Those of you who follow my Instagram account, would of seen our family road trip to Fraser Island we have not long come back from.
I thought I would share some more details of the cost of this, and how to not get lost in spending too much money while on holidays.
Firstly, I just wanted to start with the fact that our idea of a holiday is packing up the tent/swags, jumping in the car and ‘roughing’ it out the bush somewhere.
This isn’t for everyone, and I suppose most people would absolutely cringe at the thought of that.
For me, I want to cry at the fact people spend $100+ per night to stay in a fancy hotel room.
Each to their own.
Some others might also be thinking, you spent over $2k just to drive your car, camp with no facilities and look at some nice scenery’s, I could of flown to Bali/Thailand for that price!
But again, that is not something of my interest, I have traveled to both Bali and Thailand, and I would much rather spend my time, and money exploring our own beautiful country.
Because camping is a hobby of ours, we already have all the gear, and our car set up for trips like this.
So we can literally just pack the car up and go. If you aren’t set up for trips like this then obviously this wouldn’t be as easy for you to do as it is for us.
We are pretty easy going people, and don’t really plan where to stay/camp on a trip.
We just see how we are going each day and how far we travel. We did plan on camping at free camp sites, but ended up staying at a caravan park each night on the way up to and back from Fraser Island-but this didn’t bother us as it was very cheap for the big group of people we had and we didn’t have many other costs for the trip-all up for 13 nights accommodation cost us $280 (that included 2x nights stay in a cabin).
Beach camping on Fraser Island (no toilet/shower facilities) cost $6.35 per person per night. The average cost of our other nights stays was $23 for the 3 of us.
Wikicamps is a great app to use! It cost $7.99 but you are able to find all camping destination, facilities and also just tourist points anywhere in Australia. I would just type in where about we thought we would be by the end of the day driving, and click on each marked point. It tells you the facilities there, and people review and upload photos of the place, so you can find out which would be the best or cheapest within the one app. We could also find truck stops and public places to shower if need be, and the app works without having service!
The trip cost us $1064 in fuel-which was the main cost of the holiday.
Why would you spend that sort of money on fuel when you can fly places!?
Well, if you fly, you need to add the cost of the flights (3x people return) for us.
If you then need to hire a car, add that cost, or if you don’t hire a car, you are restricted to where you can go, or have the cost of taxis etc.
We sleep on our car in a rooftop tent, so that takes away the cost of accommodation for us, plus we keep all our food and cooking appliances in the car-which means we don’t have to eat out every meal, saving massively on $$$.
So driving works out a lot cheaper for us.
We spent $410 on groceries for the trip, breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 people-this included having to top up on meat, bread and milk on the Island which you can imagine cost a lot!
$161 was spent on eating out-a night at the pub, and a couple bought lunches.
But otherwise we packed a lunch everyday, and pulled up somewhere to eat/cook each day rather then buying meals all the time.
Other then that we had to pay $170 for vehicle permits and the barge onto the Island, and $310 ‘spending’ money-which included a new Tyre and wheel alignment, some souvenirs and a trip to the Zoo.
We made sure we were cautious with our spending money-we tried to buy all food and supplies back at home at the supermarket, and not give in to buying lunches or snacks everyday when pulling into a service station. We were able to stay at nice caravan parks and even a couple cabins during our trip, and all up the cost was what a hotel room in the city would cost for 1 nights stay!
You don’t need thousands upon thousands of dollars to take great, family trips.
You just need to be smart with how you spend your money.
- Don’t book expensive accommodation, especially if all you are going to be doing is sleeping in it if you’re spending your days out exploring other things. I think this is where a lot of people go wrong-they get wrapped up in the fancy looking hotel pictures online. I personally would rather spend my money being able to do activities and exploring the place I am going to, then on a fancy room I’ll only be sleeping in.
- If possible, try and take a holiday with a group-not only is it some extra pairs of hands to help with the kids, but it can also cut down the costs of accommodation and other activities with having a large group.
- If you’ve got the utilities, try and cook your own food or buy snacks from the supermarket and pack a lunch each day rather then buying food. This saves a huge amount of money! Sure, you’re on holidays and might not want to cook for once-but if that is whats going to determine whether you can take a family holiday or not because of money, then I’d sure as hell pick cooking every night while away.
- Work out if driving somewhere is cheaper then flying and the cost of hiring a car or using taxi’s
- There is an app called Fuel Map Australia that shows you the fuel prices of stations around you, so if you are heading into a town and need to fuel up you can find the cheapest petrol station via the app.
- Search for free activities to do where you are going, use the internet or WikiCamps-there are lots of attractions around that you may not even know about that don’t cost a thing! Besides the Zoo, we didn’t spend any money on any of the activities we did.
- Try and refrain from buying too many souvenirs-I think its great to get some along your travels to have as memorabilia, but only to an extent-and get things you will actually use. A lot of little nic nacs and ornaments would come home, to be shoved in a spare room or cupboard, never to be used or seen again and if you are purchasing something at every stop it adds up quite quickly! Instead of buying anything on this trip-I just focused on taking lots of photos, and I am going to make a photo book of the entire trip which can sit in our lounge room for visitors to browse through.
- Start saving for a holiday way in advance. I have already started a small savings account for another trip for us, which might not be for another 2 years time, but any money I have put aside will help with this, and this also means that if I see any deals or sales in the mean time on accommodation I can have money sitting there I could purchase it with, also saving us some money.
All up the entire trip cost us:
$1064 in fuel
$410 in groceries
$280 for 12 nights accommodation
$170 vehicle permit and barge onto Island
$161 on eating out
Hopefully reading some of these tips can help you to plan a holiday, because I really believe its an important thing to be able to create these memories with your family 🙂
Thanks for reading x