So it’s almost school holiday time for the eastern kids of Australia and most of us are staring down the barrel of some pretty scary stuff- hours alone with our children in an enclosed space. Aah, the old road trip: hurtling down the highway at lightning speed whilst time on the inside of the car has slowed to that of an underachieving amoeba. Then there are the fights over who’s touching who, the requests for endless food and the inevitable “Are we there yet?” over and over and over and over and over again. Hence why we are ‘staycation-ing’ these July holidays (not really- it’s a long story involving a lot of dithering over weather and whether camping in the rain is a ‘holiday’ or just really ‘shitful’).
Photo Courtesy of www.microscopy-uk.org.uk
Anyhoo, that doesn’t mean that the rest of you aren’t going to attempt a nice long drive to warmer climes or Grandma, so I’ve compiled a few things that, taken in the car along with a heap of valium, will make your trip infinitely easier.
1. Wine. Drink and drive and you’re a bloody idiot. But drive and then be unprepared with a bottle of something to administer post haste at your destination and you are an even bigger idiot.
2. Food. Everyone knows that after “Are we there yet?” comes “Can we eat something?” I’m a big fan of three solid meals a day when it comes to my children but when we’re in the car for a loooong car trip, I’m willing to forego that rule. Try not to give in straight away, only have ‘dry food’ (remember that it will be all over the back seat) and drip feed it to them. The latter point is very important as eating kids are QUIET kids.
3. Games. Play some games with your kids when you’re on the road: this way you can feel justifiably smug about being an awesome parent before you plug them into movies for the ensuing four hours. Eyespy can be played by anyone (using colours through to letters). “Red Car For Luck” is great- whoever sees and shouts “Red Car For Luck” first gets a point. Red motorbikes are half a point, red buses are 2 points. There’s lots of stuff on the internet or in my ebook Making Long Distance Travel With Your Children Enjoyable: Sensible Advice For Infanticide Free Trips
I’m not shameless plug slut at all.) These kinds of games are good for kids who are prone to travel sickness, as it keeps them focused outside the car.
Have some activities planned so this doesn’t happen:
4. Activity books are great (talk about the appropriateness of stickers and where they should be stuck ie only ever on paper) with colouring-in pencils. Play-doh and anything requiring glue are not great.
5. Audio-books are another awesome way of passing the time, you don’t have to talk to each other but you’re all simultaneously entertained and if you feel the need afterward, you will have something to talk about. Download onto your device and plug into your car/dock.
This is cute video goes for one minute, but the song continued for over an hour. Became a bit un-cute
6. Last but not least, if you are allowing your kids to watch movies (totally legit strategy) than have ONE DEVICE PER CHILD. Sharing devices does not end well. If you’ve only one ‘game’ device and one ‘movie’ device than play swapsies every hour or so. And have earphones for them so you don’t have to sing “Let It Go” five times in a row.
That’s it. Happy school holidays everyone!!!
If you want even more advice on how to travel without killing your kids and contribute to my Please Can We Go To Fiji So I’ve Got Something Proper To Write About scheme, look here