How much money do we need to Travel Australia With Kids and how do you fund your trip?


The biggest question (apart from homeschooling!) is: How much money do we need to Travel Australia With Kids (TAWK) and how do you fund your trip.  Who better to ask than those that are already out there doing it; Our TAWKers!

The following are answers and thoughts from other TAWKers (names omitted to protect privacy) to help you..... see below - But also you can grab our Travel Finance Tracker to see how much you might need.  Anyway here are other TAWKers thoughts.....


So "How much money do we need to travel Australia with Kids and how do you fund your trip?"

  • We eat well and so does the 4WD and so far we average $500 a week. Wiki Camps app has helped keep accommodation expenses down and so far we don't feel we have missed out on anything we wanted to do. Feeding and entertaining a family of 5 (3 kids - 8, 7 & 4) and fueling a V8 Land Cruiser and pulling a 2.7t caravan.
  • Budget changes per state, per week usually $400-700 per week. We have 2 adults and 3 kids. Not letting money dictate our lives, as it was back home.
  • Use Wikki camps and Camps 8. We are leaving with around $17,000. Last time we left with $1500 but then we had to work quickly!
  • I'd recommend being as debt free as you can. We rent our house out but its still a pain. You can travel with some savings, it just means you travel a little slower and you may have to work every so often. If you really don't want to work you'd better start saving!
  • We plan to be gone 12 months, should need approx $63,000. Not planning on working but if something comes up we will.
  • We are a family of four. Budgeted for $1500 per week but only spending around $1200 per week. That's mostly staying in caravan parks. Plan to do more free camping up the east coast so should bring it down more.
  • We mostly free camp and use low cost camp grounds. We're a family of 6, 2 adults 4 kids and 2 dogs. We average about $600 per week, more when we are going to special places ie zoos play parks etc.  We stop for work when we feel we need a top up in the cash department then off we go again into the distance.

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  • We sold everything, have no debts and receive Family Tax and Austudy, as I study full time while travelling. We have picked up little bits of work here and there, but are now planning to stop somewhere to work for a longer period to build up our finances again.
  • Save up, then travel in small stints. You don't have to eat a cow all at once, neither do you need to travel all of Australia in one go!
  • Sometimes Caravan Park's will trade accommodation for doing odd jobs around the park. Often they only need help in peak seasons so it can be a win - win.
  • You can register with Workaround Australia, and there's a book that helps you with where work is, what state has what and help on getting work.  We've had some success with it.
  • We are using our savings and fortnightly Centrelink money as this is how we are living at the moment. Just as people who live in a home claim Centrelink and use it for rent, bills and food. 
  • You can do it on any budget. It just depends on what you want to see and do. Buy a tent, some simple camping gear and go for small trips. The overall experience is still the same whether you have a luxurious expensive van or a tent.  The point is you just have to do it otherwise there will always be a reason not to. 
  • It all depends on what setup you want to travel in as how much money you need upfront. Travelling wise living expenses are a lot cheaper than in a traditional house but it's a good idea to have a decent stash you can access for emergencies.
  • We allow $350 per week for 'rent' for the times when we choose/plan to stay in a park, but that is usually the MOST we would pay. $300 is about an average cost for 2 adults and 2 children.  We also try to free camp as much as possible. Overall its a lot cheaper than 'normal' rent back home.
  • We just free camp 99% of the time and when things are tough and money tight, we don't move until money has replenished a little. You can use the TAWK Spreadsheet to keep a track of things.
  • We spent the money upfront to be self sufficient. This means we can free camp most of the time, we prob spend $200 a week at the most on accommodation.
  • Look for station work as usually accommodation, food, power and water are included as well as a wage. It's been the best way for us to save as there's nothing to spend money on when you are there. Also there is the Seasonal work (up north anyway), so we travel when the dork dries up.
  • Restructure your mortgage to be a line of credit and therefore you use the equity in your house to draw on when you need it while travelling. Then just manage the costs of doing things, don't treat it like a short term holiday but a lifestyle that, like being at home, needs to be planned.
  • In two years with 3 children - roughly half free camping, half parks and 40,077 kilometers - $1170 per week. This comprised of averaging out to approximately: accommodation $110 per week, fuel $105 per week, food and drink $450 per week, car expenses and set up expenses $105 per week. The entertainment/tours- $350 per week and phone/internet $50 per week. We did do a couple of flights - Kakadu and Ningaloo Reef and a day cruise Whitsundays.
  • Costs are pretty easy to predict. Once you're set up, there's fuel (calculated on consumption rate and distance), accommodation rates (if any) and your groceries etc tend to be on par with normal life. We tend to set up some work at a suitable location, then travel towards it. We're in a camper trailer but having been out in it for a year or more would dearly like to move up to a bus. Will take a caravan if funding is restricted. No matter what rig you choose, you're sacrificing flexibility in another area.
  • We do a lot of free camping heaps cheaper on the budget. Showgrounds are great to usually really well priced too!
  • Budgets vary from one person to the next but I have allowed around $800 a week. Free camp as much as possible.Get Wiki Camps app & Camps 8 book Our children are 3 and 6.
  • Free activities for the kids, then once a month we do paid amusements. Food is the same as it was at home. Fuel is your biggest expense as every one says do shorter trips with van than go site seeing whilst free camping. If staying at Caravan Park it will cost heaps more. We don't go without, we are just smarter what we spend money on.
  • We have found that about $1000 a week is a good estimate. This is with a mix of free and site stays, also doing a bit of the tourist stuff. We have been on the road 9 months and upgraded from a Expanda to a full van and have never looked back, virtually no set up. We work and stay in nice places for a few months. We found that there are so any different set ups and everyone is having a great time regardless. 
  • When I am travelling I look for "value". If you pick your entertainment and caravan parks carefully, you won't need to pay for the kids - sometimes you can negotiate with the smaller parks. We stopped for work in a rural area and they let us park the van on site and that way the kids can be entertained by having a bigger area to run around in.
  • I work on $600 per week (2adults, a 4 year old and 2 year old) and are flexible about how it is spent, I.e. If we want to spend more money on touristy stuff one week, then we free camp a little more. Been on the road 9 months. Also if you are stopped, look for free / low cost activities for the kids like playgroups, Jump and Jive etc etc., heaps with the boredom.
  • Get Wiki Camps app to start with and Camps 8. You can pretty much budget your accommodation trip using this app and book (we have). Ideas about spending money per week is near impossible because everyone has a different lifestyle and interests.
  • We took paid long service leave and saved up annual leave so still got fortnightly payments the whole trip. We didn't want to need to work on our trip.
  • A few dollars in the bank and the ability to work to keep the dream going - bye bye to our jobs and now we're getting used to life on the road. Most people have the money to do it if they really want/need to do this - most people take a big hit money wise but if that was the only thing in life what an awful world we'd live in.
Twin Falls - photo Tourism Australia
  • We rented out our house. The rent covered the mortgage etc. Car and van were paid off. Living on the road is cheaper than in a house. We worked every now and again on our trip, earnt just enough for a few more months before needing to stop again. We had some savings to start off and if it reached a certain level we would stop and work to top it up. We also budgeted for emergencies. Work out what big things you might like to do, ie flight over Kakadu, and save for them separately.
  • I'm a single parent, I live solely on Centrelink benefits and have some savings, I free camp as much as I can. We eat cheaply, don't do the major tourist attractions.  We travel to next destination when finances allow as fuel takes up a lot of your money, so stay places a bit longer. It is much cheaper than living in a house!

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