Maximize Your Retirement Travel: Budget-Friendly Tips for Grey Nomads | Lets Go Caravan and Camping

Maximize Your Retirement Travel: Budget-Friendly Tips for Grey Nomads

Category: News, Date: 10 July 2024

More and more retirees are hitting the road full-time these days, leaving behind the stress and mundanity of ordinary life for the freedom and excitement of the open road, adventuring around Australia. Caravanning and camping around Australia is the perfect way to explore this beautiful country, enjoy your retirement, meet new people, try new things and appreciate life. However, being on the road full-time or for longer periods isn’t necessarily cheap and requires some smart budgeting to stay on top of your spending and get the most bang for your buck!

In this blog, we share our top tips for budgeting and saving money on the road, to help you get the most out of your caravan and camping adventures! Check it out!

1. Set Your Travel Budget

It seems obvious, but actually sitting down and working out your travel budget for an upcoming trip or period of time is the best way to stay on top of spending and keep costs down. Once you have an overall budget, break this down into a rough daily and monthly expenditure as well, so you can ‘at-a-glance’ check where you stand.

When setting your budget, remember to factor in the essentials: equipment, food, accommodation, fuel, as well as hidden costs such as: insurance, emergencies, service & repairs.

2. Consider Income Sources

While travelling, you may be using your existing savings or your super fund however, many nomads will work to boost their savings on the road. Some popular options for working on the road include working in caravan parks along your trip, fruit or vegetable picking, and house-sitting. There are plenty of sites online to help you find work if you’re willing, such as Aussie House Sitters, Mindahome, or AgriLabourAustralia. Facebook groups and online forums can also be helpful when looking for work on the road.

If you own a home, why not rent it out while you are travelling for extra funds? Or if you’re hitting the road full-time, it might be time to consider selling your home. However, it’s a good idea to consult a financial advisor and other travellers who have been in similar positions before making this decision.

3. Shop Around 

If you’re travelling for an extended period of time, it’s important to always be on the lookout for the best value when it comes to expenses. Whether you’re booking into a caravan park, re-fuelling, or buying new camping gear/equipment, look for deals, discounts and the greatest bang for your buck. For low-cost campsites, the app WikiCamps can help you choose the best option. When filling the tank, most modern navigation apps such as Google Maps will show you the prices at nearby fuel stops. You can also make use of helpful tools like Fuel Map Australia to manage your fuel expenditure.  

There are loads of little tricks to help you save money on your journey, for example, a lot of caravan parks will offer special midweek discounts, fuel is often cheaper on a Tuesday or Wednesday, farm gates and local markets will sell cheaper fruit & veg than the supermarkets, and Facebook Marketplace can be a great place to pick up good quality, second-hand caravan and camping gear.  

4. Invest in Good Insurance 

If you’re spending a long time on the road and living out of your car, caravan or camper, it’s important to have good insurance. Accidents can happen and things can go wrong, but having your assets properly insured can take away the stress of such emergencies and prevent a big dent to your travel budget. It’s also important to note that you may need to update your insurance if you’re hitting the road full-time in your van. 

If you’re looking for caravan insurance, head to Let’s Go Insurance for a free quote. 

budget travel tips for retired couples big lap

5. Slow Down 

This may seem to be strange budget tip but one way to save money on the road is to travel slower. The faster you move, the more money you spend on fuel, accommodation and food. So, take your time, drive slowly, spend a few extra nights in the same place (and maybe benefit from a multi-night discount) and enjoy the journey.  

6. Plan Ahead  

This one is really important in relation to where you’re going and what time of year you’re going to be there. All around Australia, different regions have different ‘peak’ times and different states/territories will have different school holidays. It’s important to plan around this as during these high travel times, the cost of travel in these regions will go up.  

So, be aware of upcoming holidays and peak travel times for wherever you’re headed. Another budget-travel tip is to be mindful that if you’re going remote or to the outback, the cost of fuel will be significantly higher. You can save money by purchasing re-fillable fuel canisters and reducing the amount of fuel you need to purchase in high-cost areas.  

Travelling around Australia is an adventure you won’t regret. While it isn’t a cheap task, travel on a budget is possible and you don’t have to use up all your savings, ticking Australia’s incredible landmarks off your bucket-list. With this list of top money-saving-hacks, you can see more for less and make the most of your most epic adventure yet!  

For travel inspiration for your next big adventure, check out our inspiration page.

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