Caravanning is a wonderful way to explore the country, and for many grey nomads, it’s a lifestyle, and what’s not to love? The open air, the sense of freedom, the simplistic lifestyle, and going wherever your heart desires all from the comfort of your home-away-from-home. Packing up your belongings, hitting the open road and driving across the country for a change of lifestyle and scenery is a dream for many retirees.
There is no wrong way to explore Australia – some may choose to do the ‘big lap’, driving around the country on the ultimate adventure, while others prefer to drive up north to escape the winter chill for a tropical holiday.
However they choose to do it, they’re doing it in increasing numbers. The 55 and over grey nomad community continues to grow, with travellers taking up to 3.8 million trips for the year and spending up to 16.7 million nights while caravanning and camping around Australia.
Whether you’re new to caravanning or a seasoned traveller, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have a memorable trip. After all, the more prepared you are, the more inclined you’ll be to embrace the freedom and joys of caravanning.
Here’s our top tips for life on the road from the Starts at 60 grey nomad community:
Caravanning is a thrilling adventure, and to ensure you get the most out of your travels, it’s essential to approach it with a sense of excitement and curiosity. As you hit the road, it’s crucial to have a plan in place, but it’s equally vital to remain flexible and adaptable to any unforeseen surprises that may arise along the way.
Start by creating a rough itinerary for your trip, including the places you want to visit and the things you want to see. This plan can be a great guide for your journey, helping you to stay on track and ensuring you don’t miss any must-see destinations.
However, it’s also important to be open to unexpected changes and opportunities. Some of the most rewarding and best experiences on the road happen spontaneously, so be open to extending your stays, trying new things, and exploring off the beaten track.
Remember to be prepared for emergencies, including flat tyres, mechanical issues, or unexpected weather conditions. Make sure you have a basic tool kit, spare tyre, and emergency supplies such as food, water and blankets. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected change of plans, such as having to reroute your journey due to unforeseen circumstances.
Another important thing to consider when on the road is where you will park your caravan overnight and/or where you will base yourself once you arrive at your new destination.
Perhaps you’re looking to go fully off grid and enjoy the simplicity of nature by staying in a national park or looking for free camping sites. However, access into parks can sometimes be an issue with access commonly requiring off-road driving. So be sure to check the camping areas that you’re going to are suitable for the size and sort of rig you’re travelling in.
Alternatively, you may also consider staying at a caravan or holiday park, such as Discovery Parks, to enjoy the amenities and facilities available. You’ll be able to access fully equipped communal kitchens, shared bathrooms with hot showers, laundry rooms and swimming pools and dump points.
An added bonus of staying at a holiday park is that they’re usually located within close proximity to some of the best locations, making it a great place to base yourself. They also offer a range of accommodation options, such as powered and unpowered sites and cabins.
One of the joys of caravanning is meeting new people and making new friends along the way. Whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple or with friends, being open to making new connections can make your journey even more rewarding, potentially meeting new travel buddies for future adventures.
When you’re on the road, you’re likely to meet other grey nomads who share your passion for adventure and exploring new places. You can strike up a conversation at a rest stop, or you might bump into them at a local market or tourist attraction.
Holiday parks are also a great place to meet fellow travellers. Many parks, such as Discovery Parks, offer social activities, such as cheese and wine afternoons, gin tasting and music sessions. These events provide a fantastic opportunity to mingle with other campers and make new friends.
Making friends on the road can provide a sense of community and support, helping you feel more connected to the places you’re visiting. Plus, it’s always fun to have someone to share a meal or a drink with, or to swap stories of your travels and your favourite finds and recommendations!
When you’re on the road, it’s important to get comfortable and make life as easy as possible. After all, caravan life is all about making the most of minimal resources for maximum comfort, so it pays to be organised and efficient.
Storage is key when it comes to caravanning. You need to make the most of the space you have and keep everything in its place to avoid clutter and chaos. It’s worth investing or upgrading to collapsible storage containers that can be folded up and stored away when not in use, or hanging storage organisers that can be attached to the back of a door or the side of a wardrobe.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your storage solutions. Look for unused spaces, such as under the bed or above cabinets, and use them to store items that you don’t need to access as frequently. But when you do pack stuff away, remember to label everything so you can find what you need quickly and easily and ensure it is secured correctly, for all your bumps in the road.
If you’re taking your fur baby with you on the road, make sure you do your research beforehand to see where your four-legged friend is allowed to stay. Domestic animals are welcome at some holiday parks with plenty of dog-friendly facilities and activities on offer too.
As the largest owner and operator of lifestyle holiday parks in Australia, Discovery Parks understands what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re travelling through the Red Centre, exploring the picturesque coast of WA or road tripping up the tropical east coast, there are over 80 Discovery Parks locations to call home along the way.
Watch cityscapes transform to sandy white beaches along the Big Pacific Coast. Discover the Larapinta Walking trail in the Red Centre. Or enjoy fish and chips and watch out for whales along the Great Ocean Road. Book your journey with Discovery Parks today!