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The 7 biggest mistakes while driving around Australia

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Renting or buying a camper in Australia is an adventure. What are the does and the donts? Some backpackers are sharing some of the issues they have to deal with while on the road – based on frequent real live scenarios – so read & enjoy – AND LEARN FROM IT ;-)

 

1. DISTANCE “Hello – I would like to drive from Sydney to Cairns in 5 days”

Yes, it happens all the time – Australia is a BIG country! So many backpackers underestimate the distances and a lot of them fail to see some of the best sites because they run out of time! You might only come to Australia once – take the time to enjoy your holiday to the max! Be prepared to compromise, because you can't see it all. In the end, you will only be dissappointed that you have not seen anything.

 

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2. HEIGHT OF THE VAN “. I drove into a car park and damaged the top of the campervan"

It happens at least 1-2 times a month. Our advice : park the campervan outside as much as you can. On pick-up, check the height of you campervan and look out for signs in front of shopping centres, car parks, tunnels and bridges – if it looks like it is not going to fit – it probably won’t fit! 

 

3. REALISTIC BUDGET “I ran out of money – I need to return my campervan 2 weeks early”.

When you plan your travels, calculate your budget – why don't you work for a bit before you hit the road? (if you are on a Working Holiday Visa ). Before you leave, you need to know about the costs of living abroad . Australia can be expensive but you can save if you research cheap grocery stores and petrol stations. We know you are here to have a good time but it's a shame spending all your money drinking, you can always do that at home!

 

4. ROAD CONDITIONS “What do you mean I can't drive 130Km/H”.

Australia only has a few highways. Most roads are one-lane roads with 80 km/h speed limit with heavy traffic around cites. Take your time, listen to your favorite CD and be patient. Also, there is a lot of wildlife in Australia, wild animals tend to be more active at night and may suddenly cross the road. Be careful and slow down, you don’t want to be involved in an accident and you don’t want hurt the animal either. Wild animals are attracted by head lights and whereas kangaroos might be cute they are definitely not the smartest :P

 

AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE “I only have $300 to spend, I will rent a cheap campervan”

Says the 5-star hotel guest…Before even enquiring about renting a campervan , you should first get a quote online to compare the different rates and features! What is cheap? What are your expectations? Are you prepared to travel in a ‘cheap’ campervan for 3 weeks? Compare your own lifestyle with the van you are about to book – if they don’t match up it is probably not a good idea to go ahead. You might save a few dollars but you might ruin your holidays. 

 

6. WEATHER “It is raining, so I want a refund"

...I thought the sun was shining all year long in Australia”! Noooooo! Australia goes through different seasons and weather conditions are no reasons to get your money back! Sydney & Melbourne can get really cold from May to September ; Wet season hits The Northern Territory and Cairns between January and March. But guess what – these months are best to travel – attractions are cheaper, it is less touristy, and you can enjoy the beach for yourself! 

 

7. RENTING A VAN WITH STRANGERS

driving-around-Australia

Sounds like fun! It’s great to meet other travelers, it’s cheap to split petrol, but when it goes sour….it can get pretty ugly. Some backpackers have involved lawyers to claim back money from their ‘travel mates’. Unless you're with good friends, we wouldn’t recommend to hire a campervan with strangers, escpecially for a long travel periods. Get to know your travel mates and be very clear about your expectations. Do you want to chill out, party, explore, hike or surf? How far can you compromise? How much money is everyone prepared to spend on the trip? Will everyone be cooking their own meal? Who will be driving, will you share the responsibility, will you share the speeding fines, parking tickets etc? What if you have an accident, who will be held responsible for this? Are you all prepared to chip in? These are questions you should discuss before hitting the road. You should be very honest about the answers to avoid ruining your holiday.  

 

Road Trips

Apart from those tiny little mistakes, most backpackers these days are very well prepared and know their travel budget inside-out! If you do a bit of research, we are sure you will just be fine and have the time of your life !! 

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