A summer in Wanda the retro caravan. A journey with stylist Claudia Martin and her family.
Tell us how you spent these summer holidays with your family?
We decided to spend the entire summer in our 1962 Franklin vintage caravan, exploring the South Coast of NSW and the Victorian Coastline. We’ve always wanted to explore more of Australia and an almost 3 month trip was the best option for us right now. It’s given us a real taste of what it would be like to do an entire lap of Australia!
Highlights of your big trip?
So many! But mostly just being able to escape reality for a while and really spend some quality time together away from the regular daily stresses.
Spotting wildlife and seeing my girls get excited to see seals, penguins and koalas was also a big highlight. They were so curious about all the animals and we did so much research and learnt so many things along the way.
And of course taking in the beautiful scenery. We really loved hiking up to Mt Kosciuszko on New Years Day, visiting the amazing Wilson’s Promontory and driving along the beautiful Great Ocean Road. We went as far as Port Fairy and really enjoyed our time in that sweet little town.
Do’s and dont’s of a caravanning trip?
You always need a lot less than you think you do, so pack lightly.
Do keep things as easy as possible when travelling with kids! We haven’t exactly been roughing it this trip, we’ve stayed at great caravan parks with clean amenities, hot showers and fun playgrounds. A good caravan park can be kid heaven, so Wikicamps will become your best friend.
Do invest in a good bed for the caravan. It makes all the difference in the world.
Don’t plan things too far ahead. We didn’t book or really lock anything and we were able to organise our destinations as we went along. It gives you flexibility to stay longer in places you really love.
Do ask locals for advice when you arrive in town, they’ll be full of helpful tips.
Favourite packing essentials?
A good coffee machine!
Bikes, scooters and surf boards.
Board games and cards to play before bed.
Books. I’ve miraculously been able to catch up on a lot of reading.
And lots of snacks to keep the kids occupied in the car!
Any wise words for families attempting a road trip for the first time?
You won’t be able to see and do everything you’d perhaps like to, just keep it simple and go with the flow. We didn’t want to spend huge days in the car, it was more about taking things slowly and exploring the small towns along the way. When you’re on the road for a while, you need the kids to feel pretty comfortable and settled. We allowed ourselves plenty of travel time, so that we never felt rushed or were setting up in the dark.
Luxury hotel or caravan road trip, which one would you choose?
A caravan trip, but only if you’re travelling with the entire family! The beauty of a caravan is that you don’t need to do too much setting up, need to pack & lug bags around and the kids feel like the caravan is their home, so no matter where you are they feel settled and comfortable. But I definitely wouldn’t say no to a night or 2 in a luxurious hotel on my own right about now!
Where to next?
Portugal in a couple of months! We’re about to do the complete opposite of what we’ve just experienced, so fingers crossed we can still keep the slower pace going in Europe too.
Follow more of Claudia and her lovely little family adventures here x