Why spend thousands of dollars flying to Bali when you could explore your own backyard? Skip the plane tickets (and potential gastro) and go caravanning around Australia instead.

With more scenic destinations than you can poke a stick at, there’s no better backdrop for a caravanning adventure. If you’re not used to travelling by road, we know all the best caravan tips to help you enjoy a stress-free journey. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a compact pop-up or a spacious motorhome, this guide for first-time caravanners will help you avoid the most common mishaps made by rookie road trippers.

Plan your route

A spontaneous road trip may sound exciting, but there’s nothing fun about showing up at a fully booked caravan park. Map out your route and book your accommodation well in advance to avoid any unexpected dramas.

Caravanning is a beloved pastime in Australia and many holiday parks book out during high season. The early bird gets the worm when it comes to securing the best accommodation, so don’t beat around the bush. Decide where you’re going to stay at least several weeks before your departure date to enjoy a hassle-free journey.

With their spacious caravan sites and beautiful surrounds, all our caravan parks in QLD and NSW are perfect for first-time caravanners.

Make a checklist

No idea what to take on the road? Make a checklist so you don’t leave anything important behind. From dishwashing liquid to folding chairs, write down all the essential items you’ll need to make the most of your holiday. Consider your destination when loading up your caravan – if you’re planning to stay at a caravan park near the beach, don’t forget to pack a tarp for sheltering your campsite against the sun. For winter road trips, bring rain-resistant gear and lots of warm layers.

Remember to pack plenty of food along with all your other essentials. Rather than relying on microwaved meals or the nearest McDonald’s, cooking outdoors is one of the best parts of caravanning. Make sure you have enough food for your trip by loading up your fridge or esky with meat, veggies and snacks. Check out our favourite camp oven eats for inspiration.

Ingenia Holidays caravan parks have BBQ facilities and camp kitchens, so you can easily prepare delicious meals outside the confines of your caravan.

Learn holiday park etiquette

Every holiday park has rules and regulations, but caravanning etiquette is an entirely different kettle of fish. Even if you abide by the official rules, it’s still possible to get on the wrong side of your neighbours.

If you’re not sure how to navigate holiday park etiquette, here’s what not to do at your destination:

  • Play loud music – Even if you think you have great taste in music, the neighbouring campsite might not share your passion for punk rock. Try and keep your favourite tunes at a reasonable volume to avoid annoying your fellow caravanners. The same goes for TVs and general conversation.
  • Leave your laundry unattended – Most caravan parks come with communal laundries, but don’t go treating these facilities like your own private washing machine. If you leave your laundry unattended for too long at the end of a wash cycle, this is bound to annoy the next person who needs to do a load of washing.
  • Drive impatiently – The occasional traffic jam can crop up in holiday parks, especially during the holiday season when everyone arrives and leaves around the same time. Keep calm behind the wheel to avoid having your first ever caravanning trip ruined by road rage.

Getting the hang of holiday park etiquette can take time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a few mistakes during your first caravanning trip.

No matter how much time you spend preparing for your road trip, your first time caravanning is sure to be a learning experience. Start planning your maiden voyage by booking the perfect place to stay with Ingenia Holidays.