It has been a busy few weeks of packing suitcases and travelling around Australia for both work and family. We were lucky to have the kids at a business awards night and a week later we took an epic trip home to my family.I love travel but add kids to the mix and it is a whole new ball game!
The scariest words halfway through any journey have to be “I feel sick” with “uh-oh” a close second after.
I bet that I don’t even have to say “Are we there yet” to have you all groaning and holding your head in your hands. In the immortal words of The Simpson kids “Are we there yet?” is running through your own brain, let alone constantly verbalised by little voices from the back seat. We ALL want to be there and have this horror trip over!!!
If you don’t remember The Simpsons episode, watch this YouTube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18AzodTPG5U
It started me thinking of the must do’s for making it sanely to your destination.
I am no expert but these are some ideas I have developed over time.
- Always keep wipes, nappies, and a change of clothes in the front with you to easily grab when you have a roadside emergency
- Teach the kids how to use motion sickness bags and give them one each to have near their seat – just in case.
- Your new best friends are plastic bags for rubbish on the road and sealing off dirty, smelly clothes.
- Audio books on CD to listen to a story and have a book for each child so they can take turns to hear their story
- For interaction, take flash cards to practice their reading, spelling, colours and animal identifying.
- Old faithful games like “I spy” for older kids, “Spotto” for younger ones or just counting animals can break up the monotony and get them looking out the windows.
- Have a variety of songs on a CD, iPod etc that the kids know and can sing along with. Movie soundtracks like Frozen, Trolls and Moana are favourites at the moment!
Metal Drink bottles with flip open sip action are handy for trips as they can’t spill, they fit well in cup holders and the metal keeps the drink cool.
- Plan stops along the way to eat a meal and have a toilet break combined. Consider roadside café’s that serve good meals fast, do an ice cream stop or take your own picnic and relax at a grassy area with a playground so the kids can stretch their legs and play.
- Pack outfits into plastic zip bags and write the child’s name and day on the outside. It makes it easier than searching for that particular sized “Frozen” shirt in a bag stuffed full of clothes when you are in a rush.
- Limit the amount of clutter you take and think about the time you have, what is available at the destination and what the aim of the trip is. Do you really need swimmers and sand castle tools if you aren’t going near the beach?
- Do you really need every Transformer or My Little Pony ever made in the car? Try to get your children to limit their personal toy choices to one fun toy and one cuddle toy.
- Make sure you don't forget their special soothing item they MUST have to sleep. Whether it's a blanket, unicorn toy or sleepy time ball if it's missing you will hear about it!
- If you have a small window of time to get the kids ready for an event, pre-plan and pack the essentials you need in a separate bag, including their outfits, shoes, underwear, hairbrush and accessories. Then bring out the firm voice and cross your fingers that they follow your instructions and you get out the door on time.
- On arrival to your destination you will need activity toys to hold their interest. Try a drawing set, portable car set or a balloon ball for group play.
If you have any more great tips (or horror stories), please share on our Facebook post here and let’s help each other out!