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Mistakes we made when starting our lap of Australia

What life on the road has cost us:

Living life on the road is definitely not the cheapest thing to do but is by far the best way to travel Australia. 

You most likely won’t be working at this point unless you are one of the lucky ones who get to work remote, have your own business, or do work as a content creator.

If you don’t have a job you’ll need to have a good amount of money saved up but don’t stress too much about not having enough and being afraid to get out there. You can always drive a ‘slow’ lap and stop for work along the way. 

If you are in Australia on a working holiday visa you will need to stop to do regional work anyway so this is a good time to stop and work on the lap. 

In our first section of the lap from Perth to Darwin our spend averaged quite high, we were still finding our feet and had made a few mistakes with our set up – I will go through these in detail at a later stage. 

Let’s have a look at what we spent and why we spent so much.

 

Holiday Parks

We weren’t too keen on free camps at the start, being in a rooftop tent we weren’t sure how safe they would be. We have since done them and realised they are fine and we will use them a lot more when we set off again. This meant we spent an average of $300-$350 per week on camp sites. Which is money that could have been used on something else like activities or just getting further out of our money. 

Solar Panel

 

As we know Australia is known for its sun. A solar panel on your car is completely normal over here but one of the mistakes we made was buying the wrong solar panel. Because of the tent we had at the start we couldn’t place a fixed panel to its roof so we had a folding solar panel that we took in and out everyday rather than it getting sun while driving. This meant our battery wasn’t getting constantly charged, so the fridge would lose power and shut off. As we were out exploring all day we would arrive at campsites when the sun was nearly setting so we weren’t getting enough solar power to charge the battery. This led to 2 cost incurring issues: 

  1. Food going off – meant we had to buy food twice – our food shop averaged at $250 a week – but we could have saved on this by not buying meat twice. 
  2. Paying for powered sites to charge the food and battery – powered sites are dearer than unpowered so not only were we staying on camp sites we were paying for the expensive plot of grass. 

 

Fuel 

Another expense that set us back big time. Costing on average between $350-$450 a week. This is a HUGE expense, the problem is the price of fuel is the price and there is not a whole lot we can do about it. To try and cut back on this we will try move slower – spend longer in places we like. When we started we left in a rush to get to the next spot instead of slowing down. We had so much we wanted to see that we forgot to really take them in, this also meant we missed a lot along the way as we would only discover cool places we missed after speaking to others.

Alcohol and Take away

Alcohol I know can be a big one for a lot of people on the road – it’s just so easy to have a few bottles when you meet up with people as a way of getting to know each other. We have decided to give up alcohol for 2024 so this should be another expense we won’t have. We only averaged about $60 on alcohol which isn’t the worst but it is now a further $60 we will save. 

If you do meet us on the road though we will love to still get to know you – but maybe over a coffee instead of a beer? 

Take away was a problem for us but mainly because of our fridge situation that I mentioned previously. It became easier to just get something in the local pub or food van than to cook because after the hassle of the food going off and trying to get more we would be so fed up. We averaged about $50 a week here which again isn’t the worst but is something we will cut back on. 

Miscellaneous

I am honestly not even sure how I had such a big miscellaneous amount – we realised a lot of smaller things were missing from the set up once we got used to it so we had to buy some bits. We spend about $80-$100 a week on random bits. Our set up is pretty good now so let’s hope we will have no more ‘miscellaneous’ items to buy. 

 

What was our average spend? 

Because of all of these we averaged at about $1200 per week. Which is around €730 – like I said.. not cheap. Our plan is to keep this under $1000/€600 this time around. 

I have seen others that travel for a lot cheaper so if you have any tips on how we can make this cheaper again let me know!

I want to do a lap but the cost scares me

If you want to do a lap and you’re already in Australia then you’ll know there’s money to be made here so don’t let the lap scare you. In Australia you can pick up a job and stay for as little or as long as you like. You can plan your trip around work – for example, travel for 6 weeks, work for 4 weeks and start again. This means you’ll get to see Australia and be able to earn and save enough to get you back on the road. 

If you want to know more about travelling a lap of Australia, the costs involved, the must have things in your set up then let me know and I will get working on more content like this. 

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