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 Holiday Campervan Grocery Essentials

Memorable holidays would be incomplete without covering all your holiday essentials. A typical holiday checklist would include buying most, if not all, of the grocery items you will need for your trip. Buying and preparing everything you need for your holiday on a camper rental is something that you must practice all the time whether you’re headed to any of the local destinations in Australia or out of the country, like New Zealand.

So before you hire a camper in your next trip anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, how about checking this list we made on groceries that you might just need for your next holiday? They might even save your life, literally. 

1. Squirrel-Sized Snacks

Dried fruits and nuts are considered as one of the most popular on-the-road treats. They come in small packets and can easily be carried and eaten anywhere.

"Santa's Nuts” by Kara available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/starmonkeybrass/3129323661/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"Santa's Nuts” by Kara available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/starmonkeybrass/3129323661/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY Kara

Nuts also pack a lot of protein that you would need in your long journey. Apart from that, did you know that almonds can help with those darn headaches? Buy a combination of peanuts and almonds and enjoy that crunchy saltiness tickling your taste buds.

If you’re not a fan-nut-tic, there are other treats that you might indulge in. How about dried fruits and berries that would tickle your tongue? There are a lot of popular fruits to choose from like raisins, banana chips, and candied fruits.

Fruits are packed with vitamin C as well as B-vitamins that are good for your immune system. 

"Fruit” by NatalieMaynor available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/4477492394/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Fruit” by NatalieMaynor available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/4477492394/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY NatalieMaynor

Another good thing about dried fruits and nuts is that they can be consumed even if you are on the road in your campervan. Avoid getting hungry in the middle of your journey by bringing a box of these sweet, salty, and tangy treats.

You can buy dried fruits and nuts in your favourite supermarket at affordable prices. You can even check the local market in your holiday destination to get the freshest deals.

 2. Satisfying No-Cook Meals

Speaking of food on the go, buy easy to cook, or better yet, no-cook meals for your campervan holiday. These meals can easily be reheated using the built-in gas stove or microwave oven in your campervan. However, don’t get us wrong. It’s always a joy to prepare hearty meals in your campervan during your vacation in the great outdoors. 

No-cook meals not only stave away hunger, they put in much-needed calories in your body for those challenging outdoor activities. Of course, you’d want to get the most out of your campervan holiday. That’s why you also need a body that’s ready for a day packed with adventure.

No-cook meals can also include foods that could be served for breakfast like oatmeal, bread, deli meat, fresh vegetables, and a variety of spreads. As for spreads, don’t forget to bring some margarine and good old vegemite.

 3. Stock-up on Sugary Delights

"Lots and lots of candy!” by m01229 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/13552575624/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Lots and lots of candy!” by m01229 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/13552575624/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY m01229

The moment you go outside of your campervan to explore, you would certainly be using energy. That’s a lot of energy you’d be burning by walking, hiking or swimming in any of the wonderful national parks that dot the entire continent.

What better way to energise your body than to eat sugary delights like candy bars! Bring a candy bar or two in your pocket and have it ready while on the move from one scenic destination to the next. Avoid getting woozy with fatigue by eating something that would pump fuel in those muscles.

For the health conscious tourists, there are healthy alternatives to your traditional candy bar. You can buy energy bars or granola bars for the same energy boost without the fear of packing extra fat around your belly. Candy bars and their healthy alternatives are your best bet for a jolt of power for those long strolls at the legendary Outback.

 4. Agua Vida

"drof of water” by Tim Geers available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/timypenburg/4649617096/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"drof of water” by Tim Geers available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/timypenburg/4649617096/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Tim Geers

Don’t forget to bring water and energy drinks. It’s important to stay hydrated while walking under the heat of the sun. Although there would be a lot of public bubblers in the national parks, it would be great if you carry around a water bottle wherever you go.

Remember that your body is made mostly of water and it is losing a lot of liquid while you are on the move. Massive loss of fluids in your body might result in many health complications in the long run. Add to that, drinking water helps cool down your body from the sweltering heat.

5.  Handy First Aid Kit

"First Aid Kit” by DLG Images available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/131260238@N08/16800384582/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"First Aid Kit” by DLG Images available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/131260238@N08/16800384582/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY DLG Images

Meanwhile, there is one more thing that you might want to consider buying while you are in the supermarket. That would be a handy first aid kit. Buy some insect repellant, sunscreen, cotton balls, and rubbing alcohol for emergencies. Have quick remedies within reach for common ailments during your campervan holiday. Even a dip in the beach could bring its unwanted surprises. That’s why it’s better to always be prepared by keeping a first aid kit ready at hand.

These are just some of the items that you can include in your grocery list for in your next holiday. Not only are these grocery items handy, they can also be stored in your camper’s built-in fridge to store in their freshness. As for the first aid kit, you can keep it safe and away from the reach of children in any of the cabinets or compartments pre-installed in your campervan.

Do you have your list of groceries ready? How about sharing them with us? Connect with us through Facebook and Twitter and share your campervan experiences with holiday-goers around the world.

Campervan Rental Bonds, 5 things you need to know…

When will the bond I paid when I collected my campervan be reimbursed? This is definitely one of our frequently asked questions at Salamanda Travel.

Bond amounts payable on pickup of your campervan or motorhome vary. Some are debited from your credit card; some are “swipe only” which means the credit card is swiped and pre-authorisation given, but the amount is not actually debited. In this case, if the vehicle is returned intact the pre-authorisation is simply removed on the return of your camper, and will not show on your credit card statement.

Adventure-Camper-Lifestyle-Photo-9-706201344107-Print

The campervan supplier does debit your credit card with the bond amount in the case of Standard Liability and Liability Reduction Option 1 (read more about these options here), and also with Hippie Camper vehicles. The amount that is debited when you pick up your motorhome is returned to the same credit card within 15 working days after return of your hire vehicle, assuming all is well with the state of your campervan or motorhome when you return it.

If there is a delay, it may be from your own financial institution – some process the amounts faster than others.

Our major supplier, Apollo Motorhomes, is available for any questions regarding the refund of your bond amount after the vehicle has been returned. Their number within Australia is 1800 777 779 or worldwide on +800 3260 5466. Check their website for further contact info.

Adventure-Camper-Lifestyle-Photo-2-706201343432-Print

If your bond amount is not returned after 15 working days following the vehicle hire, please do contact the supplier in the first instance, as they are the ones who actually debited the money.

Of course at Salamanda Travel we are always here to answer your questions, so you can call us or send an email if in doubt about the return of your bond or any other question to do with your self-drive holiday.

We are currently available by phone Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 1:00am Australian Eastern standard time (AEST). Our toll free numbers are:

  • Australia            1800 995 446
  • New Zealand     0800 448 278
  • UK                      0800 028 7890
  • France               0800 917 640
  • Netherlands      0800 022 7231
  • Switzerland       0800 562 795
  • Germany           0800 189 9380
  • USA               (310) 929 5666

Demystifying Insurance Options for Campervan and RV Hire in Australia and New Zealand

When customers are planning their motorhome or campervan holiday and are at the stage of checking prices and vehicle types, one of the most common questions we are asked at Salamanda Travel is “what are my insurance options?”

4-berth Uluru road

So we’d like to explain how it works with some of our most popular suppliers for campervan and motorhome hire in Australia and New Zealand. We’ll deal with the USA in another blog post.

First of all, at Salamanda we refer to “liability” ? each vehicle hire has a built-in limited liability amount included. In other words, our major supplier has limited the amount you are liable for in the case of an accident or incident. Please also note that the liability is irrespective of who is at fault, as per the Terms and Conditions, and that the liability is applicable per incident or accident.

However, if another driver is at fault and the supplier can retrieve costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, once this money has been successfully claimed you will receive the relevant refund. This could take some time though, depending on the insurance provider concerned.

So, I hear you ask, what is the standard liability on the vehicle you have selected? The standard liability varies from brand to brand and from vehicle to vehicle – and there are also options to reduce this amount even further, or even to zero, which I’ll go into shortly.

Some of the most popular vehicles and their standard liability amounts are set out here: (dollar amounts are AU$ in Australia and NZ$ in New Zealand):

Vehicle size Supplier Country of Travel Standard liability
2/3 Berth and 4 Berth Hitop Hippie Australia & New Zealand $2500 ($3500 <21)
Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $2700
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $5000
2 Berth S/T Hippie Australia & New Zealand $2500 ($3500 <21)
Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $2700
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $5000
Star RV Australia $7500
New Zealand $5000
4 and 6 Berths Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $5000
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $7500
Star RV Australia $7500
New Zealand $5000
4WD Campers* Cheapa Campa Australia $5000
Apollo Australia $7500

*4WD campers are not offered in New Zealand

When you request a quote for a campervan or motorhome either online or by phone from Salamanda Travel you can just leave the quote at “standard liability”. Or, you can reduce the liability further with a choice of two options.

Liability Reduction Option 1 reduces the liability by approximately half in most cases and in some cases even more, and Liability Reduction Option 2 reduces the liability to zero. With this last option, on vehicle pickup an imprint only will be taken from your credit card for pre-authorisation of a bond amount of $250. This is not charged to your credit card, and assuming all is well it is released on drop-off of your campervan or motorhome.

An exception to this is the Hippie vehicles ? a bond is always charged for Hippie campers. The lowest the liability for Hippie campervans can be reduced to is $100 (or $250 for drivers under 21).Hippie Camper Budget

Many customers enjoy the peace of mind of Liability Reduction Option 2. And especially for those who are travelling one way, have extra drivers and require chairs and tables, the All Inclusive Option is often the best choice price-wise because it includes zero liability, as well as all those extras and more, and the one-way fee is then not charged either (except in the case of Cheapa Campa). This last option can really give great value for money in such cases – as one customer put it recently, “A no-brainer.”Cheapa 6 Berth

If you have chosen standard liability or Option 1, the liability that remains will be deducted as a bond at pickup. Please note that this is irrespective of what other insurance you may have taken out. If you have travel insurance, or as in the case of some other agents, you believe you don’t have anything extra to pay, please do take into account that the supplier will always deduct the liability level you have selected as a bond, and it is payable on pickup. Please always check your confirmation which will include this information.

If you have separate travel insurance you may be able to claim money back from your insurance provider in the case of an accident, however any payments to the vehicle supplier will come from you first. It’s then up to you to contact your travel insurance provider and submit a claim with them. We also recommend checking whether your insurer does provide cover for the specific campervan or motorhome you are hiring.

Still have questions? Don’t worry, we’re available by phone to assist.