Traveling with 2boys 9 & 10 How many hours per day should we travel

Hi we are going on our first caravanning trip with 2 boys for about 4-5weeks, I was wondering if anyone could advice on a reasonable time per day to have them in a car. They are very active and I would like for all of us to have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday. We are looking at an itinerary from
Brisbane
Dubbo
Broken hill
Wilpena Pond
Coober Pedy
Ayers Rock
Kings Canyon
Alice Springs
Tennant Creek
Mt Isa
Longreach
Brisbane
Are we going to be putting to much pressure on ourselves and
the boys
Thankyou for your advise Penny
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Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:06

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:06
Hi Penny,

We are currently travelling Oz with our two girls 7 & 8.5yrs, we usually spend no more than 3hrs in the car at a time as our girls are very active!!! Not 100% sure that 4-5 weeks will be enough time........... others could let you know for sure re: time, Klm's ect.Longreach is great and our girls loved the Stockmans hall of fame - from Rocky took us about 3 days to get there, however we are travelling indefinately so time is not an issue.

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:13

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:13
Depends on your children Penny. My were not good distance travellers whereas some children are happy to sit in a car for hours. When you stop, make sure they have plenty of physical activities. Take it by ear. If they are getting restless, stop and let them let off steam outside before you get frazzled. Don't have a rigid schedule so you can be flexible.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:15

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:15
Penny

I reckon 3 hrs between breaks is fair. You really want to put in some long strides in the early part of your trip to get to Broken Hill. Then slow down and relax.

Avoiding the usual stimulants like red lemonade and lollies helps.

Give them the Gameboys after they have been quiet for an hour.

Lastly, Valium or Vallergan Forte can be useful in the child that refuses to settle.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:22

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:22
You need to know the ideal dose rate for that child if resorting to sedatives - a lower than optimum rate will send them high, and it varies greatly from child to child.

Mh
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Follow Up By: DIO - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:16

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:16
Giving someone advise as to sedating children for the purpose of keeping them quiet whilst travelling is tantamoount to 'child abuse'. Without knowing a complete medical history of a person (adult), let alone a child, to give any form of sedation could result in caridac arrest at the worst. Think seriously about such advice and in my opinion disregard it. A stupid suggestion.
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Follow Up By: Member - William H (WA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:54

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:54
Very good advice "DIO", hope they take it on board, and leave that crap in the bottle.

Cheers for now....William H...Bunbury..WA.
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Follow Up By: ross - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:25

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:25
Those type of drugs are highly addictive and much has been written about how people end up with life long dependancies.
There is widespread belief that they are being over prescribed

My son was recommended by a school psychiatrist to get some medication after a single teacher complained about his behavior.
Other teachers said his behavior was good and he was no different to the other boys in the class.
Second opinions from other doctors confirmed our boy was a normal healthy youngster.
He is now a young man with a job ,lots of friends and having the time of his life.
I hate to think what he might have turned out after a dose of drugs everyday

Its NORMAL for kids to be noisy and restless and giving them drugs is like a chemical straight jacket.
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 08:45

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 08:45
Guys,


take a Valium :-)
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 18:33

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 18:33
Hey Bob

A blind man on a galloping horse, could see you were taking the bleep .ROTFL
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:45

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:45
Penny,

With that travel itinerary ... I would suggest as many miles as possible in one go .......

Some areas will also dictate the travel distance between stops as younguns will quickly tire of being told to get out and play in a tabledrain, in the middle of nowhere, every 3hrs.

Definitely need those break times tho ... and keep a ball or something handy to kick around.

While they are in the car ... give them something to do that makes them look out the windows .... If they get home and say all that they saw was just flat dirt, when they looked up from the gameboy/DVD player ... you have wasted your fuel money .......

Prizes for the biggest list of creek names, animals and birds spotted, repeater towers, haysheds and churches etc .... use to work well in the days before so called " electronic entertainment "

Getting a few miles done in the cool of the night when they are tired and asleep ... can make a big difference too.

Enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 354315

Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:57

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:57
What ever happened to "EYE SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE" lol



Good suggestions Troop

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:55

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:55
Agree with getting them involved in what your a travelling through, but not with travelling between dusk and dawn. Danger of hitting a wildlife, cattle, horses, camels.

Mh
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Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:26

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:26
ever tried playing eye-spy for 4hrs straight when you've 'spied' every item in view 6 times over plus invented a few? Kids have short attention spans (except when playing DS) and don't see/care about sublte changes in scenery.. We modified eye-spy to "I'm thinking of..." where we think of something and and answer yes/no to questions everyone asks. Expands the available subjects. Sometimes we set the subject to things we've seen on this trip. We have the DVD and DS's (Nintendo) but we vary what they get to do, usually a bit of everything. They actually like drawing (they have a 'stable table' each). Whenever we stop we usually get the footy out and have a kick, if there's a stream around our latest is trying to skip rocks across the water.

Anything that gives you a bit of a break is a good thing. The mrs likes to have a snooze and the driver, me, doesn't need to be referreeing the World Championship Wrestling (boys will be boys!) that's on in the back!
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Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:33

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:33
I forgot to add, headphones are great (get proper ones, not those annoying uncomfortable ear-bud ones). Lets them listen to their movies, game consoles and we get to lisein to the radio/CD.
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Reply By: Member - John & Sally W (NSW) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:07

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:07
Hi Penny,
Electronic games became a bit frustrating on the bumpy roads. Too many pacmen died! A couple of dirt trucks or 4wd's to play in the dirt. A sketch pad and pencils each in a backpack. A soccer ball and totem tennis . Our little treasures enjoyed keeping a tally on road kill. (sorry). Our kids loved to take their own photos with disposable cameras, but I suppose they are a bit out of date now. We used to try and be done with travelling before arsenic hour (around 3). Gives everyone a break and time to relax before the next day. If you can try and work out a couple of places in the itinerary where you can spend a couple of nights to catch up on R & R and washing etc., Give the boys jobs to do eg., winding legs down/up on van. Checking indicators and lights before take off. Checking maps and kms travelled. Gathering kindling for firewood. Every little bit helps. I also tried to give ours a bit of a story about the place we visited. Lonely Planet Outback Australia book has history, geography, flora and fauna and lots of other interesting stuff. Money was always a bit scarce so we didn't do a lot of organised tours but each trip we tried to put some cash away for a special treat like a flight over Wilpena Pound.
Keep calm and above all don't panic and have lots of fun.
Sally

AnswerID: 354347

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:58

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:58
You can get digital cameras under $100. Your children may already have them. These days children as young as three seem to have their own cameras.


Mh
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:23

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:23
My 2 kids (2 and 5 yr old) both have a digital camera each. It is a Fisher Price

Camera details here

Both kids have jagged some great shots while on trips, while 99% of the photos are unrecognisable LOL

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:09

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:09
Penny,

Having done this with our boys, now we do it with their kids, I would suggest stopping after "Mum/Dad, he's looking at me has been said 20 times, "Are we there yet", 30 times, and you have had to get into the back and separate them 4 times. The urge to kill them is to be resisted wherever possible.

Take books that they haven't read, coloured pencils, colouring in books, borrow two McDonald's plastic trays for them to use as a writing desk. Some of those audio books are good too, but you may have to listen if you run them in the vehicles CD player.

We generally do 5-6 hours and start to look for a place to stay the night about 3.30pm.

Joking aside, when you get to Broken Hill, I suggest you go to Silverton and stay at Penrose Park. It is a bit rustic but with kids there is heaps of room for kids to run around and exhaust themselves. The pubs not far away either so you can walk across & enjoy a drop.

One of the best things I have ever purchased is a portable video player. They usually have a 12volt adapter included, and you can get a splitter for the audio at Dick Smith's or Tandy's. Of course buy another set of ear phones. That will shut them up for a while.

At Dubbo, put a day aside for the Western Plains Zoo, it's brilliant. There are several good caravan parks, but book ahead.

Dick
Broken Hill.
AnswerID: 354348

Reply By: Member - Royce- Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:13

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:13
"How long is a piece of string?".... same sort of question.

I travelled Oz for three months with my two kids. Daughter 10 and son 11.

Some days we had to travel 800ks and others sat in the same spot.

On one occasion we travelled for 1330ks [my longest drive ever].

The key is that they have to have 'ownership' or an investment in the journey. Include them in the planning. They need to understand that you need to travel to get to places. Do THEY want to go to the places you have planned?

Even more important... if they ask to stop to look at something, no matter how hard it is, stop or do a U-turn and let them see and experience. It's worth it even if you put your schedule back a bit.

We have travelled around the block nearly 4 times [half blocks really cos we went up or down the middle!]. The first time both were in nappies. Again.. it depends on their natures and if they think it's worth it.

For a trip in '89 we set up 'talking books', Walkmans, puzzle books, games, a big diary with activities included....... They were often not touched as the sites and stops took over.

Good luck.. enjoy.



AnswerID: 354349

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:27

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:27
Our 6mth trip last yr ,our young fella was 9 , any much more than 500k per day dosnt leave much time in the morning to break camp or any real exploring time at the end of the day ,, eye spy -the no plate game - silly songs and even the dreaded nitendo only keep the kids happy for an hr or so at a time , lots of stops even if only for 10 min at a time to run and burn off some energy is much better for them than a dvd player and missing all the various landscapes.
AnswerID: 354353

Reply By: Jokar - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:35

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:35
We have done some long trips with our kids, 7,9,11. Before we set off we show the kids the map seach day so they can see where we are off to and what is on the way. After that it is entirely up to the kids, if they want to stop, then we stop, if they want to see something, then we go look. Normally after each hour we swap drivers and the kids get to run around and we let them have as long as they want. Sometime it will be 5 minutes and other times an hour, it just depends on them. We always take along the usual stuff, books, colouring in book, DS lites, ipods, etc. We also take a laptop that can play movies or games via an inverter (but we limit this abit). The best thing ever though is talking books. They can run for 5+ hours and the kids absolutely love them. We make sure we have about 4 or 5 new ones each trip and the kids will listen to them over and over again. Then we just get out the old ones. This also allows them to look out the windows and see what's going on. If possible don't let the kids sit so close they touch each other, in our case one always sits in the third row seats so they don't rub against each other. Don't pack anything in around them so they have as much room as possible to spread their own stuff in. A few pillows alway seems to help also, the kids sit on them or lean against them. The most important thing is not to get too fixated on a timetable, you have to be flexible.
AnswerID: 354385

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:45

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:45
Here is two links that has very good information.

Coffee Brake program

Driving with Road Trains Campaign

.
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Reply By: guzzi - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:18

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:18
How long can you put up with "are we there yet?"
All of the above are good replies. The rest depends on the children and the parenting team. Threatening expulsion in the middle of nowhere can occasionally work wonders ;)
Enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 354396

Reply By: Member - Brinic (WA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 23:36

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 23:36
Hi Minarr,

I have a very short attention span and I am 33, my poor fiance has problems with me in the car. However, when going on a trip last year with friends, they organised a quiz for the trip.

We had to answer questions about the different towns we were heading too. We had to find different objects. It took us the whole trip to complete the quiz and kept us chatting and we learnt about the towns were going through.

Have fun though, sounds like a great trip.

Nicole
AnswerID: 354452

Reply By: Russ n Sue - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 19:34

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 19:34
Let's see....I had a formula for this somewhere.....(shuffle, shuffle). Aah, here it is...

When to stop = Decibels of kids screams or arguments + Newton Metres of impact the kids are making as they bouce off the walls of the car + No. of times asked "are we there yet?" in the last hour divided by the number of hours of sleep Mum and Dad got last night plus the distance to the next Pub.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Russ.
AnswerID: 354568

Reply By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 20:38

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 20:38
Penny,

Suppose i am lucky with my 3 kids, now 12,13 &15 they have all been very good travellers from the word go. We have a DVD, magnetic games, ipods etc and we travel anywhere from 300 - 1000kms a day, mostly just getting to our destination are the long drives. Games such as eye spy, how many 4wds are on the road, when in the outback count the trees, whatever works at the time, but make sure your breaks are good breaks for walks, when we stop for breaky, morning tea, lunch we try to stop for at least 20-30 minutes at a time.

cheers,

Lance
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Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 21:03

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 21:03
Lucky you are good parents, probably.

We do the same with ours. Some communication, some games,including Mum and Dad and some gameboy/ipod or other electronic games. Jeez, it's easier than ever now with all this gadgetry. The last time we went away with another couple who had young uns (same age as ours) we'd not got 250 ks up the road before we'd had five stops. They were constantly shoving food and drink at them so they kept needing wee stops.
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 16:56

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 16:56
It has nothing to do with being a good parent or a bad parent, i am lucky that our kids are good travellers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:00

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:00
maybe

maybe you are just lucky
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Reply By: Dr Hook - Friday, Mar 20, 2009 at 14:18

Friday, Mar 20, 2009 at 14:18
It depends on whether you have them inside the vehicle or strapped to the roo-bar.
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