Australia is a big country, and there's a lot to see beyond the obvious landmarks and larger cities. And one of the best ways to take it all in is to go on a classic road trip.
Unfortunately, deciding to get in your car and see the whole country can get rather expensive very quickly. That doesn't have to mean it's an impossible dream, though. There are plenty of ways you can save a bit of cash on your travels, bringing down the overall cost to an affordable one. It's all about planning and taking a bit of care over your decisions. Here are some tips to get your plans started.
Pick a sensible route
Your first step should be to decide exactly where you're going to go. While the idea of just getting in your car and driving wherever you feel like is a romantic one, it's not very practical in terms of saving money.
Make a list of places you want to visit during your trip and keep it as concise and essential as possible. Plan a route between these places that results in the minimum distance travelled, and don't forget to account for your return journey home! You don't want to end up somewhere on the other side of the country with a long, expensive ride back.
When it starts to get dark and you need somewhere to sleep, you're almost guaranteed to miss out on a huge money-saving opportunity. One of the most expensive parts of travelling is paying for accommodation, so don't get caught out.
Motels are generally a good option for accommodations that won't break the bank, but provide plenty of comforts. When you've got your route planned, you can begin researching and phoning to find out the best prices you can get.
By planning this bit in advance, you'll avoid the high prices you're likely to find when you turn up somewhere without a booking or you're forced to stay in the first place you find.
Don't let your fuel run low
Fuel prices vary quite considerably from one place to the next, so try and plan in advance to find the best prices. You'll usually find cheaper fuel away from cities and large towns, so fill up where it's cheap before you don't have a choice.
Talk to locals
Wherever you go, talk to people who live in the area. They're usually fountains of information on saving money eating, drinking and finding fun things to do.
Stock up on food
Take enough long-lasting food with you that you'll be able to keep yourself going. This is much better than eating at expensive restaurants just because you're starving and there's nowhere else for miles around. It might not be luxurious, but it will help you save money.