Whether you have $50 in your bank account and you just can’t take your normal day to day life anymore or you’ve been saving for this road trip for a year, no one wants to spend more than they have to. Here are 5 tips for how to make every dollar count on your next road trip.
#1 Make the most of free camping
It sounds obvious doesn’t it? But how do we know where to free camp? Spend the $5 and download the Wiki Camps app, it will save way more than its worth. But not only does it offer free camping spots, it has so much! From locating the nearest bathroom you so desperately need on your road trip, to finding the perfect waterhole to have your afternoon dip in. Just knowing what type of facilities are available in the area and if you’ll have phone reception, Wiki Camps has it all and is my number 1 must have for travelling Australia.
#2 Cut the crap!
While travelling, it’s easy to want a romantic picnic with cheese platters, crackers, your $15 bottle of wine and cabanossi. This is all good and well but you just spent over $30 on one meal that probably didn’t fill your boyfriend up. Be smart with the food you purchase and limit takeaway meals to special occasions. Sometimes it is hard to say no to convenience but you’ll spend the savings on better memories like snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef. If you have the freezer space, always try bulk buy meat and separate into separate meals. We also try going to Coles and Woolworths mid-week when they mark down the meat. Sometimes you can enjoy a restaurant style meal for 70% off.
#3 Go all out on free facilities
Instead of using your own gas, use the free BBQ at the park and the tap to fill up your water bottles, water tank and to wash the car. Sometimes if you are sneaky enough, you can give the car a quick spray in the wash bays made for boats (shhhhh you didn’t hear that from me!)
#4 Take what you need
I made this mistake at the start but who can blame me, I had to squish 3 double cupboards worth of clothes into well, a bucket is all I pretty much got. Try to plan out your trip so you know what seasons you will be travelling in, what activities you will be doing most and pack accordingly so you can wear the same clothes for multiple occasions. You don’t want to get to Mt Everest and realise you didn’t bring hiking gear. Next thing you are spending $100 on things you already have back home, eating into your road trip budget. The same goes for kitchen appliances. Look at what food you will be eating and how you plan on cooking it. This will reduce the pots and pans you leave with and what you bring back.
#5 Make a friend
Call into your local information centre at each town and talk to the staff about the activities around the area. They will provide you with maps, brochures and a list of free activities to do that will save you $$$. Plus sometimes the best places to see aren’t in your normal tourist guides so a local’s tip is always welcome.