Money saving tips for caravanners
With a bit of planning and forethought, you can save money on your trip and use it to spend on activities.
If you reconsider when you travel and where you stay, you can reduce the cost of your trip and find better sites and camping grounds. Here are some tips to help you save money.
- Consider your travel times
The most obvious way to save is to travel in the off season. There are fewer people around, camping fees are cheaper and the “tourist prices” have usually disappeared until the next peak season. You can also consider free camping, by avoiding caravan parks and staying in more remote locations.
- Keep an eye on your electricity usage
Manage your power for longer use and better value. Install as many solar panels as your rig needs and is safe to do so. Include a mobile panel you can shift around to follow the sun, or invest in a micro wind generator and wire-up a generous bank of deep cycle batteries. Reduce your power drain by switching to LED lights, install the most energy-efficient white goods you can afford, insulate your rig against the cold and heat, and replace the seals on your fridge and freezer to avoid cold air leakage.
- Maintain your water levels
To stretch your water supply, install low-flow taps and water-saving showerheads and ensure your grey water tank is large enough to accommodate prolonged stays in free and low-cost camping areas.
- Surf the web for free
Use free Wi-Fi wherever you can get it, so you’re not paying for data usage on your own plan. Tourist information centres can tell you where to find free Wi-Fi, but generally, you’re likely to get it at libraries, shopping centres, tourist sites, fast food outlets and at some pubs, bars and cafes.
- Brew on the road
Take your morning coffee with you rather than buying it in a café. You can still enjoy a decent cuppa to start your day and save a few dollars. But try to support local businesses in the bush when you can as they do depend on support from travellers.
- Stock up on food
Prepare some meals before you leave. Make pasta sauces, stews or rice dishes, then freeze and store them for use along the way. Bake biscuits and slices and store in sealed plastic containers to last as long as possible. This also eliminates rubbish from packaging.