So, you’re about to jump in the car and take the family on a road trippin’ adventure of a lifetime. You’ve got car hire sorted from Orana and you’ve plotted a course from Sydney or Brisbane that’ll leave the bustle of the city far behind. It seems like nothing can go wrong... except that we all know that most kids have the attention span of a wing-nut and that seemingly endless iterations of that damnable phrase ‘are we there yet?’ might just put a slight damper on things. Before you go anywhere with those tiny humans in the back seat, check out these super no-screen ideas to keep them well-entertained - and loving life on the road as much as you do.
1/ I Feel A Song Coming On
Amp up your car trip with a personalised playlist your whole family has contributed to. It matters not if the playlist is curiouser than your kid’s collection of pet rocks, creating a soundtrack with a little bit of everyone thrown in will celebrate the wonderful weirdness of your own family in a fun and inclusive way. Who knew that Mum liked The Beastie Boys so much, or that your gangly teenage son just adores Miley Cyrus’ version of ‘Jolene’? Picking the songs is just half the fun, the other half – listening to them as you cruise down the highway in your Orana hire car on the road to that special somewhere. It’ll be a soundtrack that’s distinctly yours, and a sing-along or two never hurt the spirit of adventure either.
2/ I Can See Clearly Now
The evergreen game of I Spy (with my little eye) still reigns supreme when it comes to getting your kids to live in the moment and enjoy what’s out those windows once your hire car leaves Sydney or Brisbane. For those who have never played, the speaker announces I spy with my little eye, something beginning with … (insert letter of your choice). It’s super-fun to guess what the answer is, the only requisite being that the answer must be in everyone’s line of sight. It’s creative, easy and enjoyable, and your family will throw weird and wonderful answers into the mix until somebody gets it right.
3/ B – I – N G O!
This fun road-travellin' game requires an itsy bitsy bit of prep, but it’ll sure make your kids as entertained as they’ve ever been. To play car bingo, draw up some cards before your car hire from Sydney or Brisbane, fill these cards up with random squares such as red car or licence plate starting with M, hand ‘em out during the trip and enjoy the sounds of your kids yelling out when they spot what’s in their squares. The first person to tick off all their boxes screams Bingo! at a face-melting volume and that’s the end of the game. Disclaimer #1: If you want the game to go for a long time, pick things that are harder to spot, for instance, a car with a sleeping kid in it. Disclaimer #2: No matter how fun this activity sounds, the driver must not participate and keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
4/ Careless Whisper
If it’s been a while since your whole family got together in the one place, your car hire experience can be the perfect time to rekindle relationships and marvel at how you found the time to grow your kids so well. Asking open-ended questions gets kids and teenagers talking about themselves and that’s the pathway to strengthening their bonds with you. Rediscover just how awesome your kids actually are, and they can learn more about you too, by giving them permission to ask questions they’ve never asked you before. The no-topic-is-off-limits rule might terrify you slightly but your kids will have a ball mining the depths of your true self and learning about your lifetime of clueless errors and social misfires.
5/ Let’s Get Loud
Give the ye-oldie pastime of book-reading a road-trippin' twist by taking turns to read a story out loud. There are plenty of novels out there that appeal to kids as well as adults (eg: Harry Potter) and to sit back, listen to a story being read to you while you enjoy the passing scenery is about as relaxing as it gets. It’ll help little readers gain confidence too, and the whole family will get to enjoy a magical tale as it unfolds, right there in your car.
So, pack up the family, choose the right Car and hire it from Sydney or Brisbane. Your holiday isn’t just about the destination, you know – it's about all the fun you’ll have getting there, too.