The Lorrimers are well and truly living the dream. In December 2015, young parents Justin and Bec Lorrimer sold their home in New South Wales, Australia, and set out on an epic road trip around the country. Did we mention they did it all with their three kids in tow?
Over the last 12 months the family have documented their adventures on the road, which have included plenty of fishing expeditions, hiking through some of the country’s premium national parks, and being swarmed by kangaroos in Jervis Bay.
The Lorrimer Family – aka Trip in a Van
But juggling the excitement of travel with managing their kids – four year old Jack, three year old Billy and 18 month old Charli – comes with its challenges too. We caught up with Bec and found out how she manages to keep the kids happy while also enjoying their trip. Here are some nuggets of advice she had to share.
When travelling with kids, food is a key component of a happy journey. Make up snack and lunch bags for your little ones and keep them on hand. Kids seem to be ‘hungry’ at every opportunity. Make sure to pack food that travels well and don’t make too much of a mess.
By far the best thing we have purchased are our mini iPads. They’re a source of entertainment that’s compact and lightweight enough for travel. Not only can the kids watch their favourite TV shows but they can also learn through educational apps as well, making it a win-win situation for all. Mum and Dad get a break while the kids are occupied too.
3. Give them a camera
We gave our son an old digital camera. It’s small, robust and can handle a fumble. He loves taking his own snaps and capturing our cute Aussie wildlife. Best idea!
4. Avoid sweets
Kids in the middle of a sugar high aren’t ideal to be around, especially when they’re in close proximity to you, strapped into the car or plane seats. Even though travel can involve long trips for young kids, it’s best to resist feeding them sugary snacks to keep them going. Instead opt for fruit, yoghurt pouches, healthy muesli bars or natural popcorn.
5. Involve your children in itineraries
Kids love being involved in planning your trip. We talk loads about our upcoming destinations with the kids, which is a great way for them to learn geography and to know what to expect when we arrive.
6. Hire baby items
Rather than lugging your pram, car seat, portacot or highchair overseas, try hiring one out from somewhere local. It’s affordable and usually they can deliver to you.
7. Take your time
Patience is a virtue – especially when you’re on the road. Kids love to explore and they don’t understand the pressures of time when you’re travelling. Remember to slow down and factor into your plans the toilet stops, smelling flowers, watching bugs and toddler tantrums. Keep your cool and the kids will too.
8. Routine and sleep
When travelling, routines go out the window. However, I’d recommend doing whatever you can to get your child to have their day-sleep. Try to schedule your activities around their nap time and look at taking a baby carrier with you (or hiring one while you’re there); that way your child can sleep on you while you’re off exploring!
For more tips on travelling with kids, and to keep up with the Lorrimers on their journey, check out their blog: www.tripinavan.com.au and follow them on Facebook and instagram.
We love watching there happy little faces do life, finding the joys in the small things which was really important to Justin and I. Although not every day is sunshine and rainbows with three kids, they still have their moments and melt downs. A Teething baby, the odd toddler tantrum and a 7 year olds attitude (we’ve been through it all) can be a testing day at times. But we figure, we’d be encountering this at home anyway! If it’s too much for Justin or I, one will opt out for a breather. You come back being a better parent and able to deal with situations a little better and with a more positive attitude. We really have been able to work as a team and I think that is why our trip has been so enjoyable and successful.
IF YOUR AFTER A GREAT GIFT IDEA FOR THE YOUNG TRAVELLER – CHECK OUT THESE GREAT TRAVEL JOURNALS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT ‘CARAVANNING WITH KIDS’ .
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