The Great Australian Road Trip, The Frugal Way

It had been a crazy few weeks.

We’d been spinning around and around, trying to decide on our transportation options for our 10 month road trip through Australia. 

One day we’d were hung-ho about buying a campervan, the next we were talking about using what we had: our Ford Kuga and camping gear.  What it came down to was money (of course!)

We needed a cost effective solution. While we found campervans that would work well, we realistically didn’t want to spend $55,000 for such a short term solution. Campervans don’t come cheap in Australia, but here’s a reality check, now we’ve done the road trip, we REGRET not buying the one we found which was in great condition for under $40k.

But I digress… back to the story.  Most Campervans we looked at had high miles on the odometer, rust in the doors and rattles at every bump. And when you’re living out of a campervan for 10 months, you want it to be comfortable.

We considered things like good storage, low mileage and no rattles (unlike the rental campervan we took to Outback N.S.W.)! Those campervans didn’t come cheap and if I’m honest here, we needed to weigh our sanity in there as well.  Let’s face it, we’re not young things anymore that can just drink away the odd “van quirk”.  But we’re not ‘old codgers’ either, so that’s why we thought we’d found to be a good solution.

After ‘crunching the numbers’ (again and again), we decided to use our current vehicle and become professional house-sitters.  Now this worked GREAT for us  – and we continue to travel as Housesitters – and realistically we could have still Housesitters, but travelling with a campervan.  Yes, it is a regret.  But let’s move on from that, shall we?We used our existing car – a Ford Kuga  – which was paid off. We camped when we could, when the weather cooperated, which turned out to be one week over the entire 10 month period. When the weather was crap, we stayed in AirBnbs between housesits.

Here is a SHOCKING reality in Australia. It is cheaper to stay in an AirBnb than staying in Holiday Park, cabins or even in hotels – and it gets cheaper the longer you stay most of the time.

This was, of course, when we were not housesitting, which turned out to save us almost $18,000.Housesitting was great for us and we have had some phenomenal opportunities.

  • We housesat on a 5 acre farm in the Bellarine area in Victoria for two months.
  • We got to hang out in North Hobart for a number of weeks, at the base of Mount Wellington.
  • We chilled for six weeks at the southern point of Western Australia.

These were just some of our housesitting adventures that allowed us to slow down and explore areas, while getting to look after some amazing animals and ‘be a local’ for a while.  We’ve become friends with homeowners and many have asked us to return to housesit again.

Best of all – we got to do it for free (minus the signup costs to participate in the service).  Yep, welcome to housesitting.  We exchanged the accommodation costs (including utilities) to look after houses and pets while the owners traveled themselves.  It was –  and remains to be –  a great way to travel.By travelling this way, saving money through Housesitting and using our own vehicle, we were able to:

–  stay a week in Cairns exploring the Great Barrier Reef (March),

–  camp for two weeks in the Australian Snowy Mountains (April)

–  spend a total of about two months on the beach in and around NSW and Victoria(March/April/May),

–  hang out for two months on a 5 acre farm near Melbourne (June/July),

–  travel to Kangaroo Island on Australia’s south coast (August)

–  spend 3 months exploring Western Australia (August/Sept/Oct)

–  before finishing the year, we travelled to Tasmania, to not only housesit, but to stay in some amazing AirBnbs (Nov/December)


Who says travel is expensive?

Here are some links you may find useful:

If you’d like to try Airbnb for yourself, here’s a credit for your first stay (can be used globally)!  JTNDZGl2JTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZ3d3cuYWlyYm5iLmNvbS5hdSUyRmVtYmVkZGFibGUlMkZhaXJibmJfanNzZGslMjIlMjBhc3luYyUzRCUyMiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRSUzQ2RpdiUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIyYWlyYm5iLWVtYmVkLWZyYW1lJTIyJTIwZGF0YS12aWV3JTNEJTIyYTRwX3NlYXJjaF9lbWJlZGRhYmxlJTIyJTIwZGF0YS1pZCUzRCUyMjI0NDAlMjIlMjBkYXRhLXdpZHRoJTNEJTIyNjAwJTIyJTIwc3R5bGUlM0QlMjJ3aWR0aCUzQTYwMHB4JTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGZGl2JTNFJTNDJTJGZGl2JTNF

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  1. March 5, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Glad to hear you’re enjoying the website and hope we can continue to inspire you. We will be adding in more posts as we go, on how we are doing it, so hopefully that will help you with your own adventures.

  2. February 23, 2017 / 11:42 pm

    Hey guys, you have written a very nice blog regarding traveling on a budget. I read your blog, and very pleased to read every information relating to the travel budget and the places you have described so beautifully. I am very much interested in this journey. Could you please help me out with this? I want to take this journey with my wife, and so, I want to know the booking details if you could help me through.

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