Long Solo Drive


New member
I will be making a 10 hour drive by myself with 4 kids ages 7 to 2. I've done 4 hour drives but I'm nervous about 10. I know we'll be stopping a lot but any suggestions on how to entertain them, letting them snack, etc? Normally I would divide snacks up into individual baggies and every 2 hours hand one out to each kid but I obviously can't do that if I'm driving. I don't want to just give them all their snacks at once because I know they would eat them all within 2 hours and whine the other 8 that they have no snacks. I'm going to be putting the 6 and 7 year old boys back into 5 point harness for the drive because they are really bad about slumping and not sitting properly in their boosters. We have an iPad which I could download movie on to but does anyone know of a way to hook it up in our van? I've seen holders that are attached to the front seat headrest, anyone know if those are okay? Any suggestions for a solo long car trip would be helpful. Thank you!


Well-known member
I've done an 11 hour drive with my kids on my own a couple times. First things first--if the littlest ones are new at pottying, you may be stopping quite often. If that's the case, you may have to split it into two days. I took two days to go to Indiana, but I was somehow able to drive home in one this past January. I only had my 3yo, though. She can hold it a lot longer than her big brother. When I have him, I feel like he has to stop to pee every thirty miles.

Melissa & Doug Water Wow for my now 4yo. Aquadoodle travel pad. Books. iPad and DVD options, too. I also bring a small soft bag filled with many toys. Soft puppets, the disney princesses with the click dresses, "baby" stuffed animals, toy food, etc.

We stop pretty often with my big kid, but I have to stop every couple hours myself to stretch or I'll get too achy and tired. We walk with funny steps at the rest areas or if it's really cold, we find a Bass Pro or Cabela's and browse a bit and check out the decor/fish tanks/etc. (If it's nice, I find a playground for meals and running around.)


Admin - CPS Technician
When traveling with kids, we usually stop every three hours or so for potty breaks and just to move around a little. You could easily give out snacks at the end of each potty break. If you wanted a longer stretch, you could have the snacks ready to go in the center console or passenger seat, and just pass them back while driving. If you can only reach one kid, give both snacks to that kid and have him/her pass it to the other one.


New member
I'll be doing a 12 hour drive with my kids in May, but they are quite a bit older.

I plan to leave early in the morning so I can get out before morning traffic and they will hopefully sleep the first couple of hours. We are also planning on an audio book for all of us to listen to. We just started talking about what we would like. A few of those might be helpful, our library has a large selection.

I'm not sure on the iPad holder, in general I don't trust the various holders to attach to the car but a lot of people use them. You may also be able to find a used portable DVD player for cheap, we recently sold one for $15. Pintrest also has some easy homemade things for the car (travel lego containers, magnet boards, etc..) so I would check there for ideas that your kids would like.

I would also just hand out a snack at potty breaks and keep something like granola bars/crackers nearby you that you can hand back when driving.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
It is recommended for health reasons that everyone get out and move around no less often than every 3 hours, so that's a great time to throw out trash, give out snacks, etc.

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