We’ve always loved to travel and when kids came along special needs or not we also brought the kids along domestic flights, overseas and more recently interstate road trips.
When they were babies we thought why not they’re still free and we discovered that airlines allow you to bring portacots, prams and car seats at not extra cost. The amount of things we had to pack and brings was the same as any other family.
Before the age of two children who travel on your lap travel free. So we tried to take advantage of this when possible.
Now that the kids are over two, it costs a lot more to travel by air. Also now that my daughter who has cerebral palsy is a lot older and bigger she relies on a wheelchair for mobility.
We also purchased a secondhand vehicle and modified it with a wheel chair accessible a lift with the assistance of VOSS funding.
Having the modified vehicle has made it so much easier to do short trips and also those tourist type trip when you stop on many places along the way because
1) Its a lot easier to simply unstrap the wheel chair and wheel her out if the car (instead of unloading and assembling her pram/mobility chair; getting her out of the car; strapping her in). It’s made quick stops easier and possible where as we wouldn’t bother before or we would leave her in the car and take it in turns to see the sight.
2) I have worked out how to feed her in the car! Now this might not be possible for everyone, when we had the car modified I chose the configuration so that
Heres a few tips that made our road trip easier:
- Bottle warmer – what an amazing new invention this plugs into the cigarette lighter – we have them in the back of our van so I will use it to heat packet food or bottles and can still manage to follow her normal eating schedule.
- Thermos food flask – heat before I go and it keeps warm for a good 4-5 hours. It means I can feed her in the car or stroller as we go.
- Thermos – for hot water – we’ve used this to make up formula (mix with cold bottled water) on the go to or even for instant coffee.
- Contigo – for myself – easy to use auto seal makes it spill proof and keeps drinks hot which means I can have hot drinks around the kids.
- Tissues, Wipes, paper towels. lots of them have them stashed in handy places. Also have an old Huggies travel case that I refill with the cheaper Aldi wipes. I just take the plastic cover off and pop inside the residue glue helps it stay in place. The buggies travel case has a strap so it hangs from her accessible stroller and it’s always there when I need it.
- Plastic bags – nappy bags (compact), just hang them on the side of her pram and it’s handy to throw rubbish in.
- Barf bags – the ones with the plastic ring that you get in hospital. Very good to have on standby as our girl is a chucker – one bad cough and it’s round two with the food. To make it useable I line it with a nappy bag. It can double as rubbish in and when she vomits it all gets wrapped up and in the bin. No mess.
- Packet food – doesn’t need to be refrigerated and is great on standby. We will still use our own cooked food first but if she’s vomited or we forgot to bring some, we can still give her a meal on the road or when out and about.
- Esky in the car – packed all the frozen meals in the bottom and the cold snacks/ drinks you need at the top.
- Packing the car so that all the things needed during the trip was within hands reach.
- Snacks portioned for everyone eg sandwiches in individual sandwich bags, tubs of nuts, etc. means that you can just pass them around the car as needed without having to stop and makes it easier to juggle over bumpy roads
- Bag of toys, books and iPad to keep the little ones entertained which were rotated one by one.
With these tips we were able to drive for the entire day with only a few short stops for the toilet and lunch. I would be interested to hear your tips as well.