Borders are finally opening around the country and around the world – and we can get back to doing what we love again: getting away on a holiday! A lot of us have been itching to go somewhere for two long years, and now is the best time to plan. But where should you go? How will you get there? How are you going to pay for it all? In this extensive blog post, we give you seven tips for planning your next holiday getaway.
Deciding where to go!
The first step in how to plan your next holiday getaway is deciding where you want to go. If you’re looking for an adventure in Australia, this means picking a general region – the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, Far North Queensland, Barossa Valley in South Australia – and so on. Some regions in NSW are prime destinations for weekend escapes, as we’ve shown here. Think of a few regions you’d like to visit and add them to a short list.
Looking for off-beat destinations
If you’re looking for adventure (and we can bet our bottom dollars that you are), looking for off-beat destinations should also be on your list. You can set up a base in a larger city and use it for day trips or overnighters to some of Australia’s best camping spots such as Daintree National Park in Queensland or Barmah Lakes in Victoria. There’s heaps out there – you just have to do a bit of research!
Setting your budget
An extended holiday can cost a bit of money – especially if you’re planning to purchase a new recreational vehicle or caravan as an investment in future holidays. Even extended trips can be a real drain on your finances. You should set a budget that takes travel, accommodation, food, activities, and a bit of spending money into account. Need help setting your budget? Our friends at Trip In A Van has handbooks and cheatsheets you can buy here.
Get your finances sorted
To help you navigate the costs, you can take out a personal loan. One way to find out how much you can afford is to use a personal loan repayments calculator.
To use one, you need to know the amount you intend to borrow, the interest rate, and the loan term. This will give you an approximate repayment figure – usually monthly or fortnightly. You can use this to determine your overall budget.
One tip you should heed is to look for comparison rates during your loan search. Comparison rates are interest rates plus most major compulsory fees added in, shown as one percentage per annum (per year.) These rates will usually have the phrase “comparison rate” written somewhere underneath. Comparing “bare” interest rates with comparison rates isn’t “apples to apples” – so keep that in mind.
When is the best time to visit?
The next tip is researching when is the best time to visit your chosen destination. Will you freeze your buns off in Victoria’s High Country if you go around June? Or swelter in Nimituk during the wet season in the Northern Territory? Make sure you do a bit of research about the weather – though sacrificing a bit of comfort for cheaper travel or accommodation isn’t altogether a bad thing!
How are you getting there?
Unless you’ve already made your mind up about caravanning or taking an RV, you need to figure out how you’ll get there. Will you take a plane for most of the journey and hire a car or 4WD? Is taking a relaxing train to your destination an option? Make sure you figure out what’s within your budget and what’s most practical for your destination.
Caravan parks, powered sites, or off the grid?
The next thing you need to plan is accommodation. Where you’re going to stay is a crucial element to any holiday getaway. Are you going to hitch your caravan to a powered site? Will you just go camping most of the time? With so many options such as hotels and AirBnB or Stayz for homestays or lodging now available, planning ahead not only beats anyone else to the punch, but could net you a bit of a bargain. Some homestay hosts offer discounts for extended stays – so why not make the most of it?
Plan (or don’t plan) your activities
We know you love adventure – but you may want a bit of a relax too! That’s all fine – but remember to plan your activities in advance so you aren’t left wanting when you find out something’s full up, booked out – or worse – closed for the season. Though you might be wary of border closures and other hang ups (and we don’t blame you) make sure there’s refunds for cancellations just in case you aren’t able to make it for whatever reason. You can also take out travel insurance for domestic trips – for lost or stolen luggage, travel delays, and rental vehicle excess.
Your next holiday getaway need not go awry – a bit of foresight and planning can go a long way in making your next trip memorable, affordable, and fun!