Grey nomads used to be a running joke but they have paved the highway for a new generation of travellers, particularly at a time when many Aussies opt to explore home before going overseas again.
So, pack down and hitch up. It's time to experience freedom of the road.
In this revised edition of her book Vantastic originally published in 2013, Kate Ulman provides practical tips and advice plus comprehensive information on turning your dream of a van life road trip into reality.
"I definitely think the fact that the grey nomads have been trekking the caravan routes around Australia for such a long time now is making it easier for younger people and families to head off themselves now," she said.
"The routes have been mapped, the camping spots rated and upgraded, and often when the grey nomads buy their newer models, the younger travellers are snapping up their old vans and doing their own laps in them.
"My book includes lots of lists of how to prepare for a road trip including clothing packing lists, how to fit out your first aid kit, what to put in your kitchen drawers, tools and other equipment you'll need along the way."
You start by learning to speak van as Kate helps you choose the perfect van or RV, as well as ways to retrofit a second-hand van to suit your purposes. Then dive into planning your itinerary, checklists, cute ways to "dress" your van, and how to pack and hitch up.
And then, when you're ready to go, take note of essential van life know-how including budgeting and sustainable travel advice, and handy apps. It covers van-friendly recipes, craft projects, fun family activities and mindfulness on the road, tips, tricks and tales.
Featuring Kate's photography, Vantastic guides you on your journey. She and her family are seasoned caravanners, having spent six months travelling around Australia in their vintage caravan, stopping at many caravan parks and campsites.
Kate, her husband and three daughters live on an organic farm near Daylesford. When they set out, they bought an old caravan and breathed new life into it. The book tells their story and she embraces the van life craze in this revised edition.
"One of the most significant changes is the section on tech, which I think the grey nomads are incredibly proficient at."
Vantastic (Hardie Grant Explore, $24.99).
We have 2 copies to give away. To enter, write your name, address and phone number on the back of an envelope and post to: The Senior, Vantastic, PO Box 130, Wyong NSW 2259. Entries close February 1, 2022.
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