We are a family of 4 both our kids are under 5 and we have just travelled around Australia in our caravan for the last 8.5 months. One of the biggest question people ask us is how much it costs, while each family is different we wanted to provide as much detail as we could with the average cost for us on our travels caravanning Australia. We travelled right through the center, up the top to the Northern Territory, down Western Australia, through South Australia and parts of Victoria. We can honestly say it was the best decision to quit our jobs to do this travel and we are already putting a plan in place to take off again.

We had originally planned for at least a full 12 months of travel but an injury led us to stopping our trip early as it was going to effect our trip too much.

We are going to break it into 2 parts as the first 4 months of our trip we were overspending and we knew if we wanted to make it to the 12 months of travel we would need to cut back. The really interesting part about this is that with small easy changes we were able to bring the weekly average down a lot and we still had the most incredible time.

But really who can put a price on an experience like this with your kids!?

 

Initial average weekly cost of travel

Food $359.75 – This includes nappies for 1 kid

Fuel $197.87

Takeaway $118.89

Alcohol $95.39

Medical $18.42

Accommodation $202.57 – Mainly caravan parks

Laundry $5.72 – We have a washing machine but used the dryer at times

Experiences $82.10 – Tours and attractions

Car Maintenance/ service $54.24 – 4 new tyres included in this

Caravan maintenance/ service $28.66

Caravan Park Memberships/ National Park Permits $7.84

Misc. $105.47 -Some things this includes are gas bottle refills, clothing, kids sticker books, crafts and anything we forgot to record what it was

Total= $1,276.92

Plus insurances- Private Health, Phone and Internet and Car and Van insurance $175.39

Total including insurances = $1452.31

Average weekly cost of travel when we focused on reducing costs

Food $410.25 – This includes nappies for 1 kid, not sure why it went up!

Fuel $213.07

Takeaway $64.19

Alcohol $36.00

Medical $0

Accommodation $160.05

Laundry $4

Experiences $9.75

Car Maintenance $0 – We were waiting to be back in Melbourne for our next service

Caravan maintenance/ service $34.12

Caravan Park Memberships/ National Park Permits $12.50

Misc. (Gas bottle refills, clothing, kids sticker books, crafts etc.) $9.25

Total= $953.18

Plus insurances- Private Health, Phone and Internet and Car and Van insurance $175.39

Total weekly average including insurances = $1128.57

Do we feel we missed out on anything with spending less? No!

We managed to drop the weekly average by $329.20 which is huge when you are travelling with only a few simple changes, the simple changes we made.

-Free camped a lot more

-Stopped paying for expensive tours as with kids under 5 generally they are not that enjoyable instead we did our own “tours” which was more enjoyable as we could do it in our own timing

-Cut down on our takeaway, it really isn’t worth it when you can travel for longer

-Stopped buying extra stuff at K-mart, I would go a little crazy and get heaps of sticker books, crafts, clothes random things, when we really didn’t need it and did just fine without it!

We managed to make this difference with food going up, we are still unsure why it went up so much and also fuel going up, we had 3 crossings of the Nullarbor which can up the fuel average. In saying that we were improving each week wanting to get the average down to $1000 per week including insurances which we believe we could easily get it down to that by reducing food costs.

Travelling Australia in a caravan definitely does not need to be expensive, we are not the most budget travelers going around and enjoy a caravan park stay, dinner out every now and again, food and some kid friendly experiences like visits to the Aquarium. We still enjoyed our time, if not more when we were spending less. There are so many families out there doing it and from what we have read from peoples budget updates it can vary from $700 to $1500 per week, there are some doing it for as little as $500 per week.

What ever your budget you really can make it work without missing out as Australia is full of so many incredible free camps, natural attractions, beaches which don’t cost much or anything at all. If someone asks us if you need heaps of money to travel Australia we would say it depends on what you want… Do you want the brand new caravan, or are you happy with second hand, a camper trailer or even a tent. Also if you are willing to work within your means and enjoy the experience then really the sky’s the limit to how much of Australia you can see.

We hope this helps with any planning or questions you may have on caravanning Australia, we will be doing a post on our full caravan set-up with cost of the new van, what extras we purchased and if there is anything we would change about our choice in van.

Travelling with your kids around Australia is something you and your kids would never regret, we love the quote.

‘You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time’ How true is that, get out there and enjoy!

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