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  1. Default NY to Seattle, in November, with baby...are we crazy?

    My husband just got a great job in we have to get there. Driving sounds great, we've wanted to take a cross country trip for ages and this is the perfect opportunity. We need help though, any info would be great. We have 7 days to drive, would like to avoid snow if possible, and would like to spend the nights in a hotel. We have a 9 month old that will be coming with us, so we can't drive more than 10 hours per day and will need to make frequent stops. The plan we are considering is to take I-80 all the way across (will this avoid snow?), head to the west coast and drive up to WA (we've heard the drive up the coast is beautiful). If anyone can weigh in on this idea, we'd appreciate it! Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Keep the Drive Short and Make the Most of It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your biggest problem with this trip is that you have limited time, both in terms of the total number of days you can be on the road and the number of hours you can devote to driving on each of those days. The most direct route from New York to Seattle, basically on I-90, is ~2865 miles. That would require you to cover a little over 400 miles each day over 7 days. Once you start adding other destinations and side trips, your mileage would start to climb. For example, if you headed to Portland, OR and then up the 'coast' on I-5, you're already at 3075 miles (440 miles per day). But if you really want to see the coast, then you're looking at 3185 miles with most of those additional 110 miles being on two-lane, winding roads, so you'd probably have to cover something closer to 500 miles a day over the first six days so that you could enjoy that last day driving up the coast at a stately pace. While that is possible, I think you'd be much better served by taking a more leisurely and adjustable approach to getting to Seattle and saving your excursions along the coast for after you get there and your child can enjoy the beach as well.

    More generally, when travelling with children, particularly those as young as yours, you need to leave ample time for the extra stops required. Plan on pulling off the road every two hours at least for the feedings and inevitable changings, and to just give the baby, and you and your husband, a break. This is not the way to cover a lot of miles every day, but it is the way to make those miles at least as enjoyable as they can be. Use those stops to explore small towns and parks along the way. Get away from the monotony of the Interstates. Also check out this site for other tips about travelling with children.

    The only way to avoid snow is to know where it's snowing, and you won't know that until after you are on the road. So be as flexible as you can and keep an eye on the weather as you progress across the continent. Try to keep a day in hand to sit out any unavoidable weather - another reason not to try to pack in every mile that you can possibly fit into this trip. Between Chicago and Seattle you will have the choice of three cross country routes, basically I-90, I-94 and I-80/I-84/I/82. Know what's predicted when you leave New York, but be ready to make an adjustment at Chicago if need be.


  3. #3

    Default Be Sure to Visit Coeur d'Alene

    If you decide to take I-90 all the way to Seattle, there is lots to see along the way (Mount Rushmore, etc.). I would highly reccommend that you stop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (if you take I-90 you will pass right through it just before you reach Spokane, WA). It is about 5 to 6 hours away from Seattle, and a good safe place to stop for the night before you make the last leg of your journey. Lake Coeur d'Alene is has been called one of the five most beautiful alpine lakes in the world. There is a floating boardwalk that is almost 3 quarters of a mile long that offers a good view of the lake and surrounding mountains. There are lots of great restaurants and places to shop. CDA is a very tourist friendly community with a number of fantasitic golf courses and ski resorts.

  4. Default Not crazy. :)

    We drove x-country from Boston-Vegas when our son was 4 months old. He was fine. (He loves to travel now, and I;ve taken several shorter "long" roadtrips with him.)

    It is taxing to spend 10 hours a day for days on end in the car though, so if you can add even a day or two at either end, you'll have a better trip.

    You might want to bring some extra childproofing stuff for hotels en route, esp. if your child is active. And of course, pack your trunk with extra diapers, wipes, bottles and RTF formula if you're not breastfeeding, snacks, etc. Be prepared to change diapers in some very odd places at unexpected times.

    My son mostly wore pajamas to stay warm.(You do not want bulky coats in a car seat because the straps will not be tight enough to be safe.) Through the coldest parts of the trip, we took turns sitting in back and watching him--covered with a down throw. LL Bean sells wonderful one piece fleece coveralls with a hood and fold down mittens. They're warm, but fit well under car seat straps.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-27-2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Preferred Link Format

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