5 reasons why self-drive holidays are the best travel option

Jun 23, 2020
Caravanning holidays have many benefits and now's certainly time to hit the road. Source: Getty

Travel is back on the cards for Aussies, with states lifting restrictions on intrastate travel and plans in place to open borders in coming weeks. And there’s no doubt people are itching to get back out there after being confined to their home or local community for a few months.

So far, South Australia has announced its borders are open to residents in Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland, with plans to open to the remaining states from July 20. Last week the Northern Territory also confirmed its borders would be reopened on July 17. Meanwhile, Queensland has hinted at relaxing restrictions on July 10 and New South Wales and Victoria are already encouraging people to venture into the eastern states for a visit to help boost the tourism industry once again.

And that’s sure to happen soon, with a recent study carried out by caravan company Jayco revealing the majority (81 per cent) of people miss travelling and can’t wait to get out and about, while 72 per cent said they’ll begin travelling domestically as soon as restrictions ease further. Self-driving holidays in particular were noted as one of the favourite types of travel for Australians in coming months, with 34 per cent of survey respondents claiming they would consider caravanning or renting a motorhome to travel domestically within the next 12 months.

“There are so many benefits and added flexibility that comes with travelling on the road,” Scott Jones, national sales manager at Jayco said. “You can stop as much as you want, drive at your own pace and simply enjoy the freedom of a road trip. Not to mention the spectacular views along the way! Australia is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and landscapes in the world. There’s no better time to get on the road, connect to the great outdoors and explore your very own backyard.”

Even if you don’t have your own caravan there are options available, including hiring a campervan for a trip around your state. Travel at 60 currently has some great deals for RV hire in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, all of which include added extras such as entry to select attractions and roadside assistance.

So, what makes self-driving holidays better than other types of getaways?

Cheaper

Flights, even within Australia, can be quite pricey and come with extra costs, such as the taxi or Uber to the airport and the expensive snacks on the plane quickly eating away at your savings. When travelling with a caravan or campervan, the main thing you’ll have to worry about is the price of petrol. But, with careful planning and budgeting, your money could stretch a lot further.

You can pre-cook meals to eat along the way to avoid eating out all of the time, consider which attractions you most want to see, and stay at free camping sites some nights to save extra funds.

Safer 

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, some may be wary about getting away for a holiday. But, on self-driving holidays you don’t have to worry about being crammed together with other people, meaning the risk of contracting Covid-19 is relatively low. And Aussies have agreed!

According to the recent Jayco survey, when it comes to domestic travel and the recent coronavirus outbreak, the majority of Australians believe that travelling on the road in their own vehicle is the safest way to get to their holiday destination. In fact, a total of 76 per cent of respondents agree or strongly agree that travelling on the road in a private vehicle – whether in a caravan, motorhome or car – is safer than any other mode of transportation given the recent pandemic.

Control of journey

Group tours are great when you want to make new friends, or travel with a big group of people, but you’re usually stuck to a set schedule and don’t always have the freedom of choosing where you want to go.

When you’re travelling with your own caravan, you might reach a location and realise you really love it, so stay on for two weeks longer than you had initially planned. Or you might get talking to another traveller and realise there’s another town or attraction you want to visit, and easily divert your travels in that direction instead. The world is really your oyster and you can plan your own journey without the worry of upsetting others.

Increased privacy

Even if you love spending time with other people, sometimes you just need a break and some time to relax by yourself, or at least just with your partner. That’s the great thing about self-drive holidays, you have complete privacy from others. While at caravan parks you may run into others, at least you can escape to your caravan for some peace. Or alternatively, you can set up camp at a free camping spot, where there’s generally far less people staying.

More cultural experiences

If you’re just travelling by plane from one city to the next, it can be hard to really experience culture and different ways of life. But, when you’re travelling on the road you’ll get a real feel for the place, you’ll be able to connect with others you might not have run into otherwise, try different foods and find hidden places that are only known by the locals. As a multicultural country, Australia offers great diversity and there’s so many great places to explore!

Sue's sassy!

She became a member of Starts at 60 and got access to amazing travel deals, free masterclasses, exclusive news and features and hot member discounts!

And she entered to win a $10K trip for four people to Norfolk Island in 2021. Join now, it’s free to become a member. Members get more.

Do you have any caravanning holidays planned? Where do you want to visit first when restrictions ease further?

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