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Are we there yet?

From I spy to iPad, keep the fun alive during your next family road trip.

BY STACEY GRIMS
You are in the third hour of the family road trip and the excitement of your next  destination is slowly fading, as the kids play the same question on repeat: “Are we there yet”?
If this scenario sounds familiar, try these simple tips to keep the whole family entertained – and sane – during the journey to your next holiday spot.

TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Yes, it may delay the journey – but why not make the breaks part of your holiday? Take a look at the attractions that are along your chosen route and stop off at a place that will be  entertaining for the family. For example, if you are driving along Australia’s East Coast, stop off at the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour for some delicious banana smoothies. Or, if you are further north in Queensland, the iconic Pub at Aussie World along the Bruce
Highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast is a great pit stop to refuel and have some fun at the same time.
If you have younger children that still have daytime naps and sleep well in the car, try to time the breaks when they are awake so they can run around and burn some energy, allowing for more quiet driving time while they are asleep in the back seat.

FOOD
Road trips don’t have to mean fast food! Try packing some healthy snacks to hand out at regular intervals between the breaks on your trip. Fruit, nuts, sandwiches, cheese and  crackers are all great options. It’s amazing how quiet children can become when there’s food around!

ENTERTAINMENT
While you may limit access to iPads and smartphones at home, relax the rules a little during the road trip and let the kids watch their favourite TV show or movie. Make sure you pack some headphones so you get some quiet time, or the chance to listen to some of your own tunes.

FAMILY GAMES 
Make sure you spend some of the trip having fun as a family and play some of the old road trip favourites, minus the electronic devices.

I spy – Choose between “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” or “I spy with my little eye something red”. This game is perfect for pre-schoolers and is easy to play with one person reciting the line and ending it with a clue, and the other family members taking turns to guess the answer.

Road Trip Bingo – One for the older kids, this one combines bingo with a scavenger hunt. Give each child a flat surface, such as a clipboard or a book, to put on their lap. Give  each player a bingo card and a zip-lock bag with 16 coins. When a player spies an item on his/her card (for example, a bridge or tunnel), he/she covers the picture with a coin. Just like in regular bingo, the first player to cover all the squares in a straight line wins.

Noughts and Crosses – All you need are two players and a pencil. Player One places an X on the grid, Player Two plots an O. They continue to take turns until one player has three in a row.

MUSIC
Nothing beats a family sing-a-long, so crank up the tunes and have a sing and a dance. Take turns choosing songs. This will make sure everyone gets a turn listening to something they like. It also has the benefit of teaching kids to take turns and share, and the plus side is that you won’t have to listen to the Wiggles’ Big Red Car on repeat for hours on end!