Last updated on 5 August, 2023
Are you keen to have a lifestyle living on the road? Do you want to quit your job and live your best life travelling around Australia? Are you wondering how to fund full time travel in Australia because you are pretty sure money does not grow on trees?
Funding full time travel is doable. We know because we have done it for nearly five years through various means and resources, which we will share, along with other ideas below. You, too, can be constant travellers and afford to travel full time. It is probably easier to find the money to travel ongoing than you think.
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- How Do People Afford Full Time Travel in Australia?
- What Does it Cost to Travel Australia?
- How Much Money Do You Need to Travel Australia for 1 Year?
- How to Fund Full Time Travel in Australia?
- How can I earn money while Travelling in Australia?
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How Do People Afford Full Time Travel in Australia?
Full time travellers can afford to travel ongoing for no one reason but multiple reasons, such as:
- they still work when needed, often taking on jobs they have never done before, are remote and are essential jobs that many others will not do, like cleaning amenities in caravan parks,
- when they do work, they keep their eye on the final goal – saving money for more travelling,
- they believe experiences and living life is more important than possessions, so they buy less stuff,
- they action plans to make full time travel happen for them; there is no dumb luck,
- living on the road can, for many, be less expensive than living in a house,
- they have access to funds such as pensions, investments or other sources of passive income, and
- they make it happen.
Full time travel in Australia is affordable if you want to do it. You have to figure out your means of funding it.
What Does it Cost to Travel Australia?
Budgets and expenses vary significantly between full time travellers in Australia. $1 a kilometre is the amount most people have heard. It is, by coincidence, what it costs us as a couple travelling full time.
For families travelling with children, the costs are higher. $1000 a week is closer to what families spend.
The cost of travelling Australia in a caravan varies depending on how you travel. Our post How Much Does it Cost to Travel Around Australia in a Caravan? Best Guide to Expenses does a deep dive and has lots of tips.
How Much Money Do You Need to Travel Australia for 1 Year?
To do the Big Lap of Australia in a year based on the $1 a kilometre for couples and $1000 a week for families, it will cost $35,000 to $50,000+.
There are ways to save money while caravanning around Australia to reduce overall costs. From our experience and reading what others spend, the above figures are a good guide.
How to Fund Full Time Travel in Australia?
Savings! Save Before You Start Travelling
One of the best ways to afford full time travel is to have savings. How much money you should have saved before travelling is entirely up to your comfort zone and how you will fund your travels ongoing.
When we were preparing to travel full time, it was our goal to have enough money in savings to travel for a year. After that year, we knew we would have to work.
Accrue Annual and Long Service Leave
Once you have decided to travel constantly stop using your annual leave and save it up. Long service leave is another potential chunk of money to help to get your travel life happening.
Also, remember that you accrue leave while on leave. In addition, you will also get paid for public holidays. I used this knowledge to make money while we travelled without having to do anything.
When Daryl and I started living in our caravan, I had eight weeks’ leave. My employer wanted me to take my leave as a lump sum, but I declined. Instead, I put in for leave for eight weeks and gave them my resignation date as the last day of that leave.
The first day of my leave was 24 November and the last 23 January, which was also my resignation date. In my final pay, I got over one week’s additional pay for the public holidays in December and January, plus the additional leave days I had accrued.
Sell Your Home
Selling your home to fund full time travel is a legitimate option for some people and the option many choose. Many who make this choice do so to make money from the sale and to be free of the responsibilities and burdens of home ownership or being landlords.
It is not the choice we made.
Use Rental Income from Your Home as a Passive Income
Rental income is a way to keep your home and create a passive income to help finance full time travel.
We decided to rent out our home.
The rental income we get from our home pays for the mortgage plus our boring, but necessary expenses:
- Insurances on our house, car and caravan
- Registration on our car and caravan
- Mobile phones and internet
- Ambulance cover
- Rates and water on our home
- Roadside service
- Daryl’s golf membership
- Streaming services
- Blog costs
- Maintenance on our house (when needed)
Add Funds to Your Travel Savings Account
Stopping to work is how many full time travellers fund their lifestyle. The point of working on the road is to put money into savings to travel again.
It is helpful to have some strategies or a savings goal to make sure money gets saved. As a couple without kids travelling with us, we aim to save at least 50% of our joint income. There have been times we have saved more than 90% of our earnings because we did not have to pay for our food or site fees, plus we are driving way less, saving us heaps in fuel, our biggest expense travelling Australia.
Aged Pension or Super Fund
Use an Inheritance
Getting an inheritance is not something many can rely on getting, yet many do and could go some way or a long way to funding their travels.
I gratefully received an inheritance from my grandparents not long after Daryl and I had started travelling. We used the money to reduce our mortgage debt rather than add it to our bank account to spend. The less we have to pay on mortgage repayments, the better.
How Can I earn money while Travelling in Australia?
Stop to Work on Your Travels
Finding work around Australia on your travels is a great way to add funds to your travel budget and a fantastic way to spend more time in one place to explore it more thoroughly. There are plenty of jobs for full time travellers in Australia, particularly in rural and regional regions where there are not enough workers.
Ultimately, when we stop to earn money, we want to make enough to live and save. In regions of Australia where travel costs are high (especially during peak seasons), it may be reasonable to earn to cover those costs.
Jobs like caravan park cleaning for a few hours a day for your site fees and a small income can be a great way to earn money and still have time to do things in the area. Although I would add in the current job market, many caravan parks are not charging workers for sites as an incentive.
Make money while you travel by working online, either for yourself or someone else. The covid world resulted in many jobs being done from home or while travelling. Perhaps you can use this to your advantage.
Work for Yourself as You Travel
Do you have a trade, skill or idea you can take on the road with you and earn money as you go? Pay for your travels by making money from your caravan. We have seen other caravanners do it by providing services other caravan travellers may need or want:
- solar panel cleaning
- yoga and pilates classes
- air conditioner regassing
- automotive electricians
- selling magnetic door screens (modified to fit each van)
- dog sitting and training
- selling coffee
- selling homemade food goods
Do FIFO Work
Fly in fly out is more common amongst travellers than I had realised until I recently considered doing it myself and started asking around.
The feedback is most travellers doing FIFO work to fund full time travel expenses prefer two weeks on, two weeks off. The other feedback has been it is less flexible than other jobs travellers do because it requires planning to know where the FIFO worker will fly in and out from and to.
I hope you now have a few different ideas on how to fund full time travel in Australia. Do you have additional ideas to what we have said here? If so, please share them!