Our travel has come to an abrupt end due to Coronavirus. We hope to be traveling again soon, but realise that we have been fortunate to have had 18 months travelling Australia so far. So here are some statistics for you.
Overall, our travel expenses equated to a weekly average of $839 per week.
We were on the road for 546 nights.
We drove 65 000 KM, averaging 835km per week.
Our average campsite cost per night is $12.29.
We spent 261 nights in Free Camps.
Below I have given further detail for all categories in the hope that it helps people in their planning stage.
In 18 months we set up camp a total of 259 times. With a total of 52 overnight stays.
We moved regularly. Although it was faster than some people, we did it at a pace we were comfortable with. Many who stay longer in places are fishermen or those who can lay on the beach for hours, we are neither of those.
Our longest stay was 7 nights, and that was for service and maintenance. We felt most relaxed and comfortable with 3 night stays, although we found some places have a deal “pay 3, stay 4” so we took advantage of those sometimes. From our experience, staying 2 or 3 days was long enough to see what a town had to offer. We drove a maximum of a few hundred km’s to our next camp, but it was often as little as an hour away.
Almost half of our nights were in free camps – a total of 261 nights.
We searched out campsites with a cost under $20. This was our preferred paid option. To keep our costs down, when staying in caravan parks, we chose to stay in unpowered sites if available.
In the 18 months we only had 79 nights with power. We do not carry a generator, and have not ever needed one. The powered nights have been in towns where unpowered options were not available, or on a few extremely hot nights when we “just wanted air con” Thankfully, our caravan batteries and solar set up has been sufficient, even down south in cloudy, overcast Tasmania.
Our average accomodation cost per night over the 18 months is $12.29
Eating out costs:
This category is much higher than at home. At home we only eat out for a birthday, and we might get take away pizza every month or two. I have never been able to justify the expense of take away, even when we were busy working full time.
While traveling we ate out when we free camped at Country Pubs, once or possibly twice per month, drinks with our meal at the pub were included in eating out costs.
We occasionally bought fish & chips when in seaside towns, or a pie from a country bakery for lunch on drive days, but otherwise we always ate from the food I have in the van.
Our “eating out” total also includes coffee’s, cold drinks & ice blocks.
We spent an average of $79 per week eating out.
We did not do a typical “Lap of Oz” We intentionally did a lot of zig zagging which explains the large amount of KM’s. We wanted to see more than “a typical lap”
Travelled 65173km averaging 835km per week.
Towing 80% of the time.
Spending $18000 in fuel
Groceries and Grog:
These costs were variable depending on location. We found we spent more on these items than we do at home. We live in a city with lots of supermarkets, fresh produce and major liquor stores. These were not plentiful on the road. Fresh produce is quite expensive in some outback areas and alcohol is restricted in more places than we expected, meaning purchasing a small amount when ever we could. It was not unusual for the cheapest bottle of wine to be around $12. At home, we can get a bottle for half that.
Our weekly grocery average was $171
Our weekly alcohol average was $44
Tours and attractions:
This expense included all tours, but it also included small costs involved with visiting museums and even attractions with a donation for entry.
We were very careful to search out free activities to keep this cost down, and we found lots of great things to do for free. Between us, we scrutinised the cost of every paid activity before committing to a tour with a cost.
There are some tours that are necessary to enhance your understanding and appreciation of an area, so we did not begrudge spending money for these activities, and we are thankful that these tours contributed to our positive experience, but realise that being so selective, potentially saved us a significant amount of money.
Our most expensive tour was WA’s Horizontal Falls at almost $2000, but it was worth every cent! It was always a part of our trip planning budget. Obviously that particularly large expense made our weekly average much higher, without it our weekly average would have been just $65.
Our weekly average for tours was $91.50 per week.
There were other miscellaneous expenses. For us, the largest of these was gas. We have a 3 way fridge and mostly camp unpowered, we also use the gas BBQ and caravan gas stove for almost every meal, so a gas bottle usually only lasted around 2 to 3 weeks.
Our average gas costs were $10.80 per week.
We are waiting for this Coronavirus Pandemic to ease, or more hopefully, for a vaccine to be found, so we can travel again.
Next time we hit the road, we will travel slower, we will find work while traveling and our expenses will be lower. We always intended to initially travel Australia as tourists, traveling this way is more expensive, with hindsight we are glad we decided to travel this way. We have seen so much of Australia before the Pandemic forced us to stop.
Even though we feel cheated that our trip has been cut short due to Covid-19, we are also grateful to have so many amazing memories.
65000km is so much more than others will ever see. The fact that we only had 400km left to complete our lap, will always niggle at us. The fact that we need to travel 4500km to complete that last 400km makes it more difficult to plan a completion, but, we are both young, and we have lots more years of traveling ahead of us. Happy Campers Australia will always be here for our followers!
One day, our lap will be complete, but in the meantime we have so much content to continue posting on our FB, Insta and YouTube indefinitely!
Traveling fast meant that we couldn’t keep up with posts and you guys missed out. Our only hope is that we get to share everything with you before we hit the road again 😜