So I’ve just returned from a family road trip. I left with my wife and two children and came back sans wife & kids but gained a brother & sister! Amazing how these things work out!
Having over 1800kms to muse, I’ve noticed a few things about family road trips. Want to hear 1800kms of wisdom? Lend me an ear.
– Any savings you make on petrol with vouchers are lost when you purchase road-trip snacks at the service station (usually at least 100% mark up from supermarket prices!)
– Children will be full of excitement and refuse to sleep for hours on end, until 20 minutes before you arrive at your destination. At that point, they will crash to sleep, waking when the car stops in a cranky, moody stupor.
– You will always pass something that ‘looks interesting’, make small talk about visiting the place, then forgetting whatever it is when caught up in a traffic jam 5 minutes down the road
– Petrol will always be cheaper ‘back there’. Your wife will make it her duty to remind you of that.
– You will never be able to locate the source of that rattle in the dashboard.
– Your turn to chose the next song will never actually come around.
– If, by chance, your turn to chose the next song does come around, no-one else will appreciate your choice of Johnny Cash and proceed to whinge through the entire 3 minutes of aural bliss.
– The game ‘count the red car’ will last exactly 1 red car, where you will revert to playing ‘eye-spy’ with your three year old, trying to spy things that they actually can’t see.
– ‘Big’ things, like ‘the Big Banana’ and the ‘Big Prawn’ will always, always have bad coffee, overpriced souvenirs and dirty toilets with the obligatory ‘big willy’ signature on the back of the toilet door.
– It’s not uncommon to be tempted to leave your children at the Big Banana, especially after playing ‘eye-spy’ for the last 5 hours.
– The current going rate for horse-poo is $2/bag, regardless of the size or quality of the poo. Why any traveller would want a sack of horse poo in the car is anyones guess, but they are sellin’ it so there must be a market for it.
– You will always miss the right turnoff. Possibly twice.
– The ratio of arguments to km’s travelled is usually 1 argument per 135 km. With children in the car, this ratio decreases by approx. 15km per child. A family of four can expect to have an argument about something (keeping hands to themselves, song choice, that petrol was cheaper ‘back there’) every 105 km. If the average speed of the car drops below 80km/h (for example if you are stuck in road works), this ration can actually decrease even further.
So I’m interested – what observations have you found when travelling with your children?