Hubby and I love to travel. Overseas, interstate, or a few hours away in our car – we have always made an effort to get away. I found out I was pregnant with AJ while overseas and while I was excited to be pregnant – the trepidation that this might be our last holiday in quite some time, was also there.
Luckily for me, hubby felt none of that trepidation. Instead, AJ was only a few weeks old when we went on our first family getaway. Our travel habits have not slowed down since. There have been a number of trips overseas and many interstate.
My childhood was filled with countless road trips with my family. I can still remember each one so clearly. Nostalgia started to niggle away at me last year and slowly we made plans for our own family to take our first summer road trip together.
As the trip was getting closer, my nerves were high. Melbourne – Dubbo – Gold Coast – Port Macquarie – Port Stephens – Jervis Bay – Eden – Melbourne. Two adults, two boys, one car. Any chance of surviving the road trip for me meant one thing – being prepared. So I made sure that the following were ticked off our list, before we even reversed out of our drive way.
An abundance of entertainment.
With a DVD player in our car, I bought some new DVD’s. The boys each have an iPod, so each one was fully charged, all updates and a few new apps installed. Each boy had a little bag packed with books to read, a colouring book and crayons, as well as one teddy to cuddle.
Lots of snacks and drinks.
With the availability of petrol and McDonald’s stops along any road these days, you will not go hungry on any drive – no matter how long it is. But having snacks and drinks right at your feet means that little tummies can be easily appeased without having to stop. What I didn’t count on was how hungry I would be too! So those little snacks worked out a treat for everyone.
By far, this has to be the best advice I can give. I learnt this as we snaked our way through our road trip. The earlier we left, the more likely the boys would sleep for most of the drive and the earlier we would reach our destination. This meant that we could still enjoy some time to play and unwind when we got there, instead of collapsing in an exhausted heap after a long day driving.
So it seems the wheels have turned. While I was once petrified of long road trips with two children strapped into the back, I now look forward to them. Our summer holiday was one of the most memorable. Only the other day I was cheeky enough to mention to hubby the idea of doing a road trip again this summer.
It really doesn’t matter if you drive your dream car or not, spending time together is what counts. Being prepared for those trips with lots of entertainment and snacks might save your sanity, but don’t count on losing it in the first place.
The excitement of going on a holiday can be enough to turn the most unruly of children, into quiet angels who just can’t wait to get there and get stuck into some surf and some sand.
What survival tips do you have for long car rides?
Disclosure: How to Survive a Road Trip was written in collaboration with John Hughes, trading with integrity and determined to give their customers the very best of service. All opinions expressed are my own.