A sponsored post for Toyota Kluger
Given the amount of road trips we went on as kids, the idea and notion of a road trip sits in a warm and special place in my heart. We went on many throughout my childhood – whether it was up to a rented beach house up the coast for a few weeks with the car literally packed to the brim with stuff, my favourite to Expo ’88 with some family friends in our matching cars listening to Good morning Vietnam on loop and talking to each other through our CB radios or the long 3 or 4 week trip we did to Melbourne, across to Adelaide and up to the Birdsville Track. While all my siblings would usually sleep through the entire thing I used the time to work on my travel journals (not much has changed hey!) and read books, do find a words and keep Dad awake nattering away to him for hours at a time.
It’s no wonder that I have often tried to recreate the joy of my childhood now that I have my very own family. Romantic visions of eye spy and family sing offs never seem to translate into reality. This is more often the situation. And or picking stuff up from the floor 2345 times. Doing my back in as I have to hold onto someone’s leg or hand just so they can fall asleep. Putting out fires between the girls 345 times. Getting someone something to eat or drink, pick something off the floor again, change the music, give directions, of course keep up to date with social media, and then threaten to stop the car FOR THE 67th TIME.
Road trips are rarely what I remembered them to be.
Toyota recently asked Mrs Woog and myself to undergo a road trip in their new Kluger (we all know just how Mrs Woog feels about her Kluger). I was keen to take them up on the offer to test out their theory that all road trips have kids known as the Agents of Chaos and that the Kluger has kryptonite powers to defeat. We’re talking about Mighty Mouth (who constantly asks “are we there yet?”), Techzilla (who is only stable when connected to a device), Fidget Monster (who is unable to sit still), Double Trouble (the two that constantly fight) and Hurl Girl (a sufferer of car sickness)….the Kluger was apparently going to stop these well known problems on any given car trip in their tracks.
If anyone could, it was Kayte and I. We set Daisy and Jack to the task and off we went for an abridged version of a classic road trip down my neck of the woods.
As the parent/grown up on a road trip there are few things that are required:
1. A good nights sleep under your belt. Patience levels will be tested.
2. A comprehensive play list to cover off: the 80’s, power ballads, pump it up loud dancey stype stuff, quiet everybody calm down now stuff, old school 70’s road trip stuff. For all these categories I would advise:
- Paul Simon’s Graceland/Roxy Music
- Daft Punk/Sticky Fingers/Bey Bey
- John Williams classical guitar
- Christopher Cross/Hall & Oates
3. Snacks and beverages. These need to be divided up into kids and adults and you need to have a plaso bag on hand for getting rid of rubbish (yes I’m anal) so when you get to a servo you can get it all straight out and into the bin. Baby wipes are also essential for getting rid of slips and sticky hands.
4. Coffee, because: DER
5. Distractions – which can include books for reading (if your kids can cope with that) iPads loaded with games, movies, a list of good games to play: I’m talking old school eye spy to I went shopping etc etc.
6. A sense of humour. And hope. And strength. You will get there eventually.
We set off and quickly realised that this was going to be a breeze. Couple of reasons:
The kids were friends NOT siblings so they were happy to be in each others company. There was no need for punching each other, screaming about who was going into whose space. Who was annoying the other.
There was a DVD player and we had DVD’s.
Kayte and I are not married. We had stuff to talk about! Ask our husbands and you will know that if there is one thing we can do, it’s talk. And sing! In fact, we were escaping every day life so the whole thing was pleasant and very unlike a normal road trip I’d experienced. I would have to say that the test conditions were not fair – throw in an unfamiliar location, a map, a husband and wife and a couple more siblings under 2 and it would have been game ON.
There were, however, some fab things about the mighty Kluger that needed mentioning:
In the backseat there was a rubber mat thing unlike anything I had seen in a car before. GENIUS. Unlike a normal car mat that just collects that 5,688 crumbs that are in the back of my car at any given time, this covers the lot and could be peeled up and thrown outside and HOSED. Hands down best bit of the car.
This magical shelf. A perfect shelf that is designed for ALL OF THE THINGS. Maps. Phones. Devices. Books. I loved that shelf.
A car that starts by a button will always make me feel FANCY. It’s doesn’t take much.
As with boots that shut themselves ALL BY THEMSELVES. Kids: take note.
Space and light. I know it’s only a matter of time before we will have to get a car with an extra back seat option for friends. I liked being able to bring the seat up and down easily and having extra boot space if you don’t have extra kids.
These built in shades on the windows. How many times have my kids gone postal from the SUN COMING INTO MY EYES. And how many times have I sat at strange angles stopping it. These were GENIUS.
All round I’d call the trip a success! We got to have a catch up and sing along. We got to embarrass the kids, they got to hang out and I got a go of a brand spanking new car!
You can find out more about Kluger here.
Which of the anti-heroes do you have in your family?
What’s your recipe for a good road trip?