Holidaying with your kids can be hard work. Sure it’s a holiday, travel is always great but it’s still work when you’re a parent. This is not a “break” but it is a break from the humdrum, especially when choosing to travel around Australia with kids.
Let them join in
As you already know as a parent, you can’t simply order your kids around. It’s not as easy as planning a few fun family activities and expecting them to enjoy it. Let them help in planning the itinerary, give them options. If they feel they have some control and say over your holiday then it’s going to be a more memorable, fun and stress-free trip for them and you.
Stick to your regular routine
Of course you can’t be expected to do everything the same and there will be some late nights and breaks in the routine but try and stick with their regulars as much as you can. If you normally read to them before bed, stick to the same sleep schedule. If they normally have Cheerios for breakfast, let them. Don’t expect them to suddenly become a different person in Australia and try new things day in and day out because they won’t and you already know that.
Take it slow
While you may be tempted to cover a lot of km’s in one day, your kids won’t thank you for getting them to point A to B any faster. Instead, they’ll whinge, cry and you might end up doing the same. Instead, buy a car or campervan and take it slow. Set a limit of km’s you’re willing to travel in a day and make scheduled stops so the kids know they’ll be getting a break to play and explore. This is what travelling Australia is all about anyway. It’s the journey and those times in between where the kids are free to play and discover that you’ll remember.
While you expect the kids to be really taking in everything Australia has to offer, if you’re planning on a lot of driving then there’s going to be a lot of downtime. Make sure you have entertainment checked off with an in-car DVD player, favourite DVDs from home, their special toys packed and some games to play. Believe me, you’ll be sorry if you miss this step in your preparations. While you don’t want the kids to be watching movies or playing on their iPads for the whole journey you’ll still need to bring them for any downtime and long drives.
It’s important to talk to your kids about safety when travelling. If you’re going to be staying in a lot of campgrounds then they need to know how to stay away from the many passing cars and campervans. Both you and the kids are also likely to discover a lot of unfamiliar wildlife so it’s important you’re prepared with a first-aid kit if you come across any nasty creepy-crawlies or snakes and of course don’t forget to pack an entire trips worth of sunscreen for the whole family.