The Wellness Poet

The Wellness Poet

By Krissy Regan, The Wellness Poet.

Road Trips with small kids can be fun or frightening and sometimes both. Especially if you have a child that gets car sick.  After 4 years of nightmare car journeys, I’m a bit of an expert on dealing with road-trip hell.  So, what have I learned?

  1. Don’t worry about packing light. Pack all you need to make your journey comfortable and pack for all eventualities. Toys, Games, Colouring Stuff, a screen with a long battery life. Spare clothes to hand, towels and water, cleaning agent, wipes and sanitizer.
  2. Motion sickness is a thing and I too suffered from carsickness as a child. The trick is to act quick…. Ask your child to focus on a fixed point and do big belly breaths. I do breathing exercises with mine. Breath in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 5. This helps reset her. Sing! Singing helps the mind forget about feeling sick and gives you something to do as well as boost the oxygen in your body.  Counting Games, just do alternate counting or old school I Spy.
  3. Alternate the entertainment. I joked with my kids that when I was a child, I had no movies to watch, we just had to stare out the window and listen to my Dad’s Hot Chocolate Cassette Tape. I did offer to play them the Hot Chocolate songs from Itunes; “I believe in miracles, whereya from, you sexy thing!”.  They said NO! CD’s, iTunes, show-tunes, movies, games etc.  Don’t expect your young child just to watch 8 hours on a screen and not to behave like a caged animal at the end of it.
  4. Snacks and Drinks – Always to hand. Healthy and convenient snacks.
  5. Stops – Make stops active. Stop near a playground that has toilets if possible and have a quick play, eat and loo stop. Do some family stretching and get the blood pumping to the brain and limbs.
  6. Medicines – If travelling with kids that have allergies or illnesses or are prone to certain things like severe reactions to bites (like my child), then it’s good to be prepared and have all this stuff stashed in the car. My car is a mobile pharmacy, but I have learned the hard way and I try not to spend my holidays in hospitals.
  7. Driving time – Be realistic about the time spent in the car for your own well-being as well as theirs. Your tailbone is never the same again after having kids, be kind to yourself. Plan the journey so you can take breaks or have overnight stays. Make the journey part of the holiday not just the destination.
  8. Naps – If you can plan your journey to coincide with nap time it’s a good idea.
  9. Arrival – Have an arrival plan including unpacking, eating and getting comfortable with stuff from home around you. I usually travel with first night dinner in the esky, so from the time we arrive we are eating dinner in less than 10 minutes.
  10. Traffic and Roadworks – Will happen and delay you. Just try to go with the flow. Put the windows down, talk, mix up the entertainment and try not to focus on the time not spent travelling.

The most important thing with any journey is that you arrive safely. These holidays we spent 3 days driving to the Gold Coast from Townsville with a 4-year-old that gets car sick and a 7-year-old that suffers badly with hay fever. I had to use all my tips above to survive this trip.  But we survived and manage to see some lovely places on route. I took a chance to do Parkrun in Harvey Bay and have a birthday dinner with my niece in Brisbane. There are many ways to plan an enjoyable road trip, even though you know you will be challenged at some stage.  One of the things I did for this road trip was to finally purchase a new laptop which I’ve needed for many months. The laptop needed to have 8hours of battery life so I could write on my lap-desk while my husband drove, and I passed all requests to the kids and dealt with unavoidable issues.  I wrote this article and many others, as well as my latest children’s book on my lap during a road trip. Thankfully motion sickness is not an issue for me any longer.

Travel safe, enjoy your holidays and if you need any help, just reach out.

Krissy x