Financial questions like ‘How much does it cost to travel Australia?” are the most common topic we’re asked about from our community and readers, so we thought it might be useful to give some idea of what it could possibly cost you to do a lap around Oz.
Sadly, this question just like many others related to travelling is another “how long is a piece of string” question; one that is highly dependent on your own personal travel choices and desires. For that reason, I can’t tell you exactly how much it costs to travel Australia, but I can give some insight into the typical costs and expenses you’re likely to face on the road, and how some of your choices may help to stretch your budget or swallow it up with great speed.
The average cost we see thrown around tends to be $100 per day, lots of families spend more than this and lots spend less, it depends on your setup and how luxurious or frugal you’d like your travel to be.
If you haven’t started to plan your lap of Australia, then go here first for some insight.
The Biggest Expenses You’ll Face, Travelling Australia.
Your biggest expense on the road is usually one of three things:
For Us The Biggest Expense When Travelling Australia Is Fuel.
That’s because our chosen travel vehicle for our trip was a Nissan Patrol. It’s a great four wheel drive and will get us almost anywhere and it has a very generous tow limit (one of the best on the market), the pay-off for this, is that it is a heavy vehicle, and it likes to drink A LOT of diesel. So, for us, I think at the moment we are getting about 700kms to our 110 litre dual tanks. This can vary on how much of the time we are towing, and the terrain we are towing in. Without towing, we get over 800kms to our dual tanks, and lately, it’s been costing around $140-$160 to fill up. Of course, if we’re in smaller towns or remote areas, diesel is going to cost us a lot more and the cost of filling both tanks is likely to head to $200+.
So, this means for us, if we want or need to move long distances quickly, we’re going to pay the price with a large fuel bill. We spread this large expense out by travelling relatively slowly, and shorter distances at a time.
Free Camping Keeps Accommodation Costs Down When Doing A Lap Of Aus.
We almost always free camp or budget camp. If we aren’t free camping, we’re budget camping. By budget camping we’re aiming for $20 per night or less. If you don’t like free camping or are not set-up to be self sufficient, then the reality is you’re accommodation expenses are going to be much larger than ours, especially if you’re aiming to stay in caravan parks.
For a family of five to stay in a caravan park, we generally would be looking at paying from $35 (this would be a very cheap park) right through to $120+ per night. It’s really difficult to afford long term travel if required to pay an average of $100 per night for a family.
There is nothing wrong with caravan parks just know this option costs more: Caravan parks have their place, we were always staying in caravan parks before we chose to do some long term travel. Caravan parks are the perfect place for families to stay on holiday. Caravan parks are a wonderful way to take an enjoyable break from the rigours of free camping and enjoy wonderful facilities. Some families are able to budget to stay in caravan parks as part of their journey. For us, we just couldn’t afford it.
There is often tension between long term travellers and caravan park owners. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it occurs because there’s often a lot of pressure forced upon councils in certain areas to close free camping areas so that people stay within caravan parks only. What generally happens in this case is that families and travellers either bypass the area all together or stay only a day or two and move on instead of staying longer and spending more money in town.
There needs to be a balance, and you need to make the choice that is affordable for your family. Setting yourself up to be able to free camp before you leave, will make your travels cheaper in the long run.
Keeping Food Costs Low When Travelling Australia With Kids
The trick to keeping food costs low when travelling Australia is planning! Planning your food and meals helps you to not only cut down on the expense of the food you buy; it also helps you to minimise any food wastage. There are several points to consider when it comes to food:
- Larger towns and centres will mean cheaper food bills, it’s a good idea to stock up on non-perishables when you’re in areas with access to cheaper food prices.
- Getting creative with staples will help keep your food bills down. Things like rice, pasta, coconut cream, tinned fish, tinned tomatoes and other tinned veggies, flour, sugar and salt will help you rustle up a great meal even when other ingredients aren’t readily available.
- Take advantage of regional produce. While not everywhere in Australia is a food producing region; many of the areas you visit will provide access to beautiful fresh produce directly from the farm gate. Tasmania has an abundance of boutique food providers and food growers and our food bill there was great – unless you’re in a remote area as I mentioned already, then we had to buy smart!
- Plan your meals and DON’T overcook! You’re not going to have the storage space you’re used to in a house, and you won’t have access to a giant fridge either; this means that storage space for leftover is limited! When you do have leftovers, be sure to eat them for the next meal or at the latest the next day, often caravan and camp fridges can struggle so it’s best to eat them quickly and do be sure to re-heat thoroughly.
- Don’t Eat OUT!! Eating from cafe’s or takeaway stores will eat into your travel budget! Pack your lunch, take healthy snacks and only drink water out of a drink bottle you carry with you. This alone will save you thousands of dollars that are better spent elsewhere!
Other Tricks For Saving Money When Travelling & Keeping Costs Down
Don’t go to every attraction you come across: If you saw a zoo or a wildlife centre in the last town, really think about whether you need to visit one at your current stop. Some attractions are well worth the extra expense, some however will be a bit repetitive. Usually you will find free or gold-coin donation entry at local museums and historical centres which will often be a whole lot more beneficial for learning and understanding the region.
Keep Gas Stocked Up in Larger City Centres: We got stuck paying over $40 for a gas bottle refill in a remote area because we just didn’t realise there would be such a big price difference. We could have filled it up for $25 only 50kms before! It was a mistake we didn’t make twice.
Visit Visitor Information Centres For Discounts: Not only do visitor information centres offer a wealth of local knowledge, you’ll also find visitor booklets on display and you’ll often be nicely surprised by the number of coupon vouchers on offer! Any saving is a saving that helps you travel further!
How Much Do You Spend Travelling Australia?
There are so many variables for the cost of travelling around the country that your experience may well differ from ours. Have you got any tips for our readers on how much it costs to travel or how to save money while on the road? We’d love to hear it, just leave a comment below.
One of the biggest considerations for families wanting to travel Australia long term is the ability to find and maintain work while on their road trip of a lifetime. Fruit picking and harvesting work is a common income stream for travellers, so it helps to have a yearly guide to where and when this work is available.
Working your way around Australia extends the amount of time you’re able to travel, and gives most families more of a chance to hit the road in the first place. It removes the need to have massive amounts of money saved, and creates a travel itinerary based around slow travel, where time and experience, immersion within communities and a lifestyle change, rather than a fast-paced holiday.
We get a lot of questions asking when to travel to which Australian regions to access jobs such as fruit picking, harvest work, and farm work that tends to be quite seasonal.
As part of our best-selling ebook “How to fund your trip around Australia“, we included a handy calendar based fruit picking and harvest table which shows a break down of regions offering harvest, fruit picking and farm work around Australia, as well as the times of year they are likely to be looking for workers.
Because those people who have purchased the e-book via the Amazon Kindle, or similar platform may have problems with the formatting of the tables on their device, we’ve included them on site here as a handy .pdf file so that everyone can grab it and print off as a resource to use during their travels.
Click below to download your file, and check out our ebook for more great info on funding your travels.
One of the most important ways that you can make your travel dreams come true is by learning where your money is going, and learning to take control of your expenses. This is the only way you can see ways to cut back on spending, or modify your spending in order to have a travel account that you’ll be using to fund your trip.
If you’re really struggling to keep a hold of finances, it might seem like your money is going out of your bank account just as quickly as it is coming in. Trying to get from one month to the next with enough money for food and bills can be a nightmare. You’re not alone in living pay cheque to pay cheque, but you need to figure out ways to develop a better relationship with your money in order to make it work for you, not have it keeping you stressed out all the time.
Learning to Take Control of Your Money.
One of the easiest ways to take control of your money is to enlist the help of those who know all about it! Simply huh! A great tip is to use websites like Money Smart, a government website that helps Australians learn about ways to develop a better money mind-set and get their finances and savings on track.
Should it get to the point where you’re permanently stressed out worrying about money on a daily basis, you need to take decisive action. Fortunately, with the help of companies such as AMEX Australia you can start to take control of your finances again. Having a credit card isn’t necessarily a financial burden, in fact it can be a positive step to controlling your finances.
Don’t underestimate the value of budgeting
Before taking advantage of a credit card, you’ll need to sit down and analyse your situation.
Start by writing down everything that you have coming in and everything you have going out. This will help you to see exactly what your outgoings are. It’s then that you can start to make changes. Budgeting is the best way to free yourself from financial worry. There are many great free budgeting tools online that can help. Even if you’re on a low income, there are budgeting tips that can help you to save money. Smart shopping and claiming any benefits you might be entitled to are both ideal ways to save.
How a credit card can help
One thing you might not have considered is getting a credit card to help you out of your financial troubles. There are many benefits that come with an AMEX card. Once you’ve applied for the credit card, you will also have access to the AMEX AU app, which can further help you get on top of your finances. The app lets you pay your bills on time, view your balance wherever you are and get the latest offers from nearby merchants. Overall, there are so many ways you can help to get yourself out of financial trouble.
Focus is the most important factor
Regardless of how you tackle your new budgeting and money management routine, focus on the end result is the key. Create a visual mood-board of your goals to help keep you focused. It can be as simple as photography of some of your must-visit Australian destinations on the fridge, or something a bit fancier, they trick is to keep reminding yourself, why you’re focussing on great financial control, being able to live the travel holiday of your dreams.
As you explore your way around Australia, it’s nice to think that it will be a trouble free journey, and hopefully it is.
However, one essential form of preparation for all families hitting the road (or even just at home) is to be adequately insured to protect yourselves from mishaps.
There are many kinds of insurance that are pretty essential for families, so let’s take a look:
Family Travel Insurance:
· Consider your type of holiday and ensure you covered – some insurance policies won’t cover certain holidays e.g. winter sports you will sometimes have to pay extra to be covered. Make sure you check this before you pay for you travel insurance. Equally make sure you’re not paying for something you don’t need, if you’re only going on a beach holiday with no special activities make sure your policy reflects this.
· Check you-re not already covered – some paid-for bank accounts and credit cards include travel insurance as part of their deal so make sure you’re not paying for a policy when you’re already covered.
· Check what’s covered – make sure you read the small print to see exactly what’s covered, is your policy going to cover you if you miss your flight or lose your luggage? Not all policies do so make sure you know exactly what you’re being covered for.
· Your holiday company isn’t always best – it might seem easy to just add travel insurance when booking your holiday through the same company but be aware they are not always going to be giving you the best deal – make sure you shop around as you could get a much better deal.
Family Health Insurance:
– This is a big one, family health insurance wasn’t something we’d taken out until just recently. The best way to go about health insurance we found, is to think about the following things and find the one that best suits your family:
- What treatments (if any) that your family need on a regular basis.
- How likely you are to use certain health services.
- What rebate you get back at each visit
- The availability of services within your area or areas you are likely to visit
- The expense.
Finding the best prices
Without a doubt finding affordable insurance is important for any family. There are a few ways that you can do this. One way is to speak to your current insurer for car or home insurance, they often have reduced pricing for multiple insurance policies and will offer a wide range of insurance types. Another way is to use a service such as Choosi to find the best pricing in one place, it will save you shopping around.
One thing is for certain, when you take the time to insure your family for travels, be sure to choose the right amount of cover that will be required should anything go wrong, as being under-insured can be worse than being fully insured.
With finances getting tighter and tighter for families, it can sometimes be difficult to budget in the family holiday of your dreams. This doesn’t mean it’s time to start skipping the all important bonding time that family travel provides, it simply means getting creative to find ways to save money on your next family getaway.
1. Look For Travel Sales:
If you plan your family holiday in advance, it’s much more likely you’ll be able to keep your eye out for travel sales. Everything from flights to accommodation can generally be purchased at a fraction of the cost by purchasing during sale times before you leave. If advertised sales don’t mention options for families or children, don’t let that stop you from contacting to company to see what deal they can do.
2. Stay Simple:
While indulging in luxury is nice, and heck we all deserve to every once in a while, it’s important to remember, that as parents our children rely on us to provide a range of life experience to develop their love of life. Leave behind the flashy resorts, fancy restaurants and ultra expensive theme parks, and head out for a different type of experience. Keep a look out for smaller wildlife parks and zoo’s, planetarium/observatory nights, free kids festivals (these are in all states at different times of the year), free movie nights (often during summer in most states), hit the beach, take a bushwalk, ride pushbikes, or even better, go on a family volunteering trip.
3. Use Travel Coupons to Save Money:
While countries like the United States seem to thrive on coupon and group buying deals, the phenomenon is relatively new in Australia. Being new hasn’t stopped the industry offering great deals to savvy consumers around the country. There are many coupon sites to choose from, but sites like Groupon offer travel coupons that give families an opportunity to source great holiday deals that can not only save them money, but allow them to experience something they may not have otherwise considered.
4. Stay Local:
With so much to discover in Australia, many people tend to overlook the amazing opportunities to holiday within their own region. Very few people can say they’ve experienced all the great things to do within an hour or two drive from their home base, so if this sounds like your family, it’s time to holiday from home. Great family experiences don’t depend on leaving to far away destinations, you can have just as great time heading for an overnight stay within a two hour radius. Don’t believe us? I urge you to find something fun to do within your local area and giving it a go, you might just be surprised.
So you want to travel Australia, but you’re not really sure you can afford it? Wondering how to make money on the road? How to finance a travel lifestyle?
As scary as it may sound to leave the security of a job behind, (is any job really secure though?) The reality is with a bit of flexibility and willingness to try new things, almost anyone can find work while travelling Australia.
While there’s always options to try and learn new skills when living on the road, the first option is to use what you know to gain employment.
Use Your Current Skills to Find Work While Travelling:
Almost everyone has skills that they can use to earn income while travelling Australia. Whether it’s life skills, business skills, a trade, or in demand qualifications, finding work is just a matter of being entrepreneurial or knowing where to look.
For workers such as electricians, plumbers, builders, painters, mechanics and similar industries, establishing yourself with a business ABN, suitable insurance cover, business or trade licenses that are recognised in the state you’re travelling, and the necessary tools to carry out work as you travel are essential preparations.
Other industries that allow you to take your skills on the road include things such as hairdressing and beauty services, food and hospitality services, office and administration, teaching, nursing and health services, farming skills and much more.
How to Find Work While on the Road?
Advertise: One of the easiest ways to find work when travelling, if you have a skillset that allows you to work indepenently for yourself is to advertise that you’re available. Have professional signage made for your vehicle, or even caravan so that people know what you do when they see you. This works especially well for industries such as mechanical trades, but also for hairdressers and beautcians who might be able to service other travellers. If you’ll be in town for a while, consider noticeboards or even the local paper to get your name out.
Act professionally: Have a business card, professional resume or portfolio. At least one of these will be useful no matter what industry you work in.
Ask: You might be surprised just what work is around that you can find out about simply by asking. If you have skills in hospitality speak to pubs, clubs, restauarants, motels, caravan parks, or any other business your skills may be useful to. Many places do not advertise, but are often on the lookout for casual staff. Always have a resume or portfolio ready if necessary, and let the business know how long you’ll be staying in their region for.
Use Employment Agencies: While many travellers prefer not to use agencies, they can be a great starting point for getting some idea about the types of work that are readily available within a region. It never hurts to ask, and even if they don’t have anything that currently suits you they may have leads for you to follow in your pursuit for work.
Word of Mouth: Don’t forget to ask other travellers you meet where they’ve been able to find work while travelling. This works well with industries such as farming, fruit picking and hospitality. Always try to get a contact name if possibly and write down the details ready for when you arrive in the same area.
Newspapers & Internet: Don’t forget to check out local newspapers, or online job sites ahead of your arrival and while you’re enjoying your stay in an area.
Turn Your Hobby Into an Income:
If you have a hobby or income it’s often possible to turn your passion into a money maker. While it may not lead to extreme riches, many travellers find that by creating and selling goods or services it allows them to travel for longer and further than might have otherwise been possible.
If you enjoy sewing clothes, knitting and crochet, writing, toy making, painting or any other large number or hobbies, it’s easy to get started selling your creations. There are websites such as etsy and madeit making it easier than ever to share your creations with the world, and local markets are for the most part inexpensive to set up at, and can open you to meeting new people and making a little extra cash at the same time.
The reality is, that while you may not always land in your dream job while travelling, being willing to be creative and flexible with how you work and in what industry or position, can allow you to live a dream lifestyle travelling Australia with experiences so few ever get to enjoy.