Enjoying Australia With Your Children
Australia has to be one of the best places in the world for taking kids on holiday. The number of places you can take them is overwhelming, and the Australian people have an accommodating and easy way with kids that translates well through their tourist resources. Most places you stay in will have facilities especially for kids, and parents are able to feel relaxed and safe in the tourist regions. Something about Australia and its traditions really appeals to the imagination of a child as well- the cowboy hats, the kangaroos, the painted Aboriginal warriors- its like their own little fantasy world. And with each state having its own set of unique attractions that children will love, you cant go wrong with choosing to stay in Australia for your family holiday.

A holiday with the kids is not just about a bit of rest and recreation, its also a chance to have some special bonding time with them that we dont get enough of in our day to day lives. Its also an educational experience- learning should not be limited to the classroom, and young impressionable minds are like a sponge, taking in everything around them. If whats around them is new and fresh and exciting, it will stick in their minds forever and have a profound influence on their development. So look at holidays as an investment in your childrens future... you'll feel much better about spending all that money!

Deciding where to take your kids can be a little tricky, there is so much on offer here. Beaches are always a winner, and we've got enough of those in this country- just pick your coastline. Always remember to keep an eye on currents and rips, and only swim between the flags. Find out the jellyfish situation too- for instance in North Queeensland there is the seasonal threat of the Irukandji jellyfish which prevents swimming during the summer. Kids love to be active, so while you may be keen on working on that tan, sunbasking is not really up their alley. Beach games are always a hit, so remember the cricket set and the football!

Australian wildlife in all its weird forms is always going to amuse children. There is no childhood experience that can quite match holding a kangaroo, so be sure to get all the photographic evidence of this special time. In all cities and regional centres across Australia you will find wildlife sanctuaries and conservatoriums where you can get up close with kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras and the like, and take advantage of the informative guides that can show you around the enclosures.

In terms of accommodation, different places cater to kids in varying levels. Most families on holiday are normally on a strict budget, so the best options would be staying in hostels. These normally turn a blind eye to kids running amuck, and cater towards them with games such as ping pong or arcade games. Caravan parks are normally just as tolerant of kids, who love the wide open spaces in them. They usually have swimming pools, which are an absolute blessing in the summer months. The more expensive hotels will have care places for your kids and often organise family activities, but for most families these are a bit pricey.

When driving with kids, the general rule is to keep the driving to a minimum as the younger ones especially get cranky on long trips. However, dont stay away from driving completely- it can be done and it can be quite fun. Dont feed them too much sugar as this just makes them hyper and they will never get to sleep, so swap the sweets for savoury. Remember whos boss as well- its all too easy to cave into their demands when the whingeing becomes a bit too much, but this sets a precedent that they will continue to hammer at. Let it be known from the beginning that your rules are THE rules! Above all, the best way to endure a car journey with kids is to make it fun. Bring plenty of toys along, and have plenty of travel games in mind. Keep it safe and stop them from distracting the driver, and before you know it you will be at your destination.

A holiday survival pack is always a good idea, filled with medication, band aids, extra food and drinks to prevent a trip turning sour. Remember too that the kids are excited about this whole adventure, its a huge deal so let their excitement flow freely. Lay the rules out but dont let there be too many rules is what I am saying. A good idea is to include the kids in the decision making process- this will help them feel a part of the holiday, and they will take a more active interest in where you are going and what you are doing. So get them involved- it will help towards the family bonding as well. Having a good time with your kids is the most important factor of your holiday, so prioritise for that before anything else!

Gavin Wyatt