When I first thought about taking a road trip with my family for the weekend, I found myself trying to find every excuse as to why it would be too hard and not worth the trouble.
For starters, packing bags and a car for a weekend away with three toddlers is like a high-speed, never-ending game of Tetris. So. Much. Stuff.
The last holiday we went on was last year and Banjo couldn't walk yet, so at least that was only two out of three minions that were mobile. Not to mention, taking a two-hour drive with the kids would mean two hours of arguments over which Frozen song we have to listen to. AGAIN.
And also... I was in the midst of throwing myself a pity party since my husband and I should have been on a two-week, child-free Euro trip of a lifetime right now, which for obvious reasons didn't go ahead.
But honestly, these problems are micro compared to what many Aussies have been through this year.
From savage bushfires to COVID-19, we've seen regional communities and their small businesses - particularly tourism operators - completely devastated. They need us more than ever, now.
That's why we took the #RoadTripPledge. It's a campaign launched by Stayz in partnership with Tourism Australia encouraging us to holiday here this year, and take whatever time out we have to support the local towns that depend so much on us being there.
So, we did. With our three kids under three and half the house packed into a car, we drove down the NSW South Coast towards our destination: a homely Stayz beach house in the laidback seaside enclave of Thirroul.
And there we were. Less than two hours from our own house, we timed the drive with the kids' naps so that we basically pulled up at our weekend getaway home as they all woke up. Win number one.
We stayed in a modern, two-storey duplex that felt so brand new I think we might have even been the first to stay in it, and I must admit the place was even better than the photos. Win number two.