Dads. Those unsung heroes of the travel world. We wouldn’t be the adventurous travellers that we are today without all the fun, adventure and new experiences that our childhood family holidays exposed us to.
To salute our fathers and say a big thank you for all of the good times, we asked the team here at SCTI to recall some of their most memorable dad-related travel stories. Here are five of our favourite stories.
1. The Deep Sea Diver Dad
This one time, my sister dropped her camera off the ferry to Russell in the Bay of Islands – her brand new Christmas present, even though I’m pretty sure it was a disposable one (those were the days). She was absolutely distraught and not even the biggest 3-scoop ice cream could stop the tears.
As soon as the ferry landed on the other side, dad was in his wetsuit and snorkelling gear searching for it for a good few hours! Total hero moment even though he never found it and probably knew there was no hope.
2. The Indiana Jones Dad
This one time, my Dad speared a snake with a barbeque tong on our trip to the coast when I was about eight. It was down at the Victorian coast, Mornington, at my grandparent's house. We were sitting outside getting ready for dinner when this brown coloured snake came slithering up from a drain pipe, near the table where we were all sitting.
We didn't notice it, but Dad did. He leapt from the BBQ to the table and speared it in one swoop with the tongs he'd only just been turning sausages with moments ago. It was fairly epic. Dad's an engineer and has seen a few snakes in his time doing excavation works so I trusted his decision that it wasn't one of the friendly species!
3. The Happy Camper Dad
This one time, my Dad managed to fit two weeks of camping gear for a family of four - along with four bikes on the roof - into the smallest hire car you have ever seen, after someone crashed into the back of our Volvo Estate on the way to France.
My sister and I were practically buried under sleeping bags/pillows/fishing rods, and the car roof seemed like it was caving in with the weight of the bikes, but we made it there and back in one piece.
4. The Handy Man Dad
This one time, my Dad decided to take the dishwasher on holiday with us. He wanted to spend more time as a family, and less time doing the dishes!
We had the extended family come to stay for the whole summer at our holiday bach in Manly Beach, Sydney. I remember my Dad saying that he refused to spend his holiday doing the dishes, as he pulled the machine out of our kitchen and loaded it onto the trailer.
This was back in the 80's when dishwashers were a whole lot bigger and heavier. We also had a really old bach so it was quite out of place in our tiny kitchen!
5. The Petrol Head Dad
This one time, my Dad swallowed some petrol in an effort to set us off on our holiday. We had decided to go on a family road trip but ran into trouble when Mum tried to start the car, which had unfortunately run out of gas. So quick thinking Super Dad decided to syphon the petrol from the family tractor through to mums car.
His method was simple – find a dirty hose, put your mouth around it, suck and release to move the gas from one tank to the other – it worked brilliantly! But only after dad managed to accidently swallow some of the petrol. Mum, being the family doctor, said that we needed to go to the hospital. Dad, being a tough bugger, said no and that all he needed was a bottle of soda water and he’d be sweet.
The car ride was a bumpy one and it wasn’t until we stopped off for a picnic lunch and started playing a game of footy that he began to feel unwell. Tackling dad to the ground a few plays later, this putrid smell hit me smack in the face…it was so potent, so vile, it brought tears to my eyes, made me cry and hurl all over poor dad. Don’t try this one at home folks!
We know that the best family holidays are the ones on which the most memories are made, even if they involve property loss, dicey encounters with animals, travel delays and other unexpected events that could be covered by travel insurance. So thanks, Dads, for leading the way and keeping us safe when we travel, and here’s to many more adventures to come.