I consider myself an expert in road tripping with small kids – having survived numerous flights and 2 car trips to Broken Hill of 18 hours each way. Yes, that’s right, 18 hours! First time with a 10 month old, second time with a 2 year old and 7 month old. It wasn’t pretty.
So, here’s what I now know…
Lesson 1. Be prepared
Lesson 2. Be prepared
Lesson 3. Be prepared
Since Lesson 1, 2 & 3 are noticeably similar, perhaps I should elaborate…
My tips for travel bliss are as follows:
Purchase an in-car DVD player. This will become your best friend. We bought ours from Kmart for around $99 and I would estimate its value to us as somewhere around… priceless! It’s Thomas & His Friends in the back seat and Coldplay up front for miles.
More importantly, stock up on a number of DVDs your children haven’t already seen a kazillion times. You don’t need a huge budget to achieve this. Before our last road trip, I stopped in at our local library and borrowed a stack of old Thomas & Friends DVDs as well as a bunch of other classics from the ABC range for FREE! And you get to keep them for like, a month!
Then, I bought a whole stack of in-car treats. Whatever non-sugary stuff your kids like, make sure you have it in bulk (TRUST ME ON THE NON-SUGARY PART)! My boys loooove grapes, so that was a no brainer. Every time one of them started griping, I put a grape in his mouth and he cheered right up.
Another ‘grumble stopping’ idea… Buy lots of cheap toys that you can stash in your handbag. Once the grapes ran out, I dug into my arsenal of ‘Crazy Clarkes’ goodies and rationed them out accordingly.
Despite my best efforts, an hour away from our overnight stop, my 2 year old was crying uncontrollably. Hubby gave him a pep talk: ‘Mate, we’ve still got a long way to go and I really need you to go the distance.’ Through his tears, my 2 year old bellowed: ‘I don’t want to go to Distance. I want to go to Broken Hill!’
What can I say? I still don’t have a fool proof travel plan. All ideas welcome.