Our home on wheels
THIS is the day the Australian dream becomes reality. The day many couples look forward to.
This is the day when the kids have grown up and are well on their way to creating their own lives.
So you sell or pack up the family home, buy a caravan, camper trailer or luxury home on wheels and take off.
Recent research, however, is showing that retired couples aren't the only ones setting off in search of the caravanning lifestyle and adventure.
The Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of Australia commissioned a new study which shows that motor-home and caravan sales are continuing to increase.
In 2010, figures show an increase of 31% from 2009 in the number of caravans and recreational vehicles manufactured.
This shift in figures may be attributed to the increase in young couples in their 30s and 40s, plus young families taking to the road.
Seasoned caravanners John and Jan Tait recently published their book, Explore Australia by Caravan and Motorhome Edition 4, for people looking for updated tips and ideas for travelling Australia.
John and Jan, in their 60s from the Gold Coast hinterland, have been touring Australia in their caravan for more than 20 years, and said that the freedom of the lifestyle enticed people most.
"People are drawn to the freedom and being able to travel when they want and at a cost that suits them," John said.
He said they recently had seen more families taking to the road and enjoying a less stressful lifestyle.
"Younger couples are certainly travelling in caravans and all other means more often than before," he said.
"We often see families in camper trailers."
John has some tips for people interested in taking up the lifestyle change.
"They have to start with a vehicle they can afford," he said.
"Find a caravan to suit your budget."
He advises to also be smart about packing, and leave the unnecessary stuff at home.
"The best advice you can give all caravanners is that sometimes taking less is more, so travel light," he said.
Allan and Mary Mills have been travelling around Australia for the past three-and-a-half years after selling their house in their hometown of Noosa and were on the Coast last week, staying at Mudjimba Beach Caravan Park. The couple, who are in their 60s, said they were most interested to start caravanning so that they could explore their own country.
"I wanted to see things, discover parts of Australia," Allan said.
His advice to fellow caravan enthusiasts is to keep it simple, pack smart, and be prepared for anything.
Ros and Gary Wise also started travelling Australia three years ago, after wanting a total change from their everyday life.
The couple, from Launceston in Tasmania, were looking for somewhere a little warmer than home and also found themselves in Mudjimba last week.
"We wanted a total change, to see different places, and be in nice sunny weather," Ros said.
John and Jan Tait's Explore Australia by Caravan or Motorhome Edition 4 has further tips and travelling ideas. RRP $49.95