My challenge these winter school holidays is to not spend money. So no going away, no big outings planned, just a couple of weeks chilling at home, watching DVDs, going for walks and bike rides, baking and general relaxation.
Mother of three and avid traveller Deborah Dickson-Smith, blogs about last week…
Kids don’t really understand the concept of relaxation though, so chilling at home is not likely to cut it for more than a day or two. However, the weather (for mid-winter Sydney) is lovely, we are surrounded by bike-paths, beaches and parks and the kids have lots of friends nearby.
This means of course that in the main, I’ll be providing a meals and taxi service for the kids. So it’s a good time to test the claimed fuel efficiency of the new Ford Mondeo EcoBoost, which is also on my list of things to do this week.
Testing a car’s fuel efficiency on the open road is one thing, but testing its ability while managing the holiday activities of a busy family is quite another. Have you ever noticed the mileage you clock up running daily errands? It’s frightening.
This week, although I haven’t actually travelled more than 10 kilometres from my driveway, I have managed to clock up over 400 kilometres. So it’s a treat therefore to spend that time in a car that is such a pleasure to drive.
Here’s the technology: It combines turbo-charging and high-pressure direct fuel injection to allow an overall downsizing of engines without any noticeable loss of punch or outright performance. Best of all, the go is on-demand and that means economy is directly related to how you're driving and what you're doing.
How does that translate to my needs? It drives really smoothly, has great acceleration, loves hills and as far as I can determine, even with the stop-start driving style required of the suburbs, it is very fuel efficient. A full tank has lasted almost two weeks.
It has lots of leg room, lots of internal storage for kid-paraphernalia, plenty of cup holders (essential for kids) and an enormous boot.
I don’t think in the end that staying at home has saved me any money though because even when packing sandwiches and drink bottles there seems to be no avoiding some holiday expenses. It’s possibly cheaper to go away. At least then someone else washes up.
Deborah’s first trip with a bub of 4 months involved a 26-hour flight with no sleep, which is exactly when she realised travelling would never be the same. This has only been further confirmed as her family has grown. She’s lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and is now reasonably settled in Sydney’s northern beaches with her three children — who are now all seasoned travellers.