Tuesday 20 September 2011

Top 10 tips for Camping Roadtrip with Children

1. Research and plan ahead for the first few days so you are happy with facilities and know what to expect to ease children into a road trip. Include children in the planning and ask them what they would like to do (within reason). We like to choose interesting locations with open spaces out of our comfort zone.

2. Limit driving to 2 hrs at a stretch (A SA sign said "Drowsy drivers die" ) and between 3-4 hrs a day . Keep your plans flexible in case you see something of interest. Allow extra daily stops and rest days. Playground stops are a must.

3. Stick to your children's familiar routines as much as possible especially bedtimes.They will likely wake earlier (crack of dawn!). Sometimes campsites are bustling with people wanting to leave early in some places.

4. Suss out some simple menus/ meal plans before you go. Stick to simple no fuss meals. Take some quick snacks for times when they are losing the plot or you are busy setting up.Be flexible if they aren't hungry after grazing all day.

5. Children love to help, give them jobs to do and they will feel included. It might take more time but memories will be created. Be flexible if they want to play instead after a long day in the car.

6. Take clothes for all seasons but especially appropriate for the season you are traveling in ; clothes you don't mind getting really dirty or stained. Wear layers that can be added or removed quickly.

7. Make sure you keep a well stocked first aid kit , easily accessible there are bound to be scrapes and bumps along the way. Apply sunscreen often , hats on always and keep insect repellants handy.

8. Campers are friendly people but remind your children that not everyone wants to be disturbed by small children if they are reading or relaxing. Use quiet voices in crowded areas.

9. Teach your children to

respect flora and local fauna ; not to pick flowers or tear leaves off trees, leave animals alone. Warn them of local dangers if near water or bushland. Don't underestimate the environment but let them explore what is on offer.

10. My top tip when you hit the road each day is to give each child a well stocked lunch box with plenty of mess free snacks and a spill proof water bottle . In car entertainment as well , ...our car DVD player with headphones , is invaluable. Stable tables are great for drawing or playing on.

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