The failsafe way to survive a road trip with kids.

Family road trip.

I think we all have a favourite memory of a road trip when we were kids. And I often think that many of our memories of that road trip are pretty selective.

My all time greatest holiday was the time me, my big brother and my parents decided to undertake the GREATEST ROAD TRIP OF ALL- a Sydney to Darwin lets-show-the-kids-the-real-Australia holiday.

All I remember from the time was those teeny-tiny motel soaps, gigantic anthills, a huge Super Dooper pineapple thingy, lots and lots and lots and lots of kangaroos and sleeping sideways in the backseat with my brother. (Were seatbelts optional in those days??)

Ask my mother though and her recollection is completely different. She will tell you of endless crying, nagging, whinging, of kicking-pinching-’he took-it-away’-backseat fights and of that timeless question over and over and over again – Are we there yet?  (And the fact we flew back to Sydney in the end, as she couldn’t take the 4000 km drive again.)

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

So it’s with great trepidation that I agree to replicate the GREATEST ROAD TRIP OF ALL with my own family. And since all things in the world have gotten smaller since the early 80’s (except maybe that huge Super Dooper pineapple thingy) so too has the scope of the road trip. (What do you think I am, crazy?)

So we are attempting not Sydney to Darwin, but maybe Sydney to Byron. Maybe

And in an attempt not to replicate my Mother’s memories, I am coming up with a plan. A five step guide to backseat entertainment, and front seat peace and quiet. Here’s the failsafe way to survive a road trip with kids:

“Have you even tried Redskins when your kids are fighting? Nothing, and I mean nothing keeps them quiet for so long.”

1. Redskins. 

Yes, those red flavoured chewy lollies that’s what I am talking about.  This is the all-important first thing I will pack. I know, I know, sugar, food colouring, bad for the teeth. I should be espousing the virtues of pre-packed bags of grapes and rice crackers. But have you even tried Redskins when your kids are fighting? Nothing, and I mean nothing keeps them quiet for so long.

And if you combine them with one of those backseat video screens (you know the awesome ones you see mounted in the rear of the front headrests) then hey presto : happiness for all.   I tell you when those sweet little mouths are busy chewing no one is crying!


2.  Road Trip bingo.

There are some great kids bingo downloads you get on the web, and some of the best of them are Aussie bingo sheets. Print them out, bring some pencils so they can cross off what they see, and the winner gets.. you guessed it… a Redskin!

3.  Scavenger hunt.

For really long car trips a scavenger hunt is a great idea. I am printing out this one and handing it out. But you could easily make up your own. Each person has to spot an item on the list. It keeps those little eyes peeled out the windows and stops the squabbling. And the winner gets.. well you guessed it..

4. There are lots of classic road trip boredom buster games.

The classic go-to-game is I spy. There’s also 20 questions, where one player thinks of something and the others guess it with the first question, “animal, mineral or vegetable”. But my favourite was always the game “Yes/ No”.

Hey mum, look, we’re playing Rock Band!

You remember it, someone asks you questions and you can answer anything except yes or no.

“ Jasper is your hair brown?” “ It is.”

“ Are you in the car?” “ I am.”

“Are we playing a game?” “ We are.”

“Would you like a Redskin?” “Yes”.. ( I win!)

5.  DIY Games Tray

Now there are some of you who are going to think I am absolutely nuts even considering this, but check it out. Some very organized Mum out there was baking muffins one day and thought – wow that’s gives me an idea for some in car entertainment. In went the play dough to one muffin hole, the golf tees in another, and hey presto a play dough tray for the backseat!

Ask me again when they start the play dough ball fight in the car but right now I think it’s most excellent.

Who doesn’t love a play dough tray?

So that’s the plan when it comes to surviving a road trip with kids.

My five steps to surviving twelve hours in the car, and if all else fails I have two other options, Phenergan & Ipads (for those who are lucky enough, video entertainment systems in the backseats) … which one do you think will work the best?

The right answer gets a Redskin…


All-new 7-seat Nissan Pathfinder – Built for the whole family.

  • 7 adult size seats – for the kids, their friends or those rare nights out.
  • Easy third row access due to the EZ Flex seating system and the Latch and Glide system.
  • 5 star ANCAP rating.
  • Modern family luxury, comfort and style.

And for those that want to invest in less hair pulling and wet willy’s the all-new Pathfinder Ti offers tri-zone entertainment and tri-zone climate control.

For more information or to see it from a kids point of view, click here.


00:00 / ???