Grey Nomads: Everything You Need to Know about Travel in Retirement

Grey nomad is a term that came out of documentary made by Steve Westh and Catherine Marciniak from 1997. It is used to describe a retired person who travels within Australia for a long period of time in their caravan. Basically, their motorhomes have everything they need from sinks to showers and so they are free to travel across the country and have an adventure.

If you are finally going into retirement and want to experience all the beauties of Australia, here is everything you need to know about being a grey nomad.


  • Find the right vehicle


Buying the right vehicle is imperative to have a great trip. But their prices vary depending on the size and your preferences, so that will probably be a deciding factor, as well. Before you go to one dealer, do some research online and see what kind of vehicle would you like.

You can choose a caravan which you will tow with your car or a motorhome which may be more luxurious but convenient choice. In both cases, make sure you have an appropriate driving permit and that that vehicle can travel the roads you want to take. In the end, choose the safest vehicle over the best looking one since with days on the road you will need a stable environment.


  • Plan the trip


Every successful trip starts with a plan and if you want to become a grey nomad you will have to master this skill. Start by assessing how much time you have for traveling and then include places that fit that period. Also, you will probably miss certain events while you are away, like birthdays, births and weddings so make sure you have those covered with gifts and cards.

Check if certain parts of the road are closed off for construction or under works and thus the traffic is slow. Also, see if there is any festival or another event you would like to attend while traveling so get your tickets in time if need be. In the end, check all the available camping sites on the way and if some part of the road is missing them, book an appropriate accommodation to stay and rest.


  • Things to do before you go


Before you embark on your journey, tell your neighbors where you are going and give them contact of your family members. Also, send the itinerary to your loved ones as well as the map you made and information that may be useful. This should include campsites you will stay at, accommodations you booked and events you plan to visit.

See that your mail is canceled for the time being or redirected at least, and also leave money with someone you trust to pay your bills. Additionally, leave a spare key with someone you trust and ask them to come by from time to time and see if everything is in order. Ideally, you can ask a family member or a friend to house sit, or even hire someone from the housesitting service.  


  • Be prepared


If you are not an Australian citizen but want to become a grey nomad, hire immigration solicitors to take care of your visa status. The last thing you would want is to have troubles with authorities while enjoying your retirement across the country. Also, make sure that all your documents are in order like driver’s license, insurance policy, health card and anything else you may need on the road.

Pack a first aid kit and also don’t forget to bring your prescription medicines with you, as well as under the counter products you may need. Pack for warm and cold weather, and especially take swimming suits with you if you plan to visit some of the magnificent beaches on the way. Always have emergency phone numbers with you in case you need advice or help during the travel.


  • Make a map


With the internet today, it’s quite easy to make a map and choose which places to visit. You can even use the satellite map and see better what could be a nice place to make a stop. Another benefit of online maps is that you will know how much time it will take you from one place to another.

However, just to make sure, print out the maps in case Internet connection is scarce on the road. Also, mark on your map important spots, like hospitals, food stops, and gas stations. The best way to do all this is by using Google Maps which you can also keep on your phone and in a hard copy.


Retirement us an ideal time to do the things you never could because of your job. As a grey nomad, you will certainly experience a unique adventure of traveling across the country and getting a well-deserved rest.


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