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Dads Carpool Karaoke

As I prepare for a 5 hour drive to our Christmas holiday destination I started to think about how we could make the journey a little more entertaining & fun.

This years holiday destination we have not been to before – we hired a caravan and purchased a tent for my daughter and her friend. Its looking to be a fun trip along the Murray River in Victoria. I’ve made a list and …yes checked it twice?

  • Extra tent pegs
  • Gas bottle filled
  • 2 decks of cards
  • Eski
  • Camp stove
  • Chargers
  • Torch
  • Beach Towels
  • etc etc

It got me thinking about the 5 hour drive, off the back of the YouTube sensation Carpool Karaoke, I put together some of the kids favorite songs and included some of mine too 🙂 The car trip will take on a whole new vibe.

  • Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas
  • Passenger – Let her go
  • Katy Perry – Roar
  • Katy Perry – California Gurls
  • Justin Bieber – Where are U now
  • Justin Bieber – Love yourself
  • Justine Bieber – Let me love you
  • Elton John – Your Song
  • Elton John – Candle in the wind
  • Eagles – Hotel California
  • Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  • Black Eyed Peas – I gotta feeling
  • Beyonce – Halo
  • Beyonce – All the single ladies
  • Bob Marley – No Women no Cry

Now that should keep us busy for a few kilometers 🙂 The trick will be getting the girls to sing along? I’m sure they will warm up when they see Dad ripping a tune! or not? It will be entertaining and worth the memory.

I copied the lyrics from a google site and put them into a word doc, gave it a logo and headline and  bounded enough copies for everyone in the car, so no one will miss out LOL

Useful car apps for family car trips

road trip appsSummertime in Australia means a few things: Sun, surf, fresh seafood, oh and the great Aussie road trip.

Nothing screams summer vacation like packing your entire family, the dog and virtually everything but the kitchen sink into the back of your family car (which you wish was a Jaguar F-Type Coupe ) to escape the inner city smog and take on the open road. Unfortunately out of all the possible family vacations, the euphoria of a road trip (especially with kids) wears off within an hour. Before all the high-tech gadgets became available, we just used to hope that the little ones would fall asleep in between games of I Spy, but now there are a plethora of games, portable DVD players, tablets and toys to keep them entertained as you make your way through the countryside. One of the great innovations that’s become a traveller’s best friend is apps. There’s an app for everything, and if you are road-tripping this summer, here are a few tried and tested apps to make your journey seamless.

Australian Road Trip

Hidden gems are only ever whispered around the local campfire and are often hard to discover unless you know a guy who knows a guy. The Australian Road Trip aims to uncover these roadside treasures through forty detailed itineraries from family drives along the coastline to epic 4WD adventures. Each classic road trip provided by this app gives a detailed descriptions and recommendations of the best places to eat, where to sleep, what to see and do and where to camp. Of course you don’t need to follow the itinerary this app sets out, you can also create your own road trip with the information on perfect picnic spots, rugged walking treks and national parks, best museums, vineyards, local shops, historic sites and activities for the whole family all at the touch of a button.

Road Trip Bingo

There’s only so many times a parent can stand the age old whine – are we there yet? Save your sanity with an app that gives a new twist on an old classic. Road Trip Bingo will cure any kind of back-seat blues with a range of games to keep then entertained for hours or at least give you a few minutes of peace. This game is ideal if you have two kids who can compete against each other; they’ll egg each other on as the scour the landscape for everything from white cars to slippery road signs, to animals and planes.


So the hotel you were supposed to be staying at is littered with bed bugs and the neighbours are partial to the odd domestic. It’s not the picture perfect location you had originally hoped for so the only logical solution is to salvage the rest of your holiday and look for another hotel. Luckily for you, the Wotif app will be able to give you discounted deals, recommendations and reviews on all participating hotels in the area.

Got a travel app you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.

My family travel experience as a sole parent

Surin BeachTravelling for me (as a sole parent) has been something that has provided an enormous amount of pleasure for my daughter and I.

We can now share memories and life experiences across a myriad of destinations.

Together we have travelled to Bali, Thailand, Fiji , Perth as well as many local destinations like Hamilton Island, Gold Coast and Angelsea on the west coast of Victoria.

All locations were great and offered something special in their own way.  I felt Bali was like a small friendly community; Fiji was good if you just want to relax and hangout by the hotel pool and Thailand (Phuket) had better roads, infrastructure and amenities and the people were so warm and friendly.

If I had to choose one (1) destination for a single parent I would recommend Phuket in Thailand.

Our holiday in Phuket…

It was Christmas time and I’d planned for 6 months, I had been told that you may find it difficult to find accommodation if you dont book early.

First things was to find flights and accommodation, I used it was so easy, in fact the easiest part of the holiday. You can read reviews and make your own mind up on accommodation, restaurants and attractions within the area.

Buskorn wing of holiday inn phuketI chose the Buskorn wing at the Holiday Inn Phuket and flew with Jetstar.  I purchased the inflight entertainment prior to boarding as if you don’t pre book you can miss out (it’s a long flight without a movie or two)


dad and daughter time togetherI may have over spent on the accommodation but there are no regrets…. it was an incredible time for a dad and daughter! Buskorn wing at The Holiday Inn is a private part of the hotel, simply divine, relaxing and pure luxury.  I felt like it was not just a holiday for my daughter but a treat for myself too.

thailand motorcycle hireWe hired a motorbike and searched for great spots such as Surin beach.  My daughter is a little bit of a fussy eater; I found that Phuket had many suitable styles of cuisine i.e Italian, Mexican, Indian, Western etc. 

It definitely made meal times easier, I only had to convince her that it was clean and the food was within the ‘use by date’ 🙂

After dinner we would walk along the shopping strip, buy an ice cream, find a lantern seller on the beach and let our lantern go into the night sky while holding hands and making a wish.

thailand foot massageAfter a well earned foot massage we would retire to the hotel around 11pm then wake up to do it all again.

We had a morning ritual of breakfast in the poolside restaurant then an hour or so by the pool before heading out and sightseeing around Thailand.

thailand feeding elephantsWe found fun things to do like elephant riding through the jungle and jet skiing at Surin beach.

Hiring a banana lounge on the beach under a shady umbrella is around $2.50 AUD per day.  Loving it so much we went back 3 days in a row!!! 

There was a surin beach market foodmarket at the entrance of the beach selling fresh fruit and cold drinks, which made healthy snacking easy.

Time went quickly, we had 10 wonderful days together.  Skype was set up on my phone and her mum’s so they could keep in touch each day.

The flight home was easy, we tried to sleep or relax the whole journey.  I made sure we had the required things to keep her busy or relaxed for 9 hours, i.e pillow, Jetstar Video player, IPad, colouring book and pencils.  The IPod with her favorite songs was a winner, she was able to stretch out across me and relax.  I cant wait to continue our adventures this year, we have a local trip in Victoria planned for the next school holidays…..

More to learn from Bali than just sitting by the pool

bali oprhanage main roomTravelling with my daughter  to a destination such as Bali has been wonderful to relax and spend quality time together away from the stresses of every day life. Although Bali has beautiful hotels and resorts that cater specifically for people who want to sit by the pool or find a tranquil spot on a day bed under a plam tree. There is also some important learning’s we can bring back from Bali to help educate children on how lucky and well off we are.

bali orphanage-kidsI planned our whole trip online. We wanted to both relax but I also wanted to show my daughter a safe but different side of life so we visited an orphanage in Denpasar.  At the orphanage the children were cared for well, it was clean and spacious.

They seemed happy with their home and everyone pitched in to prepare meals and they look after the younger children very well.

bali orphanage buildingThe building is 3 storey’s high but at some stage must have been abandoned because the building looks unfinished. They have built rooms inside, and designated areas for meals, kitchen, music, schooling, dorm bedrooms for boys and girls and prayer. My daughter and I gathered up all her clothes that didn’t fit her any more and packed them into a large suitcase and carried them over to donate to the orphanage.
bali orphanage childrenYou get to sign your donation into the guest book. I went back a year later and donated more clothes and saw that many people visited and signed the book after me. Mostly donations of money. I recommend you visit this Orphanage with your kids and see for yourself the good they are doing for these children.

The name and address of the Orphanage is: Dharma Jati II AddressJI. Trengguli 80 Penatih Denpasar, Bali. They will make you welcome and show you around.

Travelling with children: on a road trip

traveling with childrenAnyone with young children will know that whilst holidays are a fantastic opportunity to ‘get away from it all’ and spend quality time together.  Sometimes the stress of the journey to get there can make you question whether it’s worth all the effort!

Car journeys become arduous tasks filled with cries of ‘are we nearly there yet’ and numerous toilet stops, and travelling by public transport can be an embarrassing experience, particularly if your children take a liking (or dislike) any of your fellow passengers.

Here is a handy guide to keeping your little ones happy and content during the journey to and from your destination:


Taking the time to talk to your children about where you’re going before you set off is a great idea.  Explain to them in simple terms how long the journey is likely to take (for example, it’s a little bit further than grandpa’s house).  If they’re old enough, show them a map of where you’re going and talk about the journey, and some of the sights they’re likely to see during the journey.

In Car Entertainment

Children have a very short attention span so having a few interactive and interesting games up your sleeve to play during the journey is essential.  Traditional games like eye spy and the number plate game are still popular, but be creative!  Why not all take it turns to make up part of a story, or play a guessing game – the list is endless.

Alternatively, on-board DVD players and handheld games consoles offer a good way to keep little ones happy and content.  CD’s of your children’s favourite stories are also popular ways to keep both children, and parents calm and entertained.

Keep Refreshed

One of the most common complaints from children when travelling is that they are either hungry or thirsty.  Stopping at service stations to re-fuel can work out costly, and you will then often be limited to sugary snacks and drinks that wont help to keep your children calm!

Fill a box with healthy snacks, such as bread sticks, fruit, cheese and flapjacks, and pack several bottles of water or fruit juice.  These should keep the hunger pains at bay.

Be Flexible

When you have children, gone are the days of having a set agenda where you leave the house, and reach your destination at a set time.  Children have their own agenda, and with all the best will in the world you need to be flexible to deal with the unexpected – or allow yourself lots of extra time. 

Being flexible and prepared should take the stress out of dealing with emergency or unforeseen situations.  Organising your insurance through a reputable and helpful company like Expedia means you’ll be covered should the unexpected happen.