Three researchers from the Behavioural Science and Health Lab Group at Curtin University – Dr Chloe Maxwell-Smith, Hayley Breare & Professor Barbara Mullan – suggest ways nomads can navigate the challenges, and uncertainties, of the ‘busier Big Lap’.
After weathering the worst of the Covid-19 storm, grey nomads are not returning to life exactly as they knew it.
A surge in caravanning and camping resulting from the pandemic means the days of a devil-may-care approach to turning up at a caravan site or national park, and always finding a space, have dwindled.
Thinking about what you will lose by failing to plan helps you focus on the benefits of pre-planning to avoid falling victim to unrealistic optimism (because you want there to be a vacancy, there will be one).
Action planning involves knowing what you need to be on top of early and what you can afford to get away with for a little longer.
During peak seasons, popular spots will require booking ahead. Set aside time to prepare and plan. Calling a caravan park to enquire about bookings can make all the difference once you’re on the road.
Back this up with coping planning to ensure you have options if your plan falls through. These could be ideas of alternative accommodation or activities for if the weather isn’t what you’d hoped. What is there to gain by being prepared?
Some caravan parks offer four nights for the price of three or discounts for booking ahead. Another incentive might be reducing stress and costs of travel by anticipating fuel stops and supplies needed. Focus on choices that can still afford flexibility:
Don’t let the new way of navigating Australia dampen a love of adventure.
* Do you plan ahead more than you used to … and perhaps more than you want to? Comment below.
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