Friday, March 16, 2012

Have you ever wished you could toss it all in and drive around the country with the kids, schooling them as you go? One of our readers (and fellow blogger) Lisa Wood is doing just that. here, she shares her tips for paring back to basics.

Stuff We Don’t Need

With five boys it so easy to fill up a house with lots of stuff that we think we need. Moving into a Motorhome gave us a chance to see with new eyes what we really need for living with children.

There are seven essentials:

1. Somewhere to sleep at night. Even if that means sharing close sleeping spaces. Or even sharing a bed – it really doesn’t matter as long as we can all sleep.

2. Food and Water. Really when you think about it – as long as you have water for drinking and food for their hungry bellies then you will all be happy!

3. A wardrobe to share all of their clothes, toys and homeschooling books. Each of our boys has one shelf each and that is all the space they need!

4. Quality time together. Money can’t buy time nor can you add more hours to your day, so we have decided to spend quality time together to create memories.

5. Lego. Sounds weird but as long as 
we have Lego then our boys are happy to make castles, towers and army barracks with their Lego and spend hours together having fun (plus it takes up such little space!) 

6. Exploring new places. New adventures and finding places that we would be happy to return to.

7. Books. Our one essential item after food/water is books. Our boys love reading so where ever we travel to we find a second hand book store or go to the library. We really love the book stores where our boys can buy and return the books for another book! That way we are not storing them when they are finished reading.

Since we have downsized from a big house (four bedrooms and two bathrooms) we have realised what our boys do need for travelling, and we what we can live without. I am sure that if we wanted to travel with backpacks we could easily carry clothes, food, water and one book each…and still be happy.

We now get to watch our boys make their own fun.

Sticks become swords, wands, walking sticks, cubby houses and so much more. With imagination anything is possible.

Travelling with children is something that we would highly recommend to any family. Be it for long periods of time or short periods of time. Escaping from the world and exploring what is around us is vital for our boy’s development.
We no longer own a TV.

We do not own a Microwave.

We do not own a Wii, a Playstaion, or computer games.

We do own a DS but only after the boys have done their homeschooling are they allowed to play on it.

Since we began on our journey of moving into a more relaxed easy lifestyle we have meet many families online who are travelling and exploring with Motorhomes, Bikes, Caravans, Camper Trailers and Backpacking. They have all discovered what little things they need for their family that is essential for travelling.

We are still discovering what essential items we need – and I am sure that 12 months from now we will find out again how little we really need. Even in the six months since we have packed up our Motorhome to move from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast area, we have sorted out what is vital, and what we can live without.  
It’s a good feeling living with less clutter. 

Have you thought about what you could live without?

David and Lisa with four of their five boys now live and travel in their Motorhome. A motorhome that Lisa brought from eBay and had to tell hubby afterwards! To follow their journey please connect with New Life on the Road.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Travelling with kids in a motorhome

Have you ever wished you could toss it all in and drive around the country with the kids, schooling them as you go? One of our readers (and fellow blogger) Lisa Wood is doing just that. here, she shares her story and tips for following in her family's footsteps. 

If you were tell me that I would end up travelling and owning a Motorhome and living in one, I would have said that you were nuts!

But that was the old me….this is now our way of living and our lifestyle. When I say we, I mean David and I with four of our five boys.

Travelling in a Motorhome was not our dream – David’s dream was to travel around Australia in a Tent. My dream was the same but different. I love travelling to new places and seeing new things.

But not in a tent - as I am not a camping kind of girl….maybe Dave could cope with our four boys roughing it but not me!

One day in June 2010 our while lifestyle changed, as our dream become our reality! I brought a motorhome from eBay and then had to tell hubby afterwards. Now we love our way of living and couldn’t image our life any other way.

Travelling in a Motorhome means that we have our home with us, just it is on wheels. We can travel to places all over Australia and experience new adventures.

If we could do anything differently it would have to be travelling years ago. Imagine the life education our boys would have had if we had travelled a lot sooner?

How we survive in small spaces

Our Motorhome is only 9 metres long and does not have space for things that we do not really need. We have to be very careful with our storage, and make the most of every cupboard.

Dinner time is usually our crazy time. Still reckon that 5.00pm “Happy Time” happens with children even when they are not babies! We have a set of bunk beds and a queen size bed. Once David has made the Trailer we will have more beds for everyone as he wants to build bunk beds that come down from the walls.

Travelling in our Motorhome has taught us:-

· How to have more patience

· Enjoy our days when we are able to go out and about and explore new areas

· Love it when its sunny as we are not stuck in doors!

· Our boys are learning to share

· Learning to take what we only need – instead of filling up our Motorhome with stuff we don’t need

· Putting away anything and everything as there is a place for everything

· Saying Thank you for all that we have, and that is coming our way!

· To meet new people and new adventures with wonderment

· To go to bed when the sun is going down, and to wake when the sun is coming up

· To appreciate each other – we now get to spend quality time together

· Dream bigger – ever since we have been in our Motorhome we are dreaming bigger about the possibilities of what can happen for our family

Travelling Into the Wild Unknown

Each member of our family has a list of where they would like to travel to. My list is huge – from right up north to Weppa, to way down south where it rains/snows for winter! Our boys would love to have a snow fight, and then swim in the hot springs as well as drive for hours without seeing anything for miles!

The idea of our new way of living is to pack up and move across Australia for as long as we want, and to keep on going for many years. There is no set date of when we want to finish as we would like to travel and explore each area that we stop at. Taking time to explore the local areas, mix with the people in each town, and become part of the local community.

From cattle stations, to creeks, to sea, to country to cities – we would love to explore them all.

Without having to worry about how we are going to travel, without having to set up a tent in each town. Travelling in a Motorhome means that we can pack up and move on easily.

Is There Anything You Would Like To Know About Living In A Motorhome?

You can read more about David and Lisa's story at “New Life on the Road”….where they share their journey of selling everything and travelling with four of our five boys in our Motorhome!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Five reasons to camp with kids

I camped with my family as a child and it created some of the most special memories of my youth. It was no surprise, then, that I was keen to get Amber involved almost as soon as she was born. Twelve years later, she is as addicted as I. The benefits are endless:

1. Independence and responsibility

Camping gives kids the chance to stretch their boundaries, literally and figuratively. Most campsites are very safe so wandering around meeting other kids, hanging out on the playground and walking to the amenities block on their own enables them to gain a little independence they may not be able to experience at home. Packing their own bag, helping set up the tent, or learning how to build a campfire are all useful life skills, and ones most kids will cherish if you give them the chance.

2. Time away from electronics

I have a ‘tween’ and time at home is often spent dragging her away from her mobile phone, iPod, laptop or the TV. All this goes out of the window when we camp and I couldn’t be happier. Throw in a few good mates and the great outdoors and any potential addiction to electronics is forgotten. Of course, we did set down a few ground rules ages ago… and now the electronics stay in the car.

3. Bonding time

Let’s face it: It’s not just the kids who can be distracted with the phone and the laptop. So leave YOUR electronics at home too! Opt for old fashioned board games instead… we love our new game: Pentago but Pictionary and Mastermind are always great backups. Why not create scavenger hunts, go on hikes and toast a few marshmallows too? In our busy daily lives, it’s easy for time to just fly by. The older the kids get, the harder it becomes to schedule quality family time together. We recommend starting early!

4. Low cost holidays

Amber and I got back from a weekend at Borumba Deer Park on Monday. This amazing escape is only about an hour from home, yet a world away. For the month of February, owners Wendy and Col have decided kids stay free, so the entire weekend cost us $44 for two adults and one child. Now where can you get an entire weekend away for that kind of dosh? (Of course, you do have to have a tent!).

5. Good dirty (or clean) fun

Our world has become far too sanitized and planned, in my opinion. Camping offers families the ability to travel back in time to an era where kids fell in the mud, climbed trees and scuffed their knees. This weekend, the four ‘tween’ girls camping together with us spent almost every waking minute floating down the fast moving water and running back up! They created a cubby in the bushes and set up their own private tarp and camping area.

It doesn’t matter if you camp 10 minutes’ down the road, or a state away, the results are the same: Camping offers an escape from your normal schedules, a chance for kids to stretch their envelope and an opportunity to get to know the members of your family in a different way. With a little forethought, (and very little money), your next family escape awaits! Simply search for our favourite campsites near you at

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 top car travel games with kids

Planning a road trip this Easter? Avoiding squabbles in the back seat can be a mammoth job sometimes. With a few new games up your sleeve, the journey can be much more pleasant. For more great ideas, click here.

No Go
Before you leave home, pick three words that mustn't be said during the journey. Then try to trick each other into saying them in conversation. The person who notices a slip says “No Go” and gets a point.

License plate headlines
Using the letters on license plates as the start of words, and see who can make up the funniest headline! (For instance: KWQ might end up as Kids Welcome Queensland!) For younger kids, see who is the first to count to 10 using the numerals on license plates.

Mix and match stories
One person starts with the first sentence in a story, and the next contributes the second… the story continues until someone says “And they lived happily ever after”.

In my backpack
Like the old ‘grandma’s shopping list’
this memory game is all about listing things in your backpack. One family member starts with “In my backpack I have…”. The next person repeats the items mentioned by the person before them and adds one item on the end. The game continues round the group until someone forgets the order.

On my journey I saw…
Give each child a large piece of sketch paper, something hard to lean on and plenty of coloured pencils. (Pencils are less dangerous in the back seat than textas.) Write the name of the day’s starting location in the middle of the page then kids draw things they see along the way around that location. (Zoo, park, swings, church, lighthouse…)They can draw arrows between them if they like. This way they end up with a ‘time map’ of their journey. This is a great way to encourage kids to keep a journal and even works for those who can’t write.

There are plenty more travel ideas at Do you have other cool games to share? Post a comment to share with other families!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rainy day activities in SE Queensland with teens

Not long ago, my friend asked me whatever she should do with her teenager during the rainy Queensland summer. They had exhausted trips to the mall and were slowly going broke.

It's a problem many of you probably face: how to entertain your older kids without breaking the bank, and while keeping their online time down. (Yes, that's often the hard one!).

So, here are three of my favourites in Southeast Queensland:

Sunshine Coast:

East Coast Originals is held the first and third Sunday of each month at Peregian Beach just after the local market packs up shop, and in Nambour on the other Sundays. Kicking off around 1pm, bands travel from around the region for the priviledge of playing to this crowd. Music if varied, but always original and this is a place where families can take a picnic and spread out on the grass and teens will even be happy to be seen. Best of all it's free!

Kayak tour:

Departing from Boreen Point, Kanu Kapers leads kayak tours through the Noosa Everglades.  It is not necessary to have kayak experience and this tour is suitable for all ages except the very young. 

Gold Coast:

Push teens physical boundaries at Thunderbird Park in the Gold Coast hinterland. The high ropes course here is challenging and a great way to bond with older kids. Spend around three hours swinging and pulling yourselves along cables, sliding down flying foxes and balancing on high beams without touching foot on the ground.


Livewired at the Brisbane Powerhouse is a free comedy event. It will restart for 2012 on March 4 and takes place on Sundays from 6.30pm.  In the past, the crowd has been treated to gut wrenching laughs caused by Tripod, Josh Thomas and Stephen K Amos. One word of warning is that the content can be a little adult at times so this is more suited to older teens than younger ones. It's also on the night before school, so bear this in mind!

For more cool events with teens, and younger kids, don't forget to check out 

More to follow!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kids Welcome Ballarat and Great Ocean Road

Here's a photo memory of the second portion of our recent adventure to Victoria. This section covers Sovereign Hill, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road, including Apollo Bay, Port Campbell, Port Fairy, Portland, Loch Ard Gorge and the 12 Apostles. What an adventure we had, and highly recommend this trip for any family.

Over 100 new reviews of this area will be live on within the next couple of weeks so watch this space (and the slide show!).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brisbane to Melbourne

Well, we've been back almost a week, and the memories made on our trip to Victoria will last a lifetime...
Until we can travel again, here's a reminder of the first third of our trip from Brisbane to Melbourne via Wooli, Forster, Sydney, Lakes Entrance, Nowa Nowa, Phillip Island and Mornington Peninsular.