Our tips for romance on the road
WORDS & images Mandy Farabegoli
This has to be one of the most important questions for parents travelling with young’uns, and one that I’m sure many of you want to know the answer to. You are now all living under really close quarters but you obviously still need a bit of ‘alone’ time. So how do you manage to … ‘engage’, and keep your romance alive?
When you are on the road with the kids, those intimate moments can be more of a challenge but they certainly aren’t impossible. You just have to be a bit more creative and a bit less impulsive. You don’t want a bit of ‘roadmancing’ to traumatise the children into thinking that an earthquake is occurring (I speak from personal experience) – it brought whole new meaning to the expression ‘Did the earth move for you?’!
So, what can you do? It really all depends on how old your children are. Luckily for us, ours were young and did not put two and two together (which is of course what we were trying to do). If they are young enough, then normally after a day full of outdoor activities they fall soundly asleep pretty quickly and you can make hay while the moon shines.
Just ensure that as well as a good suspension, you have secured most things in the van or camper as well as the chains on the drawbar – things that are loose may get into a noisy rhythm. Don’t forget to secure any zips that may clink as these sounds may be more likely to wake the kids than the actual rocking.
If you have aircon or heaters in your van, then often they are not as whisper-quiet as those at home, so the background noise from these can help drown out any involuntary sounds. I suggest that you make the most of windy nights, and coughing during the ‘finale’ will help cover any other noises that may disturb the kids.
Like most things on the road, you have to be adaptable and flexible – not in that way (although…) – and make the most of your opportunities. If you are normally nocturnal romancers, then you may need to switch up your schedule while you’re on the road.
Setting up a small tent next to your trailer can be handy. You then have a little area for the children, where they can watch a video or do an art project. Don’t forget to mention that they must knock on the door to ‘wake you’ from your rest before heading in. If the kids are a bit older, sleeping in the tent can be exciting and a bit of independence for them too, which in turn gives you some of yours back.
If your kids are old enough and make friends who they want to hang out with for a while, then take advantage of this time. You can always just be honest and say, “You might want to be at least an hour before you return as otherwise you may hear or see something you’ll wish you hadn’t.” (An hour?!) It would, of course, gross them out,
but you bet your life they would stay away.
If you are the adventurous type, then you’ll have the outside opportunities covered anyway – if not, then there’s no better time to start! Australia is a big country, so when travelling around you will no doubt find ample opportunities in the great outdoors. Just watch out for those ticks – trust me, we found that out the hard way!
Don’t forget the caravanners’ chant: ‘When the van is a-rocking, don’t come a-knocking’! As long as the kids are blissfully unaware, then most other folk, if they see it rocking, will be rooting for you.