5 Campervan Pet Holiday Hacks

Dog owners have one major concern when planning a holiday: “Should we bring the pets or not?” This question gets asked because one, not all tourist spots in Australia and New Zealand allow pets in the premises. Two, dog owners on a camper van hired for a weekend with family and friends come with challenges, mostly with keeping pets healthy and happy throughout the trip.

Should you decide to bring your furbaby with you on a hired campervan on a holiday in Oz or NZ – and we really don’t see why you won’t -We have prepared a list of hacks for pet owners that hopefully can help you enjoy that much needed holiday with your four-legged baby.

 

Fleas off, please

"Clinic dog” by CopperCatStudios available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mi2starsfan/2218392596/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Clinic dog” by CopperCatStudios available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mi2starsfan/2218392596/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY CopperCatStudios

Dog owners should pay a visit to the local vet and have their pet checked before letting them inside the vehicle.

If your dog has ticks and fleas, don’t bring them on the trip and leave them under the care of a vet while you’re on a holiday. Bringing a dog with fleas on a long road trip can spell a lot of problems, chief among them fleas and ticks falling from your pet’s fur and getting in every nook and cranny of your hired campervan.

That’s why it is best to have your pets dewormed and checked for other diseases before that trip around Oz or NZ in a campervan. Remember, a healthy pet makes for a happy owner.

 

Beddings for your buddy

"kiyomi shiba, half-asleep and on her human dad's side of the bed.” by Taro the Shiba Inu available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/_tar0_/10616051965/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"kiyomi shiba, half-asleep and on her human dad's side of the bed.” by Taro the Shiba Inu available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/_tar0_/10616051965/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Taro the Shiba Inu

When you’ve had your pet checked for ticks and fleas, as well as worms and diseases, you might want to check-out a sturdy collapsible cage for your pet. This makes it easier to transport your pet or keep them secure while you’re on the road.

Add to that, your pet would have their own place for the night instead of sleeping on the floor or outside the campervan. A collapsible bedding for your pet adds extra protection while you are travelling. Dogs can be prone to carsickness and if they are not kept on a stable platform.

 

A Feast for Pets

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Ben Brown

Okay, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a feast. Just don’t forget to bring pet food when you bring your dog with you. Your pet would be fine eating the same hearty meals you prepared for your holiday. However, it would be great if you bring pet food that would suit their dietary needs.

Add to that, bringing pet food saves time. Just open up the can or bag and pour in your dog’s food and let them have a filling meal without waiting for you to finish your dinner before they can have theirs. Aside from feeding them well, you must make sure your pets are well hydrated throughout the trip.


Bring separate bowls for food and water to keep your pets in tip-top shape while you’re on a campervan holiday to any of the popular destinations in Oz or NZ. Having separate bowls for food and water ensures your dogs have enough water even if they are in the middle of their meals. Just remember to keep the water bowl filled so your dog can 
have a drink anytime.

 

Locate with Dog Tags

When you go on a campervan holiday, your dog may wander off. This is normal for pets love to explore and, well, mark their territory. That’s why it’s always great to have a dog tag (with your name and contact number printed clearly) safely clipped on your dog’s collar, so your pet can be returned to you if they go missing.

 

Pet-friendly destinations

"Bath time” by Jelly Dude available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/eoinlane/349460732/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Jelly Dude

Finally, don’t forget to plan your destinations! Choose pet-friendly holiday routes. Luckily, most of the pet-friendly destinations are just along the Great Ocean Road which offers an array of holiday destinations for tourists that would like to bring their pets with them.

These destinations have amenities specifically designed for your little loves. You can take your dogs for a walk in the park and meet other dog owners and their pets. There are even areas where your dogs can do their “business” without feeling guilty about it!

Your dogs are considered part of the family. So, treat them with all the love and care that you would to a family member. They are loyal friends that you can always trust whether it be for security purposes or as a companion to your campervan holidays in Oz or NZ.

Have you ever travelled with your pets? We’d love to hear your story! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and be part of a community of campervan enthusiasts in Australia and across the globe.

5 Gourmet Camp Cooking Hacks

Holidays on the road are incomplete without a scrumptious meal prepared around the campfire as you share stories while the sun sets on the horizon. However, preparing a mouthwatering dinner while on a road trip in an Australian campervan hired by family and friends can sometimes dampen your mood when all you wish to do is just stretch your legs and lay your back after an adventure-packed day outdoors.

Perhaps a few innovative ways to prepare more than just hot dogs and steaks is what you need in order to upgrade your campervan menu handed down to you by previous generations that have enjoyed the legendary Outback. It really is very easy to add fresh ideas into your favourite camping recipes.

So whether you’re camping with friends or family, make mealtimes more fun by checking out these few hacks on how you could make the most out of your campervan kitchen.

Learn to Improvise

First off, you must plan your meals. Avoid thinking of making dishes that would take forever to cook over a campfire (remember, everybody’s had a long day of adventures and are likely to be very hungry), or would require large and heavy pots and pans to prepare (you don’t have much room to bring your entire home kitchen with you). If you want to impress your mates with an elegantly cooked dinner, look for easy-to-prepare, readily available alternatives. Besides, meals that imbibe the rustic feel of a night at a campsite like pot roast with steamed vegetables or baked beans could be as good as a slab of beef from your favourite steak house.

You can also prepare a hearty breakfast using leftovers from last night’s dinner. Bring out the eggs and grate some cheese to create an omelette that would melt the sleep from your mate’s eyes. Squeeze a few fresh oranges and serve the juice in a pitcher and add some honey to give them that sun-kissed vibe to prepare them for another day outdoors.

Have a Knack for Nibbles

Sometimes, a hearty chatter at the campfire is best complemented with light snacks. Load up on fruits, nuts, and popcorn for starters. Nothing beats the combination of quirky conversations and the crackling of popcorn over a campfire.

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY White93

If you want something that would be akin to fine dining, try melting some dark chocolate on a pan where you can dip some fruits or marshmallows in it. Voilà, it’s like having your personalised fondue, camper style!

Speaking of marshmallows, a campfire huddle would not be complete if you’re not making s’mores. Try adding new ingredients to this classic campfire snack like candy sprinkles or using vegan marshmallows, as a healthier alternative.

Jostling Jaw Dropping Delights

There are certain dishes that are difficult to prepare outdoors. Examples are baked goodies such as cakes, pies, and brownies so most campers just buy from bake shops or bake them a few days before the camping trip. Well, you’re in luck because there are now innovative ways to make these without an oven, so you and your travel companions can enjoy freshly baked treats in the wild.

For instance, you could try baking brownies using orange peels. You can do this by cutting the top of the fruit and scooping off the pulp. This way, you would be creating a pocket for your brownie mix. Fill 2/3 of the pocket with your prepared batter. Put back the top and wrap the ball in aluminum foil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes and you’ll have tangy orange-sized brownies for your mates!

You can also make pies using pita bread as an alternative for the traditional pie crust. Or why not try newspapers as an alternative to aluminum foil when cooking fish? The possibilities are endless. You’re camping – you can be as innovative as you want!

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Beck

Stock Up on the Essentials

After you have planned your meals, right down to your dessert options, it’s now time to stock up on the ingredients and outdoor equipment that you’d be using. Just remember only to bring the essentials, you’ve already planned what to prepare for your gourmet holiday. So, there’s no point in bringing excessive equipment and supplies.

This makes things quick and easy to set-up when you’re at the campsite. Also, this would make your holiday baggage lighter and easier to clean-up when you head back home. If this would be your first time taking a campervan holiday, bring  a sturdy cooler as well as a set of good roasters for your campfire. The rest of the supplies you’d be needing can easily be found in your kitchen cabinet like pots and pans, as well as dining utensils.

Clean as you go

Preparing wonderful meals during your campervan holiday can also be environmentally friendly. Just like the examples earlier, using alternatives to certain materials for cooking your meals would help reduce waste after your outdoor retreat.

Using old newspapers instead of aluminium foil to lock-in the flavours when grilling fish helps reduce your carbon footprint. Biodegradable materials could be turned to compost after using them for cooking your delectable treats, like the brownies stuffed in hollowed out orange peels. If you have a garden back at home, you can collect your biodegradable trash and turn them into home made fertilizer for your beautiful greens.

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Jeff Souville

Just a friendly reminder, it’s a no-no to throw out your garbage at the campfire. It would be better to segregate your wastes and throw them properly after your holiday. Throwing garbage at the campfire not only adds up to the pollution in the surroundings. It could even start wildfires because you keep on adding fuel to the flame.

If that happens, you can wave goodbye to your gourmet campervan experience.

Camping can also be a gastronomic adventure, if you know how to turn home-cooked meals into gourmet dishes miles from the comforts and conveniences of your kitchen. All you need is some creativity and a breath of fresh air in the campsite. Now, why not make your own campervan memories? An Australian campervan hired at our website can help you make the most out of your self-drive holiday.

We always love to hear from you, so share with us your gourmet campfire cooking ideas and experiences today. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how to make your campervan holidays the best ever.

Life Hacks Every Camper Should Know

Camping can be a bit challenging because you are devoid of  comforts you usually have at home or in your community. This is especially true for large groups that must  share limited supplies of food, water and other necessities.

Luckily, there are many life hacks that help  make your camping trip easier, safer and more organized. Below are some great tips straight from a happy camper’s notebook.

1. Avoid Poisonous Plants

Summer is the best time to go outdoors. Unfortunately, it is also the time when poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac grow in droves. Avoid them at all cost and never attempt to touch them. Here are their pictures:

Poison Ivy, Posion Sumac, Poison Oak

"Poison Oak" by docentjoyce available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/docentjoyce/3315220976/ under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 BY docentjoyce

If you unintentionally come in contact with these plants, you may experience a red itchy rash in the form of blisters, hives, lines or streaks. Do not scratch the affected area and immediately wash it with lukewarm water and soap. Wash everything, including your clothes, where the plant’s oil have been in contact. Common household items that can ease itching include oatmeal, baking soda and calamine lotion.

2. Waterproof Your Canvas Shoes

When camping near a spring, lake or any body of  water, it is necessary to waterproof your shoes. If you like wearing toms or canvas shoes, you can rub beeswax to make them resistant to water. Slightly melt the beeswax, and apply it on the surface of your footwear. Make sure that you apply it evenly and blow dry your shoes afterwards.

This method also works on clothes. However, applying beeswax will make the fabric cakey and crusty. You can mix linseed with the wax prior to application, which should give it more flexibility, without reducing its ability to resist water.

3. Use Organic Bug Repellent

When you are outdoors, you can’t avoid getting in contact  with creepy crawlers or flyers. To prevent bug bites, you can mix your own organic bug repellent at home, using essential oils. Simply go online to find bug repellent recipes you can make yourself. Most of the ingredients you need can be bought at your local supermarkets such as essential oils from lemon, eucalyptus, citronella and lemon grass. Another organic bug repellent is sage. Just burn a bouquet over  the campfire to help keep bugs away.

4. Make Your Own Camp Fire

Making a campfire is easy, especially if you know what  kind of branches or wood to use. There are three types of wood that make  great campfires. Tinder,  which is around the size of a pencil lead and should be longer than your stretched hand. Kindling, which should be as thick  as your thumb and about as long as the distance from your fingertips to your elbow. Finally, fuel wood, which should be about  the size of your arm.

Stack them so that the tinder is in the centre surrounded by the kindling and finally place the fuel wood on the outer layer of your campfire. You can use a store-bought  fire-starter to quickly light up your campfire.

5. Acorns As Whistles

Getting lost in the woods can be tough, especially if there is no cellphone signal in the area. Luckily, you can use an acorn to amplify your whistle and signal your position to your fellow campers. Grab the acorn cap and place it on your lips. Cover everything with your thumb, except for the nut’s small triangular opening, then blow.

6. Light Up Your Camp

If you feel that your light source is insufficient, here’s a camping hack that can help. Simply strap a head lamp to a clear water jug. The water in the jug amplifies the light from the lamp, illuminating the interior of your tent.

But, what if your flashlight just stopped working and you need a source of light other than your cell phone? Grab a short string, which will serve as a wick, and create a makeshift candle using common items such as crayons, sardine oil and even bacon grease.

 7. Add Flavour To Food Using Rosemary

Using a marinade with Rosemary is the secret to making a  great barbecue. You can also use this herb to improve the flavour of any food.  Simply place a bunch of rosemary right on the coals when the latter start to turn grey and ashy. The smoke from the Rosemary has the same benefits as that of burning wood chips.

There are tons of camping life hacks that can  make your life easier the next time you head out on a nature trip. However, many still prefer to camp with a motorhome or a campervan. If you are one of these people rent your vehicle through Salamanda Travel. We have a price comparison tool that will get you the best deals on your upcoming self-drive holiday!

Glamping in Australia: 5 Ways You Can Up Your Camping Game

Glamping in Australia“Glamping? What’s glamping?” a voice from behind me asked. I turned and said “well glamping is short for ‘glamourous camping’. It’s a new trend where you can camp while staying stress-free, without having all the difficulty that goes along with camping (normally) and live almost luxuriously”.

Well, honestly, I wasn’t able to answer that smoothly as I was baffled myself, but I managed to sum it up. While I was researching, I got asked that question more than once. But really know, who says you can’t have best of worlds while camping? Now, you can enjoy an outdoor adventure without having to handle all the roughness of the wild side. Wouldn’t it be great to sleep under the stars sans the back pain that ensues from being cramped inside a tight sleeping bag?

With a campervan or motorhome from Salamanda Travel, everything is easier. There really is no need to worry about pitching a tent. Just open up your car to feel the nature even more and you’re set! But, of course, we want to make your camping experience even more worthy of a second trip down memory lane (and those Instagram photos will be a lot cooler too!). Set up tent and decorate it the way you want. Here are some tips on how you can glam up your camp:

Glamping in Australia

  1. A normal sleeping bag sounds fine until a bothersome twig keeps on poking your sides to a point of no return (to sleep). The solution? Ditch the sleeping bag and get a portable bed instead. We suggest getting a cute little sofa bed or a comfortable air mattress that you can inflate and deflate easily, fold and pack up and  bring anywhere. The next step is to unpack your duvets, blankets and quilts. It’s okay if you accidentally bring more than you intended for a softer recline. You can also stack up or cut back some depending on weather conditions. And, of course, don’t forget to bring extra comfy pillows!

  1. The outdoors are, without a doubt, a wonder unto themselves. The stars provide the best night lights and sleeping under them might just be the single most beautiful thing that happens in your glamping trip but having a great interior environment is also fantastic plus. If you’re a serious ‘glamper’, you’ll want to move around in beautiful surroundings in or out of camp. Create DIY ambient lights by using a flashlight strapped to a gallon jug of water, or bring extra decoratives, small bedside tables, pretty flowers or plants and anything you’ll want to see for extra wattage to brighten up your day.

  1. A simple camping trip will never, ever, be complete without great food and the same goes for glamping. Bring your A-game to camp and vamp up your food by doing away with baked beans on toast or hotdogs on the grill. You’ll find awesome food that you can easily cook up when you go to Pinterest (and follow our board while you’re at it). There’s no excuse; whether you’re prepping up  breakfast, lunch, desserts or dinner, you’ll find something awesome you’ll want to try. And for most, there is no actual cooking involved. Some ‘fundeas’ you can try are zucchini chips, apple cider cinnamon rolls, quinoa salads, no-bake cakes and, of course,  desserts you can make on the grill.

  1. Throw a glamping party! Sure, it could be great to just relax and cozy up with a few people here and there or even alone (by yourself or your significant other) but one satisfying way to truly enjoy a vacation getaway is by sharing the experience with more people. If you’re taking a trip with other people, it might be cool to have one night dedicated to have a party with them. Make it even more special with great food (and even some booze). The best thing about it is not only do you have a party but also a  great environment.

  1. So where can you go on a glamping holiday? In Australia alone, there are already so many places you can visit for your glamping trip. These places aren’t only attractive on their own; they are also surrounded with eye-catching and inspiring landscapes and spots that will surely make you say ‘wow’. Here are some ideas: Paperback Camp in Jervis Bay, Ikara Safari Camp in Flinders Ranges or The Escape in Bawley Point. These areas might cost you some money but if you’re a bit tight on the budget, then follow our steps found above.

Glamping is a lot easier if you’ll be staying in a certain place for a longer period of time, otherwise, you might find it a tad bit pointless if you’re leaving so soon after all the prep time. Some may say that glamping is expensive and takes too much effort but with our steps above, then you’ll need not worry about the money or the energy. Also, great experiences don’t have to cost too much. With glamping, you can now have all the luxury while away on an outdoor adventure!

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