travelling with kids with a coromol

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 10:03
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Hi my husband and I have decided to pack up and travel oz for approx 6mths. Maybe look for a new place to live. We have three children aged 7,5 and 9mths.We are currently getting a coromol off road caravan getting custom built for us as we found it very hard to find a van that would accomodate three children that i didnt have to pop up or out to make beds! if anyone has any suggestions or advise on travelling with kids and a coromol i am all ears!!! we are planning to leave 1st week of july, i am getting a bit nervous! my 7yo is doing her schooling by correspondence.
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Reply By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 10:34

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 10:34
Hi Nikki

I know what you mean about caravans and kids...we bought an older one and have renovated/restored it to accommodate our 2 children 4 + almost 3, ours is a poptop and very easy to set up...no need to remake beds each day, though I think people who have the popup/popout ones would get themselves quickly into a routine.

We are heading away for 6 weeks in June. Melb - TopEnd [Litchfield/Kakadu and bits inbetween]..and have thought about how to entertain the kids...have got books, music & story cd's for them...and an incar dvd for the really long sections of the drive...Ive spoken with my daughter's kinda teacher as to what I can best do for her so she doesnt' lag behind..and she's given me some tips and I'm sure we'll be doing some homework along the way. I'm sure you could get the same info from your child's current teacher. I've known kids that have done some schooling at this age via correspondence and have done quite well.....and let's face the life experience your kids are about to undertake beats any form of schooling...

have a safe and happy trip..

Lyn
AnswerID: 51144

Follow Up By: Member - Raymond - Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 11:52

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 11:52
Hi Mrs Al
Our children now 24/22 started their life travelling, both of them on the road before they were 9 months old. (The daughter is now threatening to sue us for causing her addiction to constant travelling). We had an activities bag attached to the back of each of the front seats with books pencils and games books, plus talking books and tapes. From when they were in school they had to keep a diary of the trip for each day, plus we did spelling and tables as we drove along. They learnt to read all the road signs. They also would make up words from the writing on the back of trucks ahead of us. Both still travel, both 4WD and even Ruth can read a map the right way up, as she told a friend, she had to learn or Mrs Mum would have been removed from the vehicle for navigational breaches.
Ray

PS Nikki The Kids will have a ball, have fun
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Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 12:51

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 12:51
Hi Raymond...what an addiction to have...

my kids have already benefited from the small trips we've done...my daughter who is quite shy is mixing well with other children she meets, she's full of stories when she gets to kinda to tell her teacher what she saw and what she did..she makes up songs about what she's seen, asks questions about things..as does my son...and they both don't accept little answers..they have to know what is happening, why an ant is that big, why it bites, etc etc etc...now if I can teach them to read maps...that saves me having to do it :))
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Follow Up By: barfun - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:22

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:22
Just reading about the families travelling later this year. We to our setting out with our three children aged 7, 3 and 8 months. We are all very excited and can't wait to meet up with other families on the road. In regards to schooling on the road our sons teacher said the life experience gained on the road far outwieghs the six months off school. He suggested the usual things like a journal, maths games played in the car etc. The idea of travelling with 3 kids a little daunting but I'm sure it will be an experience we will never forget.
Rachel
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Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:32

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 at 20:32
hi Rachel

my daughter's Kinda teacher said the same thing to me yesterday...

cheers

Lyn
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:08

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:08
Our nearly 3 yr old has been camping with us since he was 4 mths old. We now have a newborn as well who enjoyed her first camping trip last weekend at the ripe old age of 3.5 weeks. Anyway, travelling with kid(s) has been a learning curve for us but luckily I was brought up camping and travelling extensively as a kid so I had some experience and good advice from mum and dad on which to rely.

For starters, check-out this site - "Travelling with kids" section under the "On the Road" menu. Apart from the the comments there the best advice I can offer is:

1) Set realistic travel goals each day. We find 5-6 hours in the car in any one day is about the limit without our son (and therefore us) gets irritable. Which brings me to my next point...
2) Plan to stop regularly and for long enough to give the kids adequate time to stretch their legs. We always stop for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. We also use a couple of guidebooks on free camping and/or picnic and roadside stops to plan ahead as much as possible. Also, talk to fellow travellers about good places to stop. Another thing we do is keep a footy, frisbee or similiar handy and bring it out at each stop as it encourages our son and us to run around and burn up some energy and reduces the temptation to get back on the road too soon.
3) Try to stop each night with at least a couple of hours daylight left. Apart from making the job of setting up camp easier, it gives the kids plenty of time to play and explore their new surroundings.
4) Food! Keep plenty of snacks handy in the car and hand them out whenever the kids start grousing. I keep an assortment of individual "snack-packs" (tiny teddies, BBQ shapes, chips etc), saltana's, biscuits, dried and fresh fruit and as a special treat towards the end of the day if he's been good, a lollypop (Chuppa Chup have a "healthy" fruit variety).
5) Let each child pack a toy bag each day for in the car. I don't yet trust our son not to draw on the car upholstery so I don't let him have colouring books yet but he likes "reading" so we always have 5-6 story books handy for him. Magna-doodle, sticker books and pipe cleaners (which keep him occupied for hours making aeorplanes, helicopters etc) we've also found to be good entertainers.
6) This may not apply to you so much since you have 2 kids who can play together, but...our son is quite outgoing and used to mixing with other kids because he goes to daycare but even so, it can still be hard for him to "break the ice" with new kids around camp. So if there are other potential playmates around we'll take him over, introduce him and even get involved in their game until he is comfortable enough for us to fade into the background. Usually, this whole process only takes about 10 minutes and is well worth the effort.
7) As far as it is possible in the coromol, give each child their own personal space. Obviously their bunk, perhaps a cupboard for their personal treasures etc. Our camper has two single bunks, one of which is our sons. This is his little home away from home, and apart from somewhere to sleep, it's somewhere to stash his toys, play, read, rest, be sent to for quiet time etc. And it's also somewhere where he even has his little playmates over for a visit (albiet briefly before they get sent outside LOL). Anyway, it might be an expecially good idea for you when the kids start to get on each others nerves etc.
8) Lastly, you don't say how much travelling your kids have done before...if it's not much then I'd start taking some practice trips on weekends. It'll help the kids used to sitting for long periods in the car, they'll learn what is expected of them around camp (and you'll learn what to realistically expect from them) and finally, they'll soon realise that whilst sitting in the car can be boring there's lots of fun and interesting things waiting for them at the end of each day.

I hope this helps somewhat. You know your own kids best but this is what we've found works best for us.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 51172

Reply By: Member - Liz- Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:33

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:33
We too are heading away in the first week of July but only for 3 months. I too have 3 children, 7,9,12. We bought a 2nd hand jayco for our trip-an outback one so hopefully it will stand up to what we have in mind. I intend on getting my children to complete a little of Maths, spelling, reading and journal each week-don't know how much,we'll just play it by ear. I think the kids and you will have a ball. I figure the experience will be equal if not outweigh the experiences and learning they have at school. Don't forget you are their first teacher and not to mention it will certainly be a much smaller classroom in regards to numbers so it will vitrually be one on one which is far better than the classroom.I am a teacher myself and I am not hesitating in taking my kids out. I know it will be a great learning classroom!
AnswerID: 51182

Follow Up By: Member - Liz- Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:36

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 17:36
I forgot to add we are heading out through Dubbo and then onto Alice Springs,Darwin,across to Cairns and so on. Maybe we might see one another?
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Reply By: Phil P - Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 19:16

Saturday, Mar 20, 2004 at 19:16
This is an intersting url for review on Caravan Parks around oz
http://www.geocities.com/flourpower.geo/parks.htm
AnswerID: 51190

Reply By: MattW - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 12:48

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 12:48
We have recently returned from a 4month trip with 2 kids, 4yr old and 12 month old. Aas outlined above the most important thing to remember is time out of the car for the kids. We planned 3 stops per day Morn and Afternoon tes plus lunch. Always a min of 1 hr for lunch and 1/2hr for the other stops. We never travelled more than 5-6hrs per day so realistically you will only cover 400-500kms per day at best.

The young one was fine as he would sleep in the mornings for a couple of hours but he wasn't that fussed travelling in the afternoon which lead to increased tension in the car. This will really test your patience after a hot day in the car. Always bear in mind it's not their fault that the're playing up their probably just bored and full of energy. We always tried to stay a couple of days in each place so we wern't always driving. Keeping them amused in the car is the hard bit, small kids have small attention spans. We played the usual games I Spy etc and had an activity pack for each of them. I made up games for the 4 yr old to teach him counting and spelling etc. Always explain what you see i.e. How a bore works, you'll be amazed what they remember when they get back.

Always be prepared for where you're going, water etc. We went out through Camerons Corner up the Old Stezlecki Track, Innaminnka up to Birdsville, Birdsville track, Oodnadatta Track Uluru and Kings Canyon. Then up north to Darwin where the Unthinkable and Definately unplanned happened - It was discovered Number 3 Child was on the way. Anyway we still have lots of Aust to see and are looking forward to doing it with 3 Kids.

Drop me an email if we can help some more.

Matt, Maree, Joshua, Zac and now Caitlin.
AnswerID: 51387

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