All in one day?
I have a dilemma.
In 2 weeks, we are taking our camper to Branson from Milwaukee. It's 626 miles total. We have a 1 year old now (Last year, he made a 8 hour trek to Minnesota with no problems). We took a trip last weekend (4-1/2 hours) and he was good, but obviously he doesn't sleep as much now as he did last during last years trips.
My plan might come off as insane, however, I've given this A LOT of careful thought. First off, I have a lack of vacation time due to changing jobs last fall, so that's why we're going over 4th of July week (Free day)! Second, I know 626 miles is a TON to tow in 1 day. Third, I know it's even more trouble with a 1 year old! Fourth, I'm not worried about me driving that far....and my wife can switch with me if need be as well. I have long breaks scheduled in the trip to accommodate for some road fatigue.
Here are my options based off the time we have scheduled off and our reservations in Branson.
My current plan is:
Leave home at 4:30 Saturday morning - drive 3 hours to Bloomington, IL and have a 1 hour breakfast break/run around time for the tot. I will top off with gas.
Back on the road by 9 for another 3 hour jaunt which will put us in the Western St. Louis burbs for Lunch. Take an hour+ break at lunch for eating and run around time.....maybe find a park for him to play in for a bit.
Back on the road by 1:30 for the final push to Branson....which should have us at our campground by 5:30-6:00.
I set this plan up based off of his schedule...that if we leave home at 4:30AM, he SHOULD sleep most of the way, if not all of the way to Bloomington. 7:30-8:00 is when he normally wakes up on the weekend. Then my plan would be for my wife to sit in the back with him for some/most of the ride to St. Louis to help entertain him with toys and the tablet. After lunch, he normally takes a good nap again....so out of our 10 hours of drive time, my hope is he'll sleep for 5 of it.
After our trip last weekend, I have given consideration to altering the plan, but I'm not sure if it even makes sense to try it.
The idea would be to leave home Friday afternoon and drive between 3 and 4 hours. We then have 2 options for accommodations.....find a campground with pullthru's for 1 night, not unhook and sleep.....or find a hotel that accepts pets and stay there for the night.
My problem with a campground is, it's still a good bit of work to get everything comfortable for a night, which all has to be ripped down in the morning before we can leave.....PLUS, we realistically can't do that before 7 or 8 AM....which means to make it possible to get to Branson by dinner, we have to drive FURTHER on Friday night.
A hotel is a decent option, but with that decent option obviously comes with additional costs. Obviously we don't have to set anything up with the camper, but still have to get all the stuff for the baby inside a hotel, and it's just a place to crash for the night. We could still hit the road early as well, but I'm not sure how well the baby will sleep if he's REALLY woken up like he would be in a hotel room vs being able to sleep until we are ready to leave at home in his own room.
On the way home, we are planning on driving back in 2 days, spending the night in the St. Louis area, mainly because I don't care what time I get home. I don't have to do ANYTHING when I get home, whereas I have an hour+ of setup when we go camping.
Thoughts on my madness?
2016 Grey Wolf 26DBH following a 2014 RAM 1500 Outdoorsman
Life is good...Live it!
(2014) Nights Camped - 16 in 6 trips (2015) Nights Camped - 20 in 6 trips
(2016) Nights Camped - 21 in 7 trips