Tonight’s tip is all about driving to see the Mouse. Whether it takes you 4 hours or 24 hours, we all need a plan on how to keep our cool for the long ride. We have driven from WI straight through several times and we have also made two trips overnight as well. We have a pretty fool proof plan that works for us, so here are some of the many tips we have compiled for the long road ahead.
First off, we always drive our own vehicle. We realize sometimes this isn’t feasible for some, but it has saved us money as the cost of a rental with the large number of miles we would put on was very expensive. A week before we leave for vacation, we take the time to get a full tune-up on our vehicle to make sure we don’t break down along the way.
For long road trips such as these, we always pack an overnight bag with extra clothes for everyone. We use it strictly for staying at a hotel on the way down, or if anyone gets car sick. Thankfully it is rare, but it has happened with our little one, which leads us to what we eat and what we avoid on the road.
First trip driving, we didn’t eat very well at all. We ate fast food, letting everyone eat while we drove to save time. Trust me on this, Fast Food will always tend to be the option, but now we pull over and make sure to go inside, eat, relax, and let our stomachs rest before hitting the open road again. For snacks, we have found crunchy grapes, all picked, washed and bagged up, are great to hydrate and satisfy the body. We drink bottled water and replenish at bubblers found in clean gas stations- soda we found bogged us down and made us feel very sluggish.
Because we start our drive in the late afternoon, our kids have a guaranteed night of sleep in our vehicle. Luckily we have a nice roomy van that we have worked out for both kids to stretch out and sleep comfortably. The last stop before night, the kids change into their pj’s, windows covered for their privacy, and snuggle into blankets and pillows we packed from home. With both kids fast asleep, we discuss which one of us takes what shift to drive. While one drives, the other sleeps. This has worked out great for us.
As the sun rises, we stop for breakfast, having the kids once again change into fresh clothes and everyone has the chance to eat and recharge. During this part of the trip, we pull out pre-made treats that we put together before we left home. For our oldest its books she wanted, or an iTunes Gift card to add to her iPod. For the youngest it is coloring books, drawing supplies, a new Barbie maybe..you get the point. Its fun small items we picked up over time to get them excited and keep their minds off the long trip- it has been a fun tradition we continue still.
We arrive at WDW usually around 5 p.m, which is ideal for us. We planned on getting here at around dinner time so that we would have time to check in, unwind, walk around the resort, and get an early night’s sleep. We highly recommend that if you are making the long trek to WDW, to leave at a time that you can always get there around dinner or in the evening so you have the ability to have the following day fresh and ready to go.
We would love to hear from you. Have you driven to WDW? Where from and how long did it take you? Do you have a tip to help others? Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Disney day!
Carl and Ellie Peters