Planning the Big Lap Australia is a massive task, which in all honesty can take well over a year and sometimes even multiple years to get into action.
It can be easy to feel like the dream is too far away with so many things to achieve before you can even contemplate hitting the road. From getting set-up to being a self-sufficient nomad, to figuring out how you’re going to fund your travels, plus putting your life at home on hold and possibly even sorting out homeschooling for the kids.
There are a lot of pieces that need to slot into place before the Big Lap Australia can happen.
So, how can you keep your spirits high while you’re deep in the stage of planning an Australian trip? Here I share a range of fun ways you can stay motivated and focussed on your dream while planning the Big Lap of Australia.
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Big Lap Australia Tips to Keep Planning Motivation High!
Watch the ‘Grey Nomad’ Series
Carsales.com released a miniseries based around three Aussie couples who embark on the Big Lap of Australia. You’ll get to know Don & Bev, Ella & Ernie, plus Ingrid & Roshan as they experience life on the road in their own ways.
It’s quite tongue-in-cheek and well worth a watch to keep the caravanning and camping spirit alive when you can’t yet travel yourself! You’ll be cracking up laughing and itching to get on the road every time you watch ‘Grey Nomads.’
There are currently 2 seasons of the Grey Nomad series, which you can find below:
Plan Your Big Lap of Australia Route
What better time than now to be planning your Big Lap Australia route.
Get a big map of Australia and draw in the areas that you’ve already covered (if any) and brainstorm which regions you’d really love to visit during your Big Lap of Australia.
Your Big Lap route plan doesn’t need to be super detailed and strict. Even having a flexible idea of the places you want to cover will give you a good starting point for when you’re ready to hit the road.
Big Lap of Australia Route Considerations:
- Avoid northern Australia during summer (too hot and humid)
- Avoid central Australia during summer (too hot)
- Avoid southern Australia during winter (too cold and windy)
We used the Hema Maps Australia Atlas, which is a fantastic physical map book. You can look at detailed maps of the entire country, plus state-by-state and smaller regions. It also includes 4WD tracks, fuel, points of interest, Information Centres, National Parks, campsites and rest areas.
The WikiCamps App is a great travel planning tool where you can plot in camps, points of interest and routes. It’s a fantastic resource to help with planning distances, camps and attraction costs.
▶️ VIDEO: How to Use WikiCamps Australia
Create a Bucket List
Along with planning your Big Lap Australia route, create your ideal bucket list to go with it.
Once you’ve got an idea of which direction you want to go, start putting together a list of ‘Must Do’ towns, camps and attractions that you don’t want to miss along the way.
You’ll probably find that your bucket list will naturally grow over time as you’re researching and following other travellers’ stories.
Some Ways to Create a Bucket List:
- Pinterest – great for saving articles, photos & information found online
- WikiCamps – add places to your Trip Planner
- Notepad & Pen – allocate a different section for each state or region
- Spreadsheet/ Word Document – list each camp, attraction or item under each town or region. You can include costs, distances, times etc.
Read Travel Blogs
One of my favourite ways to get my travel inspo fix is to live vicariously through those who’ve been before me. There are some really great Australian travel blogs emerging where you can get loads of travel advice and information to help you plan your own Big Lap Australia.
Here are some resources on this blog to help your travel planning:
Plus, check out the full list below with over 30 Australian travel bloggers who are currently travelling and sharing their own stories, tips and hacks.
Watch YouTube Vlogs
When you find yourself yearning for the open road, but being stuck at home still in the planning phase, it doesn’t mean that you can’t travel Australia from home. I reckon it’s the best time to be lining up a bunch of good YouTube channels of those who are already doing it.
This is also a great way to start adding things to your bucket list.
Some Aussie YouTubers to get you started:
Go on a Virtual Tour
What a great tool for ‘getting’ out of your own backyard and exploring other parts of Australia and even other countries. We’ve used this many times to get a feel for a town, have a sneak peak at campsites and to even get an idea of where the best parking might be.
Have a Backyard Campout
You’ve probably seen and heard about caravan and camping lovers all over the country organising Backyard Campouts in replacement for the ‘real thing’ during the lockdown days. I reckon it’s a top idea and one that the kids especially love!
Not only does it create some fun amongst the mundanity of planning, but it’s a good way to fine-tune your set-up. You can test out all of your gear in the comfort of your own yard, practice using new items and figure out if anything needs replacing or tweaking.
Eat Some Iconic Aussie Foods
Okay, so here’s something you can try with your mates in the backyard while planning a Big Lap of Australia. Get everyone to bring around a plate of true blue Aussie food to share.
Have you ever actually tried kangaroo or crocodile? Me either… but I’d give it a go I reckon.
What about witchetty grubs? I dunno about that!
But don’t stop there. Click below to check out 100 Australian foods that you can tick off the bucket list as you’re travelling. See how many you’ve already done!
Create a Road Trip Playlist
What’s a road trip without an awesome soundtrack to go with it! Get all of your favourite songs together and create your ultimate cruising music mixed tape. When you can hit the road, you’ll be ready to roll.
Don’t forget to download all of the songs in your playlist for offline use because once you leave the big smoke you will be in and out of reception forever more.
Listen to the Family Travel Podcast
Kick back in your camp chair with a bevvy and listen to the Family Travel Podcast series. It’s Australian-based and filled with lots of nuggets of information to keep your travel inspiration high.
Some of the Family Travel Podcast topics include:
- Travelling with kids
- Travel & camping gear
- Travelling with pets
- Money and travel budgets
- House sitting
- Home schooling
- First aid
- Travel stories and more
Listen to the full Family Travel Podcast series.
Sort through your Travel Gear
What better way to spend the weekend planning a Big Lap Australia than sorting through your existing travel gear.
You can make a list of items that you’ve already got and from there, create a list of all the things you still need to acquire for your big trip.
Working through your list and ticking things off as you save and work to get them will make you feel really accomplished because with each item, you make it one step closer to the end goal.
The Caravan Packing List below covers absolutely everything you’ll need for caravanning full-time! Download your copy and get cracking.
Caravan Packing List
Never forget a thing with the ULTIMATE Caravan Packing List!
- Pre-filled with 600+ items
- 17 categories
- ‘Weight’ column (to organise payload)
- PRINTABLE – fully customisable
- DIGITAL – completely interactive
- Download once, use it over-and-over
Catch up on Travel Shows
Not being able to to travel makes for a great time to catch up on all the TV shows that get to do it. Remember the days before Netflix and Stan where we used to watch local travel shows? It’s time to get back into it.
You might even find some cool spots to add to your own itinerary.
Here are some good Australian travel shows:
Kick Back with Aussie Movies & Books
How good are Australian movies and books! They’re even better when they feature towns and locations that you’ve either been to or want to visit someday.
Some good Aussie movies to watch:
Some good Aussie books to read:
- Castle of Dreams (Elise McCune) – set at Paronella Park, North QLD
- Almost Perfect (Kelly Denley) – one big family’s Big Lap
- Croc Country (Kerry McGinnis) – a Top End mystery
- Roadside Sisters (Wendy Harmer) – the Aussie ‘Thelma & Louise’
Go for Some Practice Runs
If you’re not ready to hit the road full-time yet for the Big Lap Australia, but you’ve already got some of the gear, go for some practice runs.
Try out some local camping spots, including Free Camps, Showgrounds, National Parks and Caravan Parks.
This will start to give you a good idea on what the different campground styles offer. You will also get a chance to fine-tune your set-up and figure out what works and what else you might still need to acquire.
Start a ‘Travel Fund’
The most common reason that people who want to travel aren’t actually travelling is because of money.
If travelling is your dream then you’ve got to make it happen somehow. There’s almost always something that you can cut out of your budget that would save a bit of money (think take-out, alcohol, hobby shopping).
Maybe you’ve got some things laying around that you never use and could earn you a bit of cash? Put them onto Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace and turn that clutter in travel savings!
Set yourself a goal of how much money you want to save and how much you could realistically put away into a separate bank account each week towards that goal.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Don’t be afraid to travel Australia from home while you’re saving for the real thing.
Use the Big Lap Budget Spreadsheet below to calculate your expected costs for getting set-up, plus travelling. Massage the numbers until they work for you and go from there.
BIG LAP Budget Spreadsheet
Easily calculate how much money you’ll need to get set up for travel, plus fund your trip.
- Plan your travel budget
- Plan your set-up costs
- 7 Calculators
- Summary & pie chart overviews
Join Online Communities
Chatting with like-minds about caravanning, camping and travel is so good for the soul. Join some online communities filled with others who share the same interests as you.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by people who are also keen to chat travel, whether you’re already on the road or not. You’ll no doubt find some great inspiration to add to your bucket list as well.
Have a look for Facebook Groups like The OZ BIG LAP Crew and join the community. This is also a great way to keep in touch with others who you might even meet up with on the road.
Create a Travel Pinterest Board
If you haven’t used Pinterest for planning your travels you are missing out!
Think of it as a visual search engine. You can create boards for each Australian State, plus Caravanning Tips and then have sub-categories in each board for ‘camps,’ ‘attractions,’ ‘camping tips’ and so on.
As you start to build on your boards, you’ll be creating a fantastic resource of information, camps, destinations, photos, tips and more – all relevant to your own Big Lap Australia planning.
Learn How to Travel on a Budget
Our final tip for keeping your travel motivation high when you can’t actually leave the house is to learn how to tra on a budget.
Because here’s the thing, the further you can stretch your money while you’re on the road, the longer you get to travel for! And who doesn’t want that, right?
Budget Travel Tips:
Once you’re on the road, keep track of your finances with our Travel Expense Tracker spreadsheet, which is specifically designed for caravanning and camping around Australia.
Hopefully you’ve found some things in this article to help keep your motivation high while planning your Big Lap of Australia!