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How to save money while caravanning

While it might be expensive at the outset, caravanning can be a great way to travel around Australia while on a budget.

With a thrifty mindset, you can enjoy the freedom of the open road without draining your wallet. The possibilities are endless in your van.

At Network RV, we understand caravanning on a budget is not about compromising on your experience, it’s about making savvy choices without breaking the bank. Instead, your money will go further for making memories of a lifetime.

Take note of these ideas when you’re planning your next adventure. 

Free camping

Free camping in Australia is a fantastic option for several reasons – the first of course, is it’s free, leaving you with more money to spend on other experiences. The concept allows caravanners to explore some gorgeous locations while saving your dollars for other experiences.

But free camping is more than that, it gives you a sense of freedom and flexibility, allowing you to choose where to stay based on your preferences (think secluded beaches, tranquil forests or lakeside spots).

Just remember – not every free camp is in a beautiful location. But if you’re trying to make the most of your trip (and your funds) it’s a perfect way to travel where you want without breaking the bank.

Cooking your own food

Indulging in dining out while on the road can quickly add up, even when you opt for more affordable choices. To keep your road trip budget in check, make sure you use that great kitchen inside your van! There’s plenty of space inside to keep all our essentials in the cabinets, so you can bring everything you need to cook delicious meals.

This ensures your travel funds are allocated more towards experiences and attractions rather than restaurant bills. Save the nights for eating out for something special.

Plus, camping cooking can be super fun – think of whipping up something delicious with that fish you caught or nights roasting marshmallows around the fire.

Focus on free experiences

Don’t think because you’re away on holidays you need to spend money. Australia is full of some amazing places to visit that won’t cost you a single dollar.

Think secluded beaches, picturesque hiking trails and super interesting historical sites, there’s so many things to see and do that are both budget-friendly and awe inspiring.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t pay for tours or entry fees, but instead fill your time with free things to do that you’ll enjoy.

Think outdoor activities like bushwalking, fishing (why not catch your own dinner) or enjoying a campfire. Or you can even just spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying each other’s company or reading a book.

Attend local events, festivals, and markets that showcase the unique traditions and flavours of each region.

Whether it’s a sunrise over the ocean, a tranquil lakeside picnic, or a stargazing night under the outback sky, these experiences cost nothing but leave an indelible mark on your caravan journey.

Avoid travelling during school holidays or long weekends

Navigating peak travel periods, such as school holidays and long weekends, often comes with a financial pinch, even when it comes to popular caravan parks. If your schedule allows, steering clear of these peak times can be a savvy financial move, saving you some extra cash.

However, if these times are the only periods you can travel, consider sidestepping the chaos and high expenses by choosing hidden gems and lesser-known spots for a more economical and tranquil experience.

Repair and maintenance costs

Caravanning is a liberal experience, but often it can come with potential expenses, particularly when it comes to repairs and maintenance. But if you adopt a proactive approach, it’ll significantly cushion the impact on your wallet. Simple tasks like inspecting for wear and tear, ensuring seals are intact and checking for loose connections can go a long way in preventing potential issues.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of regular servicing. While it might seem like an additional cost, routine maintenance can prevent more significant issues down the road. Sticking to a schedule for professional servicing can extend the lifespan of your caravan and save you from unexpected and costly breakdowns.

Connect with the caravanning community

Social media has transformed how caravanners connect and share information. For example, by joining Facebook groups you can find social media members sharing budget-friendly tips for things like cheap camping spots, free things to see and do or recommended spots to visit. It’s easier than ever to learn from experienced caravanners who have travelled the routes you’re planning to drive.