Need advice - Family Holiday

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Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Hoff2009 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:05 am

Hi we are new to the forum, so here goes. We are intending to travel around ½ of Australia with kids aged 9 & 11, just wondered if anyone else would be able to advise, recommend and assist us with planning our very exciting holiday with our children.

We will be travelling from Victoria up the Centre to Darwin and then down the West Coast then back to Victoria. (10 weeks)

When – Start travelling in June 2010
Car – Holden Stationwagon
Caravan – It’s old, but should do the trip – fingers crossed
Budget – What should we expect (accommodation / fuel and anything else you might think of)
Activities for children when we arrive at locations (not sure where to stay along the way – advise would be appreciated)
Where to stay (free camping / Caravan Parks) – to breakdown the cost

If anyone has already done this trip we would love to hear from you about your itinerary and any other advise you could give.

Kelly
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:29 am

Hi Kelly and WELCOME to the forum.

My suggestion would be to firstly......buy the Camps Australia Wide 5 book as it lists many free camping and low cost destinations Aust wide. Buy it from you local auto club as you will get it at a discount price.

Secondly I would be leaving the fine details until you are actually on the road and then as you approach each place head to the Tourist Information Centre. Here you will find all the local info, maps, accommodation etc and you will find it in this town for the next, so you will know in advance what to look for.

One of the things I did was look at accommodation info when I was in the Information Centres and as a result came up with properties where I could camp for $10 a night per vehicle….very cheap accommodation if you are self contained.

You might like to work out how many sets of clothes you each need and then plan to be in a CP on the 5th day or whatever in order to charge any batteries, wash cloths, hair, fill up the water tanks etc. If space is not too much of a problem I would look at maybe 7 days of clothes for each but also make sure you put in summer clothes for the day time as well.

Fuel costs will definitely be very different to what you are used to, so work out on a cost average way beyond what you are currently paying and then what is left over is a bonus. (Eg: when I travelled recently I allowed $2.20 per litre for diesel for every klm I planned to travel…diesel at home was only @1.16 at the time. My car uses somewhere in the 13-15 litres per 100 and I calculated 20/100. I over calculated and it ended up being a bonus when I ended up travelling almost a 1000klm more than I had originally planned, my itinerary was very flexible)

I personally would not be locking into a set regimented itinerary but would be leaving it open and plan as you go…day to day. Plan overall but leave the specifics for when you are out there travelling.

As far as the children and their activities…again I would not be so concerned about organising this in advance other than schooling requirements. Encourage them to look at their own activities and again a lot of this can be found in the Information Centres.

This is a great adventure you are looking at and the education value for the children will be enormous. Make sure they each have their own journals so that they too can write about their adventures. In fact you might find this is a requirement of their school teacher as well.

If they are internet savvy (and you are travelling with this option) let them create and maintain their own blogs along the way. Alternatively there are many places along the way where you can publicly access the internet.

Make sure they each have their own camera if they do not already have one each….good suggestion for Santa as well.

Cheers....and happy planning
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby markcrook » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:00 pm

Excellent advise Gypsy :+
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Matilda » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:03 pm

Hi Hoff2009.

Welcome to the forum, you will get plenty of advice here :grin:

In 2000 we did a similiar trip from Vic to Darwin, but came home via outback QLD and NSW. This trip took 6 weeks and was 10,000 kms and spent about $1000 per week. Going around the West will be further so you will need allow more than $1000 per week. Fuel and accomodation will be more expensive. We tented everywhere except for the first and last 2 nights which we stayed in cabins.

Our kids were 7,10 & 13 similiar to your kids, they had an absolute ball, the experience was amazing for all of us.
The kids teachers were happy for them to go but asked them to do a diary, which we used a project book, they added a short story, postcards, pictures cut out from brochures and other weird and wonderful things they picked up alsong the way. As you will have the internet a blog is good too, they will be able to add photos along the way.

Enjoy the trip, have a great adventure 8)
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:40 pm

markcrook wrote:Excellent advise Gypsy :+



Thank you Mark
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby bethie » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:12 pm

As far as the children and their activities…again I would not be so concerned about organising this in advance other than schooling requirements. Encourage them to look at their own activities and again a lot of this can be found in the Information Centres.


I disagree with this but only slightly. Keep an eye out for markdown activity books, pencils, crayons or ds games. Whatever you plan to use as entertainment for the children, buying little bits at a time when its cheap, can save money. I found the $2 shops had some travel packs. Also look at the bookclub that comes through the school. Usually they have activity packs. Suduko books might be entertaining for the 11yr old.

I would also look at getting/borrowing a power converter/adaptor. That way you can charge the DS/laptop/phone from the car battery when driving.

This trip took 6 weeks and was 10,000 kms and spent about $1000 per week. Going around the West will be further so you will need allow more than $1000 per week.


::() Holy cow ::() Obviously I have no idea about costs and travelling. Here I was thinking I should take the kids to the NT next (QLD) winter. If its going to cost over 4K, perhaps I need to rethink it.
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:22 pm

Matilda wrote: spent about $1000 per week.



I did not spend anywhere near this amount of money on my trip and think that you can certainly do it cheaper....mind you I did not have any children with me so don't know if having them along would make that much difference in costs.
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Blue Bravo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:46 pm

Work out an rough kilometrage for the trip as this will set the time frame. I'm guessing you will cover around 15,000 k's and in 10 weeks this means you will need to cover 1500 per week. Towing a van will kill your average fuel consumption. For a petrol motor expect to use about a 1/3 more than usual. You will need to work out the maximum range as in WA the next fuel can be several hundred k's. Caravan park accommodation will average about $40 per night (many parks charge extra for kids) so any free camping will be a bonus. Also you will need to find parks that will allow dogs. Make sure you make your lunches and have drinks available as buying them soon adds up.
The trip will be fantastic but you will be on the move so don't expect to be able to spend much time in any one place.
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Matilda » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:29 pm

Taking children on a trip will add costs with, extras food & drink, taking a lot more luggage, bedding, chairs etc therefore adding extra weight means using extra fuel, every night accommodation costs more, more souvenirs, go to any attraction and it costs more.

Worth every penny of course, our kids love travelling and seeing this spectacular country!
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Hoff2009 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:21 pm

Thankyou everyone who offered advice and tips, will be fun planning the trip, can't wait till we take off on our adventure. We think the idea of having a rough itinerary is a good one and to be flexible as we go seems like a plan.

Kelly
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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:12 am

Another idea for the kids Kelly is to search the internet for free downloads of kids travelling related games.

I am not one for electronic games etc, I believe kids should experience what is around them and a lot of these types of games from the internet will get the kids thinking about what is happening outside the car along the journey.

Try this site as an example: http://www.travelmate.com.au/FunTrip/FunTrip.asp


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Re: Need advice - Family Holiday

Postby Hoff2009 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:59 pm

Thanks gypsylady for the games site will be definately using some games for when we are on the road, I think we will need them.
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