Many people purchase a caravan because it offers them an inexpensive way to take lots of great holidays and weekends away with family and friends. A caravan gives you the freedom to see so much more of Australia than simply staying in a hotel and offers the excitement of finding isolated spots away from the main tourist traps. So, if you have taken the plunge and purchased your very first caravan, here are our top tips for making sure that your caravan trip is as budget friendly as possible.

Select your location and route

The longer the distance you travel on your holiday, the more fuel you will use, and the further you travel from the main cities, the more you will pay for your fuel. So if you want to drive from Brisbane to Cairns, for example, the cost of fuel will be greater if you go inland via Longreach. It might be better to go straight up the coast and save visiting Longreach for another trip, so you can explore the region more thoroughly and save on fuel costs.

Don’t forget that you will be towing a caravan on your trip, so your fuel consumption will also be greater, particularly if you are driving an old car or 4WD. Always calculate a fuel budget for your trip and add at least an extra 10% just in case.

Budget for your accommodation

It pays to check out your route, identifying all of the camp sites along the way and adding up their costs. Each camp site will have a different cost, so for example, you might find that it’s more sensible to stay at a site that charges $20 a night, even though it not your ideal spot, compared to a site that charges $50 a night. This strategy will give you more money for fuel and for outings on your trip and may even let you extend your holiday because you will be saving money on camp fees.

Budgeting for your meals

When you know your route, you can anticipate where you will be able to do your grocery shopping and how often you will need to buy fresh food. It’s sensible to take as many staples as possible with you, as well as stocking the small freezer in your caravan. Work out a meal plan for the trip, making sure to match your need for fresh food to likely shopping spots along the way. It is also worthwhile to add to your food budget at least one or two meals at restaurants, as it is always a pleasure not having to cook and wash-up on holiday.

Budgeting for your outings

Once you know your route and destination and how long you will be staying at different camp sites along the way, you can make a note of all of the things you want to do. There may be tourist day trips you want to take with the family, theme parks you want to see, boat trips, kayaking, water-skiing, zoos, tours and lots more outings that all need to be included in your budget. With a large family these costs can add up, so you might need to be judicious in how many outings you include in your holiday.

Once you have all of your costs written down, you can start to juggle your budget to include the most important outings. For example, you might change the route to reduce fuel costs or to stay in cheaper camp sites, as these savings may allow you to include a special outing in your holiday.

At National Finance Solutions, we pride ourselves on being one of Australia’s most trusted finance brokers. We proudly provide an outstanding range of services, specialising in leisure asset finance at the most competitive rates. If you need a loan to buy a new car or caravan for your next Aussie holiday, the team at National Finance Solutions will work hard to quickly source the funds you need at a rate you can afford. Call National Finance Solutions on 1300 13 50 50 or get an online quote today.