The 8 tips, apps and Facebook groups you need
Hannah Budge, with her husband Leighton and their three beautiful boys aged 9 to 12, are living the dream of vacationing in Australia.
They’re heading for two years on the road – for a tiny bit of the price they expected to pay.
“Instead of paying the $ 52,000 we expected – $ 1,000 per week – we only paid out $ 35,000 in the first year,” says Hannah.
How exactly did the Budges achieve this spectacular and unexpected saving?
Facebook groups are gold
Here are the specific Facebook groups that Budges credit with their credit –free – in fact, most of the time free – vacation.
The local Facebook group “Buy and Sell”
“If we like an area and want to stay longer or the caravan parks are too expensive, we usually just join the local ‘buy and sell’ group and say we’re happy to swap our photography skills. or in maintenance, etc., against a place to park our caravan, ”explains Hannah.
Jobs for homeless families
This one is an Australia-wide Facebook group that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Farm Sitting Australia
A group of farmers where you can find work opportunities for pay and free housing.
For former farm manager Leighton, who is a fitter and turner and boilermaker by trade, the latter has worked well. The Budges were even able to earn an income along the way – rather than just a “cash and in kind” payment – with three periods of farm labor.
“We managed a stud farm of Arabian horses. Which was interesting because we don’t know anything about horses! said Anne.
“There are also a few groups on Facebook that I use to advertise my photographs,” she adds.
“And it helps that if someone sees a local business advertising anywhere, they send me a message.”
Hannah also has these other tips for making this kind of travel work, from her now extensive experience:
Hannah’s tips for thrifty Australian travelers
Get out of the network
It’s your number one! Running a 12v system on your caravan is awesome. Even when we stay in trailer parks, we still camp without electricity. Save an additional $ 10 to $ 15 per night really added.
Share your skills
Get outside and donate your skills and time in exchange for accommodation / food / experiences.
Download the Wikicamps app
This includes all of your legal free camping areas, caravan parks, water and landfill points, activities, city activities, etc. Not only that, but it has all the reviews from other campers and vacationers, so you know where it’s best to spend your money.
Support the locals
Make sure you support small towns. If we camp for free in an amazing place set up by the city council, we make sure to refuel and buy our groceries or a meal at the pub there. Spend your money where it counts!
And the most important…
Talk to people!
They have a lot of experience and knowledge in their field. And as they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
Some of our favorite places and experiences are just being friendly and chatting with the locals.
In other words, in rural areas the values of the country reign supreme.
And the experiences that it could provide for your family – literally – could be invaluable.
Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is the author of How to get mortgage free like me, available at www.nicolessmartmoney.com. Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the full free briefing daily newsletter.