Everyone loves a good Road Trip right? The wind in your hair, the tunes up high and views out the window. Then throw two kids in the backseat into the mix and the scenery certainly changes.
We love to travel with the kids, its our thing when finances and time allow BUT having them in such close quarters for over ten days and 1000 kms took a lot of planning and patience thats for sure. There were tears, there were tantrums and there were flat iPad batteries.
We planned this trip to coincide with school holidays and my niece in Wellingtons fifth birthday and thought why were so close to the other cousins in Blenheim lets cross over to the South Island and pay them a visit as well, so on the road we went for ten days to visit the rellies and see a little of New Zealand along the way.
Initally I thought wed drive the whole eight more stretch to Wellington in a day but at the 11th hour thought maybe that wasn’t such a great idea so I jumped onto Wotif and booked a cheap and cheerful motel in Taupo for a quick overnighter and it was a great move.
Breaking up long car trips with small children is definitely worth the little bit of extra cost, everyone gets a rest and are a little more happy when arriving at the other end. The other key is keeping the kids entertained during the trip which I have got pretty good at over the years. I have had these fabulous snack trays that I brought off trade me that were cheap as chips and a real godsend. I load up a plastic bucket with a tonne of small easy activities such as drawing, travel games like Guess Who, felts, paper, stickers and activity sets. They can spend hours doing some of these which gives us some peace for a bit. I keep them within reach in the middle of the backseat on the ground. We also have iPad holders on the back of each seat and I load the iPads with movies from Netflix at home (you’ll need wifi) and a few new apps aswell their Favourites and they get these from time to time. They also have a pair of headphones each so we don’t need to hear the noise in the backseat, sometime I wish I had those on too not hear the bickering! The other items at hand are a shit load of snacks and a pillow and rug each incase they fall asleep. Wishful thinking mostly these days.
Pits stops are also a goody if the kids are getting restless, most towns will have a good cafe or a playground and just getting them out for a walk around and small play can do the world of good to get through a few more peaceful hours.
Car games are also a goody to pass some time and get the kids looking out the window. Our Favourites are ‘the first one to see’ one person picks the item like a car towing a trailer, a yellow van, a car with a bike on the back etc.
Then theres good old eye spy, until Ashton can spell its more ‘I spy the colour of’ but Franca can do the real deal now and Ashton gave it a good try on this trip. Well get there.
So really its probably stuff you already know or would do but there may just be a few little things in there that help. Really just trying to get my two to not fight and bicker all day is the key, though there is always wine waiting at the end.