Traveling the Outback with Kids | 5 Basic Tips
Written by Trekking Downunder, Ryan & Amy Murphy
For some, the idea of packing up and heading inland for a family trip- brings feelings of anxiety. But, coming from a family who did this, it’s worth every second. Traveling the Australian Outback is utterly beautiful, incredibly fun, and a truly rewarding experience, especially once you add kids.
We’ve compiled a list to help ease the stress of embracing your own family outback travel adventure.
With many things to consider, we break it down so it becomes easy. The key is to be flexible! The younger the child the smaller the attention span, not to mention less patience.
- Plan shorter travel days, 3 hours works well
- Plenty of easy healthy snacks and water
- Good range of in-car entertainment
- Outback traveling is safest after dawn and before dusk, you don’t want a surprise meeting with a kangaroo or emu in the middle of the road
Keep it fun
Despite what we parents think, kids have a different perception of what’s fun. When planning day treks ensure the dangling carrot at the end of an experience; a swimming creek on the other side of the rainforest trail, a giant dinosaur at the end of a museum tour, a farm stay where you can feed all the animals. The Australian Outback has such a rich history with so many great opportunities for education. Find a place that is fun and interactive, then just let the kids absorb what they can.
Kids need to be kids, give them days off; to read a book, watch a movie, play frisbee, go for a bike ride, enjoy a campfire. Kids = chaos, don’t forget to take some time out for yourselves. Having set bedtimes for the kids is a great way to ensure you have a few quiet hours together. Use this time to cuddle by the campfire, watch a non-PG rated movie, or read a book with more than 20 pages.
Be prepared and work together
When outback traveling it is always good to be prepared, besides the traditional considerations like travel itineraries, van/car set up, water, petrol, reception/communication and trip tracking. A few added extras for the kids; embrace the dirt, buy good shoes, wear dark clothes, long sleeves, and bucket hats plus definitely invest in fly nets! kids are accident prone, so having a good first aid kit will make your outback experience much less stressful.
Involve your kids in planning, they will be much more excited if you get them to help choose locations, navigate even assist in setting up camp. Get the kids to pick out activities and help with meal planning/ prep. Allocating family roles helps keep things smooth and the kids active and involved.
Best advice for an awesome family outback adventure is to live in the moment. Capture memories, make videos and share them. Forget the camera occasionally and just be present. Traveling through the Outback is a unique experience and who wouldn’t want to share it with all the family and friends. Encourage the kids to send postcards and create a fabulous travel journal full of memories from this trip of a lifetime!
Be a Bushranger.