HERE THEY COME: Grey Nomads flock to Woolgoolga in winter.
HERE THEY COME: Grey Nomads flock to Woolgoolga in winter. Trevor Veale

GREY NOMAD: Pre-plan to ensure the trip of a lifetime

IT'S great to dream of retiring and hitting the road, it's another matter entirely to sit down and understand what that really looks like.

This month we provide a few very practical tips to assist you in getting started on your dream-trip.

1.MONEY

The big three costs are petrol, food, accommodation. The cost of the three will vary depending on the area and time of your trip. A savvy move includes a contingency fund - this trip is an adventure, so anything could happen.

2. VEHICLES

Perform basic maintenance on your vehicles such as checking wipers and fluid levels

Schedule necessary services such as oil changes or tune-ups.

If towing, pay attention to the cooling system, as towing increases the amount of heat generated by the engine and transmission.

Check with your vehicle's dealer to see if you need an auxiliary transmission air cooler.

3.CAMPING GROUNDS

Free camping grounds: Take care, you can't pre-book, so the best idea is to get in early. Aim to be where you want to be by 3pm.

Paid camping grounds: Wise to pre-book, especially in peak seasons.

4. AMENITIES

Toilets: If possible take your own, be it a toilet tent, chemical toilet, etc. There are grey waste points where sewage can be dumped in most towns - check before you go.

Showers: Solar showers are cheap and work well. You can also check with some yacht clubs and service stations that may offer cheap showers (just wear your thongs).

Laundry: Put your washing in a bucket with a lid. Put in some washing powder and cold water and place on the back seat floor, then drive away. You will find the driving motion is enough to shake the dirt out of your clothes.

GREY NOMAD WEBSITES

www.thegreynomads.com.au

www.noboundaries.com.au

GREY NOMAD BOOKS

  • Grey Nomad's Guidebook, ABC Shop.
  • Green Nomads, Across Australia's Wide Heritage, by Bob Brown.
  • Sing-Along Book for Grey Nomads, by Aro Dee.
  • The Grey Nomads: Two Lives; Eight Months: A Thousand Experiences by John A Richardson.
  • Camps Australia, www.campsaustraliawide .com or RACQ Shop.

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