Travelling with kids *shudder*. I know, it’s definitely not on my list of favourite things to do, but sometimes a needs a must – right? This December we are travelling 14 hours (that’s not including stops – ARGH) North to Whangarei, where I grew up, to spend Christmas with my family. Stupid? Maybe! But we also can’t justify paying 4 ridiculously priced domestic air fares to fly there and back. Soooo drive it is! 30 min drive to Picton, 3.5 hour ferry and then one loooooong drive to Whangarei. Don’t worry, we’re having an overnight stopover – we’re crazy but not THAT crazy.
We’ve done a few roadies and plenty of flights, but nothing this long! Let’s not even talk about the fact that we have to get home too, the same way! Anyway, enough rambling about how long our trip will be. What I’ve actually come to talk to you about, is a few different things that I highly recommend to make travel as easy as possible.
I feel like this is a pretty obvious point – but I’m not just talking about lunch and dinner stops. I’m talking ALL THE SNACKS. Specifically unhealthy snacks that you don’t usually let your kids have (Tiny Teddys etc) that they’ll be super stoked with. Also things that take a while to eat like small dried fruit and nuts. We always take Yumbox’s with us in the car for the kids when going on a long drive, for our drive north I’ll keep a bag in the front seat with all the snacks so I can restock their lunch boxes on each leg of our trip. We will stop for lunch + dinners etc of course. And don’t forget adult snacks too!
I know what you’re thinking, ummm Jordan does your car have wifi? 😉 No it does not, you don’t need WIFI! Netflix has something called ‘offline downloads’ where you can download a series/movie at home, and then watch it later when you’re not in wifi! So absolutely perfect for car trips and flights with kids! We used this feature when we flew to New Caledonia earlier this year and it was so handy! Pick a few movies + your kids favourite series and you’re sorted! I would also highly recommend headphones for each child if they have their own device, so that you don’t have battle of The Wiggles and Troll Hunters in the backseat. I would also recommend downloading something for yourself, so when a kid dozes off to sleep you can steal their device for a bit 😉
- SEAT ORGANISER/KID STUFF STASHER.
We’ve had these in our car for a while now and the kids love having somewhere to pop their drink bottles, within reach. They can fit a few books down the bottom each, wipes in the tissue holder bit and other bits and bobs in the other compartments. I bought ours here. Bonus is also that they keep the car seat clean, as the kids put their dirty shoes all over the organiser instead of your seats! Win win!
- KIDS MUSIC.
I know, I know – cringe. You just want to listen to your own Spotify playlists. But again – needs a must and sometimes a good family sing-a-long will be just what your two year old needs to get them through to the next stop! There’s loads of kids music on Spotify like ‘Mother Goose Club’, and my kids particularly love Anika Moa’s ‘Songs for Bubbas’. So crank it up and get your sing on, actions songs are even better for entertainment purposes 😉
- A HOLD-ALL-THE-THINGS BOX.
A box of some kind that will fit perfectly in between carseats, or down on the floor under one of the kids feet. This is where they can store all of their stuff. The iPads, the headphones, a box of tissues, their favourite soft toy each (they’ll need these for their car naps!), even one of those tiny plastic rubbish bins would be cute! For a big trip I’d recommend going to The Warehouse or Kmart and getting a bunch of cheap, new toys that can help entertain them. Things like Rubix cubes, plastic animals, any kinds of little puzzles that require some thinking but don’t have a million parts. All of this can go in the box and be stored neatly wherever you please in the car. It will save your car, and your sanity!
I hope you find at least one of these ideas helpful for your next time travelling with kiddies! I will be putting all and more into action for our trip north, you’ll be able to follow the trip on Snapchat (thewhittakers), so make sure you follow us over there!