11 Things To Do Before You Head Off In Your Caravan

So you’re thinking of hitting the open road and escaping reality for a while. You’ve decided that now’s the time to explore our great country from top to bottom. It’s a dream shared by many Australians and common among those who have just retired and have the time to do the trip.

You may think that a good place to start looking for inspiration is your local caravan and camping show, but before you get excited by the huge range of tow vehicles, gadgets, and gizmos, there’s a whole list of things to consider. It’s a good idea to create a ‘travel file’ before you begin shopping. This file can include sub-sections like:

Where do you plan to go?

Where do you want to travel? Will those destinations lie on main routes or will some off-roading be involved? If you intend to whisk off into the wilderness, your choice of rig should comply.

Who will you be travelling with?

grey nomad, travel, caravan travel, caravan, travelling around AustraliaWho will you be travelling with? Is it just two of you or is the whole family coming along? Taking the kids means buying a larger tow vehicle that concentrates on bed space rather than lifestyle.

How long will you be travelling for?

How long will you be travelling for? Are you planning to take lots of short trips around the country or do you intend to be gone for some time?

What is your budget?

What’s your budget? Budget plays a very important role in what kind of vehicle you choose, with options ranging from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $200,000. Don’t forget there are then the on-road costs to consider.

Do you have a sturdy towing vehicle? Caravans and camper trailers require a towing vehicle that’s authorised to carry enough weight. This weight will be calculated on the weight of your rig, its contents, and the people travelling.

Before setting off on your travels, it’s wise to create a checklist that you can mark off before you leave. A carefully made list will ensure both safety and enjoyment.

Have you organised insurance?

Specialised caravan and RV insurance can insure your caravan, motorhome, camper trailer, and other RVs against storms, hail and floods, accidental and malicious damage, theft, fire, and electrical motor burnout. Insurance gives you a peace of mind that should anything go wrong, you’re covered, and should be an absolute must when setting off on the road. You may encounter severe conditions while travelling, so it is best to prepare as best you can.

Have you thought about mail forwarding?

If you’re planning on being gone for some time, you need to arrange to have your mail forwarded, or have someone collect it on your behalf. Receiving mail can be a challenge when on the move, but Australia Post will happily bulk send to a temporary address at your request.

Who will look after your house?

grey nomad, travel, caravan travel, caravan, travelling around AustraliaIt’s important that your house looks lived in and cared for while you’re away, so arrange to have the lawns mowed and a neighbour to come remove any junk mail. It’s also a good idea to notify the police when you’re away if you are leaving the house unoccupied. If you decide to rent it out, make sure that you have landlord insurance and a property manager to oversee the house while you’re gone. It wouldn’t be pleasant to come home to a trashed house and big repair bill. Home insurance will still be necessary to protect the structure itself from weather, fire and other events.

Who will pay the bills?

However, it is nearly impossible to extract yourself from everything; bills will still need to be paid. Banks, councils and many others will continue to send you lots of post and you’ll need to make sure that all of your insurance, licences and vehicle registrations are kept up to date. You also may still need to keep in communication with various professionals who are managing your affairs while you’re away.

One of the best investments you can make to ensure that your affairs and your journey run smoothly is a diary. Keep a record of when your house insurance, car insurance, motoring insurance, driving license and vehicle registration comes up for renewal so you don’t miss anything. There’s nothing worse than getting that sinking feeling that you’ve probably missed your insurance payment as you listen to reports on the radio of wild storms battering your hometown.

Consider Setting Up Direct Debits

Direct debits are worth organising in advance as they certainly make a traveller’s life much simpler. No need to worry about due dates, bills getting lost in the post and worrying about finding a phone for BPAY – the biller automatically gets his due and you don’t need to think about it (except to ensure there is enough money in the account to cover the charges).

Make Sure You Have Internet Banking

Internet banking is also a convenient way of monitoring your finances. You can check your bank balances, pay bills, transfer money between accounts and even between banks online, 24/7. The internet is becoming more and more accessible in increasingly remote spots. Many caravan parks, tourist information centres, libraries and a myriad of internet cafes provide internet access to travellers at a very reasonable rate. If you haven’t signed up for internet banking before you embark on your journey, it is simply a matter of contacting your bank and getting some log in details organised. They will be more than happy to talk you through the process.

What About Your Investments While You’re Off Being A Grey Nomad?

Customers who enjoy being grey nomads for part or all of the year can still receive the most up to date advice even when they are on the road. Grey Nomad Wealth Solutions can talk or video with you almost anywhere in Australia and even help with your on road budget planning.

grey nomad, travel, caravan travel, caravan, travelling around AustraliaOur point of difference is simple – we replace the boring industry stereotype of financial planning being a dull 2 hour appointment in a commercial office, with an interactive engagement via Skype anywhere in Australia. Of course you are free to visit any of our offices at anytime. We offer great people, great service plus travel benefits at a price comparable and in many cases less than what others charge for financial planning alone.

We pride ourselves on delivering good old fashioned person to person service by staff who know what they are doing. They enjoy travel as much as they do meeting people. We also offer online support options for our travellers that allows to even reduce our service cost further.

It’s also the little things we do like our free mail direction service while you are travelling and a  toll free phone number to make it easy to keep in touch that help provide real peace of mind while you are travelling.

Our referral program has been built because many of our customers wanted a way to promote Grey Nomads whilst they were out on the road.

Each time one of our existing customers refers a new customer to us and this new customer becomes a Grey Nomad customer, we give the referrer a gift card to the value of $250.

There is no catch and we even provide free business cards together with marketing material (even spare wheel covers are available) to explain why Grey Nomad Wealth Solutions are different.

A referral contacts us through our 1300 number and lets us know who referred them and the rest is history.

Just by referring new customers, you could earn enough money to fuel your next big adventure.

Contact us if you’re thinking of heading off on your next adventure, or if you’d like an experienced eye run over your investments and superannuation.