Would you drive 8 hours in one day for a birthday party with two toddlers?

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 46
15397 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I wouldn’t do this even without the kids.  And with a 4 month old, not a chance I would have even considered it.

Post # 47
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Oh man. I wouldn’t! I do everything in my power to avoid keeping my three (4, 2 and 7 mos) in the care for any trips greater than 25 minutes. Ha. So unless this was a life altering, can’t miss, incredible event- I’d totally pass. 

Post # 48
7650 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Our family and friends are a seven hour drive away and we have had a few friends with kids drive that distance to visit. It’s a bit difference since there isn’t a party sandwiched in with the drives but that many hours in a car is doable. 

I have personally driven back for milestone birthdays for my parents, weddings and funerals and then random events while also making it a point to see a variety of people while I’m in town. However, I almost always make a weekend out of it and don’t have kids. That being said, we also say no to plenty of events and everyone is understanding.

Do you have the option of spending the night or weekend? One of my friends drives 3.5 hours for weekend visits to her in laws with kids fairly frequently for events like birthday parties but I doubt she would do it if they weren’t spending the night.

Post # 49
1889 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
hawk22 :  hard pass!!! You have a prior engagement and leave it at that. It’s unreasonable for them to expect you guys to go. 

Post # 50
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Hard no!

“Sadly we won’t be able to make it! Sounds like a lovely party, wishing you a wonderful time and great year ahead!”

Post # 51
1534 posts
Bumble bee

I would normally say no.  I remember making long flights back and forth to Europe with a baby and small child and it was hell. I have also spent 4 hours at a time driving for work back in the day and did not think it was a big deal. You asked the question because you either feel some sort of obligation or there is going to be extended family members to see.

I think the person who’s sibling it is should probably try to go if there will be some enjoyment for seeing the extended family.  It sounds like this might an important birthday since they sent a an invitation.  If there are no extended family members you want to see and it is just a question of obligation & a bad time, I would definitely say ‘no’ and send a card/gift card.

Post # 52
1036 posts
Bumble bee

No unless it was a “big” birthday (30,40,50,etc) and only if I spent the night. 


Driving 4+ hours with 2 little ones to attend a party for a few hours, only to get back in the car and drive 4+ more hours home is probably how they torture people in hell.


And FWIW, an invitation (even from a sibling) is not a summons and a regret reply does not require an explanation. It’s perfectly acceptable to say “so sorry we can’t make it” and then mail them a present, some flowers, etc (whatever appropriate).

Post # 53
16 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Las Vegas, Nevada

I would have to say no, I wouldn’t. Unless like PPs are saying.. stay overnight at the minimum. My daughter was 8 days old and my husband needed me to go with him to pick up a piece of equipment he was buying for his business in Ohio. We live in Virginia. It was every bit of 12-13 hours when it should have only been 9 hours. But we had to stop for nursing/bottles, diaper changes, and stretches. We stayed one night and it was still stressful. A baby that’s only 8 days old is going to sleep a lot.. a baby at 4 months old has come to life a little bit more.. and the 4 year old has definitely already came to life years ago. It’s do-able but it’s going to be rough. It has a good chance to have you stressed out before even getting to the party. 

Post # 54
2276 posts
Buzzing bee

Yeah I’d decline, or make it a weekend trip. We travel and do road trips a lot with our kids and even that’s a stretch for me! 

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