View Full Version : Domestic travel - fly or drive?

08-11-2009, 08:29 AM

We live in Pennsylvania and been matched with a birth mom in Utah due in Oct and scheduled for a c-section. We're looking into travel plans and are debating flying vs. driving. Here's what we've come up with so far:

Flying pros: Faster, safer (at least statistically!)
Flying cons: No direct flights nearby, risk (did you hear about the Continental flight just last week that left 50 passengers sitting on the tarmac all night long with no food, no water, and an overflowing toilet?), exposure of 7 day old newborn to crowds with this Swine flu scare on-going.

Driving pros: Predictable, flexible (we can leave when we want, rest when we want, eat when we want), infant not exposed to crowds and airplane recycled air, rental agency brings us a new car if we break down, cost (I can rent w/ unlimited miles for less than $200 per week).
Driving cons: It's 2000 miles / 33 hrs each way! Statistically, not as safe as flying.

Any advice??? We're leaning toward driving just because we feel more in control and flexible that way... All that said, if the baby comes early all bets are off and we'll be getting on an airplane on short notice!

Thanks in advance.


08-11-2009, 09:51 AM
First, congratulations!!!

If you are anxious about flying with a newborn, can you look into flying there and driving back? At least you would only have one lengthy drive. I believe the larger car rental companies allow for one way trips from one airport to another airport.

Good luck!

08-11-2009, 09:58 AM
I did not adopt but I have had 4 babies and I would NOT want to be driving for 2 days with a 7 day old baby. 2 of mine needed rocking and holding or they wailed. "I" would fly and get home asap. keep the baby covered I know the air isnt the best on the plane but not all newborns LIKE their car seats my youngest 2 HATED them and cried and cried until exhausted 2 slept like logs as soon as they hit it. 33 hrs in a car would suck if you had a baby like my Nathan or Jack.

What ifs are to great with newborns to be stuck in a car that long ( or it would be for me) Plane trip your home in 12hrs.

OH and will you or your wife be able to NOT hold the baby for that many hours. I didnt put mine down for days I couldnt sit in a car and just watch one thats for sure LOL

My advice Fly go get your littleone and get home to start your life

Snow mom
08-11-2009, 10:21 AM
You might also want to check with the car rental company about the "unlimited miles" thing. Companies I've rented from in the past give unlimited miles but only allow you to drive in the state you rent it in and ones that directly border that state. You can break the rules but I don't know what would happen if you broke down or got in an accident somewhere you weren't supposed to be. Typically unlimited miles where they'll let you take the car anywhere in the US is much more expensive.

I would fly unless you are open to taking at least a week to complete the drive home.

08-13-2009, 07:20 AM
We adopted and had to drive a couple of hours to get home. There is no way I would want to be in the car 33 hours with a newborn. I would not hesitate to fly, especially since you know the c-section date.

08-13-2009, 01:47 PM
Congratulations! We brought our son home on a plane from Florida to California on July
7th. Flying is so much easier than driving! We had his car seat in his own seat and put him in a sling when he wanted to be held. This is going to be one emotional trip and you will be alot more drained than you can imagine. Make sure that you and your wife sanitize your hands often and don't let people touch the baby and he should be fine. It is actually dangerous to newborns to be in the car seat too long as it can cut of the air supply. As for feeding, buy a bunch of those 2 oz ready to feed bottles of the baby's formula and playtex drop in bottles. This works out well as all you will need to bring is one bottle and lots of extra clean nipples and bags. Good luck!

08-13-2009, 04:35 PM
No advice. Just CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

08-16-2009, 08:23 PM
Congrats!!! We drove 12 hours when bringing our DS home. He was 1 1/2 weeks (after Interstate Compact cleared). He did great, I sat in the back between him and our 5 year old. I don't know about a longer trip, though.

08-16-2009, 08:30 PM
i am totally the type that would prefer to drive. but as i think about it driving long distances is hard with a little one. both mine hate/d the infant car seat. i think flying would be the least painful option.

hth, congratulations.

08-24-2009, 03:42 PM
We adopted our younger son through a domestic newborn adoption multiple states away, he is 6 mo old now. I flew home w/ him alone at about 10 days old, and it was really not too stressful. (my husband and older son flew home separately) Congrats, and feel free to PM me w/ any questions about domestic adoption travel.

That's way too long of a drive w/ a newborn, IMO. We took what is normally a 2 1/2 hour drive when our younger son was about 5 weeks old and it took 7 hours. He will likely be fussy and you'd have to stop every hour or two, plus as a previous poster said that's a very long time to be in a car seat. As far as crowds and infection risk in the airport, just be assertive if strangers want to touch the baby and don't let them; consider a baby sling or carrier of some sort which makes the baby less accesible to touching and is also convenient; a snap-n-go w/ infant seat can also be handy for travel and in that case you can keep the canopy down.

As far as the flu, other than the tips above you and your wife should get vaccinated, that is the most important thing in terms of reducing the baby's risk of catching it.

I'd also be surprised if the real cost of the rental car was as low as $200/week when all is said and done, there are a lot of extra costs that they throw at you, and rental car costs are going up in general related to the economy. If that is from a "discount/budget" rental place, the car would probably not be in any condition to drive that far.