FOR many of us, the reality of living in Australia is a costly and often disillusioning exercise.

Those chasing the great dream of owning our own home have seen it become a marathon effort that's getting more and more out of reach every year. Meanwhile, rent continues to skyrocket.

Sometimes, it can really pay off to think outside the box, as shown by 29-year-old mother of three Kirby Gibbons.

The inspiring adventurer from Tasmania, who's behind the popular Facebook page One Day We Should, packed up all the family's belongings, ditched the long work hours and sold their home to travel the country full time.

So far, they have been on the road for nearly a year and have already completed a full lap of Australia in what they say was the best decision of their lives.

"We always said 'one day we should' visit here, one day we should do this, one day we should do that. ... until we realised life is too short and we are not guaranteed tomorrow," Mrs Gibbons told news.com.au.

Living the dream. Picture: One day we should
Living the dream. Picture: One day we should

"So we sold our Tasmanian farm, all our possessions and downsized to living in a caravan.

"We are now on the road full time exploring our huge backyard that is Australia. We have been on the road for 10 months so far and still have so much to see."

An amazing bonus has been all the extra time the family have been able to spend together now that husband and father Gibbo, aka "Macgyver", ditched his job.

"Gibbo has always been an amazing hands-on dad but due to working such long hours in the mines doing FIFO and DIDO before our travels he wasn't getting much time to spend with the kids.

"Doing these long hours and working these hands jobs has enabled us to afford to travel Australia. Making the decision to travel has been fantastic for the relationship between Gibbo and the kids. Most miss out on all this quality time, on the precious years, so we feel very lucky."

Their new home. Picture: One day we should
Their new home. Picture: One day we should

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE HIGHLIGHTS AND WORST PARTS?

We have been within metres of whales, dolphins, koalas, kangaroos, emus, huge monitor lizards, dingos, foxes. We have visited some of the most stunning waterfalls, gorges, mountains, beaches, rocky outcrops and more.

Our favourite areas would have to be Litchfield National Park, Karijini National Park, Albany, Esperance, Great Ocean Road, and the Whitsundays (just to name a few).

Living the dream. Picture: One day we should
Living the dream. Picture: One day we should

The worst is missing family and friends back at home. I don't think we have been anywhere we really disliked and we haven't had any major dramas so far (touch wood!). We really are having the time of our lives.

However, being confined in a small place we have had to learn a lot of patience. There is nowhere to escape when someone is tired and in a bad mood so as a family we have learnt to work as a team, get along better and know when to give each those five minutes alone.

 

No more view of the inside of an office. Picture: One day we should
No more view of the inside of an office. Picture: One day we should

WHAT ARE YOUR TRICKS TO LIVING SO CHEAPLY?

The family of five is inspiring. Picture: One day we should
The family of five is inspiring. Picture: One day we should

Crunching the numbers is key and may involve doing away with some luxuries.

"We have spent a total of $1765.70 on accommodation. Working out to be just $40.80 per week. 303 days living on the road at $5.80 per day that's just a little over $1 a day per person.

"We have not stayed in a caravan park since June 2017 and have not stayed in a powered campsite since last August. Our most ridiculous quote for a caravan park site was over $130 per night for a powered site and over $100 per night for non powered site.

"The most we paid for a site was in Exmouth at a whopping $57 a night for an unpowered site. (Lesson learnt ... the national park there was full - pre-book or don't arrive in peak season.)

"In our first week on the road we spent over $300 on accommodation. Imagine what our totals would have been if we knew how to use WikiCamps in the beginning!"

Overall, they spend approximately $1 per kilometre of travel, on all expenses including food and fuel.

 

Travel

 

Relaxing, bliss ... Picture: One day we should
Relaxing, bliss ... Picture: One day we should

SEVEN TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHILE LIVING ON THE ROAD

1. Use WikiCamps to find free camps - this can save us over $100 a night. It sure does add up.

2. Use a fuel map - working out where to fill up can save a lot over the period of our trip. Considering this is our biggest cost every cent saved helps. A great example was when we were travelling on a remote part of the coastal highway. There were two petrol stations within 200km of each other.

Everyone pulled over at the first petrol station and joined a line up to wait for fuel, while we continued 200m further to the billabong where the fuel was over 8c a litre cheaper and there was no line.

3. Not using laundromats - we use our solar to power our on-board washing machine. It uses 20 litres of water for a 29 minute load and we can use it while free camping by running it off our 600w inverter. This is absolutely fantastic as it saves us from needing power and using expensive laundrettes.

Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. Picture: One day we should
Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. Picture: One day we should

4. Cooking using campfires - we save as much gas as possible by using campfires when we can.

5. Making our own lunches, teas and coffee - we very rarely buy meals or coffees. Travelling around with our home attached makes it very easy to pull up and whip together a lunch and coffee. On those day outings a little preparation can make life a lot easier and cheaper.

6. Stocking up on some items in bulk before going anywhere remote - nappies, toiletries, snacks, cereal and meats. We do a large shop before heading anywhere remote to save paying unnecessary prices elsewhere. We still buy our milk and bread from the small towns and try and buy fruit and vegetables from roadside stalls/farmers or markets but everything else we stock up prior.

7. Cheap, dark clothing - with the kids growing so fast and living life outdoors there's no point spending a fortune on their clothing at this stage of our lives. We purchase from Kmart (and the like) buying everything in mostly black and navy as they seem to destroy the coloured and light clothing within minutes.

One of their campsites. Picture: One day we should
One of their campsites. Picture: One day we should

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

We are continuing our travels indefinitely. We have a few iconic places we missed on our recent lap such as Fraser Island, Cape York, Gibb River road, and another trip home to Tassie and we can't wait to go exploring these areas.

Shop around for fuel. Picture: One day we should
Shop around for fuel. Picture: One day we should

 

Camping can be fun. Picture: One day we should
Camping can be fun. Picture: One day we should

 

Be smart with your money. Picture: One day we should
Be smart with your money. Picture: One day we should
Just wow. Picture: One day we should
Just wow. Picture: One day we should

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