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To drive or not to drive


Eight weeks.  I have eight weeks off this summer.

Let’s just ignore the fact that that is two weeks shorter than normal.

We haven’t been to Houston since last August, and that was just for a short weekend.  I know we are due for a trip.  After all, I can’t get good Tex-Mex anywhere else!

But, we have the budget.  Which means we are doing everything to pay off the last of our debt, save for our future, and our kids’ college.  Which means that we won’t be budgeting the $800-$1000 it will cost our family of four to fly to Houston.  (Why doesn’t Southwest Airlines have a hub in Atlanta…just saying?)

So, if we want to go to Houston, the only option that leaves is driving, right?

Ack!  I’m so not a good car traveler.  And, it’s at least a 13 hour trip!  After the 6 hours to and from Savannah, I don’t know if I can double that, or do it two days in a row.  Can I?

Maybe if my kids did this for most of the trip, we could make it?


I need your help.  Can I do it?  Have you done it?  What are your tips?  Your hints?  Your suggestions?

Help!  I’m pretty sure I’ve gone crazy!



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  1. You can totally make the drive! We will be leaving Nashville TN and heading to Wichita Falls TX (a 14 hour drive) this coming week! We make the trip at least twice a year and have only flown a could times! And those were when we were given plane tickets as Christmas presents! LOL My husband likes to split it into a 2 day trip but I tend to just get in the car and get there. More often than not it is just Matthew and I as Jeff stays home to work and save his days off. Have a fun safe trip if you decide to brave it!

  2. If you have enough support before you leave and when you get to your destination you can make it. I used to drive from San deigo to Missouri straight through with a infant till he was 2. Once every 5 months I would drive out there.
    It is easier the later in the day you leave, but if you are driving you need to take a nap prior to leaving. I would leave around 5 pm, so that way the child was only up for a few hours, and then he would crash for the remainder of the night. The hardest part I see for you is if you have to go to the restroom in the middle of the night, or get something to eat. Unless you are driving with someone, it was a pain in the butt getting the sleeping toddler out of the car ugh! I packed a cooler of food so he had yummie snacks and I had all of my caffinated drinks I needed for the road. Once you get there your kids are going to run amuck and all you will want is a few hours in a nice comfy bed…
    good luck if you do it. i think it is totally possible!

  3. You can do it! We traveled to Colorado with 2 young kids not last winter but the winter before. I thought it was going to be awful, but it honestly wasn't.

    Here's what we shoved in the back of a Suburban to keep them entertained: a portable DVD player, books, pillows, blankets, purses filled with random stuff and food!

    Did it get messy? OF COURSE! But, we survived and that was the main goal! 🙂

  4. We did a similar length trip to WI when we moved here but with just one kid (although I was pregnant at the time). It wasn't …. great, but at the same time, I think if you just accept what it is, and plan plan plan, that you can make it work. You could also plan to do it in two or three days to spread out the driving but I know that would limit your time THERE, too.

  5. You can do it. Load up the dvd player w movies, have some small games for the girls to play, and load up the car. We do an 16 hr drive in one shot, only stopping for gas and food to Oklahoma each summer. Its actually quite fun, even with 4 dogs and a toddler. You can space the driving out, maybe find cool stuff along the way to break up the driving boringness. Its a family trip, embrace it. lol

  6. I've done the tripn from Canada to Florida. Twice. It took a lot of patience and caffine, but with the help of an amazing Hubby we did it.
    I think you can do it!

  7. Bring books and read to them in the car (unless you're doing the driving of course)

  8. The most I've driven is 14 hours with the dude. I'm not gonna lie…it was rough. Snacks, frequent breaks to run around and a DVD player are clutch!

  9. My husband is afraid of flying and the cost would probably detour us anyway. We drive everywhere. I like being able to see things along the way. We break the drive up with a little geocaching, my son and I play scrabble, or I read to my husband while he drives. It's a 12 hour drive everytime we want to see our family in Missouri which is at least once a year, usually 3-4 times – I hate that drive, but enjoyed the 24+ hours to Florida, lol.

  10. You should calculate how much you'd spend in gas. It might be almost as much as flying! (Well, when you consider eating out while driving, too.)

  11. OK, I swear I already posted, but its not showing up…grr.

    TO DRIVE is the answer!!
    it will suck at the time, but you might be surprised how well the girls do!
    You have so many reasons to come home (family, friends, happy hour, ect) and we all want yall to come!!
    So, what I'm saying is do it for us, ok?!?! lol
    I hope you make the decision to come! I would love to meet the girls finally and have another happy hour!!
    DO IT..DO IT..DO IT..are you falling into peer pressure yet?!?!
    Would Matt come with you?

  12. You can do it. You might want to shoot yourself several times along the way, but you can do it 🙂 Just think of all the money you'll save. Or find stuff around the house to sell on ebay to pay for the flights 😉

  13. You definitely can do the drive! We have driven to Chicago from Annapolis twice with Will and he did amazing. We just made sure we stopped to stretch the legs. We also had our dvd player to keep us entertained.
    Plus road trips are a blast girl!

  14. I have not been brave enough to try this yet. We have flown with Carter though and it was a pain. I was so exhausted from carrying all the stuff we needed, making sure we reached the potty in time, made our connecting flight and arranging for Carter to be able to sit with at least one of us…all of our tickets were spread all over the planes there and back. Even if they didn't allow seat assignments they have to make an excpetion when traveling with kids. Driving may take longer but it would be at your own pace and you could stop and take breaks whenever you needed. Keep us posted!

  15. For us the portable DVD player has already proved to be a good investment. We go on holiday by car to Andorra (tiniest country between France and Spain) and sleep over before we hit the mountains. If you can stand the inevitable "are we there yet?" question for let's say a 100 times, then you're up for it. Also for us, the holiday starts as soon as we get into the car, not the moment we reach our destination. It's just the way you look at it really.

    PS: Sorry I've been absent from blogland for so long. I hope to do better from now on.

  16. We have family that lives in Iowa which is a 13/14 hr drive for us. I am too chicken to make the drive hence the fact that some of my family has not officially 'met' the triplets.

  17. We drive from NC to PA, which is 10-12 hours. We usually start out later in the day so that the boys will end up sleeping most of the trip. We're exhausted when we get there, but we don't hear the kids whining.

    We drove from Pittsburgh to Disney World last summer, but we broke it up a bit.

    Long drives are hard, but we have so much stuff to bring with us that we'd rather pack it in the van!

  18. mrs. hils says:

    Southwest flies out of Birmingham. That's only 2 hours away…

  19. As long as you have a portable DVD player and lots of little toys. Isabella is FANTASTIC no matter what…but Evan…hmmm… 🙂

    The last time I traveled more than 2-3 hours with him was when he was 6 months and it wasn't as bad as I THOUGHT it would be…but it still wasn't good. He's always been a wild kid.

  20. Well Most of my trips to VA have been at night usually. MY boys sleep and we drive in peace through the night. However because I was traveling alone during spring break I had to go during the daytime. I did use DVD players! I also had buckets for the little fellow that gets car sick. I let them pack the things they wanted to keep them busy.

    We also stopped along the way and I let them out. We even did a little shopping at a Target and Walmart along the way!

    Good luck with your decision.

  21. You can do it. Plan stops where they can play at a playground, etc. and do you have a portable dvd? that would be worth it's weight in gold. and what about driving at night? or leaving at lunch, feeding them in the car, nap & then stopping around dinner? you can do it (I need you to because we may be doing it next year to florida – so be my guinea pig, will ya?)

  22. Smart A$$ Mom says:

    Driving a family of four is no joke. We usually find the cost of flying versus driving(with gas, miles put on the car, food out along the way, hotels) comparable. And when it's a mater of $100 to make everyone happy-thats a win for us all! However, we also hunt great deals on tickets. I've gotten us round trips on Continental and Delta for less than $200.

  23. We have done the trip from illinois to pittsburgh (10-11 hours) many times in the past 13 months… totally doable with small children!

    new snacks, stickers and paper, go to the dollar store and get new toys, those help us a lot. our daughter knows how to play games on the iphone, so we let her do that when she's getting really whiny.

  24. I think y'all can totally do it! We've gone to Indiana and Missouri–both long trips for us. My advice is DVD player, movies, activities, snacks.

    Sometimes on the way to Missouri we stop halfway and stay at a hotel. It helps to break up the trip a little 🙂


  25. All I can say is….I love that picture!! It really is way too cute.
    I'm sure you'd make it…it might not be easy but think of the outcome…is it worth it?? Great memories!!!

  26. I say go for it!…….We're driving to WI this summer…in a litte more than 5 weeks we're off…..
    And that's a 20 hour drive!!!!….
    I plan on leaving at about 3-4 am the first day…..and driving more than half way before we stop overnight……
    And also plan on stocking the car with food/snacks/stuff for TigerBoy to do….and a DVD player for just in case……

    I'll let you know how it goes!….

  27. We did it with Chicken last year. it was 16 hours and he was about 15 months and we had no DVD player. It was rough, I'm not gonna lie, but we made it.

    We went over two days so we left friday at 3 ish and drove until about midnight. Then we rented a hotel room, slept, woke up with a quick breakfast and were back on the road.

    I say if you do it then make sure to break it up over two days and maybe bring some heavy medication lol!

  28. We make drives to new orleans which is like 10 hours and it takes us FOREVER but we make it! usually we make stops every couple of hours that I find on the way before hand. we have toured batel ships, seen a space center, and been to the MOOseum!

  29. a) is matt going?

    b) i have lots of other thoughts but my eyes are getting heavy…promise i will be back to discuss!!

    i have missed u friend and can't wait to catch up!!


  30. I saved this post in my reader and just found it again. We debated the same thing, but it has been longer since our last visit and the drive from here to Houston is about 19 hours. Southwest had some good deals and we decided it actually works out to be cheaper to fly because we would have to stay overnight on the way.

    We will be in Houston for the last two weeks in July. My mom is SO excited she is giddy!

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