I like to think of myself as a ‘budget traveler’… well, most of the time… and it was last Easter that I decided to embrace my inner budget travel bug.
This journey began when Michael from MyTours and Jackson an extended family member decided to pack up their van’s and head to Byron Bay for a week. I had always been interested in Michael’s van trips, so I organised to hire a cheap van. I’m sure you all know the type of vans I’m talking about.
Our trip was all locked in and the bookings all set but we had one issue; the hire van was in Sydney which was a 2.5-hour drive from where we live on the South Coast and we couldn’t leave our car there. So we had to improvise. We packed up Michael and Jackson’s vans the night before then that morning Tayla and I squashed into a van each and headed to Sydney. It was there we laid our eyes on our home for the week. Let’s just say…..it was… interesting.
We decided to put our worries aside and agreed it would be a perfect mobile getaway home for the Bryon Bay trip! After a long and tiring 10.5 hours drive we made it to Byron Bay that night and set up camp then crashed.
For anyone who doesn’t know Byron Bay is a pleasant coastal town located on the far northeastern corner of New South Wales. It’s a popular holiday destination known for its huge gigs like the Byron Bay Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass and many more. There are also some great surfing spots, scuba diving sites and beautiful beaches.
Bryon Bay is a hit with backpackers and down to earth people, it just has such a peaceful vibe. If you haven’t been you really should go! And yes I must admit that while I was in Byron Bay I ticked off the “tourist “ bucket list. In saying that, my trip to Byron Bay really opened my eyes up to a different mindset of traveling. In Byron, you see people from all over the world meeting in such a small town with different outlooks on life, but everyone gets along and lets their hair down and just enjoys themselves. It’s magical.
As the week went on I saw so many vans on the side of the road for sale. I guess when people had ended their trip in Bryon Bay and were in need of some quick cash, they pop their vans up for sale. This got me thinking, I wanted to join the ‘Van life’ community. So on the second last day, I saw a 1982 Mitsubishi L300 Express Wagon on the side of the road, it was love at first sight. I then called the owner to arrange and meet on the last day of my trip. Tayla and I fell in love with ‘Betsy’ when we met her in person (yes we called it Betsy) and headed to the ATM. Turned out this trip wasn’t going to be as budget friendly as I had first planned! But there was just one last issue, we now had four vans.
Luckily there was a hire company yard at the local servo, so we headed down to ask the company if we were able to leave our hire van in Bryon Bay. They weren’t too happy with the idea, so they ended up charging us with a $600 fee to leave the van. Tayla and I both wanted to be in our very own van on the trip home, so we handed over our $600! We figured we had already blown our budget so why stop now.
We packed our belongings into our new van and headed back to the South Coast of NSW. The trip home was exciting and since bringing her home we have done many trips in ‘Betsy’.
Below is a photo from our Jindabyne snow trip last winter.