As you’ve probably heard, renting a campervan is one of the best ways to travel Australia. It means that you have the freedom to do things in your own time, and means that you get the chance to experience the unique places that the coaches don’t stop at.
As a team of travellers and road trip lovers who have fully immersed ourselves in camper life, we’ve come up with the top 10 tips for life on the road.
1. Buy mosquito spray!
This has got to be number one as there is nothing worse than trying to sleep in a campervan whilst there is a mosquito buzzing around your head! Mozzies will be worse if you’re camping by a river or lake so make sure you spray loads on if you are, and always spray it before it starts to get dark as the mosquitos come out at dusk.
2. Make some good playlists
Your road trip is always as good as the music you play! A lot of the time you will be driving for hours without much to see or do, so make sure you have plenty of playlists at the ready to sing along to.
3. Make use of our free money saving pack – which includes FREE Campsites from Cairns to Sydney
As a RatPack reader you can get access to our favourite FREE camp sites! We’ve added our best free camps that we’ve stayed at and pinned them especially for you on a google map link – subscribe to our FREE Money Saving Pack here & we’ll send it you free of charge with a load of other useful money saving tips and tricks..
Also, make use of Wikicamps
Wikicamps is a great app which shows you all the campsites in the area, and it also has recent reviews and notes from fellow roadtrippers. You can choose from free or paid campsites, and can choose the facilities you want and search by these (e.g hot showers). If you choose a paid campsite, try and call ahead and make a booking to avoid turning up and being turned away because they are fully booked.
4. Bring things to do in case it rains
Although most of the time the weather is beautiful, sometimes in Australia it rains pretty hard, and if it does it’s always good to have something to do inside the camper to keep you entertained! Some good ideas are: a pack of cards, a laptop and hard drive with films on it and plenty of goon!
5. Get a local phone contract so you can use 3G for maps
Unless you are a pro map reader this one is a must. You can get a sim for 2 dollars and then just buy a pay as you go monthly contract which will cost around 30 dollars a month and gives you texts, calls and data. Just make sure you get your phone unlocked before leaving for your trip.
6. Camp by the beach at least once
There are certain places where you will be able to camp by the beach and in national parks. Take advantage of this and immerse yourself in nature as much as possible. It’s such a great feeling waking up to the sound of the ocean.
7. Always carry water and snacks
There are some long roads in Australia that sometimes you will be driving down for a while before you see a shop, so make sure you’re always stocked up with plenty of water and snacks! Most campervans will have a fridge that you can store food and drink in. At RatPack we can help you choose the campervan with the facilities suited for you for the best price (more on this in a minute).
8. Wave at other campers (especially if they have the same type of van as you!)
It’s an unwritten rule that campers wave at each other when passing each other on the roads of Australia. This rule becomes even more potent when the passing campervan is the same type as yours!
9. Try and get to your destination before it gets dark
It’s pretty hard to rummage around in the dark trying to cook food and make up your bed so try your best to get to your destination before it gets dark. Also make sure you take a torch for those nights when arriving late is unavoidable.
10. Enjoy the freedom!
You will never feel more free than when you are cruising around in a campervan and everyday is the start of a new adventure. Make the most of it and remember that this is an experience you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life!
Ready for your roadtrip experience? Here at Ratpack we are unique to any of the traditional travel shops. We compare the cheapest deals for your dates and specific requests and then discount online prices making it cheaper than going direct to the campervan company. You can take a look at our comparison tool here.
We also offer a free T-shirt with face to face bookings, so that you can show us the great time you’re having by hashtagging #ratpackroadie. If you have any questions or would like to get the conversation started about your roadtrip, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post was written in collaboration with travel blogger Helena Critchley who has just finished two months of travelling the east coast of Australia, you can get more tips for your trip on her blog here.