Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Get in the Travel Picture

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Get in the Travel Picture

Article excerpt

THE great Australian road trip dream is alive and well. Despite the gloom surrounding the recent Federal Budget, the combination of low interest rates, a competitive marketplace and a greater range of options are causing a surge in the number of Australian families investing in caravans, camper trailers and tents.

The desire for more affordable holidays is one reason Caravanning Queensland is expecting to see record numbers at next week's annual show in Brisbane.

"Families are now spoilt for choice when purchasing caravans or motorhomes. There is a range of options to suit every taste and price, so it's an exciting time to enter the market," show manager Jason Plant said.

"Families will often start with a camper trailer, which many people don't realise actually includes most of the luxuries of a caravan such as beds, a shower and a kitchen, for the cost of a small car, so it's a great investment. They are extremely affordable, comfortable and practical products, and perfect for the budget-conscious."

John Swinglehurst from Lifestyle Camper Trailers says with the cost of a high quality, Australian-made, family camper trailer from about $9000, now is the ideal time for a family to buy their first vehicle.

"Now that families are looking for ways to holiday on tighter budgets, we are seeing a real increase in people entering the camper trailer market as a way to still take their kids on great holidays but save money at the same time," he said.

"In comparison to spending money on hotels, a camper trailer is an investment for the future. More often we are hearing people say they could go overseas for one trip, or they could buy a camper trailer and potentially have a lifetime of holidays for the same amount of money."

Camper trailers aren't the only products appealing to families with tighter budgets, with Jon Burrell from Tentworld also reporting a rise in camping equipment sales to first time campers.

"We saw a notable increase in families entering the camping market after the financial crisis," Mr Burrell said. "Campgrounds are very low priced and include a lot of facilities such as kitchenettes, showers and barbecues, so it's one of the most cost-effective ways to take the family on a holiday. …

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