Australia is a huge continent that could accommodate the whole of Europe and still have plenty of room to spare. The enormity of Australia means that a travelling holiday is the only way to savour a true taste of the cultures, sites, and experiences on offer. With a country so vast a good quality campervan is the best option. Although a campervan may seem expensive, it is in fact an investment because the savings soon add up.

Ever thought about a campervan holiday?

A campervan holiday has many advantages over a more traditional approach to seeing Australia. It is cheaper than flight and drive holidays which involve staying in hotels. It offers freedom to go where you want and when you want. It is not as cheap as a backpacker’s holiday but there is no uncertainty about travel arrangements. Simply pack up and go in the knowledge that you have a place to stay that is guaranteed and travel is not an issue.

There are plenty of ways to make a campervan holiday an experience to remember without breaking the bank. Before setting out on your adventure it is worth spending a little time roughly planning out where you would like to go and what you would like to see. In some parts of Australia this is not just useful but is a requirement if you want to stay alive!

Shot fromĀ Bookabee Tours

Planning for food and fuel:

Plan for fuel and food stops as well as considering where you are going to visit. It is worth considering overnight stops too. Australia has a population that is centred around the southern and eastern coasts with the country’s interior being sparsely populated. Why not plan to visit a mix of places from the coast to the desert plains of inner Australia?

The first saving to be made is on fuel. Try to fill up on a Tuesday or Wednesday when garages offer fuel with 5 – 15 cent savings. Midweek is the quietest time and garage owners run special offers. Another way to save fuel is to ensure that you drive the campervan as efficiently as possible. Campervans are not the most aerodynamic vehicles and their size and bulk means that the faster you drive the more fuel you will use.

Fuel consumption is a trade off between getting to places quickly and seeing more sites against saving money and enjoying better quality experiences. A final tip is to keep the weight down to a minimum. Don’t go overboard on extra water and gas cylinders or extra luggage that you just won’t need, but bear in mind that safety is still a priority.

Image by Michael Spencer.

The beauty of a holiday in a campervan is that your home travels with you. All the facilities that you need are available when you need them. A good way to save money is to avoid eating out in expensive restaurants. Make use of the kitchen facilities on board. Shopping in supermarkets is the most cost effective approach and can save hundreds of dollars over the course of your holiday.

It is worth shopping around and stocking up in supermarkets in cities and larger towns because they tend to be cheaper than smaller remote places. It is worth investigating markets and places where certain foods are a specialty. How about fresh fish straight off the boat? Ask around and you will get a true taste of Australian cuisine for a fraction of the cost.

Places to stay:

Accommodation is the next largest expense. In Europe, travellers in campervans are often encouraged to park up overnight in expensive sites. Australia is different and exploring the country is actively encouraged. There are plenty of free sites. They may not boast the grandest of facilities but they often offer a free barbeque for that true Australian food experience, free water in the more remote areas, or just simply a place to pull up and get some rest. Imagine waking up next to a river, with a view of the mountains, or in a place where you could hear a pin drop.

Free sites don’t have a problem with snoring neighbours crammed so close you might as well be living with them. You get space, a place to have a camp fire, and a place where you can relax without a dreaded curfew. You should still budget for occasional paid overnight site stays so that you can empty waste, fill up with water, take a shower, or recharge batteries. You should allow for a site visit every 3 to 4 days.

Places to visit:

So far saving money has been the focus, but how about seeing the sites of Australia without breaking the bank? It is actually much easier than you might think. The main tourist resorts can be expensive – if you want that traditional tourist experience, then expect to spend more than your normal daily allowance. There is a way to experience Australia’s sites while getting the traditional experience and saving money. Visit resorts for the day but drive out at night and stay further away.

Visit places that are free such as Ayers Rock, the Kymberleys or a host of Australia’s national parks. The closer you get to the centre of Australia or over to the west coast the less populated the areas become. These areas are crying out for tourist income and will offer lots of free activities to draw visitors in.

Why not visit the fabulous wine regions of Australia from Barossa to Yarra? You could see something that 75% of Australians don’t see on a regular basis: the sun setting on a beach in Western Australia. The choice is endless and the only restriction is your imagination.

Could you get a better holiday for less money?

Australia is a remote and beautiful country with so much to offer. The tourist industry in Australia is very clued up when it comes to offering the best experiences for those on a tight budget. Australians know that their country is vast and that attracting visitors to their area is important to their local economy. They have developed facilities that are visitor friendly. Visitors are encouraged to stay and enjoy local facilities that are often on a par with paid sites but are free. Overnight stops are not just tolerated but are accepted because the locals know you will spend money in the local shops and businesses.

After the initial expense of flights and campervan hire, the holiday experience can be easily budgeted without fear of compromise. There is so much to see and do that Australia by campervan is the only way to do it. Just ask yourself this: with a country so vast, and with so much to see, could you find a better holiday experience for less money?