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The start of COVID meant my husband lost his brand new job in March within a fortnight of starting, last in means first out type of scenario. The role involved a lot of interstate travel for most of 2020 and the company could see the writing on the wall, plus they were still dealing with the impact of the drought and then bush fires. 

 

We had two cruises paid in full which we did eventually get refunds for (apart from one way airfares SYD-AKL for which we are only able to have a credit). I ended up hurrying along the refunds by lodging disputed transactions for both with our c/card provider. 

 

With the happily unemployed husband having time off work to supervise we re carpeted, repainted, did some other smaller upgrades around the house, including reorganizing the house as our son moved out in Feb. He bought a second road bicycle plus more tech gear to go with it. Our daughter decided to get married this Feb 2021 on the back of our son getting married Jan 2020 when we thought we had a couple more years up our sleeve. We did a local trip around NSW which we enjoyed. The car will likely need to be upgraded in the next 12 months. 

 

Looked at a couple more local holiday options and also baulked at the prices for 3-4 * accom when compared to a balcony cabin, view of the ocean and a no thinking required holiday that cruising offers.

 

We can see why the likes of Harvey N, Bunnings and car salesmen have done so well in the second half of 2020. 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, ELep said:

Looked at a couple more local holiday options and also baulked at the prices for 3-4 * accom 

 

Personally I don't find the star system that indicative of quality 🤔. I have stayed in some pretty questionable high starred accommodations😕. The last few years I have been using the reviews of a particular accommodation booking website even if I don't book through the website I check their review ratings. It has helped me find some pretty amazing starless accommodation that I would regard as four star but so much cheaper😁. I will admit I don't know that much about star ratings (criteria of assessment, who runs it, how you get one) so maybe I have been using it all wrong😂

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So pleased we aren’t the only ones 🙄

We booked a caravan (hired it) for 3 weeks in December. Luckily the whole thing happened in the very short window where borders were actually open. Drove thru outback Queensland, from Mackay, visited Alpha, Cunnamulla, Cobar, Broken Hill, Renmark, Mildura, Echuca, Jindabyne, and Kempsey. DH drives trucks so loves driving 😉

Spent Christmas with kids and grandkids in River Heads, Hervey Bay - then home by 28th. 
Had a great time visiting some beautiful and very different Aussie towns. Bought lots of wine in the Barossa and lots of locally grown and made condiments at town markets. 
Final wash up of the whole caravan experience ...... when is cruising restarting🥺😳😢

(And not buying a caravan / motor home / bus / camper in this lifetime!!!)

Edited by Porky55
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35 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

Personally I don't find the star system that indicative of quality 🤔. I have stayed in some pretty questionable high starred accommodations😕. The last few years I have been using the reviews of a particular accommodation booking website even if I don't book through the website I check their review ratings. It has helped me find some pretty amazing starless accommodation that I would regard as four star but so much cheaper😁. I will admit I don't know that much about star ratings (criteria of assessment, who runs it, how you get one) so maybe I have been using it all wrong😂

I think part of the rating relies on what amenities the place has. Does it have a pool, a restaurant, bar, free WiFi and so on rather than the actual quality of the room. And there are different rules in each country. A 3 star hotel in Europe with only a breakfast room can be nicer than a 4 star hotel with a restaurant and bar. 

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8 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I think part of the rating relies on what amenities the place has. Does it have a pool, a restaurant, bar, free WiFi and so on rather than the actual quality of the room. And there are different rules in each country. A 3 star hotel in Europe with only a breakfast room can be nicer than a 4 star hotel with a restaurant and bar. 

Many lifetimes ago I worked in the Hotel industry for a big (at the time) chain, you are dead right, it was about tick a box, Pool, 24/7 room service, Heated Pool, Indoor Pool, Sauna, spa, gym, 24 hr bar, tick enough boxes get a star. The rooms could be crap. And lots of properties fudged the forms.

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22 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

That looks gorgeous, Bubbeh. I'd love to do that but DH isn't that keen on the idea. 🙁

That's a shame.  To be fair, neither was I until last year.  We hired a motorhome  in July, via a company called Camplify, and had such a wonderful time, we decided to bite  the bullet.  Maybe you could try to suggest a short local holiday with a quality hired vehicle and see how that goes.  I wouldn't suggest Maui, Britz etc, we did that quite a few years ago and I found the vehicle not especially clean and various other aspects quite disappointing.  Indeed, it put me off the whole concept for a long time.

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22 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Sounds wonderful.   Have cruising friends who  bought themselves a caravan recently.  I hear sales are booming right now.

Yes they certainly are,  not sure what it's like in other parts of the country but in WA there's a 7-12 month wait for new vehicles.  We were just lucky that the exact motorhome we wanted was available and sitting on a lot not far too from us.  

 

I think that in a couple of years or so, there will be a lot of very cheap barely used RVs hitting the second hand market.  Probably bought by people who find that lifestyle may not be entirely to their liking.

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4 hours ago, Bubbeh said:

I think that in a couple of years or so, there will be a lot of very cheap barely used RVs hitting the second hand market.  Probably bought by people who find that lifestyle may not be entirely to their liking

Couldn’t agree more, we hired a caravan for 3 weeks this past December and knew within a week that it would be our last caravanning holiday. Just not something we enjoyed - each to their own obviously. 
if it’s possible to hire and holiday first - it’s highly recommended.

 

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On 1/15/2021 at 11:29 AM, Bubbeh said:

We bought a motorhome (http://www.australianmotorhomes.com.au/new-motorhomes/avida-motorhome-b7634-eyre) in October and are planning on land cruising firstly around our own State for 2021 and then, hopefully, doing The Big Lap for 2022-2023.  So far we've had a couple of trips away and we're off again at the end of the month. 

 

Never even been camping or owned a caravan, who'd of thought we'd love the lifestyle!?

Do you need a licence upgrade for that?

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18 hours ago, lyndarra said:

Do you need a licence upgrade for that?

No, not at all.  I have an auto licence and I only know how to drive an automatic vehicle.  My husband has a standard licence so he can drive a manual vehicle as well.  The motorhome (we named her AVFA - A Vehicle for Arguing 😜) has a automatic gear box.  Not quite what I'm used to in terms of operation but there is no clutch to worry about and once Mr Bubbeh is prepared to relinquish control, I'm sure it won't be beyond my capabilities.

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18 hours ago, lyndarra said:

Do you need a licence upgrade for that?

Just wondering as some states have weight/size limits.

https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/driver/licence-classes.html

BTW AMH is a few minutes up the road from me. We bought our 2nd hand caravan from them a few years back. Since my wife passed I've been thinking of selling it but can't quite decide as it was hers

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On 1/16/2021 at 11:08 AM, Bubbeh said:

That's a shame.  To be fair, neither was I until last year.  We hired a motorhome  in July, via a company called Camplify, and had such a wonderful time, we decided to bite  the bullet.  Maybe you could try to suggest a short local holiday with a quality hired vehicle and see how that goes.  I wouldn't suggest Maui, Britz etc, we did that quite a few years ago and I found the vehicle not especially clean and various other aspects quite disappointing.  Indeed, it put me off the whole concept for a long time.

I think it's mostly that he doesn't like driving big vehicles. 

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Thought about it,,, but either Motorhome or Caravan,, you need somewhere to park it, also with Caravan you need a tow vehicle... and it's a big investment......

 

The idea always sound nice... but the reality  not so,   for some......

 

I have a few relations into caravaning, use their vans all the time, which is great...

 

Another relation bought a caravan and tow vehicle.... first thing didn't fit past the house into the 2 an acres behind the house... then ran into 3 things with the van  on the first outing....

it now sits on the front lawn 

 

We prefer to go and stay a self contained places

 

Don

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2 hours ago, cruisine21 said:

My neighbour has a caravan. They previously had a motor home. The caravan hasn’t moved from the driveway for a couple of years.

Same here, 10 houses in my street, 4 have $70,000 caravans, the only time they move is when it grass mowing time. What a waste of money.

 

** I just returned from Temora after 3 nights, any of you heading out that way don't go past the SkyLodges at the Temora Aviation Museum, fantastico.

Edited by NSWP
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We have found staying in onsite cabins works best for us if we are keeping costs down, would need to spend a lot of nights in a van to make it pay. Or el Cheapo motels.

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