Wednesday Wonderings – 13 Accommodation Options for Travelling Families

There are so many options when choosing what to live in on the road. There are advantages and disadvantages with every option, and in the end it comes down to a combination of budget and the options that you find most important. For us, it also needed to include practical considerations in the sense that this was to be our home for a few years with little children.

You need somewhere or provisions to sleep, cook, wash (clothes, dishes, and yourself), store your belongings including food, clothes and cooking utensils. There are varying degrees of comfort that you can do that in. The disadvantages with a bigger set-up with more of the luxuries and mod-cons are that it is more expensive to purchase, it is heavier and therefore costs more fuel to tow, and you can have limited parking and camping places in some spots.

Anything from hotels to tents … I’ll try and discuss the various options …

Tents

This would have to be one of the cheapest.  If you’ve also got a four-wheel drive, you could get practically anywhere.  You’re not towing something, you’re not as limited to where you’re going to go.  I tend to get uncomfy.  Family On Bikes did this with twin boys.  Their post is specifically about bicycle touring, but I think it’s pretty relevant to travelling in general without towing your own home.

I’ve met two other families who’ve gone up the east coast of Australia for three months with their tents.  One had three kids aged 11, 8 and 5.  The other family had 4 and 2 year olds.

It’s not for me, but that’s just because I’m not a huge fan of sleeping in a tent. If you like tents and want to travel, then why not?

Campervans

We see a lot of the young backbackers doing this.  They hire a campervan for a couple of months for a trip through the outback.  After all, there aren’t many hotels, motels or hostels out there.  You bring your own accomodation, or you just don’t get it. The Jucy brand don’t look too uncomfortable, and have a roof top tent.  They wouldn’t be suitable

The Wicked brand that is covered with ‘graffiti – art’.  They look fairly cheap, and they are popular.  Most are fairly benign, just ugly.  But our eight year old asked some rather awkward facts of life over one such Wicked Campervan that had such explicit images (I’d never heard of brown wings or pink wings before I saw that van – but the images left no doubt as to what was intended).

Camper Trailers

We’ve had a few emails from people over the last few months asking, “I really want to travel, but I only have a camper trailer.  Is that enough to travel longterm?”  Of course, it just depends what you want.  The advantage is that they are a lot lighter and smaller, so you can get to more places.

They weigh an awful lot less than anything else you’re going to tow. You can get really basic ones, to really elaborate ones with full slide-out kitchens.  If you get an off-road one, these things can go almost anywhere.  Road To Nowhere has been travelling for a few months in Australia with two girls aged 11 and 17 with a camper trailer.

campervans

I’ve popped these all in together because they are fairly similar options.  All of these options mean that you’ve got solid accommodation with you, but you can unhitch it.  I personally like having a campervan because everything is always set up.  We don’t have to make our beds each night.  We don’t have to set up a kitchen each time we stop.  There are options with these where you need to, but generally I’m all for making this easier on us.

This way is easy.  To my mind, anyway.  I don’t have to pop anything up or down, or in and out.  Everything is in one piece, ready to go when I arrive.  If I want to go out for the day, I can leave my campervan behind.  I’m only carrying my home on my back most of the time.

Pop-Top campervans

Travelling Australia in a campervan since 2009 with our four children aged 4, 7, 10, and 11. We are a family living on the road. Stopping to work in rural and remote towns as we need more money, we love this lifestyle. The four kids are homeschooled as we work our way slowly around Australia.

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About Amy and Jarrad

Travelling Australia in a campervan since 2009 with our four children aged 4, 7, 10, and 11. We are a family living on the road.
Stopping to work in rural and remote towns as we need more money, we love this lifestyle. The four kids are homeschooled as we work our way slowly around Australia.

Comments

  1. Don’t forget the house-swap!

  2. Good Article. Firs of all I would thank you for writinsuch a beautiful article.
    Now coming to the various accomodation Option.
    First i would comment on Tents, Living on tents though not very safe, but no doubt they are very very adventuruous. So when i travel with friends this is the best option.
    And when I am out with my family, then my first choice is Pop_Top campervans.

    -Olive

  3. Anthony
    Twitter: OPSconsignments
    says:

    Renting a campervan or any other kind of travel trailer is a great idea, without having to own one year round. Great info. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi
    I know over here in the uk we are just a small island but I really wish we were more geared up to the outdoor enthusiast. I know our weather isn’t brilliant but it isn’t as bad as people say it is. Our whole philosophy is wrong when it comes to the outdoors.

    Great stuff lee

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