The idea of planning a campervan trip can be thrilling yet paralysing. Procrastination takes over especially when our hearts wouldn’t stop saying “I don’t know how to start”. Don’t worry, we have all been there! So, here’s a checklist to help you kickstart your planning.
1. Figure out your budget.
Duh?! This is a no-brainer tip, you must be thinking. Well, yes and no. If you are a first timer, it is easy to miss-out on essentials you need to allocate funds for during a campervan trip. It is important to do this at the start of your trip so you will know what to book next. So, what are the essentials?
- Air tickets (if applicable)
- Campervan rental costs
- Transportation cost to and from the campervan depot
- Campsite parking costs
- Fuel (On average, a campervan consumes 12-14L per 100kms – depending on model)
- Travel insurance
- International license / translation cost (if applicable)
- Miscellaneous equipment (winter clothing, sleeping bags etc)
2. Check for Flight Tickets (If applicable)
One important point here is to make sure your flight arrives within the depot operating hours. Don’t book a flight that arrives at 1:00am when the depot opens at 08:00am. (Reminder: It is not advisable to drive when you are sleep deprived.) You will now notice that flights that arrive during the day are more expensive than those during odd hours – here is when budgeting comes to play again.
Note: We highly recommend booking your campervan before your flight tickets as campervan availability runs out within minutes.
3. Choose your Campervan
This is a tough one for first-timers especially when some of the vehicles look huge and intimidating. Go ahead and give the companies a call or send them an email to get recommendations and clarifications before you make the booking. Here’s a list of details you may want to consider:
- Price range
- Manual or automatic transmission
- Driver’s requirement (are you over the minimum age requirement? Is your driver’s license recognized or do you need an international license?)
- Would you like shower and toilet facilities in the vehicle?
- Age of the vehicle
- Do you need a 4WD or 2WD?
- Optional items (Do you need a child seat, heater, GPS or snow chains?)
If you need help with your decision, feel free to drop us an email at [email protected] or call us at +61 3 9317 4991
4. Plan your Itinerary
But wait! Isn’t a campervan trip supposed to be free and easy? Well, yes and no. While you want to enjoy the freedom of driving and stopping anywhere you want, you need to know where to spend the night. You definitely want to plan where you’re heading to be able to pre-book campsites. Note that restrictions do apply when it comes to free camping in Australia / New Zealand. Be sure to find out the local town council regulation before spending the night.
Tip: Planning your itinerary will also give you a rough estimation of Kilometres you will be driving and gauge the cost of fuel you need to allocate.
5. Plan your Meals
One of the best ways to save on a trip is to prepare your own meals. Look up for easy recipes and have a shopping list ready for grocery shopping. Choose longer lasting produces if you know you won’t be visiting a supermarket soon. If cooking is not your forte, then pre-cooked meals are your best bet. Simply pop them in the microwave oven and they’re ready to eat. However, do bear in mind that you need to be plugged in to a power source to use the microwave oven.
- A couple of bonus points that you may find useful:
- Check for local public / school holidays (prices may be higher)
- Do you need a local sim card / satellite phone
- Always read the terms and conditions especially for road travel restrictions
- Have the right expectation for the campervan. If you’ve booked a budget vehicle, do not expect deluxe facilities like a 5-star hotel
- Read up on other people’s experiences
With all the guidelines above, we hope that you are able to start planning for the campervan trip you have been dreaming of. For more information about campervans, please visit www.aussiecampervans.com