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Old 11-15-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

How did you do it? Any tips?

Our Christmas plans normally happen last minute and we are thinking of driving straight through to my mom's house in Florida this year. Last time we made this trip we stopped for a night half way. But we are considering going straight through this time. We thought if we left at night there would be less traffic till we got to GA which by then it is 3 lanes most of the rest of the way so it wouldn't be that bad.

The drive is 18 hours on paper. So we figure if we left at 7 pm we would get in around 2 pm.


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Old 11-15-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

Wow long drive. I drove from AL to MO and that was about 12 hours..straight through by myself at night. It was hell and I'd never do it again. I have also driven it straight through at night with someone else and it wasn't that bad since we could trade off. Now with a LO..I have no idea. I would say that it will definitely take a few hours longer than on paper. We took a 5 hr trip (on paper) with DD when she was 3 months and we had to stop after 3 hours for her to eat so it ended up taking about 6 hours. Good luck!!

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Old 11-15-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

im in GA!!! you can spend the night here we have attempted to drive 12 hours overnight before...but turns out my little sis brought a stomach bug back from college so it took a lot longerthan that
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

8 hours overnight? sure! 18??? no way. You might become dangerously tired, even with 2 adults. I would stay the night some where, or even car camp for half the night.

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Old 11-15-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

DH and I have done this and it was tough. I think I would stop for the night if I could. But as a last resort, if you plan on doing this, you need to at least stop at a rest area and catch a couple of hours of sleep in the car. Even with switching you are going to get dangerously tired.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

We have driven overnight so many times I have lost count. We drive a trip that is 1100 miles about 2 times a year. When DS was a baby, driving overnight was the only way we could easily travel. It is very exhausting, but can be done. We have found that it is easiest if we start off the drive in the morning and get the bulk of the drive done in the day and then just go late into the night. The worst part of the night for us is usually between 6 and 9 am. If you do start in the evening and drive all night, make sure that the both of you get plenty of rest the day you are leaving. If you do both start getting sleepy, it isn't worth it! Just stop somewhere, even if you have to pay for a hotel for 4 or 5 hours. Neither DH or I drink a lot of coffee, but when you are driving at night, don't skip it. It will help keep you alert.

All that said, I do feel safer driving during the day. It makes me nervous driving at night when not only are we tired, but so are other drivers. And driving in the winter is an added hazard (although you don't have the same worry since you are driving to FL!) DS now sleeps very poorly in the car, so we stop overnight usually. It makes the trip longer, but we are all happier.

Good luck on your trip!

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Old 11-15-2009, 12:14 PM   #7
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

Longest we've ever done was 10 and even then I personally was tired and wanted out! I think that's horribly long for kids.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

I have done 17 by myself in 1 day. I actually did it twice (1 w/DS 1 wo/DS). There are a couple of tips I can give you.

*Do not drink a lot while driving. It helps for not stopping for the bathroom too much.
*Instead of "driving through the night", I found it better if I slept for a few hours (10-3) and left by 4am. I may be getting in later, but less chance of accidents when you get sleep.
*I took REAL Sudafed & drank Pepsi to keep me awake.
*For the time I had DS, I kept a bucket of toys next to him. And he did sleep most of the way. When I did stop for him to use the bathroom, I always made sure I made the most of my trip; got food, emptied my bladder, got gas..... That way I didn't have to stop again down the road.

Most of all it is the length of the drive that gets you. I made sure I had music I liked, food/drink I wanted, and had my cell handy (with headset) for when I got bored and had signal. Every time I hit a new state/highway, I would always count down the miles til my next state/highway. I had a trip-tik (from AAA) that gave me detailed directions that I could look at while driving.

If I didn't have kids, I would be driving for a living. I enjoy it and can do it well.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:34 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

We have done it. Last time we drove from WA-AK we left at 8 pm, so both girls (at the time they were 3 and 1.5) would fall asleep. We drove straight through until 10 am when they woke up. We stopped at a really cool lake and had breakfast, changed clothes, and ran around for about an hour. Then we got back in the car and kept driving. At that point the kids had been asleep for the majority of the 12 hour drive and weren't tired of the car yet.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone driven long distance overnight?

We did 9-10 hour ones but the last time we did not do well and got really tired so we don't do it anymore. That time we had to find somewhere to sleep.
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