Lots of planning went into getting organised for the trip. Lots and lots of list making! It helped to think about what I do at home for the babies and how I am going to do the same on the road. Obviously there's a lot of things that I can't take (a high chair, for example) but if you stick to the necessities of warmth, food, shelter and safety you'll get through.
The first thing to get your head around is that the trip will be at a different pace. (Note: Without children this trip can be done in seven hours). There will be lots of stops along the way to stretch legs, have a run around and take a breather. I took a look at the route we would be taking, made note of the towns and estimated times of reaching them. I then did a little research on what park facilities were available. Wagin and Ravensthorpe have the best parks along our route, unfortunately neither are a lunch stop.
One of the very first things I bought was a mesh sock you put over the windows to reduce the glare of the sun coming through. The window can still be lowered and BONUS the mesh stops any toys being flung out of the window.
I brought along the big hummer pram. It is big. It is bulky. It is a pain to pack but it goes anywhere. And it carts all three littlies. (I don't take it out for pit stops).
Have breasts. Will travel!Breast feeding is great. Everything is ready when baby needs it and it is at the right temperature. The following items made breast feeding life easier on the road:
Anti-bacterial gel for clean hands.
Pillow on the passenger seat for baby to lie on.
Pillow for mummy support.
Muslin square for covering feeding baby from public view.
In car entertainment1 Car Toy Bag - containing a couple of favourites and a couple of new toys.
Cars and helicopters.
4 board books.
Crayons and notepad.
Two soft toys.
Strawberry and Ooffa
2 pull toys on links.
I was very mindful that the 21 month old was sitting next to Ooffa and I had to ensure that Chook had nothing that would cause a choking hazard to a baby.
At the last moment I gave in and bought a Portable DVD player, which hung off the back of my seat in a closed case. I used it as my 'last resort'/'treat'. Up to this point he had never expressed interest in watching TV anyway but I thought if he's strapped into a seat and losing it in the middle of nowhere it could come in handy...it did! I'm all about the easy life!
Kids music CDs that you don't mind singing along to. Yes, they can drive you crazy on the 50th rendition of "Bananas in Pyjamas" but you can knock off a few kms by singing and clapping along.
Our fully stocked Everyday Bag kept behind the passenger seat. This was backed up by another larger bag also fully stocked with spare clothing and nappies in the rear of the car.
No fashion parade in the outback!Babies wore one-piece. Easy change. Easy on, easy off.
Toddler in overalls. These are wondrous at staying relatively clean. Pop studs in the nappy area and you're good to go!
Long way before the next town.I made up a big container of cut up fruit for the journey. Chook also had cut up cheese sticks and rice crackers. Water in a water bottle. No juice!
Water bottles in the front for the driver.
In a cool bag in the rear of the car I had made up sandwiches for lunch, yogurt and jelly fruits. Cutlery and bowls were also added.
I also packed a thermos of hot water and tea bags in the rear for a driver reviver. But found having hot water on board was useful in many other ways.
Wipes are awesome! I keep a packet in the front centre organiser tray.
Road trip nappy change stationThe way that I packed the hummer created a perfect changing station for side of the road nappy changes. I placed a pillow under a change mat and it was at the perfect height for changing nappies with ease.
GamerApart from what he packed for himself, I also asked him to pack a football for our rest stops. Chook and Gamer (excuse the pun) had a 'ball' kicking it around at several of the rest stops.
More ideas and resources for Travelling With Kids
The Iowa Farmer's Wife: 50 Travel Trips & Accessories
Childhood 101: Travel With Kids: Activities for the Journey
We Can Do All Things: Travelling With Children Who Have Special Needs
The Good Long Road: Trains, Planes & Automobiles
Inspiration Laboratories: Toddler Travel Tips