The Cost Of Living On The Road

Yesterday I was asked to do a Radio Interview for Wave FM Breakfast Show in Wollongong. A phone interview. At first I said No. They contacted us through our Facebook page, and thought our story/journey of buying/living in a motorhome was inspirational.

I answered with the following “Hi Russell,  Thanking you so much for touching base. But we are no longer in Wollongong – we are on the Sunshine Coast. And our motorhome broke down so its being stored in New South Wales while we are waiting on the parts to be fixed! I am not that inspirational at the moment cause we are kinda stuck without our motorhome. We hope to be back in it by June”

Again they replied back with “thanks for getting back to me. It’s still a great story though it’d be great to chat nonetheless” – and seen as how I am such a sucker softie I agreed.

You see I am not the one that is inspirational, there are many others in Australia that are travelling with more kids and have been going for way longer – they to me are inspirational.

But I swallowed my nerves- made myself smile {its the only way I can get through an interview – if you were to see me my hands are so sweaty and I am pacing around with nerves while I am trying to think of something to say that makes sense!!!}

And then afterwards I thought of so many other things that I could have said – Like The Cost of Living on the Road is not all that cheap sometimes. And that there are many challenges along the way – sometimes it will drive you nuts how many challenges do come along, but the excitement of seeing a “New Town” is so worth it.

There is a huge debate going on regards the wonderful family “Holiday Road” TV interview and I didn’t realise I was going to be asked about them.

BUT I love that family and I sure hope I answered in a way that respects their journey and let others know how they really fund their travels.

There is a misunderstanding about their interview – A lot of people think they are on the dole and funding their travels that way. I pointed out its the Family Payment that we all get that they have – its per family and its based on your tax income for the year. You get that payment no matter if you are in a House or in a House on Wheels. You get it, I get it, the next person gets it… long as your taxable income is under a certain amount of money per year depends on how much assistance you get from centrelink.

I am not sure if I cleared that up in the interview? Sure hope so!

Lets Clear A Few Things Up ::

  • Living on the road comes with costs – you have registration of your Motorhome, your car, your trailer, your caravan etc – depending on what you travel with.
  • The expensive way of having to shop – sometimes there are no big shops around so you have to shop with the little guys/family run businesses and that’s fine – we don’t mind supporting locals but they can’t bring down their prices like the big store chains can.
  • The cost of Petrol/Fuel/Diesel can be higher in some locations from other locations.
  • The cost of Caravan Parks are PER child and can soon add up – its so very stupid how much we had to pay for a Cabin here on the Sunshine Coast – way more expensive then living in a fully furnished apartment.
  • The cost of having to buy clothes for each other from State to State according to the change of season soon adds up – especially with how fast kids grow!

Raising A Child ::

  • They say it cost at least a Million Dollars to raise a Child now Days – what with schooling, clothing, sports, extra activities, food, accommodation, extra help with studying, pocket money, holidays, shopping trips with friends, trips to the movies, phone and internet bills…..
  • Its cheaper to put them into Schools {its not easy for those crazy mornings when no one will get ready and its rush to get out the door on time} but again School Fees are raising. {homeschooling books are way more expensive}
  • The cost of Food has gone up – and boys tend to eat a LOT of food
  • The cost of living has gone up – in every which way.

So I am damn sure that Centrelink DOES NOT pay you enough to actually raise each child. They pay you assistance to help with the cost, but gee its way less then what you have to actually pay out. Most families are now working two jobs every day, six days a week to make ends meet.

I let the Radio Station know that my Husband and Holiday Road family work damn hard from town to town to fund our travels.

Yes we get Family Assistance – its per child and its only the same small amount you all get.

The Debate of Living Off Welfare ::

The debate is going on that they are living off welfare. You know what – when we moved from QLD to Wollongong David struggled to find work – the first time he has ever struggled to find any job. And we did try and get Centrelink by applying for the “Dole” {I am not sure what’s it called anymore, the payment you get while looking for work} and they wouldn’t help us until David had been out of work for six weeks. Well lucky for us we didn’t have to find out how to survive for six weeks cause he got a job that week.

We are not dole bludgers – we don’t know how to work the system {nor do we want to} – and we respect those that are looking for work and can’t find a job – we know how hard that is.

But sometimes its not easy and you do need a helping hand.

Doesn’t Centrelink have that new rule – where you have to move towns if there is no work available where you live? Don’t they ask you to search a certain amount of Kilometres from where you live to get that work? Well the beauty of travelling/living in a Motorhome – we can move on if there is no work. So don’t we help with Centrelink system?

Try Living Their Life ::

You try travelling with 11 kids, feeding 11 kids, dressing 11 kids, buying their Homeschooling Books for those children and see how far you get living off Centrelink! Then you try filing up the Motorohome with diesel/fuel and driving down the road – you won’t get far on the benefits unless you work as well.

The Cost of living on The Road compared to living in a House is different. But is it cheaper? Well we don’t have a mortgage, we don’t have council rates, we don’t have electricity bills, we don’t have water rates, we don’t have school rates, we don’t have “Keeping Up With The Jones” bills.

But we still have to pay if we stay in Caravan Parks {when not free camping} or in Show Grounds {not many of them left anymore}, we still have two lots of rego’s and the cost of running both vehicles, we still have to buy Gas for our Gas Bottles {we have a gas stove and water heater}, we still have to pay for repairs on both vehicles, we still have to clothe our children and feed them {damn shame we have to eat hey!!!}, we still have to buy Homeschooling books – and that is not cheap per child.

Is our lifestyle choices better then yours?

Not saying that – What I am saying is we have decided to GIVE up all of the stuff that is normal, and live our life exploring Australia – and that there is the bases of everyone’s arguments – We Have Decided To Live Outside The Norm and it Scares You and that is why you think you have a right to say something negative about our choices.

We Don’t Say Your Choices Are Wrong…..

So please respect our choices.

And at the end of the day – if our kids are happy, they are well adjusted children, are well cared for – just like yours – what does it all matter?

For the haters -you are going to hate what ever we do, and that’s not going to change.

For the followers – we love you! You are here because you want to be.

For our family and friends who get us – we love you. For our Family and Friends who don’t get us – that’s Okay we understand how we scare everything you think you know about your life and how you live. We question what you know and you are wondering if you have it wrong.

We get that you think we are “Crazy” but then again we think you are “Crazy” for wasting time Cleaning that big house of yours! But hey that’s your choice and I respect that.

And that there brings me to next thing.


Why can’t we all be adults and respect that we are all different, different views and we all have different ways of thinking, without having to attack each other? What about supporting, encouraging and holding each other up – loving each other.

Try The Cost Of Living On The Road when you are living in Campervan for at least two months – without a fridge. Without knowing where you are going {and loving every minute of it}. The cost of food when you can’t buy in bulk is not cheap. The cost of washing clothes when you don’t have a washing machine soon adds up, the cost of trying to find somewhere to stay when you have a husband with a headache and a child with a head cold is not cheap, but hey again that was our choice.

Living in our Camperva


This day it rained heavy, and all four of us slept in the Campervan,

while we used the tent to hold our stuff! Oh I loved every minute of that trip!

And our adventures/memories/journeys sure make up for that cost.

Did you realise that at the end of your time on earth you can’t take all of your “Stuff” with you so why fill a house up with “Stuff” when you could fill your Mind up with memories, with photo albums of pics of your adventures and stories that all of your family members can share.

*** Please NOTE *** – I have listened to the Interview – and its was heavily edited. I said a lot more about our situation, and more about how Peter {from Holiday Road} travels with his business from Town To Town. So the interview is now sounding different to what I actually said. I have contacted Holiday Road to let them know, and I am very disappointed in the Live Interview cause its cut and sounds different to what I said.

Here Is The Radio Station interview – Lisa Wood on Living on the Road <<<<< Click On Those Green Hi-Lighted Words to be taken to the Interview!

To me that makes sense.

** Linking up with “With Some Grace”

What Do You Think About The Cost of Living On The Road?



New Life on the Road

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16 thoughts on “The Cost Of Living On The Road

  • April 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    We have family (adult kids not with them) doing this now.
    I love your post,though I couldn’t live this way, it is our favourite way to holiday and roadtrip.
    I respect your choices and I think you explained it well.
    trish recently posted..Wordless Wednesday : Orphaned Joey

    • April 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Yeah we are living our way of life, and it works well for us all.
      Thanks for your kinds words Trish – we so miss our motorhome and our way of living {to us its freedom!}
      Good on your family for travelling, hope they have heaps of fun and stay safe. xxx

  • April 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Gday Lisa, wow didnt the Cairns family stir the pot, sadly in my opinion, its mankind, its part of our DNA, and that DNA is pretty damn ordinary, look at the past weekend, we are celebrating bloodshed via war,100 years on, I read comments that Alison was a whore, how low can we go, mankind cant accept his fellow man, be oh so proud of your family and what you are doing, I wouldnt put a lot of energy into trying to change the views of a rotten egg.I spent my 20s with the view that we were an experiment that went wrong and they dropped us down here, well in my 60s now Im still not sure, imagine being up there and looking down at us, no wonder they wont visit,enjoy your life and be proud to be an individual you are champions.

    • April 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm


      Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. Such an important point to consider when raising children.

      • April 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

        Thanking you so much Johanna for your kind support and great wisdom on raising children, yeah experiences are a bigger part then material goods 😉

    • April 28, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Gosh I didn’t realise that people were saying such nasty words – its cause they haven’t meet Allison nor do they really know her!!! The family is amazing – inspirational.
      I like your thoughts on the rotten egg – can’t change the negative way they think hey!
      Thanks for your kind words – and for taking the time to read the blog post.

      Stay safe, and have lots of fun.


  • April 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Lisa, your story is awesome, put together with great thought and passion… I trust you will have your van back soon.
    Thank you for supporting my very good friends, Holiday Road, I wish you ‘All the Best’.
    Take care…

    • April 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks Ted, sure can’t wait to we get our Motorhome back with us – miss it so very much.

      Holiday Road are the best, such an amazing family! So inspirational.

      Stay safe xxx

  • May 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Yep, so many costs that people wouldn’t necessarily consider. That family seems amazing to me and a real team. People just take any opportunity to get on their high horse and dish out necessarily, negative comments. I don’t get it.
    Hope your van is back up and running very swiftly!
    Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad recently posted..This Nesting Business

  • May 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Great post, Lisa! Straight to the point! It’s in nobody’s place to judge how other’s live. I do think what you guys are doing is inspirational. My husband always brings up the time we met you and you spoke about home schooling. You left a wonderful impression on him x
    Grace recently posted..When to DIY, when to call in the professionals

    • December 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks Grace for your kind words and support. Your Husband {and sweet Baby Boys} are beautiful xx

    • December 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks Connie, Sure has it moments!

  • October 12, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Amazing article. I am not surprised that they changed the interview. There are a lot of people who don`t understand living on the road. They can`t understand that at the end we have only memories. I love your post! Keep posting! Greetings!

    • October 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for the great support and kind words – I am hopeless at interviews cause I get so very nervous! But have learnt my lesson – they can and will change them if they want to!


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