The Caseys have survived our very first family trip! This trip was a 5 hour drive from our home in New York City to NoVa (Northern Virginia) to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday with family. NoVa is one of our favorite places to visit year round so we knew this first trip would be one of many. Little baby CC is only 10 weeks old and being first time parents we had no idea what to expect for our first trip. We did the research, read a million blogs and formulated a plan: We would leave the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at 8am, stop every 2 hours so I could nurse him and change his diaper and arrive at our destination approximately 7 hours after we left. The grown ups would eat once along the way and we packed some snacks just in case we got hungry at weird times. Our plan was real cute!
In reality of course, things didn't go as smooth. We didn't get out the door until around 10am. The traffic out of the city was fine, but the congestion on I-95 was nightmarish. We were crawling along and our first stop ended up being just 30 miles south of NYC. The rest of the trip went much the same, we still had to stop every 2 hours but sometimes we would only have gone 75 miles since the last stop. Our major planned stop, where all of us would get to eat and use the bathroom ended up taking a whopping 75 minutes. We didn't arrive at our destination until 7pm, 11 hours after we departed. On a bad day, this trip takes 5 hours. We were all exhausted and I was feeling a bit deflated.
The return journey was much better than the departure because we knew what to expect. A snail's pace of travel and we also left on Monday, missing much of the holiday traffic we must have ran into on the way down. The return journey still ended up taking 8 hours. CC really has a zero tolerance policy for wet diapers and eats about every 1.5-2 hours.
All in all here is what we will do differently next time:
Pump beforehand and bottle feed every other feeding allowing for more non-stop drive time
Bring the hand pump along to pump during bottle feedings to keep supply up and score! a meal for the next feeding ready to go.
Travel at off times if possible
Expect a long, slow ride
Take turns driving and when its your time to not drive, relax!