Buying a van VS hostels
Replies: 31 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2012 11:19 AM Last Post By: Sergyhunt
Oct 4, 2012 6:34 PM
With regards to fuel consumption, allowing 13L per 100km should be pretty safe unless you get a real gas guzzler. If you score a diesel van, they're a bit thriftier on fuel and in my opinion, more reliable.
Australia has some great hostels that are usually brimming with like minded travellers, some solo like yourself, that are looking to travel around on a budget. As part of your holiday is aimed to meet and mingle, it would be a shame to pass these up. The conversations and drinks you share in these places can lead to some random, fun and memorable people/places/trips. You can end up finding some great deals here too, such as meals, day-trips, work.
Don't underestimate the benefits of a good nights sleep :) Talking about sleeping in the back of a van in the middle of an Aussie summer is one thing, actually doing it is another. I've done it a few times and about 4hrs into it, you'd happily pay double for a cool/dry/safe bed.
Where exactly are you planning on going? If you're staying in an urban area, I think you'll be right without wheels, but if you're serious about travelling around Australia, I think you're better off hiring a well serviced camper van for a week or fortnights's trip (for example, from NSW to WA). There are some budget ones around such as Wicked Campers. That way, you can have the van when you need it, if you meet some people in a hostel and make plans to travel together, they can share costs on the hire and the petrol.
Also, you should try some farm or station work, that's where the heart and soul of Australia is. It can be hard, but also rewarding.
Oct 4, 2012 9:14 PM
16Gumtree, is a good site as well as the walss in the YHA's, the buy and sell option on Thorntree sometimes has deals. As the poster above states sleeping in the back of a van when its 100 degrees in the waterbag does test your 'mettle'
The rest of it only you can answer. What sort of work are you chasing or what are you qualified to do.
Oct 4, 2012 9:50 PM
17I agree with Skutr and RedWhite - if I was going to be in a country for a year and working for at least part of that time, I'd want a car or van/whatever. Being dependent on public transport is alright in the cities but having the freedom to drive along the coast, or inland, or through National Parks and forests is a lot better.
Although the initial outlay will take a big chunk out of your dollars, you effectively have transport and accommodation taken care of. You can always stay in hostels every now and then for a change. And yes, you will probably find people to share part of your journey not to mention part of the petrol cost.
Go for it - buy the wheels, you know you want to.
Oct 5, 2012 7:19 AM
Oct 5, 2012 11:03 PM
Your own vehicule gives you tremendous freedom to go where you want and whenever you want.
I would focus the decision of buying a car on travelling and transportation options rather than the cost for accommodation.
Only hardcore surfers live for a year out of their campervans.
You can stay for free on many restareas, parking lots and so on but they have limited to none facilities.
If you need a shower once a while you will have to go to a campground and they cost a lot aswell.
Or the hostel.
About where to buy a car. With the internet it's easy to find something. The herd usually starts in the south and then trys to sell their car in cairns along with hundreds of other with the same idea.
So if you plan well you can make a good deal.
There are a lot of people travelling like you so you find a lot of friends and they know the next free spot to camp.
Oct 7, 2012 6:28 AM
Oct 7, 2012 6:15 PM
Oct 8, 2012 12:40 AM
Oct 8, 2012 12:56 AM
Oct 8, 2012 6:45 AM
Oct 10, 2012 9:44 PM
25No real contest: get a van:
(1) You are not restricted to "city-to-city" transport; then needing extra arrangements to get to the places you want to see;
(2) You don't have to stay in the van all the time. Use hostels occasionally;
(3) What you save on accommodation will pay for cheap van anyway;
(4) You save a lot of time waiting for trains/buses/etc, going to and from bus/train terminals etc. That can waste a day between cities.
(5) You can carry more gear, eat & drink cheaply whenever you like, have a lot less restrictions.
PS Yes you could have mechanical trouble; yes you need to buy wisely; yes you will lose a bit when you sell the van because you have a deadline. But you will find that your van develops that "feels like home" character, and you will see a lot more of Australia.
Oct 11, 2012 12:17 PM
26Thanks for the replies guys. I haven't forgotten this thread. Just things are getting busy with finishing work & getting ready to leave on the 5th!!
Despite your useful comments i still can't make my mind up. i have been contemplating just buying a simple car to use. Or maybe even a 4X4 (granted not really looked into the 4x4s properly yet).
What are your views on this?
Oct 11, 2012 1:51 PM
Oct 11, 2012 2:41 PM
28Well, I have limited experience of 4X4's. But I wouldn't call myself experienced. Never really driven in anything extreme. But what I do know is that when it comes to driving, I do like to go where others don't. I appreciate the dangers of heading into the outback etc. That was a general statement. Obviously whatever happens, safety will be number 1. :)
With a car, I imagine you could find one from $500AUD up to be honest. Just like the UK, I imagine there are some reliable bangers out there. What about a Subaru Forrester? Or something similar. effectively a 4x4 estate.
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