Road trip without smartphones and iPads

This is a long awaited post. I have been so busy this quarter of the year that I haven’t been able to finish off this post which I started in January.

As with previous years, the Christmas season is a time for us to catch up with friends and family across the causeway.  Every year, like migratory birds, we make the long drive back to Penang. That’s 711 km for the uninitiated. Last year, we attempted a straight drive and we did it without too much trauma and well enough to attempt it again this year. Last year B was 6, this year 7 years old. She sits in her car seat (yes, I invested in a good German made one, precisely for this kind of journey) throughout the journey. We made 3 stops – 4 stops – 3 toilet breaks and 1 for lunch. The whole journey took us 12 hours. There were no smartphones or tablets used in the journey. Of course, the reality is that it does take a bit more effort to keep a child happy and entertained without the electronic entertainment but call me nostalgic, I remember those days when we would take a family trip down to Ipoh or KL and we kids would be plenty entertained by the excitement of just going for a holiday. There was also the thrill of being in air conditioned space for a good 4 to 5 hours (those were the days where the North South highway was non existent) and also we were not allowed to request for any change in the temperature (my father loved setting it as sub-zero temperature) and neither were we allowed to play with the window button (my father firmly believed that too much use would result in unnecessary repair costs), so perhaps the cold did help to numb the boredom of the journey!

So what does B do for entertainment?

  1. Daddy-tainment – See, this is why I think I have the easier job – driving. Hubs has to play UNO, I Spy, thumb wrestle for certain stretches
  2. When Daddy-tainment goes into sleep mode – she sometimes sleeps or plays with the snakey  twisty cube, simply looks out of the window and we chat about the scenery – rubber tree, palm oil tree, limestone hills
  3. Food – it’s good to have finger food that takes time to eat like the kachang putih or small chunks of corn cob where she will twist each kernel off to munch.
  4. Music – we have a whole load of her favourite music where she can just sing along. When she was younger, that children’s songs CD would have played at least 5 times on loop by the time we ended the journey. Thank goodness she now likes Abba and Peter, Paul & Mary.

In future, I am thinking of adding some audio books to the repertoire.



2 Responses to “Road trip without smartphones and iPads”

  1. We also play “10 questions” – say if the category is animals, then someone thinks of an animal and the rest have to guess asking only 10 questions or less, answers can only be “yes” or “no”. Another is guessing the distance to the next city e.g. Ipoh 114km, etc. The signboards along the highway are placed near enough to make the game quite exciting. The winner gets to eat a Pringle 😉

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