As caravanners, we have often wondered why a family would choose to travel in a bus and not a caravan when they do their Big Lap! Meet Our Family Wanderbus – they are embarking on a bus conversion with a twist and plan on an indefinite trip of a life time. Real Stories | Real Families…
Our Family Wander Bus are a family of four from Newcastle NSW – Dad Josh, Mum Tahlia, Koby (7) and Skye (2). We are currently in the process of converting a 1998 Coaster Bus to a motorhome to travel later in the year.
The most common question we get asked is ‘Why a bus?’
We’ll, we have a few reasons! Originally we just didn’t want to have much of a set up. Josh is a shift worker so we wanted something that was ready to go at the drop of a hat, especially if we were only able to get away for one night – we just wanted something as easy as possible for us to use. Once the thought of a lap came to mind we realised we would also want the freedom to have our home with us wherever we go. We don’t want to have to drop a caravan somewhere and make sure we head back to that spot after a day of exploring. We just want to wander, and stop where ever we end up at the end of each day…
Another reason we chose the bus is because we plan on free camping as much as possible and we love the idea that if something was to go pear shaped at night, we could jump in our seats and go without getting out.
Josh is also a hands on person and would much rather build something himself (although at various stages of the conversion he has thought otherwise!)
What made us decide to travel?
Like a lot of travelling families, we’d always dreamed of doing something huge ‘one day’, but after a particularly hard few years dealing with the loss of multiple family members, one being Tahlia’s mum, it really made us stop and re-evaluate what’s important to us. It opened our eyes to the cliché ‘there’s got to be more to life’ and our ‘one day’ has become ‘while we are able to with the kids’. You so often hear of people planning to travel when they retire, and then unfortunately for various reasons, they never get the chance (Tahlia’s mum included) So why not now? Why not go and enjoy life with the kids? Making memories with the kids is what’s important to us, because ‘One day your life will flash before your eyes – make sure it’s something worth watching’.
How long are we going for?
As we looked more and more into preparing for our lap, we realised there is just too much to see on a set time frame, so we thought – let’s go indefinitely and pick up work along the way if we need or want to.
Now all of a sudden on top of working and converting the bus, we are also preparing our house to be leased, looking into schooling options and sorting through our lives. It’s hectic, but we’ve been told it will be well worth it!
What’s the budget look like?
We plan on having a budget well below the common ‘average’ of $1000 a week. Call us naïve or call us frugal, but every family is different and we’d rather travel slow and hang at the beach then race around the country and eat out at restaurants.
We will stay at a range of places with varying costs but as mentioned, we plan on doing a lot of free camping which will dramatically reduce our budget compared to others. We will happily document our budget and answer any questions others might have, so if you want to find out how to travel Australia on a smaller budget than we are the family for you!
What are we looking forward to the most?
Apart from escaping the daily grind and living life at a slower pace, we are really just chasing that quality family time that everyone desires. We are looking forward to building a closer connection as a family, teaching the kids about life, exploring our diverse country and enjoying the simple things together. But other than the mushy family stuff Josh wants to go fishing, Tahlia wants to get back into surfing, Koby wants to ride his skateboard at as many skate parks as he can and we think Skye will enjoy exploring her surroundings outdoors.
So what’s our plan?
To be honest we don’t really have one! We often see families mapping out their exact journeys, what direction they are heading and how long they are staying in each place, however, since we don’t have an exact departure date, or a time frame for our travels, we haven’t planned anything! Our only ‘plan’ is to finish the bus, leave after the new financial year starts and to go wherever the weather is warm… And that sounds good enough for us!
Have you got your Aussie made Travel Journals for your adventures??