18 AUGUST 2018

It’s a movement that continues to gain momentum nationally: Australians are choosing to opt out of the regular 9-5 in pursuit of a richer, more-rewarding experience on the road with their children in tow. 

According to leading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts, the serviced apartment sector is seeing an increase in road-tripping tribes punctuating their travels with a stop off at family-friendly properties along the way.

A market once dominated by retirees is now teeming with families jumping on the #vanlife bandwagon and taking advantage of the benefits permanent road tripping can bring.

One of the most popular travel trends of the decade, parents are choosing to pack up the family home, pull the kids out of school, and set Google Maps to ‘explore’ in search of an all-Aussie, off-road adventure. With no set timeline and endless opportunities to roam, marvel, and experience new cultures and landscapes, these modern nomads are embracing a simpler way of life.

According to recent forecasts by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, research indicates that Aussies are set to take off on 11.9 million domestic caravan and camping trips this year, reinforcing that this trend is isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

While full-time travel on the road brings with it an undisputed wealth of rewards, hoteliers now recognise the demand for affordable, self-contained accommodation in key stop-off points across the country to break up lengthy expeditions.  

With 48 hotels located across Australia, Oaks Hotels & Resorts has witnessed firsthand an upswing in the number of families choosing to intersperse their road travels with a short stint at its coastal and regional properties.  

“Permanent road-tripping is certainly having its time in the spotlight, thanks to flexible work and school options, affordability, and the desire by many to experience their own backyard,” said Chief Operating Officer for Minor Hotels, Australia and New Zealand, Mr Craig Hooley.

“What starts out as a two or three-month stint away from home, can often turn into 12 months or longer, and subsequently, we’ve noticed a rise in families seeking a brief reprieve from life on the road and the creature comforts a home base can bring.

“Our properties in road-tripping hotspots such as Broome, Darwin, Port Douglas, Port Stephens, and the Sunshine Coast have welcomed nomadic families from all over. Our properties offer the comfort and convenience of a hot shower, fresh sheets, full kitchen and laundry facilities, food and beverage options, spacious apartment surrounds and of course somewhere to park the van.

“A short stop-off at a family-friendly property means they can recharge and plan out their next adventure. With the freedom to travel off-peak, they can also take advantage of excellent accommodation deals that won’t break the budget,” said Mr Hooley.

Testament to this movement is travelling tribe of four ‘The Blonde Nomads’ (@theblondenomads)who, after breaking away from the ‘hamster wheel’, have taken on the role of full time Aussie travellers and never looked back. 

Recently stopping off at Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary in Broome as part of their lap of Australia, Tracey, Rob, Marli and Ziggy aim to inspire other families to step away from the 9-5 and dive into life on the road. 

“We’ve been travelling full-time in our caravan for over 10 months and it’s been the most incredible experience that has opened our eyes to the benefits of self-guided slow travel. We set our own pace and agenda, taking each day as it comes.

“For many families, road tripping is a viable alternative to overseas travel, and on a personal level, has allowed us to provide a hands-on learning environment for our children and create memories that we’ll all cherish forever.

“Of course, living together in a caravan 24/7 comes with its challenges, so after travelling for extended periods, a roomy apartment with all the bells and whistles (hello washing machine!) is a most welcome sight. Everyone needs a little luxury from time to time so this would have to be one of our top travel tips!

For more information please visit: https://www.oakshotels.com