Well we’ve just returned from a last-minute trip to see my bestie in Byron and I have to say that the boys did flipping well. We decided to drive – as we never travel light and like to have the independence to get around and explore the area that we’re visiting – and after a bit of groaning that they wanted to fly, the boys got on board with the idea and we were off. And they did really well. Cracked windscreen aside – catastrophes tend to follow us – both 10 hour (ish) legs were pain free for the most part so I thought that I’d share what got us through those long hours on the road with a 10 and 5 year old grumbling in the back seat.
And that’s aside from the practical blah blah like making sure that you pack water, lollies and travel sickness tablets if you have a puker like me..and making sure that they’ve had a wee before you set off…you know, the obvious stuff if you look after a small person.
This blog could (and should) be called An Ode to Stephen Fry because man he’s amazing and rocks an audio book. We’d never listened to one before – but my god daughter loves them – so we decided to give it a whirl and after much deliberation, the boys opted for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and it was a great choice. It’s one of my fave books of the series as I love the Tri-Wizard Tournament (I’m nearly 44 I know..it’s tragic!) and has something for everyone so my hubbie in the driving seat was as entertained as my five year old in the back seat with the attention span of a gnat. They’re not cheap – $59.95 – but I guess that’s not too bad when you think that you’re getting 21 hours of entertainment..I highly recommend?!
My eldest has unfortunately inherited my delightful propensity for travel sickness – I still can’t read in the car – so there’s no in car movie, reading or device options for him which makes things a little tricky when we’re in for the long haul. So we have to get a little back to basics – which isn’t a bad thing – and we spent more time than I care to remember on this trip playing Spotto, various iterations of the name game..name 3 animals which start with the letter C Henry..and I Spy. Good old fashioned fun!
My hubbie and both of my boys love music. I’m very much in the meh category and when I’m on my own at home (very rare..) I prefer to watch a good TV show or movie or read a book over music any time. But there’s no getting away from it, music is very helpful on the road and to make sure that we didn’t have to listen to Despacito and Slow Hands on a loop, we put together some playlists to keep things a bit more interesting and to stop me banging my head against the dashboard after enduring Can’t Stop The Feeling for the seventeenth time!
And rinse and repeat…
And like everything, variety is the key to keeping kids interested; we’d listen to a few chapters of Potter, have a sing along to some god awful tracks, play a few games then start the loop all over again..mix it up and you’re on to a winner!
That all being said, I’m very far from the smug mum that nailed a trip with no tears or shouting moments – clearly I wouldn’t be me if I kept it together all of the time – and there were definitely some key learning moments and things that we will do differently next time we hit the road.
My husband and I are both coffee lovers and hadn’t really thought through the fact that outside of Sydney and Byron, we’d have slim pickings. So we found out the hard way that soy lattes at Maccas are horrendous and that we really should have done some reading around the subject so that we could plan our stops. Next time.
No more family rooms!
Our holiday was pretty last minute (in typical us fashion) so given that it’s the height of summer here in Australia, we struggled to get accommodation and ended up breaking up our trips at random motels; in Taree on the way up and Kempsey on the way back to Sydney. The motels were fine; clean, spacious and with all important WIFI and Netflix for the boys after a device free stint on the road, but they were both family rooms so meant that we all bunked together. This didn’t prove to be the best scenario as my little man has recently developed a lovely habit of grinding his teeth in his sleep, I allegedly snore (I think they make it up quite frankly) and my husband is a ridiculously light sleeper. Think a newborn baby on a 45 minute sleep cycle and you get the picture. So the nocturnal small boy sounds and flailing limbs coupled with me allegedly snoring like a dyspeptic hippo made for one very grumpy driver the next morning. He wasn’t a happy chappie and we vowed to be more sensible on the accommodation front next time around.