This is the tenth page of 23 with related information about making the most of your caravan holiday. At the bottom of this page I have links to the other pages and I suggest you check these out as well.
Before you start your holiday, work out a budget. This is especially important if you are going to be away for a long trip. Try to plan your cash flow and make arrangements of how you are going to continue paying your normal bills at home as well.
Working out a budget will give you an idea of how much your planned trip might cost. Money matters items to include will be:
Fuel costs – make allowances for the increase price of fuel in remote areas (it goes up quite significantly), also make allowances for the increased fuel consumption for towing a caravan
Make allowances for servicing of your vehicle
Food, including both groceries and dining out (You will also probably invite some fellow travelers for snacks or meals along the way)
Entry fees and other costs associated with tours and activities
Gifts and souvenirs
If you are planning a long trip of several months, budget in smaller blocks. One month at a time is manageable and easier to work out. If after the first month your money matters budget does not reflect actual spending, use the trends to modify the budget.
Be prepared for the range of small emergencies that can occur on the road. Most are vehicle-related expenses: tyres, windscreens and mechanical repairs. Consider also the possibility of expenses arising through injury or illness. To ensure that you can continue in comfort and without anxiety, set aside a small reserve of easily accessed money.
Consumption: 15 litres per 100km
Fuel cost (average): $1.40 per litre
Calculation: 3000 x (15/100) x $1.40
Total Fuel: $630
Service for car:
No service required
Total service: $0
12 days @ 25
2 days free
Total camping: $300
Dining out/take away 3 nights @ $40 for 2 per night: $120
Total food: $420
One day fishing on charter boat for 2 @ $175 each: $350
Movies 2 nights for 2 @ $13 per person: $52
Gifts for children: $50
Total miscellaneous: $200
Banking and Bills
Before you go, think about what bank you are with, what services they provide any how easy are they to access in remote areas. Consider one of the larger banks because they have branches and ATM’s across a wide range of locations. Australia Post, through its Bank@Post service, offers a range of banking services for a range of banks and credit unions. These services include cheque deposits, cash withdrawals and transfers.
Phone and internet banking can be a great alternative, taking away the hassle of having to find bank branches or post offices. Both services allow travelers to gain access to account information, transfer funds, make credit card and mortgage payments and pay bills. Make sure you have registered with your bank before you leave for your trip.
If you are going away for an extended holiday, you will need to make arrangements to pay your normal bills. Most major companies have direct-debit facilities where your monthly, quarterly or yearly payments can be deducted from your account.
If you want to pay your bills as you go, arrange to have your bills posted to you along with other mail. Payments can then be made in the following ways:
Use a mobile phone or payphone and a credit card or a billpay service. The latter, which draws on your savings or cheque account for the amount of the bill, can be transacted through your bank or Australia Post.
Use the internet by logging on to your bank site, the site of the creditor or a specialised bill-paying site. Many caravan parks around Australia now provide an internet service or you can take your own laptop computer with internet access.
Pay in person at an Australia Post outlet. A wide range of bills can be paid at Australia Post.
Cheques are still a useful way of paying bills. You will, however, rarely come across a retail outlet prepared to accept a personal cheque. If you have a strong preference for paying by cheque, contact the business first.
Using Credit and EFTPOS
When traveling it is a good idea to use a credit card linked to your bank account. This allows you to use an ATM, bank or EFTPOS transaction to replenish cash, pay for purchases using credit or EFTPOS, obtain a summary of transactions each month and pay bills using a mobile phone. Just make sure you keep an eye on your credit account and either ensure you have sufficient money in the account or repay what you use otherwise you will incur heavy penalty fees from the bank.
Many outlets impose a minimum amount on card transactions of between $10 and $25. Major outlets will accept most kinds of credit cards but many smaller businesses only accept MasterCard, Visa and Bankcard.
Cash is still an important when money matters: especially when you are traveling and spending small amounts of money at different places. Many small businesses – markets, takeaway food outlets and cafes among others – do not have card facilities and many more will not accept cards for small amounts. Paying cash for incidental items, such as chocolates, lollies, ice-creams, refreshments, magazines and entertainment admissions, is easier than having to worry about checking off a large number of small amounts against credit-card statements. If your bank charges ATM withdrawal fees, you may want to get out an amount sufficient to last you a week or so.
8 Planning Your Trip (when to travel, weather, school and public holidays, local events, finding your way, GPS, maps and guides, visitor information centres, permits, Aboriginal land, National Parks, private land)
Hopefully, after digesting all this information you will have a fantastic caravan holiday. (With many more extended trips in the future). If you find it all too hard have a look at where Our Tours go and you may wish to consider one of these.