Australia is known to be one of the most expensive countries for travel. On average prices in Australia are 20-30% higher compared to some of the most expensive cities around the world, like London, New York and Singapore, so finding a way to travel Australia on a budget can be a difficult task.
But don’t despair! If paying $30-$50 a night for accommodation and another $50-$100 every time you want to head to a new city doesn’t sound like your idea of cheap travel, there is an alternative – travel in a CAMPERVAN!
While campervans may not be a popular method of transportation in your home country, they are extremely popular in Australia. There are over 500,000 campervans registered in Australia and despite some rumours that campervan users are grey-haired retirees, over 50% of campervans are being driven by 19-30 year olds. Great! So now we know that you won’t look silly travelling around the country in a campervan, but the biggest question is – does it make your trip cheaper? At a first glance, it may not look that way. At $30-50 a day, your campervan will cost you anywhere between $800-$1,500 a month plus the cost of fuel! Cheaper than staying in hostels, but still a hefty price.
So here’s trick. Due to the popularity of campervans in Australia, may travellers rent a campervan in one part of the country, drive it to the other part, hop on the plane and head back home. There are hundreds of campervans being driven and dropped off the same locations on a daily basis. Campervan companies are desperately looking for someone to relocate those campervans back to their original home base and are willing to offer incredible deals for someone to do it! With a bit of flexibility on your end, you can score a 4 -6 berth campervan for $1 a day! And on top of that, if you are booking last minute, the companies will often also throw in reimbursement for your fuel expenses, in some cases, they will even reimburse you for all of the fuel!
Some things to remember when booking campervan relocations:
1. Insurance is not included in the price. If you are worried and don’t have good insurance, get it, but it’s all a matter of luck and, of course, your driving skills.
2. The $1 a day advertised rate is set for a limited time only. You will typically be given enough time to drive for only 2-4 hours a day to get to your final destination. It’s up to you where you stop along the way and how you break up your journey.
3. The kilometres you have are somewhat limited. The companies will build in some extra kilometres for detours for you, but if you want to take a massive detour inland to check out something off the beaten path, this may not be the best transportation option for you.
4. Some deals come with sleeping bags, pillows, towels and the whole set up, but some don’t. Check to make sure the offer has what you need or you’ll end up paying extra for it.
5. Book shorter trips. Don’t look for a campervan from Cairns to Melbourne. There won’t be lots of relocation offers available and the ones that pop up will not give you enough time to explore the entire East Coast. Instead, look for a relocation from Cairns to Harvey Bay and once you get there, look for another one down to Fraser Island, etc.
6. In many cities and towns in Australia, it is illegal to park campervans on the street overnight, so you will have to find a campsite to park in overnight. These are unfortunately not free. Best campsite deals (as low as $5 per campervan per night) can be found in National Parks. Look for them here for Queensland, here for NSW, here for Victoria Alternatively, if you want to be parked close to the centre of activities, look into hostels. They often have reduced fees for campervan parking.
7. Your campervan will have a self-sustained kitchen. Use it along with free BBQs in parks and in picnic areas in most cities to save on eating out
There are dozens of websites out there with great deals on campervan re-locations, but luckily there is one that aggregates them all.
If you are looking to snag a great campervan rental deal, check our our favourite site, DriveNow. Their elaborate Campervan Hire search system will allow you to look for campervans across the country. PLUS they also have some SWEET Relocation Deals starting from just $1/day. Check them out and if the deal you want isn’t there, make sure you subscribe to their Relocation WatchList, so you can get notifications on the most relevant deals!
We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance, especially in a country like Australia. Whether you just plan to explore the cities, do a little bit of hiking, or go extreme (think surfing, scuba diving, or ever skydiving), being protected on your travels is an irreplaceable peace of mind.We learned about the importance of travel insurance the hard way and now we never travel without coverage.
Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.
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