We are by no means the hardcore full time overlanding family. We live and work in Cape Town and have our own business. So our holidays have been windows into this amazing continent we live in. We decided when the kids were little that overseas holidays were just too costly from South Africa and to rather explore what is literally on our back doorstep. In order to do so, vast distances have to be covered. We took some French students to Namibia with us two years ago and they could not get over the huge distances we needed to drive.
I used to hate car trips! The quicker we got somewhere the better and heaven forbid we had to stop. My husband and I used to see how quickly we could do these stops but that had to change when we had kids. Doesn’t matter how you prepare, a trip always takes a million times longer with children. The one needs to wee, you stop to do so and then just as you get going typically the next one suddenly needs to wee. Doesn’t matter that you specifically asked them and they categorically said they didn’t need to! So when we invested into our overland trailer with these long trips in mind as a family, I had to change my mindset. The journey had to become part of the holiday. Stopping for tea alongside the road or a wee break with a 20minute play all became a part of the holiday. So when heading off on those road journeys with children, give yourself extra time on the trip. Reduce the distance and if necessary make it in stages instead of pushing it. Suddenly it won’t be so stressful anymore as you are not chasing such a tight deadline. When you are relaxed, your kids are relaxed which makes for a much more pleasant time.
On these trips we go with our Toyota Fortuner D4D 4×4 and our Mission Trailer. The trailer makes travelling with kids so easy, as we can pull over anywhere for lunch and not have to unpack half the car to access the kettle. There have been many late campsite arrivals where I have been able to immediately start cooking and am done by the time everyone else has just finished setting up as our kitchen is immediately available off the side of the trailer. Also, when we are in spot, we can setup and then go off with the car to game watch and not have to pack everything up. The draw back with the trailer in very remote places on bad roads is that unless you are a champion reverser (like my husband), you can get into some very tight and hairy situations. It is also heavy and hard work on those very sandy roads, like in Botswana, and travelling with a second vehicle and a snatch strap is a necessity.
My husband, Simon, has threatened often to sell it but I refuse. As a mum, it makes my life so easy. Also, we are invited along on many trips because of our useful kitchen accessibility and the extra storage which means we can carry that extra drink to watch the African sun go down. Cheers!
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