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Driving Syd to Melb with a 2.5 y/o?
Will I be tearing my hair out?!


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12 replies to this topic

#1 BellaMoja

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Hi All,

We need to go to Melb when my little girl will be 2.5 but looking at flights (even if booked now) and airport car parking fees we are already outlaying at least $750.00!!.... This is because my girl will be over 2 so we will need to bye her a ticket too from now on sad.gif

So I am thinking about driving with her and my DH.... but knowing her wild personality I am not sure if its just better to suck it up and find the money to fly instead of drive as I am not sure she would last even if we did make frequent stops... I imagine it would be very stressful - she is a gorgeous hearted girl but is very energetic and wont like being in the carseat for long periods of time.

I know we would need a day to get there and back. We would be staying there for about 2-3 days. I am sure that we would feel exhausted on our return to Sydney and normal working lives but $750.00 is very steep for us right now... We wont need to pay for accommodation in Melb.

Any advice?

Thanks wink.gif

#2 Schmig

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

I just returned from 2 weeks in queensland and we drove up and back with our 3 year old. I was expecting her to really struggle with the boredom and with needing to stop to go to the toilet but she was amazing. In fact I think she handled it better than we did. Sydney to melbourne is a long drive to do in a day but it can be done. That being said I won't be doing it again any time soon as it drove me crazy,

#3 greypink

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

We have been doing long interstate drives with our DS since he was that age and honestly it's been fine.
He is a very boisterous energetic child who hates to sit still so I was nervous the first time, but it really wasn't that bad.
We leave really early in the morning so he usually falls asleep at some point in the trip, plus we give him breakfast in the car which kills the first 30 mins wink.gif
Lots of books, toys, snacks etc kept in the front to pass over when he's getting a bit bored always works well.
It also helps to stop fairly frequently, even if just for a few mins to stretch the legs.
Flying would be easier, but for us the cost is just not worth it, plus we then have the convenience of having our own car and no baggage allowance or strict schedule to stick to.

#4 HeartMyBoys

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

I drove melb to adelaide with a 2.5 and 3.5 year olds. Pretty much the same distance as Sydney to Melb. We got the dvd players u attach to the headrests. They were only just over $100. It really helped keep them happy to watch some of their favourite movies. I also made a couple of stops at playgrounds along the way. They actually enjoyed it, but did start to get restless for the last 50kms. Theres also some cool travel packs u can get that have colouring in books, pencils n things. They are designed for car trips so are easy for them to hold on their laps. Good luck with it

Eta.....as pp said, leave early hours of the morning and they should sleep for the first few hours

Edited by HeartMyBoys, 21 January 2013 - 12:37 PM.


#5 Pinky101

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

We drove Sydney to Brisbane at Christmas with 26 month old DD. She was great. So much better than we expected. She slept better than at home. We had plenty of snacks to keep her occupied, some toys and the iPad came in very handy. We bought an iPad bracket that attaches to the front seat and the iPad slots into it, so she watched some shows we had downloaded as well.

I wouldn't want to do it too often, but it did work out very well.

#6 Vienna

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

We've driven Brisbane-Adelaide and Brisbane-Melbourne and back each year for a couple of years now, since my boys were 1 and 4. It's quite enjoyable, but we do take things to entertain them. One year it was a portable DVD player, but now recently we've used an iPad instead. And they can both pack a little bag of toys suitable for the car, and keep it on the seat beside them.  We stop often at parks so they can have a run around and play, and I have some fruit and snacks in the car. We like to get away as early as possible when we set out. Also, something about the motion of the car means they will often both have a good sleep for a while, even though they've long since given up daytime sleeps at home.

#7 RunDMC

Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

We recently did the Adel to Melb drive and would advocate the use of a portable DVD player. I got one secondhand at cash converters for $40, they event threw in 2 childrens DVDs!

#8 twinboys

Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

We have done the drive Sydney to Melbourne and back a couple of times but the boys were older.

We stopped every 2 hours for a icecream/drink/stretch and toilet break.

We did it in 2 days and stopped over night in Holbrook.

I left at 11am and got to Holbrook at 5pm
Then left in the morning and got to Sydney at 2pm.

We actually enjoyed it as we stopped in Goulburn and saw the Big Merino, stopped at the Dog on the Tuckerbox in Gundagai, looked at the submarine in Holbrook, saw Ned Kelly at Glen Rowan and tried out lots of different bakeries rather than stopping at the big service stations

#9 HIH.GD.Isolabella

Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

We do Melb to Sydney return about four times a year.

Started when DS1 was 2.5yrs and had a 6mo too. Just did the trip with just turned 3yo, 5yo and 7yo.

We leave home around 7-8am and drive all day. Usual stops are glen rowan BP Maccas for late pancakes and play (arrive by 10am) or Albury. Next Gundagai or Yass. Then Marulan before Sydney.

We don't give anything up to first stop. From first stop new book to look at. Then following stop a crayons colour wonder colouring book. Final stop we bring out iPod with movie.



#10 71Cath

Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

Is the train an option OP?  At least you can walk around...

#11 marley*and*me

Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

I have done the qld coast numerous times with children ranging from 6 months to 6 and lots of ages in between. It is hard at that age, but if you can get her to watch a DVD player it makes the trip so much easier.

#12 Escapin

Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

I would

a) subscribe to the virgin/qantas/whoever email so you get early notification of specials. You might be able to jag some cheap flights.

and b) figure out how much it will really cost you to drive. By the time you factor in lost income, petrol, entertainment, food, you might be better off flying.

#13 BellaMoja

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

Oh thanks a mil everyone, you have given me some great suggestions! Thank you. I didn't think of the train.. My Dd will def watch movies / Dora so she may be ok.

I'll have to think some more.

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