Dreaming of an epic Australian road trip, but can’t find the time to plan all the details? A travel agent can help.
By Alison Godfrey
Travel With Kidz TravelManagers don’t just book all-inclusive resorts and cruises. They can actually help you plan every kind of trip you could ever imagine. The more difficult the challenge, the better it is to go through a travel agent.
“You’re not only getting the booking service, but you’re getting all the inside knowledge,” says Pam Baas, one of the Travel with Kidz TravelManagers.
Based in Newcastle, NSW, Pam as recently completed a road trip from her home to Darwin and back with her husband Phil and three children Kayla, 9 Jade, 7 and Oliver 5.
The journey took them through outback NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory. In total, Pam says the trip cost close to $7000. She’s now using her experience to help other families keen on road tripping around Australia.
While it’s tempting to just throw the kids in the car and drive, the reality is that a trip like this takes a lot of planning. Pam says it helps to have parts of the trip booked in ahead to ensure you get accommodation and access to the best tours.
“If I was going to send people off to do a road trip, I would actually pre-book things for them and create organised, customised itineraries so they know where they’re going and where they’ve got to get to. This makes for a much more enjoyable trip without the need to make decisions along the way, or try and look things up when there is no wifi or phone signal”
That takes the pressure off families and gives them more of a chance to bond and to learn about the environment, science and culture along the way.
There’s plenty out there to explore, whether you go for a few weeks or a few months. Pam says the some of the highlights of her trip were Winton, Alice Springs and Uluru.
A trip to Winton is a trip back to the beginning of time. The area is known as “the dinosaur triangle which is between Winton, Hughendon and Richmond”.
“The Age of Dinosaurs holds the largest collection of bones, but Hughenden has one of the largest dinosaur museums.”
It’s also possible to stay on private properties – if you have the right contacts, such as a Travel With Kidz TravelManager Pam did with her family on a cattle station where the kids found petrified wood and learnt about the process of fossilisation.
“They said ‘Oh, that just looks like normal rock’ and I said, ‘well, no, like, that’s thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and thousands of years old’.
Uluru has several kinds of tours available – some are better for children than others. A travel agent can talk you through the differences so you get the most out of your visit. Pam’s family went on the Mahu Mahu cultural walk, a free activity run by rangers, which she would recommend to families with younger children.
“They show you rock paintings and utensils made out of wood, they used to use, Pam says. “The kids thought it was awesome. Then when we went to the sunset viewing, they climbed up and sat up on the top of the car, so, that was pretty cool.”
Road trips and holidays in general allow kids to see how other people live. Pam says it’s a good idea to build in activities to your trip where the kids can meet other children. In Alice Springs, she recommends and can arrange a visit to The School of the Air.
“The School of the Air has the largest per square kilometer range of students,” Pam says. “Our kids thought that was amazing. They learnt about how they used to communicate previously with the School of the Air being all over the telephone, through to now using technology and internet, they’re all face-to-face.”
Pam says her trip took nearly 12 months to plan. But if you call in an expert, you can have a lot of the hard work done for you.
If you want to create a memorable road trip with your family you can contact Pam at her Travel With Kids page here.