We were SO overdue for a break when we decided to get in the car and drive to Adelaide. The ridiculously busy part of life was taking over and leaving us little time to spend time with eachother in a meaningful manner. It was taking its toll on us all. Yes, we shrugged away the questions – Why are you selling the house? Where are you moving? Are you moving to Adelaide!? Because every action we take and everything we do is causing scepticism amongst others lately. Even something as simple as a holiday.
So anyway, we told ourselves, hey, we go to Mildura all the time. What’s a few extra hours to Adelaide, right? Our kids don’t need portable DVD players or kid’s music playing! Everything will be fine.
For the most part, we survived. And we would do it again. And I am still not considering a DVD player. Because I seriously can not be bothered with one more thing for a child to whinge about, like they don’t want to watch it anymore, or it’s broken for some reason or another. When they don’t know they can have it, they survive without it. And so do we. Here’s what I did do though:
NEW toys: Oh yes. I packed a few cheap, inexpensive toys which I kept up the front with me. When either started to get rowdy, I passed them over, slowly and one at a time. The matchbox cars worked the best for Tom. I also packed books, etcher-sketcher and a plastic dinosaur.
He got lots of new ones…on the road and off!
Leave Early: We packed everything while the kids were asleep the night before. I was organised as can be. In the morning Tom helped pack the car and went back and forth so many times that he fell asleep not long after we left!
Food: Never underestimate the power of food. I packed a mini esky full of food. I never rely on stopping places for food because you just never know when the nearest town is when the munchies decide to take over! This was all we could do with the screaming baby who couldn’t be reasoned with. His car seat had probably half the esky in and around it by the time we arrived!
Playground stops: While we were on the road I researched towns with playgrounds where we could stop. It’s great for Tom to discover and try out new places and it is the best way to burn energy. I used http://www.playgroundfinder.com
Slightly Unsafe for a playground!? But seriously awesome monorail playground at Keith
Sing, Dance, Play Games: The way home was a bit of a struggle. Tom and I ended up playing a game that involved him telling me I was a goat, and me having to come up with a different animal for him each time. Every animal I said made him cackle with laughter. Whatever works right?
If all else fails: Pass the ipad over or get in the backseat with them. Put the music up, and hope you get there soon.
We made the 7 hour trip with only one stop both ways. We had an upset baby for the final parts of each trip but for the most part things went well.
The effect is Tom keeps saying “Mum! Back to Holiday House!”….I wish buddy, I wish!
Do you do long car trips with the kids? What are your favourite survival tactics?