In an earlier post (Aussies urged to make a road trip pledge), the #RoadTripPledge is an Australian regeneration promise, created by online holiday house rental website Stayz in support of regional towns and families impacted by the Summer bushfires and then Covid-19 travel bans. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Leading Child/Family Psychologist shares his guide to getting back on the road.
Be compassionate to your state of mind
Getting back on the road for some families might seem like an easy and much welcomed task after so much time in isolation together. But, for some families, it might feel overwhelming and daunting after being contained at home for several months. Either feeling is normal and healthy.
Follow the current state by state safety and restrictions
Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers, it’s the first thoughtful step you can take with your family in preparing for travel. Being completely aware of what you are doing and the confines of which you can do those things in sets a great example to your community and kids.
Take a positive action like the #RoadTripPledge
Include your children (if old enough) in the decision-making process, to feel more engaged and valued, which can lead to a more rewarding experience for the entire family. With this you can gently and sensitively explain to your kids the impact of issues like bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions on regional towns creates understanding and empathy for what is happening outside of your own family situation. Explain how different families live, how many towns rely directly on visitors and tourism to pay their bills and what the recent impact may have been for some.
This is positive for setting context on why caring about others outside of our own circle, is so important. Making a pledge as a family is a great action to take and offers a space for creating unity and alignment.
Search for the perfect family home
There are thousands of Stayz properties that have been directly or indirectly affected by the bushfires to choose, from that your family can positively impact just by booking a regional stay. The home selection process can be both creative and fun to do as a family. Working out the destination, house requirements, dates and budgets and agreeing that they all need to work together to create the perfect road trip solution.
Plan the drive
We all fear on family road trips, the chanting cry of “are we there yet”. In the planning stages, think about towns you are visiting and the stops along the way, scenic places, places to eat (country pubs or those delicious bakeries). More importantly, the road trip playlist – either for the whole family or have the kids use their own mobile devices and headphones. Perfect for watching movies and listening to tunes.
Disconnect to reconnect
When we get stuck in routine behaviour there’s not much space for growth or change; holidays give us the opportunity to let that go for a second in time. Watching each other laugh, be silly and playful can transport us out of the roles we assume and break the status quo of those relationships. Kids also love listening to their parents’ stories (unless you got teenagrs rebelling), so take the opportunity to explore storytelling about things they might not know whilst you are away and have the headspace to really lean into the art of story.
Tell stories about holidays you took at their age, what you did as a child and any special memories you may not have had the energy to recall in day to day life. Kids respond positively knowing they are the priority in your day, so take a rare minute to turn off your phone and or any screen technology whilst you’re away on family leave. Even if it’s just for the weekend, this can change the dynamic of being truly present with your family.
Here are a few suggested Stayz to think about:
A stunning, newly renovated house with a sumptuous luxury feel. This versatile home was created with beautiful shared spaces in mind, including the huge deck with built-in daybeds overlooking the pool. Byron Bay, NSW
Set among permaculture gardens on a 160-acre working farm, this space is a converted machinery shed that has been creatively transformed. Now an unforgettable eco-haven, the three-bedroom house features gorgeous layers of reclaimed and recycled materials. Kangaroo Valley, NSW
This luxurious family home is nestled between the ocean and Noosa National Park. The house is set over two levels with the kitchen, lounge and dining all opening out to a swimming pool and tennis court. Noosa, QLD
The Artists’ Treehouse
Situated in the heart of Port Douglas, this four-bedroom townhouse offers spacious and laid-back vibes. The place is decorated with eclectic and stylish furnishings complemented by collections from renowned artists. Port Douglas, QLD
Breathtaking five-star luxury shipping container villa cantilevered over a ravine. Experience an oasis of luxury with sheer-glass floors, an infinity daybed, a Tasmanian wood bath and gorgeous fireplace. Daylesford, VIC
This sleek four-bedroom home offers breathtaking views of the ocean and coastline. Experience the ultimate in luxury with floor-to-ceiling, ocean-facing glass windows, a state-of-the-art kitchen and gas log fire. Wye River, VIC
A private wilderness retreat awaits you on the waterfront amongst the treetops. This bespoke designer apartment boasts an expansive deck, fire pit, sauna and timber hot tub. Bruny Island, TAS
Quarry Hill Lookout
This large pet-friendly home overlooks the pristine waters of Port Esperance Bay and is located a short stroll from the beach, restaurants and town. The large glass windows take advantage of the picture-perfect views from wherever you may be. Huon Valley, TAS
Built in 1896, this five-star getaway epitomises rustic charm with a modern edge. Situated within two acres of picturesque country garden, the historic creamery offers the perfect hills retreat for up to eight people. Blakiston, SA
Bed in a Shed
Offering the perfect escape to the country, this cosy space has been designed using interesting recycled materials in a modern context. Soak in the gorgeous vineyard views across the stunning property from your bed. Clare Valley, SA
Toodyay Art Shack
The Shack brings together years of experience in art and design to reveal an eccentric retreat. It’s a contemporary building with a tent-inspired roof and doors that slide away creating rooms that can become part of the landscape. Lower Chittering, WA
The Carriage is a beautifully decorated train that has been lovingly restored with the highest attention to detail. Its new layout comprises of an open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area featuring a restored 19th-century fireplace. Mundaring, WA