8 travel items to make your family road trip better + giveaway

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This post is part of our involvement with American Express for the Membership Rewards program. We have organised an amazing giveaway for you as part of it too i.e. $740 ( equivalent to 100,000 Membership Rewards points), to spend for yourself.

I was delighted to discover almost all the travel items that have made our travel life easier could be found on DavidJones.com.au so was a perfect match for our list of travel items that have made our road trip better.

Travelling with kids is a vastly different experience to when I was a backpacker, not just because I can’t party to the wee hours of the morning, or go from Africa to Antarctica the next day just because someone said how amazing it was to swim with the penguins.

Can you even do that?

One of the biggest differences with travelling with kids is the number of extra things you have to pack #LuggageExplosion.

I don’t even know how I used to cart my life around in a 20 litre backpack. Now it can barely fit into a 6 x 3 metre camper trailer.

The travel items that have made our road trip better might seem a little unusual, and not the sort of things you’d normally consider packing, but they have saved my sanity on several occasions and helped me feel a little normal amongst a very abnormal life.

Let’s face it, you already know you need to pack a suitcase and some bed sheets, but these are a few items you may not have considered as giving you a little more comfort after a day of bouncing around on those corrugated dusty Outback roads.

Let me explain more about Shop with Points

American Express has partnered with David Jones to bring Card Members a whole new way to shop.

You can now use your reward points to buy your favourite items online at David Jones.

By using your Card to shop online at David Jones, you can choose to pay for your entire purchase using Membership Rewards points, or use a combination of Points + Pay. We’ll be checking this out more to help furnish in a few weeks time when we settle in a home (that will be bigger than a 6 x 3 metre campervan).

I found the David Jones website easy to use the majority of the time. Sometimes certain products I was looking for disappeared from the category menu. Or they weren’t in the category menus, but when I used the search bar they appeared. Use the search bar and you should be able to find what you need.

Finding the points value for the products was easy enough. It’s just a matter of scrolling down to the Shop with Points drop down menu.

On a few occasions I needed to select the colour or the size of the product before the points value was shown but otherwise it’s pretty simple to find.

At the end after you add things to your basket you can choose to pay with your Membership Rewards points or use a combination of points and pay.

family road trip

1. Mini Micro Scooter

micro mini scooter (800 x 450)

The son of new friends we made on this road trip had a Mini Micro scooter and Savannah kept sneaking rides on it. It was her first time on a scooter and she learned how to ride it so quickly.

We later bought her a cheap scooter from Target and she could barely get it to move. We decided to buy her a Mini Micro for her birthday and it was the best investment ever!

She LOVES it and it’s amazing how fast she gets around on it.

The Mini Micro has helped us embrace longer walks again as a family. We bring her scooter so she can zip around on that instead of begging to be carried. They’re small and easy to fit in your car too.

mini micro scooter

Mini Micro Scooter17,415 points or $129

2. High Speed Blender

Without a doubt, the high speed blender is the best thing we’ve packed for our road trip. They’re heavy and expensive, but so worth it.

Health is priority for me, especially travelling with a need for gluten-free food. Having this blender means I can start my day with a green smoothie and make all sorts of goodies like raw caramel slice, chocolate balls and carrot soup.

I never want to travel without one again.

We use a Blendtec, but if I did it again, I think I would choose a Vitamix. (or I’m even considering a Thermomix.)


Vitamix High Speed Blender202,365 points or $1, 499.

3. Cold press juicer

A juicer matches perfectly with a high speed blender.

We have smoothies for breakfast and juices for lunch or a pick me up snack. It can be hard to get the nutrition you need when travelling; a slow press juicer makes ensures pure nutrients are soaking immediately into your blood.

I can’t get Savannah to drink them (that’s a whole other story) but Kalyra slurps them up, even the green ones.

Don’t forget to visit the local farmer’s markets to stock up on the fresh produce!

Slow press juicer

Kuvings whole Slow juicer: 84,915 points or $629

4. Packing cubes

I’m a terrible packer and organiser. I just throw stuff in and when I need to find something, my suitcase erupts and I get frustrated and cranky. Packing cells have saved my suitcase hell.

I have a cell for skirts/shorts, dresses, tops and underwear. I have them for the kids also. If I planned it better, I would have colour matched them to the different clothes styles as I often have to open each cell to find out what’s in there.

Green bag

Packing cubes 3 pc set: 6,743 points or  $49.95

5. Samsung Galaxy

A tablet is a lifesaver for travel with kids.

It gives them time to watch movies and play educational games and helps give us time out when we need it. It’s also been very helpful for Kalyra’s schoolwork and she loves to film her own videos and take photos on it.

We recently added an iPad into the mix to stop them fighting over it. But, I’m not an Apple fan at all so much prefer the Samsung Galaxy.

Samsumg galaxy notebook

Samsung Galaxy 10: 80,865 points or $599

6. Ugg boots

My UGGies have been the best!!

They saved me during our time in Tasmania and Victoria when it was cold, despite being summer. I can’t tell you how much I love wearing them. Yes! I’m a true bogan and wear them out during the day as well. They were also a lifesaver on our recent trip to the White House!

David Jones don’t stock the brand UGG boots, but here is an alternative.

Emu sheepskin boot

Emu Sheepskin boot: 24,293 points or $179.95

7. Heater and Fan

It didn’t take us long before we realised we needed some heating in the van of a night.

Since travelling the Top End we haven’t had to use it much, but it was a lifesaver on those freezing early mornings in some places. There’s nothing like getting out of a bed to a toasty warm camper trailer.

In some places in Australia a fan is completely useless. There’s just nothing you can do to cool down that intense heat! But, it’s better than sitting in hot, stagnant air. The fan has offered us a lot of relief.

Ceramic fan and heater

Sunbeam ceramic fan heater: 10,118 points or $74.95

8. Nespresso Coffee machine

Now, we didn’t actually have a coffee machine on our road trip, but if I did the trip again I would definitely pack one.

Friends of ours had a Nespresso machine and they saved a ton of money making their own coffee each morning. They often made one for us too!

We are addicted to cappuccinos and have one almost every day. Ouch. In Australia, that’s a lot of money wasted on coffee. If you have the same addiction, find room for a good coffee machine on your road trip list.

I’d prefer a proper espresso machine, but I think for a road trip they are too big and expensive. (or buy one and then sell coffee to everyone in the camp ground and make your money back!)

Coffee machine

Breville Nespresso: 45, 765 points or $339

[stripe text=”Shop with Points giveaway”]

David Jones and Amex giveaway

Woop Woop. Time for one of you to go on a shopping spree at DavidJones.com.au

We’ve got $740 to give away, equivalent to 100,000 Membership Rewards points, to use online at David Jones.

How to enter:

  1. Have a browse on the DavidJones.com.au for an item you’d love to have on your next adventure.
  2. Check out how many Membership Rewards points your must-have items costs. To find the Membership Rewards points value of each product, simply select the item you want at davidjones.com.au, go to product page and scroll down to the “Shop with Points” dropdown menu. If you’re buying an item that gives you a choice of colour or size, you’ll have to choose those options first. Go ahead and explore
  3. Simply tell us in the comments:

If you had 100,000 Membership Rewards points to use online at David Jones, what would you love to get for your next travel adventure, and why you think it would make it better? Be sure to include the items’ cost in Membership Rewards points!

I’m looking forward to learning some great ideas from you for some must have travel items!

Terms and Conditions

  • Giveaway closes March 29 2015 at 11:59pm AEST
  • The winner will receive a promo code with the value of $740.74 to spend online at davidjones.com.au
  • The winner will be contacted by email so please be sure to include it in your comment
  • Winner’s promo code is available to use until 15 July 2015
  • Only open to Australian residents aged 18 years and older
  • Only American Express Primary Card Members enrolled in the Membership Rewards program are eligible to enter, including the David Jones American Express and David Jones American Express Platinum Cards
  • Excludes the David Jones Storecard, David Jones American Express Card Members enrolled in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Qantas American Express Cards, Velocity American Express Cards, Low Rate Card, Bank Issued American Express Cards and all Supplementary Card Members.
  • Winner will be judged by a third party based upon originality and creativity

This content was created as part of my involvement with American Express for the Membership Rewards program.

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39 thoughts on “8 travel items to make your family road trip better + giveaway”

  1. Hi Caz and Craig! Can’t believe your journey is almost over. I will be in touch soon anyway, but I couldn’t resist this competition. (and I rarely enter comps!)

    I completely agreed with your list, and I think the things I would choose from http://www.davidjones.com.au are so similar – top of the list would be Kuvings whole Slow juicer: 84,915 points or $629 so I could buy roadside and local market produce everywhere we went and get lots of nutrients into us…my kids and husband are very loyal to my ‘interesting’ juice combinations. Another buy would be YogiToes non slip towel 12,143 points or $89.99 to use with my new Yoga OKU mat 8,093 points or 59.95, so I could keep up my practice and absorb the sweat from Aussie summers!

  2. Ariane Campanilla

    For 100,000 Membership Rewards Points, I’d love to have the following:

    Lonely Planet – Africa 6749
    Lonely Planet – Myanmar 5129
    Lonely Planet – Nepal 5399
    Lonely Planet – Mexico 5399
    Lonely Planet – Florence and Tuscany 4994
    Lonely Planet – Perth and West Coast Australia 4724
    Lonely Planet – Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef 4724
    The Thing About Prague 4049
    Korjo Digital Luggage Scale 6743
    Michael Kors Lexington Watch 51165

    Items 1-7 are essentials in planning how to tick off a whole heap of destinations from my Must-go-to list. Item 8 is a great plane read and is about my single most favourite city in the face of the planet. Item 9 is an absolute life-saver, especially if I end up buying more books in the course of my travels. Lastly, Item 10 is my talisman — something fancy when I need to dress up and something actually functional and useful.

  3. A Gopro Hero4 would be a great addition to capture memories while we’re travelling through Far Nth Queensland for 3 months with our three children later this year. Points 73,980

  4. Hi Caz and Craig,
    This competition couldn’t come at a better time. I have just booked a holiday to the Philippines, with Cebu Air (they had an amazing special). Alas, the budget airline does not have in-flight entertainment.
    So what I dearly need is an Apple iPad mini (83,430 or 104,895 points) to make the 9 hour flight each way more entertaining.
    (Although, having said that, I could spend 100,000 points on books instead…. but that wouldn’t leave much room in my bag for bikinis now would it.)
    Lyndal Pontello

  5. Travelling with kids needs a lot of planning and sorting out. It’s almost like carrying a house all over again whereever you go. But i like the experience.

  6. Ooh, i think my list would be so much like yours.. I have never thought of those nespresso machines because of the wastage, but i think thats a great point of it being compact and saving a heap of cash so I would go Breville Nespresso: 45, 765 points or $339. Two Thermos 470ml Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug $44.95 6,068 each, because what parent gets to drink their coffee hot.. I like the Moleskine Passions Journal – Travel $39.95 5,393. The Stretch Lights ( 2 Pack ) $19.95 2,693 look handy. and for the kids two Mini Micro Scooter: 17,415 points or $129

  7. I would definitely buy a Canon 700D for 175,230 points. I had a Canon S95 before my current camera and it is only now that I no longer have it that I appreciate the clarity of the shots it took and the beautiful colours. The 700D is my dream camera because it is a Canon and my husband’s good but old (it’s been dropped one too many times) Nikon is wearing out. We both share photographic duties for the blog but I (let) him carry the heavier camera. I’m thoughtful like that, lol.

  8. I’d spend my 100,000 points on a Toshiba Satellite L50d-B018/19 worth 94,365 points, so I could use it to stay in contact with my loved ones at home or rather upload fantastic photos of my trip taken with my Sony W810 Digital Camera (worth 19,980 points) to make them jealous; cos that’s how you tell you had an amazing holiday. And at the same time I’d have something to look up information about my destinations so I don’t seem like such a tourist as I sip down a cocktail by the pool with my new Ray Bans RB 2140 (worth 28,343 points).

  9. Hi Caz,

    If I had 100,000 Membership Rewards points to use online at David Jones, I would love to get the Samsonite Luggage (Duranxt Lite 55cm Upright – 36,315
    Membership Rewards points, or $269) for my next travel adventure.

    The reason I think it would make my travel adventure better because this Samsonite Duranxt is everything you need to handle your clothes, personal items, event your laptop, or camera, etc. for a short trip like 3, 4 days. This is coupled with multiple pockets, expandability and piggyback straps all wrapped up in a light and durable package as well as 360 degree multi-directional wheels.

    And if you travel for a long trip, this Samsonite Duranxt is also a perfect company with your big luggages. With its dimensions as 55 x 36 x 24 cm and only weight 2.6 kg, this is an ideal one for a cabin luggage which saves you from a lot of trouble when you are on the plane.

    On the other hand, this Samsonite Duranxt also comes with 10 years warranty which gives you the confidence and ease when using it. So this is my best suggestion when you go shopping for your next travel adventure, especially when you haven’t had any good luggage yet.

    All the best for all your trips.


    Vu Lam Cao
    ([email protected])

  10. jodie summerhill

    I would like 2 herrington goose feather and down quilts and pillows for my children 47115 points each, would keep them warm during the coming winter

  11. ingrid robertson

    If I had 100,000 points to use at http://www.davidjones.com.au I’d go the trunki which is only 8,093 points. Bargain for peace of mind and ease of toddler transporting:) The rest of the points would possibly be spent on chocolate and wine for mummy:)

  12. With the 100000 membership points i would purchase:
    – Go pro hero 4 (71,280 points)
    – Go travel, travel pillow (2,153 points)
    – Go Travel, Weigh Me (3,773 points)
    – Food Lover’s Guide to the World (4,049 points)
    – Pop Up Brush With Mirror Compact (1,343 points)
    – Witchery Alia Passport Holder ( 2,693 points)
    – Belkin Dual Wall Charger (8,097 points)
    – Lonely Planet: Thailand ( 6,074 points)

    Thanks! 🙂

  13. I would put the 100,000 points towards a Gucci Collection Timepiece that has dual zone times on its digital display – this would allow me to keep track of the current time and also time back home (Australia) to ensure i am not waking the aussies up at ungodly hours of the night/morning – it would help conserve roaming charges while abroad (when calling at wrong times).

  14. Hi guys, our next travel adventure will be our first as a family.
    We’ve been a family of two for two years now, but we’re about to add a third!
    So we might not need all those things you’ve suggested quite yet but for our next travel adventure (most likely to Hawaii!) I thought these would be lovely to make our travels more relaxed. At least more relaxed for the mum-to-be before the madness begin.

    1) Isola Woodblock Kaftan 20,243 pts
    – nice and loose to cover the bump yet stylish enough for some romantic dinners out.
    2) Helen Kaminski’s Ankarana Rollable Raffia Wide Visor 20,925 pts
    – these hormones certainly don’t play nice with the sun so covering up seems a very good idea with this lovely wide brimmed visor.

    Then, although the baby isn’t out for this adventure, I found this lovely bag that could double up as a travel bag and then be used as a nappy bag later.
    3) Storksak’s Elizabeth Leather Bag 53,993 pts

    Lastly, my husband doesn’t really need much but to get him in the holiday mood, the last one is for him.
    4) Country Road’s Floral Print Boardie 4,044 pts

    We’re looking forwards to our next travel adventure before our world turns upside down. How lovely if we had these extra points to spend before the sleepless nights (and days?).

    Thanks for letting me dream about our next travel adventure! Hope we get those extra points!

  15. Defiantly a GoPro Hero4 ! I love adventure holidays and getting out there, this would be the icing on the adventures cake! and only 71,280 points so I could probably get something pretty too 🙂

  16. As my partner and I do a lot of travelling and camping around the gem fields of Far North Queensland my wish list is as follows. Premier Inflatable Mattress Queen Size 36,315 points RocSports Lite ES Mudguard sneaker 24,293 points Spectator Stripe Paper Straw Floppy 6,609 points Bellambi Sunglasses by the Cancer Council 5,393 points Wenger Hiking Pack 5,265 points Korjo Water Boiler 4,718 points Stainless King 470ml Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug 6,068 points Varta Indestructible Led Torch 2,967 points Philips Self Powered Radio 8,097 These would make me a very happy camper and I love the idea of a self powered radio. Everyone in the North who goes through cyclones and loss of power should have one! My points total is 99725.

  17. I’m getting married in France in a few months and i’ve lost a ton of weight, its taken 3 years to loose 33KG.
    So, I would buy 2 things with 100K membership reward points to make my upcoming adventures to Europe even better.

    1. A beautiful designer dress (in a size 12, ive never been a size 12!) to wear for the reception/dancing portion of the wedding so I look hot and brand new hubby is all impressed. And what better titled attire than the INNER GODDESS LACE DRESS by Rebecca Vallance, currently on sale at 75,505

    2. Then we go on our honeymoon to PARIS and after 3 years of salad I want to eat all the french food i can lay my hands on!! Therefore i would spend 4,725 points on the Delicious Days in Paris book by Jane Paech so i can track down the best French pastries in Paris and then eat them.

  18. My husband and I are avid travellers and regardless of whether we are staying at the Langham in Hong Kong or trekking along the Annapurna trail, there’s a few things that are a must that are available from http://www.davidjones.com.au:
    Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Parfum Purse Spray – 25515 points. Perfect for handbag or trek pack and keeps me smelly beautiful all day…regardless of where I am!
    Fitbit Charge Small – 22815 points. Essential for looking at steps taken, distance covered and great to look back at when you are home.
    Read Leather Journal – 5265 points. Absolutely necessary and can’t leave home without it. Record all my travels and experiences and afterwards I can read it again to remember and be bought back in the moment as own words come back to me and transport me to another place and time.
    Apple Ipad Mini wi-fi 16gb Space Grey – 40230 points. Wherever I am, I am connected to my friends and family by Facebook, the internet and the handy maps help me when I’m lost and my husband finally (FINALLY!) agrees to ask for directions.
    Ella Bache Great Spray Tan – 6075 points. And comes with bonus gift! #winning. For me, a spray tan at the start of my holidays just sets everything up perfectly. Although by the end of my trip I’ve been out and about during the day so I can be all natural 🙂

    Travel is all about new places, people and experiences. These items help me maintain my creatures comforts from home but give me the freedom to explore, take challenges and live.

  19. Number one on my list would be an IPAD Air WiFi + Cellular 16Gb for 88,695 points. This would be so helpful to plot and check our family itinerary, route, download travel apps (Playground Finder when travelling with kids), look up campsites (if touring), restaurants, do my banking, take and post photos on Instagram, the list is endless really.

    While I don’t believe in going on holiday to just look at a phone or iPad, when you are holidaying and making the most of things it can be tiring, so just to have some downtime and watch a TV show for a short while at night can be useful (Foxtel Go).

  20. Sunbeam Aviva 6L Pressure Cooker = 25,515 Rewards Points, perfect for whipping up a super fast delicious meal at the end of an adventurous day or to slow cook across the day, whatever takes our fancy and whatever makes life easier on holiday’s, eating out is not always affordable.

  21. The Trenery Thomas Weekender 50524 points. Because these reusable shopping bags just aren’t going to cut it in Europe I don’t think.

  22. Too easy! With my 100,000 points I’ll get an Apple
    iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 32GB Silver (REDEEM 94,230 OR EARN 1396 POINTS) for our next family travel adventure. It would keep the kiddies happy on the way there, let us to take and view amazing photos and videos and allow us to easily keep in touch with friends and family while we’re away.

  23. Courtney Dettman

    oohh the possiblities are ENDLESS! But firstly, I MUST have the Prismo Spinner 55cm in Blue, (REDEEM 36,315) so it keeps the treasure I pick up along the way safe, and I can see it from a mile away in case I misplace it. Then the Current/Elliott Fling Boyfriend jean (REDEEM 51,165) for both comfort and style while racking up the mileage on the road. And finally the Kas Ombre Throw (REDEEM 13,493) for those nights when you need a snuggle.

  24. My wife has put her request in for a Rachel Gilbert, Zaria dress – 80 662 points.
    My sons, the duplo zoo – 5399 and bat cave adventures – 10 779
    You’d think I miss out, but 100 000 is plenty
    Canti prosecco – 2693
    (plus I’m a Scott so I can use up every last cent)

  25. Heya Caz and Craig!

    My name is Rafael Mendonça, and this is my first time posting in your Blog. I have been lurking here for a while though, making plans, saving money and stuff about traveling. And of course, absorbing your words of encouragement. \o/

    So… an “must have” item at DavidJones?

    Well i guess i would choose this:

    The Dry Red No 5 – Travel Backpack -> 30,375 Points (I guess this would help me take the real first step, haha).

    Hope to hear of you guys soon. o/

  26. I’d get Chloe’s Marcie small shoulder bag. It’d make my adventure better as I’d be feeling extra special with this amazing bag, carrying all my travel essentials, which needs 128,115 Membership reward points to be redeemed.

  27. Hello Caz and Craig, I have also been enjoying your travels. I especially love the planning process of a trip, short or long, and feel a great sense of accomplishment when I get it right so I’m loving soaking up your knowledge!
    Many of your choices are spot on for me but I doubt I would have thought of them myself.
    In particular the Samsung Galaxy (essential), Nespresso coffee machine(shot of sanity anyone?!), and the Sunbeam heater/fan(luxury).
    I would choose all the above with the addition of a Breville Original74 Jaffle/Sandwich maker which is a godsend for a super quick and cheap snack with no fuss because I want to have a good time too and not “cook”. 13,493 points.
    Another beauty is the Sunbeam Vac780 vacuum packing system with which you can take full advantage of the gorgeous produce you come across or fish you (hopefully) catch. Really easy to use and pack in your little fridge as all the air is expelled from each bag. 40,365 points.
    Of course the big plus for both my items is the whole family can have a go!
    See you on the road, Faye x

  28. So many places to visit, & travel creates beautiful memories that would be enhanced with the ability of lifelong recall provided by a GoPro Hero4 Silver for 71,280 points.
    This would leave me enough to get a Philips 9″ Portable DVD Player PD9010/79 for 17,547, paired with a Logitech USB Headset H390 for 9,447 points to keep the kids happy (& quiet!) on long drives. Perfect!

  29. So many places on my wishlist, & travel creates such beautiful memories that would be enhanced with the ability of lifelong recall provided by a GoPro Hero4 Silver for 71,280 points.
    This would leave me enough to get a Philips 9″ Portable DVD Player PD9010/79 for 17,547, paired with a Logitech USB Headset H390 for 9,447 points to keep the kids happy (& quiet!) on long drives. Perfect!

  30. hi caz and craig theres nothing better than a long trip with the family and i enjoy reading yr journey and if i can buy or win 100,000 pointsI would get from David Jones an apple ipad air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular 64GB – Gold for the family at a very reasonable 121,095 points on American express, we will have more time to read your blogs ! I would pay the difference just to keep the kids happy on our next long trip ! thanks and safe journey !

  31. So many places still on my wishlist, & travel creates such beautiful memories that would be enhanced with the ability of lifelong recall provided by a GoPro Hero4 Silver for 71,280 points.
    This would leave me enough to get a Philips 9″ Portable DVD Player PD9010/79 for 17,547, paired with a Logitech USB Headset H390 for 9,447 points to keep the kids happy (& quiet!) on long drives. Perfect!

  32. An apple ipad mini from David Jones to facebook my mates.
    Share my travel experiences with my status updates.
    American express be my partner in crime.
    100,000 points would make any journey divine.

  33. Hi Caz & Craig

    I would absolutely love the Samsonite Firelite Spinner 75cm in beautiful Blue. This would allow for maximum shopping as it so light and very protective so I would have the security of knowing my shopping is unlikely to be damaged. Being a brilliant blue it will also make it easier to locate on the luggage conveyor. It is 107,865 points on the David Jones website and would be points soooo well spent! Thanks so much for the great site and travel blog!

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