You’ve left the 9 to 5 behind, and now you’re dreaming of hitting the tarmac to enjoy a grey nomad lifestyle. Freedom and adventure awaits!
You’re not alone. Tens of thousands of Aussies swap their picket fence for a steering wheel and open sky every year. It’s a part of the great Aussie Dream for many – our latest research found being a grey nomad was a retirement plan for 22% of Australians.
And more and more these days it’s not just retirees. Today’s technology has made it easier than ever for more young singles and families to make a decent living and educate their kids while exploring our beautiful country.
But travel has become more complicated. So, we’ve put together hints and tips to help you relax, unwind and enjoy the grey nomad lifestyle.
Even if you’re still in lockdown and you can’t leave yet, there’s no harm in a little dreaming, right? Take this time as prep to help make your next trip one to remember. And before you head off read our tips on how to avoid COVID while on the road.
Your Grey Nomad Lifestyle Starts at Home
Like 61% of people we surveyed recently, you’re keen to set off on a domestic road trip adventure in the next year. Know that the real secret to enjoying every minute on the tarmac is planning.
If you’re wanting to travel for a few weeks or months, you’ll need to tie up loose ends at home (and sort out your travel schedule) before you go. You’ll need to…
Switch to electronic bills and notices
If you have no permanent address, how will you receive your mail? You don’t want to miss out on critical bills and notices such as:
- Utilities and rates
- Registration and insurance notices
- Centrelink and Dept Veteran Affairs
- Bank and investment statements
Most companies are set up to deliver bills by email or BPAY view, so make a list of critical services you’ll need access to, then make the switch before you go.
Thinking thrifty with long-term planning
Retired or not, living on the road can drain your bank account fast if you’re not careful. If you’re retired, take the time to chat to your accountant or financial planner about income you can earn while away. Think investments, rent, pension, superannuation or more.
You might even exchange work on a farm or caravan park for accommodation, like Maureen and John Felstead.
While you’re working through strategies, make a plan to reduce your debts, and talk tax obligations. There’s nothing like a giant tax bill to kill the buzz of a great holiday. You want to give yourself enough financial breathing space to enjoy the nomadic lifestyle without financial stress.
Want more budget-related tips for the grey nomad lifestyle? Read this blog article.
Entertainment packing hacks
While there’s plenty of scenery to explore (remember your camera!), chances are the road hours between destinations will get monotonous at times. And, if you have kids, some prep will help stave off the “are we there yets” for as long as possible.
Family accounts with apps like Spotify, YouTube Music (replacing Google Play Music) and Deezer will let you shuffle through a playlist of songs everyone likes. #parentingwin
What about audio books and podcasts? Start a journal or start some mindful colouring? There’s a whole range of portable board games, puzzles or craft ideas (that can incorporate the scenery) to explore.
And when all else fails, there is of course the good ol’ tablet stocked with movies and TV shows. Take advantage of your wifi at home to do all the downloads you’ll need!
The minimalist lifestyle can take some getting used to, but the above plus these bonus practical packing tips will help you navigate life without a hitch.
PD TIP: Leaving your second car behind? Consider buying a safe if you’re going to store your spare keys at home. The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council’s (NMVTRC) research shows us that half of all cars stolen are taken from home using the owner’s keys – and those keys are stolen from within the house.
Choosing the best grey nomad caravan
When considering your caravan or motorhome choice, there are tons of options. Before deciding, think about your destination and route. This will influence what facilities you’ll have access to, and what you must have on board.
Shared amenities at caravan parks are convenient, but site fees can add up. Weigh the cost of that versus the cost of having showers or toilets on board, and the maintenance that comes with it.
If you’ve never driven a caravan far before, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Luckily for you we’ve created a pro’s guide to help you feel confident and prepared.
And for a little extra hands on help, you may consider taking a caravan driving course to get up to speed.
Don’t worry! We’ve tips to help you with car servicing too.
Is your insurance up to scratch?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes things don’t go to plan! For the next few weeks or months, your caravan or motorhome will be your shelter. It’ll contain everything you need to maintain your grey nomad lifestyle.
Is your current insurance cover going to cover everything you need?
If you’re living on the road, you can’t afford to be without your car. With all those extra driving hours, the risks of having an accident or injuring wildlife increase. Plus, you don’t want to be left stranded on a dusty road in the middle of nowhere – so roadside assistance is a must.
Grey Nomad Lifestyle: Part 2 Awaits
Knowing where you’re going and putting your plan into action is the next step in your journey. We have you covered here too – visit part 2 in our grey nomad travel hints series.
Over to You
Have you lived a grey nomad lifestyle before? What lessons did you learn? We’d love to know below.