April 1, 2012
Easter School Holidays will soon be here and many Australian families will be hitting the road for an extended break. We have done road trips with our children from when they were tiny babies, the longest was a road trip from Sydney to Byron Bay- around 9 hours. I have always loved a road trip… but things are a little different with a car load of young children, surfboards, prams, travel cots… you get the picture! I still love them, but they do take a little more planning and patience. With technology today, it is easy to hand your children and IPad or DVD player and let them zone out for the trip, however, I like to encourage the kids to not rely on technology and embrace the roadtrip! So some travel tips I’ve found that work!
1) Pack a little travel bag of “surprises”: Some mini ziploc bags of snacks, a small toy, an Evian spray (this is a big hit in our family), a mini torch, a notebook and new pen, a new toothbrush for the holiday… anything that they can unwrap, play with and discover will keep them happy. I love little “kits” of any kind- amenity kits on planes, little beauty samples, so enjoy putting these kits together for the trip.
2) Eye Spy: an oldie but a goodie. Make it easy and use colours instead of letters-”I spy with my little eye something that is green…”
3) Kids Music: there are some kids cd’s out there that you too can enjoy!! Justine Clarke is a goodie, Jack Johnson is a fave in our car – let them play DJ for a while
4) Audio Books: this is ideal for children over the age of about 3, as they are better able to follow a story. Top Picks: Paddington as read by Stephen Fry, The Cat in the Hat with John Cleese, Kelsey Grammar and more and for older children; Harry Potter read (again) by Stephen Fry.
4) Sticker books: Best $2 you will ever spend. I bought each child a book of 1000 tiny stickers and they kept our two year old entertained for a decent amount of time (I’d like to say hours but I would, be lying)
5) Spot the Cow: First person to see a …. cow…. fire engine… the beach…. Make a list of things you expect to see and “remind” the kids when there may be one coming up.
6) Etch a Sketch: loved these as a child and they are great as there are no parts to drop on the floor and no pens to get on upholstery!!
7) Pipe Cleaner Creations: A $2 packet of pipe cleaners can provide some great fun- twist them into letters, monsters, houses, you name! These are good for children 2 years and older.
8) Don’t bring toys with small parts- I can assure you that reaching round to pick up pieces from the back seat gets VERY tiresome.
9) Pack a bag for the front seat with toys, baby wipes, spare nappies, change of clothes for each child (nothing worse than having to unpack a suitcase to find a change of clothes for the child who spilt their water bottle on themselves….)
10) Enjoy the trip- stop along the way and have a picnic, try and make the car journey part of the holiday not just something to endure.