Right throughout the COVID-19 lockdown my family was dreaming and discussing holidays ideas for when it became safe again. That time is here and we’re super excited. But I’ll admit that I’m also a little cautious. So we are going to err on the side of caution with our first post COVID-19 lockdown family holiday.
I’m not ready to fly just yet, so it’s got to be a road trip. Living in Sydney, we haven’t had a chance to take our #emptyesky to some of the NSW bushfire and drought affected communities. So for our first post lockdown adventure we want to stay, eat, drink and buy from regional NSW.
Two years ago my husband and I did a road trip around Tasmania. We were in a rental car, staying in cabins in holiday parks and campgrounds. The family we travelled with had 3 kids and travelled in a motorhome. As we discussed what sort of trip to do now, we kept referring back to the motorhome experience and how much fun (and how easy) it looked.
After much discussion with friends and family who are motorhome pro’s, we’ve decided to give it a go. We’re off to explore the NSW Central West in a motorhome. To help anyone still grappling with the idea, here are the reasons why we’ve decided it’s the right time for a motorhome holiday.
When you’re travelling with a toddler, the convenience of having everything easily accessible at all times is super appealing. If we need to stop for a cup of tea and some time out of the car seat in the middle of nowhere, we can. And I love the idea that in a motorhome we won’t have to juggle layers of stuff in the boot to access what we need when we need it.
Another part of convenience is that we will only have to unpack once. If I’m being really honest, after almost six months of no holiday, I’m a bit out of practice packing for our toddler. So the less packing and unpacking we have to do, the better.
My excitement about our first post COVID-19 lockdown family holiday.about hitting the road far outweighs my concern about how we will stay COVID-safe on the road. But I still want to make sure we are as safe as possible. Travelling with a motorhome I feel like we’re almost creating our own travel bubble on the road. Even though we’ll be staying in different places, we will only be sleeping in the one bed. And we will have somewhere to wash our hands with us at all times.
When I spoke to Apollo (the motorhome we’re going to use) about what additional safety precautions they’ve put in place. Here’s the list of safety measures they advised they’ve put in place:
- Apollo is following government cleaning regulations and all units are disinfected thoroughly during the cleaning process.
- Hand sanitiser is available at each branch.
- Staff wear gloves and any tablets used in the pick up process (e.g. for signing) are disinfected between uses.
- We are providing regular updates to our staff on hygiene and cleaning practices to help keep everybody safe during these times.
- There is a limited contact pick up processes. Guests receive a link to pre-register driver details online prior to pick up.
- The rental agreement and other documentation can be emailed and payments taken over the phone.
- The free ApolloConnect app (available from the App and Play stores) includes a series of ‘How To videos’ which provide a great overview of how to use your camper and well as lots of tips and tricks on how to use the vehicle.
From my perspective, they’ve hit all the right safety elements and I’m feeling very comfortable with our choice to go with Apollo.
3. Freedom and flexibility
I’m the dreamer in our family. My husband is the planner. And we are expecting that this holiday will let us have more flexibility than we ordinarily would. And with a very active and determined toddler in tow, I’m expecting this to be one of the benefits we most appreciate.
We’ve planned our basic route but we’re going to leave much more to chance than we have in the past. We know which towns we’ll sleep in . And we have a list of experiences that we’d like to have. But we’re leaving timing and schedules pretty loose so that we can make the most of opportunities we spot along the way. With the ApolloConnect app we’ll be able to book experiences and accommodation spots while we’re on the road, which is useful.
4. Foodie fun
One of the things I’m most excited about is pulling up at farm gates and stocking up on amazing local produce. We’re heading to some pretty amazing foodie destinations (I’m particularly looking forward to the food and wine in Orange). I’m expecting we’ll stumble across a number of food and wine producers that we’ll just have to buy from throughout our 5 day journey. Because we’ll have the motorhome, not only will we have the onboard fridge, but we’ll also have more space for a few insulated freezer bags (yep, we’ll be stocking up to bring plenty home).
With a toddler in tow, being able to eat dinners in the van mean that we don’t have to worry about as many restaurant bookings. We’re at a stage where it’s likely we’ll be the customers who leave a big mess on the floor under the highchair! And our daughter has anaphylaxis, so we’ll have the added comfort of knowing that, for the meals we eat in the motorhome, there won’t be any of her allergens accidentally lying around.
5. It’s cost effective
The first six months of 2020 have been financially tough for so many people. And it’s no different for me. So as much as we are hanging out for a holiday we need to make sure that our first post COVID-19 lockdown family holiday is good value for money. Taking a motorhome trip, especially while petrol prices are fairly low, is working out to be great value. What we’ll spend on rental, petrol and holiday park fees is less than what’d we’d have otherwise had to spend on accommodation, leaving more in our budget for some of our favourite things – food and wine.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.