Have you ever wondered how much you’d be out of pocket from travelling around Australia for 6 months? Well, we’ve just spend half a year doing just that. While travelling, I’ve been keeping track of all costs for not only travel, but just living in general.
I’ve put together our Travelling Australia 6 Month Budget to help you plan for your own trip.
It may come as a surprise to learn that it actually costs less for us to travel around Australia than it ever did to live in a house. Your first question is probably, ‘how?’ followed closely by… ‘what exactly does that cover?’ Am I right?
Read on to find out what our 6 months travelling Australia budget came to. For the one year round-up, check out our 12 months travelling Oz budget.
*Note: these figures are from our 2018 travels. With inflation, you could reasonably expect an average budget to be a bit more than this now.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.
Travelling Australia For 6 Months
Below I’ve laid out all of our expenses from living on the road full-time. Our travelling Australia for 6 months budget is averaged out to a weekly cost, so that you can see exactly what we’ve spent in each category.
Average weekly costs for 6 months travelling Australia…
|Category||Cost Per Week|
|🍽 Eating Out||$61.80|
|TOTAL – Per Week||$770.52/ wk|
|TOTAL – 6 Month Costs||$20,033.52/ 6 mths|
Bills On The Road
Some people choose to pay their bills in advance before hitting the road, which then becomes one less thing to worry about. That is definitely the best idea, especially if you’re only on the road for 12 months or so, plus you usually get a cheaper price by paying up front, saving you more money.
We have pretty well all of our bills Direct Debited monthly to keep it simple. Each fortnight a set figure gets put into our ‘Bills Account,’ to cover the Direct Debits, that way I know everything is always covered and I don’t even have to think about it.
Our Bills Included:
- Vehicle Registration
- Vehicle Insurance
- Caravan Registration
- Caravan Insurance
- Roadside Assistance
- Phones ($35 Aldi prepaid + Telstra $69 with unlimited data – we used that to hotspot for other devices)
- Website Costs
- Car & caravan maintenance (DIY mechanical work, so only need to buy parts)
Before hitting the road, we spent the time and money setting ourselves up to be able to Free Camp as much and as long as we liked. We love the freedom that comes with Free Camping and we’ve met so many different people through this lifestyle.
Free Camping was one of the biggest reasons that we were able to keep our travel costs down.
The trick to being able to Free Camp is in having a fully self-sufficient set-up.
Having almost 300L of water capacity and 450 watts of Solar and 330 amp hours of Lead Crystal Batteries, has proven to be more than we’ve ever needed. In addition, we do carry a generator but have never needed to pull it out. We also have an ensuite on board (shower and toilet), making us fully self-contained (we don’t need to rely on camps having toilets).
The easiest way to source out all camps, water taps, dump points and more is with the WikiCamps App. Check out this full guide on How to Use WikiCamps for your own road trip.
How Many Nights We Spent at Each Type of Camp:
- Free Camps – 34
- Low Cost Camps (< $20) – 3
- Donation Camps – 8
- Caravan Parks – 3
For more tips, read How to Free Camp Around Australia.
Where Have We Travelled In Australia So Far?
So far, we have travelled from Brisbane across Central Queensland, through the Outback, up to the Gulf of Carpentaria and back across Far North and North Queensland, landing us in Townsville.
About 5 out of the 6 months have been spent out west in Central and Outback regions. With that comes more expensive fuel and grocery prices, but the camps are cheaper than they are along the coastline.
To compensate, we have travelled rather slowly to save us having to buy shares in Caltex in order to feed the Patrol. We travelled a total of 8,212 kms in 6 months.
The cost of food in the small-town grocery stores can be exorbitant. We are all for supporting the local towns, so we did buy the fresh food that we needed from them, but we simply couldn’t afford to do full shops there.
My advice is to stock up on freezer, pantry and toiletry items at Woolies/ Coles/ IGA whenever you can. Also, research ahead of time what towns actually have those big supermarkets because many of them don’t. The longest we went without seeing a big supermarket was 5 weeks!
See our full Camps, Attractions & Itineraries Catalogue.
Should Everyone Budget $770/ Week For Travelling Australia?
Absolutely not! Everyone’s situation is so different. You may be a solo traveller who can do it cheaper, or have a larger family, have additional medical costs or not have the ability to Free Camp.
The variations are one and many and there are certainly people who are doing it cheaper (and dearer) than we are. There are definitely ways we could cut costs, but this is life for us, so we do want to have a pub meal occasionally and go on some of the tours and museums along the way – otherwise what’s the point in travelling?
There is no way we could live in a house as a family for this much, let alone have as much fun, needless to say we are living without regret!
Planning Your Road Trip Australia Budget
If you really want to hit the road yourself, but need to figure out exactly how much it’s going to cost you, download our Big Lap Budget Spreadsheet.
You will be able to work through the expected costs in each category (including getting yourself set-up), which is the perfect planning tool. You’ll even be able to work out a weekly travel budget based on savings and expected income along the way.
Keeping Track of Your Travel Expenses
When we first hit the road, I started out trying a few different Apps, which I found too tedious. They connected up with my Bank Account, which I was not comfortable with and they kept putting expenses into incorrect categories. For example, when we bought fuel from a Woolworths service station, it would put that cost into the ‘Groceries’ category.
In the end, I went back to good old pen and paper, which worked well, but I found it too time consuming to be adding up all of the figures manually at the end of each month.
So, I put my creative hat on and created my own Expense Tracker Spreadsheet. It has all of the categories I need, which are relevant to travelling around Australia.
The Expense Tracker automatically calculates the totals for each Category, Month and Year-to-date. I can also record people we meet along the way, kilometres travelled and other random stats.
Two years on and the Expense Tracker Spreadsheet continues to be one of our best sellers! Feel free to download your own copy to keep organised with your finances on the road.
Travel Expense Tracker
Spreadsheet designed for logging & tracking expenses while travelling Australia!
- Automatically calculates totals
- 16 categories
- 150 subcategories
- Summary & Pie Chart visuals
- Monthly + Year-to-date sheets