Guest blog by Paul Kowalski
Paul Kowalski is currently on an epic journey with his family across the Northern areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Take a look at his advice below on travelling Australia with kids.
We had been on the road for a long trip with our two daughters, Chloe and Lili, before in 2014 for three months but they were two years younger then, Chloe 4 and Lili 2. It even surprised us how they sort of just fitted into plans and the daily life of travelling at a very young age. One of the biggest areas of travelling that we have found this time around is the amount of management required to simply keep things clean and tidy, keep everyone fed and keep everyone happy. Chloe is now 6 and Lili is now 4, in just two years the needs and characteristics of our travelling family unit have changed, our daughters need more, more to do, more activities, more alone time and less time in the car. But on the other hand we can do more together, longer walks, star gazing at night, trip planning, cooking and simply enjoying things together.
As we have discussed in the past, we installed a second fridge/freezer this time round to simply carry enough food for the four of us, we seem to just never stop eating or re-supplying at the supermarket. One of the other "must haves" is our DVD player in the car. We try to offer limited screen time every day but also structure long days on the road. We can travel around 400 kilometers maximum. It just gets too long otherwise, for us all. We try to offer a DVD after lunch as something to work towards. We find ourselves playing games, listening to music and talking in the mornings of big travel days.
It is necessary to break up the travel. So travelling and free camping for a few days and then resting for a few, in a nice caravan park. This allows us to not only clean up our camp and ourselves but to have some down time.
We are a month into this trip so far, we have made some adjustments but are enjoying the new types of things we can all do together. On our last trip often when I was out taking photographs my wife, Belinda, would have to stay at camp, it was just too far or too dangerous for our girls to go along. This time, on many occasions so far, we have been able to all go together. It is great to be able share more of the experiences.
We are on the Gibb as we speak, a tough environment without readily available amenities like flushing toilets, pools or showers. We will see how we go but we are doing it together.
To follow Paul on his adventure make sure you check out his trip updates and if you're interested in his trip preperations and vehicle upgrades and trip itinerary check out his initial blog.