LOOKING FOR AS MUCH ADVICE AND SUGGESTIONS PLEASE!!!

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 23:22
ThreadID: 92354 Views:2410 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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My family and I are starting the process of planning our trip around Australia. We have 2 gorgeous children a boy aged 2 and a girl aged 5 months. We will be looking at travelling early next year for roughly 2 years, working as we go or when needed.
We have our heart set on a retreat daydream with bunks and will look at a dual cab ute later on in the year to suit the caravan. Does anyone have this type of van and have you done any modifications to it and if u have what are they? what vechile do u tow with yours?
We would look at free camping while together but when i'm away working we would look at places like big 4 etc for more security, lifestyle and for the kids to interact abit more and for longer periods of time.
Is anyone travelling with younger children at present or have recently returned? If so would love to hear the pro's and con's the do's and don'ts and anything else you would think that could help us on our way.
Is there anything u think is a must take and is there anything we shouldnt take with us?
We are taking this very serious as this is our dream before the kids need to settle into school and we need to take the time to hear others opinions and experiences to help us make this happen. Any suggestions or info would be muchly appreciated. Cheers looking forward to hearing from you all. Happy travels.
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Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 00:04

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 00:04
I'd suggest you read through the blog indexes and you'll see who is travelling and willing to tell all.

Don't forget to take lots of photo's to show the kids when they get older, because unless this turns into a long term lifestyle and you repeat your long travels with them again, they won't remember anything of it. Make the most of it for yourselves first and foremost, and work what you want to do around the realities of travelling with two small children.

Tim
AnswerID: 479704

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 09:09

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 09:09
I just put "children" into the search box (top RH corner of the forum page) and it came up with plenty of hits. There have been many forum threads and blogs so you should be able to find plenty of advice.
There are plenty of families who are travelling more or less fulltime with children, and many who are schooling their children too. You may want to consider doing that too, possibly waiting until the children are a bit older before setting out?

Cheers,

Val
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Reply By: Matt & Caz - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 11:48

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 11:48
Hi there, You will have the BEST time!!! we did it with the kids for 18mths, we had a retreat daydream with triple bunks - we did have a LOT of trouble with it, however it was an early model and probably built on a Friday afternoon!!! Retreat where very good to us and looked after all the issues (although this did put a dampner on our trip as we had to travel to where they wanted it fixed). I wanted the retreat as it had everything I needed, heaps of cupboard space, loo/shower, separate bunk area that could be closed off ect ect. We found staying at big 4 and top tourist parks expensive and only really did that when we were working.

Some of the smaller parks offer heaps more and for less $$$$ we loved to free camp, we really only used parks to re-charge the batteries, do washing or if we had work. Make sure you see Tassie its awesome and there's heaps for the kids there, the free camping in Tassie is great. I did a website (http://www.travelingoz.webs.com ) although we have been back almost 2yrs (much to my disgust, I could have gone forever........) we are already planning our next trip (about 8-10yrs away) as the kids will all be thru with school ect.

It can be a challenge traveling with kids, but well worth it - our girls learn't so much (feel free to contact me at carolinehys@yahoo.com.au if you have ANY questions as Im more than happy to answer them) Cheers Caroline
AnswerID: 479740

Follow Up By: Matt & Caz - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 11:49

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 11:49
PS we towed our van with an 1997 Toyota landcruiser 80 series
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Reply By: Member - troy s (WA) - Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 12:10

Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 12:10
Having just come home from our trip 4 weeks ago, I can tell you it has been the best thing that any family can do for itself.
We set off with our two boys (now 3 and 5) and two dogs just over 18 months ago. We had no idea what to expect and hadn't even taken our new poptop camper for a test run. We were pretty green, but very flexable and willing to take on whatever crossed our paths.
Our trip was more of a 'camping around Australia' so we did free and bush camping where ever we could. Some states are easier than others, some are better set up for travellers.Travelling with dogs was probably the only limiting factor for free and bush camping, obviously we could not camp in any national parks (except for a fine few), so some areas we had to either pay for accomodation or choose not to hang around that area. I in no way at all regret taking our dogs, but without them you will have no drama camping nearly anywhere on this beautifull country.

Camping with kids can be hard, but then raising kids at home can be hard too. We figured that be it at home or on the road they were still gonna fight, whinge, sook, play, laugh, learn and whatever else they do. The extra things our boys have learnt along the way is reason alone to do this travel, being a part of the earth, watching the seasons, tides, climatic zones, wildlife habitats etc. is something most adults dont even think about, but now our boys are really aware of these things, maybe not understand it, but very aware.
One thing that was a bit hard on the boys was making new friends only to have to leave them days later. They made some great mates on the way, some there own age, some were grey nomads. It was very sad, even for us to say goodbye to our new friends, but I could see them grow stronger everytime. I don't think alot of kids get these life lessons so early, but it makes you very proud to see them grow like this.

We had DVD players in the car for the boys, they actually surprised me how much they did enjoy the scenery, but I don't think we could have done the amount of driving without them. We used them as a last resort, once they got bored and grumpy we'd turn them on, then most time they'd have sleep.
Also keep healthy snaks in the car for travelling, things like cut apples and carrots kept them happy, and there own little yogurts for some reason is exciting too.
Be aware of sand flies, as much as they only annoy us, they absolutley hammered our boys, not much fun for them at all, you could count into the hundreds the bites on there arms and legs. Then they scratch and scratch till they turn into infected boils.
Take toys, I was the biggest weight nazi trying to leave them behind, but they still need some toys. Our boys loved playing with rocks and sticks and stuff, but when it gets wet the lego would come out and save our sanity. Our boys are a little older than yours, but we took a lot of craft gear with us, the kids loved it and could make crafty things on the road and send them back to the grandfolk.
If you don't have a laptop, get one. For your own comunication, research and for watching your favorite movies while the kids have finally gone to sleep. Shaun the sheep was a fav for the kids, that was another option on a rainy day.

I could, and would love to go on for days, I can't explain how good it was for us.
We do have a blog but it is more just photos of us having fun, not really offering too much insight into travelling.
Please feel free to ask for any specific advise, I have so much info to share but perhaps not is all relevant?
Cheers, enjoy
Troy
AnswerID: 480076

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