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Family Road Trips – The sweetest of all childhood memories

Mum & Dad

One of our friends has departed on a big road-trip adventure with her hubbie and two little ones this morning. They have packed up their camper and making their way from Queensland over to Western Australia. Taking around 5 weeks, they are sure to have so many special memories to share with us when they get home – and no doubt their two children, although still quite young, will have happy memories of this special time with their mum and dad (all 4,685 kilometers of it!).

Camping Travel Road Trips

The VW Camper Van – what a classic! Image via The Telegraph (UK) – Travel

It certainly brings back some happy for memories for me thinking about similar traveling we did as a family when my sisters and I were young – back in the 80s!

My parents were really good like that – although they certainly didn’t have money growing on trees, they worked so hard in their small businesses that when they could afford to step away from the grind for a couple of weeks we’d load up the car and have a road-tripping camping adventure – which usually involved chasing the sun to Queensland.

Can you believe you used to be able to camp at Noosa’s main beach – right at the end of Hastings Street? This was just one of the special spots our parents found and from the icy cold winters of Melbourne we’d arrived from it was truly paradise.  It was therefore no surprise that Mum and Dad relocated our family to the Sunshine Coast in the 1990’s (if only they had bought some beachfront real estate back during those camping trips – Hindsight worth a few million dollars is a biatch!….).

Anna McGregor - Tea Tree Bay, Nooa Sunshine Coast

Tea Tree Bay in Noosa’s National Park is one of my favourite spots in the world (image by Anna McGregor)

Apart from the beautiful locations and the friendly people we met, one strong memory I have of our road trips was the endless work by our Mum. She would have 30 things at her feet for our trip – snacks, road maps, lunches, a thermos, cassette tapes, first aid kit, water… the list goes on. No matter what we needed she would somehow produce it – or at least provide a close substitute.

She was the Mary Poppins of road trips.

She would control the rationing of snacks throughout the day and with her superb map- reading skills, plan the perfect stop to have lunch (timed exactly when she knew we’d be starting to get restless with hunger, and sisterly assaults would otherwise start).

She also had this knack of producing a packet of lollies to share when we assumed (from our cheeky searching) that she had forgotten to pack any (we didn’t really have lollies as kids – just for holidays and special occasions so we always looked forward to this part of our holidays!).

She would be the DJ for the trip and with a limited selection of cassettes to choose from, a strong connection to John Lennon’s music resulted as it was played over and over – When I occasionally listen to him today I get a warm sense of familiarity and find it funny how I seem to know all of the lyrics. I’m so thankful we got Lennon – my partner said for his family’s road trips it was all John Denver. Sheesh.

As an adult looking back, Mum really did an amazing job of coordinating the trip and the tempers of her young daughters, and along with dad, made for some really happy family times that I hope to re-create for my own family in the future.

Mum & Dad

Mum & Dad – they will always have the travel bug both for Australia & overseas adventures

How about you? Did you have family road trips that became one of your sweetest childhood memories?

And how about now with your own family?  What special holiday memories are you trying to develop for your own children?

~ anna


    • STOP IT!!! Really?! Wowsas thanks so much Katrina – it’s much needed for our little (but precious) business. So generous of you and we can’t wait to get started.

  • Hi there…What a fabulous story. I too, as a child went on numerous “road trips” around my homestate of Tasmania. With limited area, we didn’t get too far, but always far enough away to feel like we were on an unknown adventure!!
    My husband and I, with our 6 year old son brought a Motorhome 3 years ago, sold off everything and filled numerous storage facitilites and took off on an unforgettable adventure for 12 months around Australia. We had a lot of negative response and were told we were being “too spontaneous”….but we LOVED IT!!! It was the best time together and it makes you realise all the “stuff” we live with, that we don’t need.
    I would recommend any type of roadtrip to anyone…..its a great way to get to know your family again!!! Happy Travelling !! 🙂

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