10 Tips for 4WDing with Kids

There’s any number of lists on the internet tackling the tricky subject of travelling with children, but what about travelling with children in a 4WD? As the school holidays get into gear and families around Australia start preparing for fortnightly escapes or weekend getaways, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for getting your kids outdoors with as little stress and hassle as possible.

Image courtesy of Bushranger 4X4 Gear

1. Carry a dirty gear bag. This way you can zip away the smell (or better yet, hook it up to something OUTSIDE your vehicle) of used nappies or soiled clothes until you can toss them.

2. Get tinted windows. Sunny days are great, but the UV filtering in through the glass can be a scorcher for delicate young skin when travelling for long periods.

Image courtesy of This is Our Australia

3. Give them jobs to do. Collecting sticks for a fire, setting up camp chairs or packing away the rubbish help children feel like they’re a part of everything that’s going on. It also gets them into the habit of helping with chores and keeps them out of trouble!


4. Rainy-day entertainment. Playing cards are versatile (you can teach them many games) and can be used for boredom-busting or bonding. Check out these boardless, pieceless games that could save your sanity!

5. Be relaxed! Kids will be kids, so you can look forward to your little tykes getting covered in mud, sand, dirt, grass, the occasional bug and beetle – it’s all part of playing outdoors. Your seats will get stained and your floormats will be covered in debris, but they’ll have fun and that’s what counts.

6. Keep the food and drinks somewhere easy to get to. A centre console fridge doesn’t consume much power and it means you don’t have to stop to get cold drinks out of the back every time your kids want a chilled beverage.

7. Electronic babysitter. Install a headrest DVD player to keep them entertained for those long stretches on the highway between the city and the scrub. If you don’t travel long distances frequently enough to justify modifying your vehicle, you can just get a headrest iPad holder instead.

8. Stock your first aid kit with ‘kid stuff’. Most children will cop scratches, stings or bites so be prepared with the appropriate creams or lotions. Colourful cartoon stickers also seem to have the power to instantly stop tears.

Image courtesy of This is Our Australia

9. Stay somewhere kid-friendly. Do your research before heading off and see if you can find a park with facilities for kids so they’ll have plenty to do even on days where you feel too lazy to venture far afield. For example, Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park has a playground and mini golf course while Big4 Cania Gorge has a waterpark.

10. Bring busy bags. A ‘busy bag’ is basically a bag full of puzzles, games and crafts to entertain your kids during long spells in the car. Check out Our Family Getabout’s ideas for busy bags – there’s some great gems in there to stimulate creativity and educational kits too so you can keep learning fun.

If you’re thinking about a long road trip, the HT3 is a highway-terrain tyre that is guaranteed up to 100,000km and well-suited for towing and carrying heavy loads like caravans. If you prefer heading out bush, be sure your tyres are tough enough by choosing a purpose-built off-road tyre. Call 1300 COOPER to speak to a tyre expert if you are thinking of changing your tyres for travelling.

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