The ability to drive in one direction for at least an hour or two, to then find yourself in a fabulous new place, teeming with great food, amazing wine and lazy, sunny days without end is right here.  All you have to do is hitch a caravan to your car and go for broke! Caravanning around Australia has so much to offer you and your family. It’s a perfect way to unwind and spend quality time with your loved ones. There’s no fussing about where you’re going to stay, how you’re going to get there – it’s all taken care of! Here are 6 tips for caravanning around Australia.

1. Be prepared

I know it seems like such a Girl Guides cliché, but you have to be prepared. If you are travelling around Australia, you have to keep in mind that you might be 375km between fuel stops (up to 800km in some areas) so you’ll have to carry your own spare fuel, food to last and your own water. Water is non-negotiable: especially in dry desert areas.

Make sure to carry your own fuel in case of emergency on a long run

2. Use Highway One

Also known as the M1, Highway One circles the rim of the country. It’s the only road that reaches right up North. It’s also the one most populated with rest stops, toilet facilities and overnight areas. These overnight areas are usually safe, as you’ll rarely be alone in one of them! Remember, caravanning can be a great social activity, too! Remember – sticking tonorth-south/east-west drives is safer than travelling on diagonals.

3. Stress less and go during off-season

You’ve been to the beach in summer, right? It’s crowded, hot and sticky. Fighting for a spot on the beach is no fun at all. So avoid going during summer, Easter and during school holidays. It’s definitely worth exploring places off the beaten track for some great spots unspoiled by an influx tourists.

4. Shack up in one spot as a “base”

If you love one aspect of Australia, it makes sense to explore it all. If you love wine, you can take your caravan to the Barossa Valley, unhitch the caravan and start exploring the region as a series of day trips! It’s a fantastic way to experience life in a different part of Australia without having to pick up sticks!

5. Always take the weather (report) with you

Just remember, Australia is a huge place with lots of weird weather (and no, I’m not just talking about a typical Melbourne day.) You might have to contest with 45-degree days, cyclones and big wets in the Top End. Know what you’re up for before you head there.

6. Embrace the caravanning spirit

Throw your itineraries and schedules away – caravanning is an adventurous way to unwind! You’re literally as free as the roads take you. No flights to catch, no timetables to follow; it’s as relaxing as you make it. Make new friends, explore new places and have more fun than ever before!
All images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0

 

Bill-Tsouvalas-Leaders-in-Heels-imgBill Tsouvalas

Bill Tsouvalas is founder and managing director at Savvy Caravan Loans – a part of the Savvy Finance group. Bill has been working in the vehicle and leisure finance business for more than eight years. He also writes car reviews and articles on car finance, chattel mortgage, insurance, consumer protection and insurance related topics.


We all value our health, but many Australians do not make the right financial decisions to protect their health or ensure they are financially covered when they are sick or injured. Positive Lending Solutions provides insurance options for these types of situations. Here, Positive Lending Solutions Director Tom Caesar gives us his top 5 list of financial health decisions all Australians need to consider.

1. Do You Have The Right Health Insurance?

More than 47% of Australians have health insurance for a number or reasons, ranging from reducing tax, to ensuring they are treated in a private hospital, to reducing the costs of treatment. For overseas visitors such as 457 visa holders, it is a visa requirement to have adequate health insurance.

Anyone who has health insurance should regularly re-evaluate their policy to ensure they understand:

  • If they are covered for the treatments they are likely to actually need,
  • What out-of-pocket expenses they may incur if they do become sick or injured,
  • What additional benefits exists within their policy (such as discounted gym memberships)

The key is to be covered only for what you are actually likely to need, while ensuring you plan for future events such as having a baby.

2. Do You Have Income Protection?

While most Australians have an insurance policy to protect their house from damage, they are 45 times more likely to lose their house due to defaulted loan repayments (due to illness or injury) than in a fire. Most people do not account for periods when they may not be able to work and how it will impact their financial position.

Income protection can provide a ‘safety net’ for these periods, which is a great way to protect your assets through tough times.

Many Australians do not make the right financial decisions to protect their health or ensure they are financially covered when they are sick or injured

3. Do You Have Life Insurance?

Similar to income protection, Australians rarely consider the financial impact of unexpected events. In the case of your or your partner’s death, or being diagnosed with a terminal illness, it may become impossible to make ends meet.

Life insurance can cost as little as $5 per week, so it is an affordable way to achieve peace of mind. There is also Total and Permanent Disability Insurance to consider.

4. Are you up to date with immunisations?

Immunisations are relatively cheap compared to the cost consequences of being sick. A yearly flu immunisation (costing about $30) will protect you against the illness, and save you the days of work you are likely to miss with a nasty bout of the flu. Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure you regularly discuss this with your doctor, especially before each winter or when travelling overseas.

5. Are you up to date with health tests?

For many illnesses or diseases, early detection is key. There are many tests that you should regularly schedule (especially if there is a history of certain diseases in your family), such as mammograms and prostate checks. The differences between early detection and discovering issues later may mean less medical expenses, less time off work, and a faster, healthier recovery.

This post was written with the assistance of Positive Lending Solutions

 


When 5pm strikes, it can be mayhem if there isn’t a meal ready to rock and roll by 6pm! Preparation is the key ingredient in a successful meal planning strategy. To be ahead of the game, aim to plan ahead by at least a week, if not two. If that’s not possible, or plans change, you can fall back on these quick and easy recipes using ingredients you may already have on hand!

You can be ready to whip up a meal on the fly by simply assembling the following ingredients:

  • Legumes (eg: chick peas, beans etc..) that have been soaked and boiled for 10-15 minutes
  • Marinated chicken tenderloins in zip lock bags (stored in the fridge, frozen) with either honey soy, tarragon & lemon or sweet chilli
  • Washed and pre-sliced salad or vegetables that can be stored in plastic containers

Now you’re ready to go when the “What the heck is for dinner?” moments hit you!

Everything you can do in advance can help ease your stress and increase your productivity in the kitchen. Those pre-sliced veggies, chopped salad, and legumes? Add a basic on-the-spot salad dressing (a drizzle of olive oil, crushed garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt & pepper) and you’ve just created a tasty tossed salad! The marinated chicken tenderloins can be seared in your grill pan, cooled slightly, and chopped to create the perfect topping for your salad.

Pre-planned-grilled-chicken-and-salad-leaders-in-heelsPre-planned grilled chicken & salad

Time: 15 minutes

Cost: $16.49 (Chicken $10, Dressing $3, 1 Cucumber $1.49, 1 Mixed Salad 200g $2)

Keeping a few “Pantry Essentials” on hand can also help inspire delicious dinners on a moment’s notice:

  • Ready cooked brown rice packs (or legumes)
  • spring water tuna
  • sundried (or fresh) tomatoes
  • olives
  • parsley
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil

Add salt & pepper to taste, and voila! You’ll have dished up an amazing tuna and rice recipe that took 90 seconds to cook in the microwave!

Pantry-meal-Leaders-in-HeelsPantry meal

Time: 5 minutes

$18.50 (Rice $1.50, Large Tuna can $6, Olives $4, Sundried Tomatoes $4, Cucumber $2, Parsley $1)

 

For more daily inspo and info on how I manage to keep fit and healthy, come check out my IG page @1danistevens or visit DaniStevens.com and grab some affordable healthy recipes and ideas.

Featured photo credit: Panama Supermarkets 2 via photopin (license)

 

Dani-Stevens-Leaders-in-HeelsDani Stevens

Motivated to share her lifestyle transformation with the world, Dani loves to help others reach their personal goals for healthy living! You can find her offering words of wisdom, great recipes and other health and fitness inspo on her website, gorgeous pics on Instagram, and sharing the love however she can!

She is also the First Australian Food Blogger to join Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube network!