they like their car seats and have toys to play with, it’ll be no problem. I’d recommend using a car that your wife can sit in the middle or in the back with the kids if they get antsy.
iamlucky13
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by iamlucky13 »

atikovi wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:55 pm Can't you give the kids something like Ambien so they sleep most of the way?
We haven't tried trips longer than about 5 hours with our kids, but I remember well enough the 16+ hour trips with my parents. Books, the alphabet game, highway bingo, and I spy hardly made it thrilling, but sufficed. Cars were smaller then, and I came from a big family. There was not a lot of room, but my parents brought along less stuff than somehow my wife and I always end up taking now.

Thinking back on it makes me feel like I need to thicken up my parenting skin. However, we would not repeat my mom's feat of nursing the youngest while driving...
tibbitts
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by tibbitts »

Lalamimi wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:37 pm Don't make the wife sit in back the whole time.
It's always amusing to read assumptions like this. My wife wouldn't allow me to drive, so if anybody would be sitting in back, it would be me.
dziuniek
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by dziuniek »

DarkHelmetII wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:33 am
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:09 am Why is this trip necessary, specifically the trip with two kids?
To see family. At the risk of immediately turning this into an unproductive debate: I want to fly but mother-in-law is freaked on COVID-19. So what is typically a < 4 hr door to door trip is going to be a 14+ hour boondoggle.
This is super easy. Have them come over instead :)
Bobby206
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by Bobby206 »

Rent mini van.

Way cheaper than putting miles on your car.
JBTX
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by JBTX »

Did this many times in various sedans 12-16 hours. Accord, Maxima, Avalon, Taurus. Sometimes by myself with 2 kids. My kids were actually sometimes best behaved when driving long distances. Just need lots of entertainment, electronics, headphones, books, magazines and snacks. I sometimes found the best driving was after they got to sleep at night. You could dispense with all the food/bathroom breaks.
mx711yam
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by mx711yam »

atikovi wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:55 pm Can't you give the kids something like Ambien so they sleep most of the way?

Hahaha
mighty72
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by mighty72 »

We have done 8-9 hour drives with 2 kids. The last drive they were 7 & 5. The earliest with both of them was when they were 3 & 1.

I would say minivan is the best option. With the younger one it gives you ample space to feed, diaper change, etc. The older one can move around in the back while you are getting gas or food.

I second the suggestion of driving at night.
kimura king
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Re: 24 Hour Drive Time w/ Two Young Kids: What Kind of Car

Post by kimura king »

Rent a minivan or suv. I don't want the miles on my car. I just rented a Ford Expedition for a 10 hour drive for a family vacation (rented a cabin in TN). Paid $610 and it was worth every penny. Stop at fun spots and let the kids play a little.
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