After having a recent trip to Port Dickson with our three kiddos and finding the four-hour drive very manageable, we decided we were ready to venture further. So Cameron Highlands here we come!
We set off on a Friday at 8 am. By the time we cleared the Woodlands checkpoint, it was 9 am.
I prepared sandwiches and several other snacks to feed us on the long drive, with the intention of saving us time from a meal stopover.
We took two stops for a toilet break and to refuel the car, and finally reached Avillion Cameron Highlands at 330pm. We were thankful for the good weather and smooth traffic on our long drive.
How to keep children entertained on a road trip
One of our biggest concerns for going on a long drive is how to keep the kids entertained in the car for hours.
So here are some useful tips on what to prepare and bring along on a road trip with young kids!
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1. Prepare lots of snacks for the road
I brought along various types of cereals, biscuits and potato chips.
I find it very helpful to have small snack boxes on hand because those little hands can manage the light bites in the snack boxes better than holding on to the snack packets. It is also easier to keep leftover snacks fresh in these boxes.
The chips also help to keep the husband awake for the long drive!
Grapes and raisins are wonderful as much healthier options and create minimal mess and preparation as compared to other fruits.
2. Get your kids' favorite playlist ready for hours on the road
We played nursery rhymes and the children were entertained as they sang along. But after a while the nursery rhymes were too much of a lullaby to the husband who was driving, so we switched to pop songs.
My boys even caught some of the lyrics and sang along to Adele's "Rumour has it", Bruno Mars' "Count on me" and Ed Sheeran's "Photograph". I was most certainly very amused!
3. Controlled screen time
We don't usually allow the children to have screen time in the car but we had to make it an exception on a drive that lasted more than 6 hours.
Just download a few from Netflix on your iPad or rent some movies on the iTunes store!
4. Get the kids to nap
Well, it wasn't easy to get my boys to nap, but we intentionally woke them up much earlier than usual so that they would be sleepy enough to nap on the drive.
Time passes much faster when the kids sleep so planning your road trip according to the kids' nap time is also very helpful!
I'm still nursing my 16-month-old daughter and it sure makes it easy to pacify her when she got restless during the long drive!
5. Busy bags and activity books
It can be rather dizzying to read on the road, but I find activity books with stickers rather helpful.
The children don't have to focus on reading the words, but their little hands are kept busy with peeling and pasting the stickers. Before you know it, another 20 minutes passed by!
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Where to stay at Cameron Highlands
Where is a good place for families to stay at Cameron Highlands? How about Avillion Cameron Highlands!
Avillion Cameron Highlands completed its major renovation as of January 2018, so the rooms and facilities are all very new. It is located at Tanah Rata. Most of the tourist attractions are found in Brinchang, which is much higher up.
It is about a 30-minute drive up to Brinchang for sightseeing and other activities. But we were very happy to stay at Avillion Cameron Highlands, especially after seeing that all the other hotels at Brinchang look rather rundown and ill-maintained.
Here's the lobby at Avillion Cameron Highlands. The place seemed rather empty during our stay.
We booked a 2-bedroom premium suite at RM1215 for 3 nights. It was at a 50% discount for advance payment made. The rates also include buffet breakfast up to 4 persons. The entire apartment was about 86 sqm.
The accommodation at Avillion Cameron Highlands felt more like a serviced apartment than a hotel. The floors in the rooms were tiled, rather than carpeted so it was rather cold. The corridors outside also look very much like our flats than those of a hotel.
There were 2 bedrooms, one with a king bed, the other with two single beds.
The kind bed was in the ensuite bedroom, and there was also another bathroom in the living room area.
The living room was very large and spacious, perfect for my three little monkeys to run around and keep themselves entertained!
Avillion Cameron Highlands hotel is actually enjoined to a retail centre. We had a cosy steamboat dinner at C Buddy's Steamboat, and also settled dinner for two other nights at Old Town cafe within the building. There are also places selling pasta and pizza. Most of the retail units are vacant.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable and comfortable stay at Avillion Cameron Highlands. It's not easy to find a big and spacious accomodation for a family of five at such a reasonable price!
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