Wish you could take longer holidays and spend more of the summer in the great outdoors? Caravanning is a great way to make the most of your holiday budget and is increasing in popularity. Last year, we Australians made more than 11 million trips and spent more than 51 million nights in our caravans and campervans! If you’ve just bought a caravan, or you’re in the market for one, here are some great tips to make the most of your trips!
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One of the biggest mistakes first-timers make is not booking a site in advance in the camping hot spots. The most popular locations can be booked out months ahead, so secure your site in each place you want to visit before you set off. If you’re on a budget, there are a number of free camping sites around Australia – check them out at www.freecampingaustralia.com.au.
ALLOW ENOUGH TIME TO GET THERE IN DAYLIGHT.
Towing a caravan takes practice. You have to reduce your speed, allow for the wind factor and avoid creating a traffic jam that goes on for miles. It pays to start early to avoid heavy traffic and so you can arrive at your destination and set up whilst it is still light.
Reversing the caravan is a difficult skill to master so we recommend you practice at home. It helps if you have a partner to give you directions – walkie talkies can be a big help and will save you yelling and attracting an audience.
GET CARAVAN INSURANCE.
When you’re towing your own accommodation, it pays to get an insurance policy. Check out insurance that covers you for loss or damage anywhere in Australia due to accidents, storms, impact, vandalism, fire and theft. It’s also a good idea to ensure it covers your caravan contents.
DON’T LEAVE THE ESKY OUTSIDE.
Don’t make this newbie mistake! The interior space in a caravan is limited, so when bedtime rolls around, you might be tempted to put the Esky outside the door. This attracts the local wildlife and in the morning, there is no food left or your campsite is destroyed. If there is no room for you and all of your foodstuffs inside the van, put them in the car at night.
LAUNDRY FACILITIES MAY BE LIMITED.
There will come a time when you have to do some washing. Most good caravan parks provide laundry facilities, but it’s Murphy’s Law that everyone will want to use them at the same time. Consider doing your laundry at night. Remember to bring your own pegs.
DON’T RELY ON THE KIDS FOR COMPANY.
Caravan parks offer great amenities for the kids. You can usually let them do their own thing without worry, but you’ll probably only see them when they’re hungry. Bring a good book.
PLAN YOUR MEALS.
If you’re going somewhere off the beaten track, there may be no local shop if you run out of essentials. Always bring plenty of fresh drinking water – the local water may not be drinkable.
DON’T DEPEND ON A CAMPFIRE.
Don’t count on using a campfire to cook with. In many locations, campfires are prohibited or there may be fire bans. If it rains, you may not be able to light a fire. If your van doesn’t have cooking facilities, bring a BBQ.
BRING A FIRST-AID KIT.
It should include band-aids, bandages, antiseptic, sterile wipes, sunburn ointment, insect repellent, insect sting lotion, and burn cream. You should also include tweezers, scissors, safety pins and a knife.
IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW CARAVAN?
This is a great time of year to buy a new caravan. And if you need finance, talk to us! We can help you with a suitable loan for all kinds of large purchases – not just home loans. There’s still plenty of time to take advantage of the great summer weather and you’ll be surprised how quickly we can get a loan organised for you. Give us a call today!
FINANCE FOCUS | JANUARY 2018
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
AUSTRALIAN MORTGAGE AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS (AMAFA)
Phone: 07 3378 2056
Fax: 07 3378 2069