Skip and I have always loved a road trip, be it a Sunday drive or a year-long circumnavigation of Australia. When both girls were little a five minute trip to the shops with them in the car was a nightmare. Lil-lil especially was not a fan. So we basically stayed close to home for quite a while.
Even now the thought of a long drive brings terror to my heart. The thing is, though, the girls tend to surprise me with how well they cope. This was proven again on the long weekend with our trip to the zoo. There was very little crying and whinging and they really did very well.
My techniques for surviving a long drive is this. Prepare a bag full of activities - toys, pads and crayons, books, snacks. First step is to see how long you can go without needing to open the bag. The girls usually surprise me and last a fair distance before they get antsy. I also had some CDs to help entertain them, The Mary Poppins soundtrack was a BIG winner. They wanted to listen to it until Skip went mad. They actually sat quietly and listened for quite a while.
The second stage is frequent stopping. The weekend was a six-hour drive so we stopped every two hours. On the way up we had pretty long stops, we ate and went to a park to get rid of some excess energy. The last two hour stretch is usually the hardest. This is when every activity has been exhausted and they really sick of the car. This is when my secret weapon comes out – something I haven't even mentioned to them – my laptop and a new DVD.
A few weeks ago, Disney sent me a copy of Alice in Wonderland, I had secretly kept it for this occasion. It's a special release for 60th anniversary of the movie and had a Blu-ray and DVD copy inside [according to the cover the Blu-ray is for the lounge room while the DVD is for the car or family room], we have neither a family room, a car DVD player nor a Blu-ray, so we watched the DVD on my laptop.
The Lewis Carroll tale and Disney are a match made in heaven. The girls were captivated by the whimsical story and the wonderful animation. It also didn't take long before they were singing 'How do you do and shake hands' and 'Happy Un-birthday to you'. Sixty years on the movie is just as magical today or at least my girls think so.
Alice in Wonderland kept the girls entranced until we pulled into the caravan park in Dubbo, which meant everyone's sanity was saved.
I have a Alice in Wonderland package to giveaway (which includes both Blu-ray and DVD), to win tell me in 25 words or less your secret to surviving a road trip. Entries close midnight Saturday 18 June, 2011.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of the DVD courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment via Digital Parents. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.