How to plan the “big lap”

Before I start making you all jealous with our glorious travelling adventures. I thought I would back track to before we left and talk about what we did to prepare and save for our trip.

Travelling Australia is something we both always dreamed of doing. We had planned on doing it in a year or two before the kids started school. Though after going insane (literally! I’m now medicated) stuck at home with a newborn and a one year old in what was the coldest Melbourne winter I have ever encountered. I thought why wait and did what excites me most and started a budget spreadsheet!!!!

I needed to work out the following figures,

  • What our house was worth as a rental. So I got on the phone and spoke to a few agents.
  • What our mortgage would be each month if it was on interest only for 12months.
  • What our bills would be monthly while we were away. Things like car reg, insurances (car, house, medical), rates, phones ect.

From there I was able to work out that our rental income would be enough to cover our bills and mortgage.

So next step was to calculate a weekly budget for while we where on the road. For that I used the weekly budget and expense tracker, grab your copy here! I started following Facebook groups (Life on the road is a great group). Theres lots of camping and caravanning pages and a lot of people just like us who are more than willing to help others with tips and info.

Just about everyone you speak to says to budget on $1000 a week. It sounds a lot but you need to take into account food, fuel, accom, drinks (which you need a lot of when travelling with kids!!) and activities. Obviously it also depends on the size of your family and how you camp (you can read more about this in my blog Caravan Parks V Free Camps).  We have been spending around $1000 on average and we have done a mix of free or cheap camps and caravan parks and have eaten out occasionally. Oh and the coffee, we pretty much find somewhere for a coffee and a smoothie for the kids everyday which adds up too!

Once I had all the figures it was time to look at the bank account and see how long we could travel for with what we had and what we could save in the next six months. We looked at a few scenarios and came up with the plan to take 6 weeks travelling up the coast from Melbourne to Wonga Beach where my Dad lives. Base ourselves there while Nicho works so we can keep exploring FNQ and then travel home at the start of next year. Though we now have the taste of it so we are hoping to continue on while working.

From there we set a date and got saving and packing! The hardest part and the part I was dreading the most was packing up our house and working out what to take (specially for the kids). Note: if you have young kids at home make sure you both finish up work a couple of weeks before you go, I would still be home packing if I was doing it on my own and I would have no hair left. We were lucky enough to be able to store some of our belongings at a family members which saved money.

Hopefully this can help or inspire anyone out there wanting to travel Australia but just not sure where to start with the planning.

Let me know if I can help with any questions you may have and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook




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