Travelling with the whole family is a sure-fire way to create some unforgettable memories with the kids as you explore Australia on an epic road trip.
If you haven’t taken the kids on a road trip before, or are looking for ways to make family travel a little smoother than last time, try our tried-and-trusted tips for your family holidays on the road.
1. Involve the kids in planning
Getting the kids involved in the planning stages will help them get more excited for the upcoming trip, and might even help you decide on where to go.
For older kids who are able to do their own research, you could ask them for the top five things to do on a holiday, or even ask them to research campground options (so they could find the ones with the best playgrounds and waterfronts!).
With younger kids, you can present them with activity options and let them help you choose which ones you do.
2. Prepare for the long stretches
No matter how excited the kids are for the trip, there will likely be parts of the drive where their boredom turns into squabbling with siblings and tears. For these inevitable situations, you can prepare with a few things to keep them distracted.
The Thrifty Games Pack is a free downloadable PDF that you can print out and hand to the kids one page at a time whenever they need distracting. It includes word searches, trivia, jokes, colouring-in, and much more.
We can also recommend packing their favourite snacks, bringing some music they can sing along to, and making regular stops so they can stretch their legs and let off some steam.
3. Be creative with drive times
If you already know your young ones don’t deal with drives very well, you can get creative with the times you drive to minimise tantrums on the road (for all of you).
For example, some parents will leave for a holiday extremely early in the morning (roughly 4am), so you can pop the kids in the back and they’ll be asleep for the first couple of hours or so while you make a headstart on the drive. This is also a great way to skip the traffic.
Similarly, driving late at night might see the kids sleep through the road boredom.
4. Pack new toys – and wrap them!
Toys are a staple of any long trip for kids, and you can either pick up some cheap new ones or dig out a few older ones that your child may have forgotten about.
For extra wow factor, wrap the toys up so the kids can experience the excitement of unwrapping them.
These are the perfect distraction for when you get stuck in traffic or for when those sibling squabbles start heating up – simply hand over a surprise toy for instant distraction!
5. Learn about the wildlife
Kids love wildlife, and Australia has plenty of cute and crazy creatures on offer.
Before you leave for the trip, spend a little time learning about the wildlife you might stop during your trip.
For example, you might see kangaroos – but did the kids know that there are four kinds? And can they tell them apart? Did you know that koalas can run as fast as rabbits?
There are piles of fun facts to learn about Australia’s wildlife, which you can quiz the kids about when you spot them in the wild (or simply in a sanctuary!).
For more school holiday ideas and road trip inspiration, take a look at the latest on the Thrifty blog.