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Travelling Australia -Memberships, Loyalty Programs and Passes - are they worth the expense?

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Travelling Oz Our Way
Travelling full time - loyalty programs help to save money

Prior to Travelling Australia full time, we did a fair bit of research to check out the value of joining rewards institutions, park loyalty programs and national park passes. There are many opportunities to make savings and let's face it, we all love to save money and get discounts. We want to share with you our approach to help you get the most out of your money as you travel.

Loyalty Rewards Programs for Travelling Australia

Firstly, and I am sure you all mostly do, ensure that you have connected your credit cards to the available loyalty rewards programs associated with your everyday shopping needs. These are such programs as Flybuys (Coles, Target, Kmart etc.) & Everyday Rewards (Woolworths, Big W etc.) and over a year, they can accumulate as much as $2000 worth of fuel, groceries, alcohol or even just debit card value vouchers. All you need to do is remember to scan that loyalty card. Not hard these days if you store the cards on your phone, you will be amazed how quickly it will grow into useful dollars. We use an app called Stocard. In a lifestyle such as travelling full time the .04 cents per litre off at say Caltex, when you use your rewards card, can add up to quite a saving over a full year.

Caravan Park Loyalty Programs

Secondly, there are caravan park loyalty programs. Some of these you will have to purchase but if you are caravanning in particular and use the parks as you are Travelling Australia, it will not take long to redeem your initial outlay. Now that we have swapped to a cruising van we would spend 70% of our time in the parks and on power and only 30% of our time off-grid. Even so, we are well ahead and enjoying now 5-10% discounts on most park stays. We use the following memberships and loyalty programs while travelling OZ;

  1. 280+ destinations

  2. $50 for 2 years

  3. 10% discount up to $50 on bookings

  1. 180+ parks Australia wide

  2. $50 for 2 years

  3. 10% discount up to $50 on bookings

  1. 73+ owner operated parks

  2. $35 for 2 years

  3. 10% discount up to $30 on bookings

  4. Frequent Stayer Program

  1. 37+ parks located in holiday spots in NSW

  2. free to join - spend $1,000 throughout the year and receive a $100 guest credit to use within 12 months of receipt

  1. 36 parks and resorts across Australia

  2. Stay for 4 and pay for 3

  3. $30 for the first 12 months

  4. 10% off for members of any of Australian Automobile Club

  1. 40+ parks Australia wide (except WA).

  2. $40 for two years

  3. 10% off your stay

  4. Entry card for Frequent Camper Competition

All of these purchased memberships had their initial outlays paid back within the first 6 months. With the 2-year expiry dates, irrespective of the time of year, we will save money on our stays Travelling Australia as full-time travellers and enjoy some priority within the booking systems.

TIP: The easiest way to get last-minute caravan park deals is to book in person rather than online and ask if they honour caravan park discount cards.

National Park Passes

Thirdly, it is worth checking out the weekly, 3 monthly, 6 monthly or even the yearly national park passes available within each state or region. A good example of this is in WA a yearly National Parks pass is $75 and even less with concessions such as seniors, defence force veterans cards, health care cards or in some cases student cards. You may also be able to access National Parks passes via RACV, RAA, NRMA, RACQ etc at considerably low costs.

So...are memberships, loyalty programs and passes worth the expense?

All of these memberships are worth looking into and can save you money, time and the hassle of having to research these things in areas where there is no structure, service or in particular WIFI available. Consider these when you do your planning for Travelling Australia and as you travel you will have the knowledge to make smart decisions with your money.

Do you have any further tips for saving money with loyalty programs?

Let us know in the comments.


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