How do I live a van life?
In this article, we will discuss: How do I live a van life? If you are curious about living and travelling in a van, it is time for you to know all the details about what it is like to live adventures on the road, through one of the means of transport with greater freedom, and one of the most desired by digital nomads.
How do I live a van life?
Living the #VanLife is what at first appears to be an unstable and far-fetched idea, but in reality, it is a lifestyle full of possibilities and advantages to experience travel from a new perspective.
We bet at least half of the following questions race through your mind right now:
- What is it like to live and travel by van?
- What does it take to do it?
- How to find out if the “Van Life” movement is for you?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of living a van life?
We will answer all your questions in the paragraphs below.
All about the “Van Life” movement: living and travelling by van
The “Van Life” movement is nothing more than a nomadic lifestyle, where people enjoy transporting themselves most of the time in a camper van or motorhome.
What once would have seemed like a hippie fashion from the 60s, is currently a trend among young people who renounce traditional life patterns and decide to adopt a philosophy much more in contact with nature, travel and the modalities of work that they do not depend on a day in the office.
Want to know if van life is for you? Check out these tips:
- Rent before buying: Although everything you might see on social media about the Van Life movement looks like a dream or a flawless lifestyle, the reality of living and travelling by van is something you should experience on your own rather than get unpleasant surprises.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend all your money buying a campervan to see if this style of living and travelling suits your needs. Today you can live this experience by renting a motorhome for a low price for as long as you want.
- Do not leave without an itinerary: “Traveling aimlessly”, “getting lost along the way” or “going out without a map” sounds like the premise of a movie adventure.
However, in most cases, the best idea will be to define at least the basic steps that you must make during the trip and the sequence of points along the way, according to the particular conditions of your trip and of course, the requirements of the vehicle. at the resource level (water, gasoline, solar energy, etc …).
- Choose the van that suits your lifestyle: Before relying on superficial points to select the van in which you are interested in travelling, it is important to consider that this will not only be a means of transport, but also your home for the duration of your adventure.
Just like when you are choosing an apartment to move into, it is not only important to look at the price, but also its age, capacity of water, electricity, gas, heating, size, number of people who will travel in it, level of equipment and even sure.
Keep in mind the type of trips you would take in the vehicle for a better search for qualifications.
- If possible, get someone onboard: Although it is not about discouraging you from doing things only if it is within your power, the “Van Life” movement is designed to share experiences and offer mutual support in each phase of the adventure.
If your plan is to undertake long trips and tours, it is best to bring a companion.
- Know what the law says: In Europe, a van has the right to park like any other type of vehicle, that is, parking on its perimeter if it exceeds its size while moving. It will not be allowed to unfold awnings or open folding side windows, in addition to the fact that the vehicle should not emit fluids or noises beyond the sound and gases of the engine’s combustion.
Things are a bit different in the US, as each state has its own rules and norms about sleeping in a vehicle on the street. Check our other articles on the subject to get up-to-date information.
- Clarify your legal doubts about how to camp: When your van is not only parked, but also exceeds the outer perimeter of the vehicle, either by unfolding an awning or taking out chairs and tables around it, the van is no longer parked and is now camped.
At this point, you have to be attentive to the legal regulations of each country or state are the areas enabled for it, such as campsites or parking lots.
- Organize every detail of your work, especially if it depends on the internet: If you dedicate yourself to living and travelling by van, but at the same time you are a freelance or digital nomad, little by little you will learn not to trust the internet signal when you are on the road on wheels.
If you don’t want work to do and responsibilities to occupy space in your mind and take away fun moments during your adventure, make sure you become a strictly organized person with your contingency plans, deliveries, schedules and duties.
This trick will help you not to spend extra time working, but also not to completely forget about your work responsibilities.
Advantages and disadvantages of living a van life
Like any means of transport, camper vans have a series of positive aspects and negative points that you must take into account in order not to fill your experience with unrealistic expectations, but at the same time, know how to appreciate and enjoy all the advantages that this way to travel the world has for you.
Advantages of living and travelling by van
Whether you are surprised or not, the “Van Life” movement is full of advantages and lessons that will accompany you for the rest of your life and without a doubt, contribute to your development on a personal level.
Do you want to know more about its benefits? Below we will describe the most positive aspects reported by those who live and travel in this particular means of transport:
- Greater contact with the world and nature: Unlike other ways of travelling, living and travelling in a van makes you become fully involved in each phase of your adventure, opening the way to more spaces to share with nature and live closely the experiences that the world can give you beyond the material.
- It is a way to reset your routine and get out of your comfort zone: If you feel that your life has a predetermined script, that someone else has remote control of your actions, and that every day is practically the same, giving yourself the opportunity to live and travel by van can be the push to break your much-needed routine.
- It is a mode of transportation compatible with the freelance lifestyle, remote employment, and digital nomadism: If your job doesn’t depend on being present in an office or tying yourself to a single annual vacation period, you already have one less excuse to stop experiencing living and travelling by van.
- Totally “pet-friendly”: If you have a pet and you can’t bear the idea of leaving it when you go on a trip, generally adopting the van as a means of transport is a much friendlier way to travel with your best furry friend without so many inconveniences or prohibitions.
- Save money on accommodation, transportation and food: Although living and travelling in a van is not synonymous with financial freedom or not spending money (a fact that many times is wanted to appear wrongly in this movement), the reality is that to the extent that you use this means of transport instead of others more conventional, yes you can save money.
Disadvantages of living and travelling by van
On the other side of the coin, there are also some negative aspects of living and travelling by van that we must share with you, not with the intention of interrupting your excitement of experiencing this adventure, but as a way to be cautious and avoid unpleasant moments In the middle of the road.
- Requires more preparation, especially at the beginning: Before, during and after your dream vacation, preparation will be a key point so as not to suffer from unexpected interruptions in the next hours of travel.
- Limited space: If you are a person with many belongings, you like to move from one place to another or minimalism is not yours, you may need some time to adapt to the conditions of living and travelling by van, specifically, the limited space.
- The stigma of this lifestyle: Although it is a movement that is gaining more and more followers, sometimes there will be no shortage of people who only know how to criticize, question and label those who decide to join this movement as “hippie” or “weird”.
- Difficulty establishing routines: Although breaking the routine is very good, if your work requires complying with a clear structure or you need to create solid and routine habits to bring a clear order and direction in your day to day, living and travelling by van may often meddle in your plans.
- Problems with the bathroom, shower and other services: When it comes to living and travelling by van, it is best not to take everything for granted, therefore, even the simplest things such as going to the bathroom or taking a shower should be planned within mind that resources are limited and they can lead to unforeseen problems.
Some vans even lack spaces for bathing or other basic needs. In addition, there can also be problems with electricity that are better to be safe than sorry.
Other FAQs about Camper Vans that you may be interested in.
Conclusions and final advice
Living a van life is not as difficult as it seems at first glance, but it is definitely as exciting! If such a trip can allow you to recharge your batteries, assert yourself, gain self-confidence, and live, then we can only encourage you to take the plunge! There are solutions to any problem you might encounter: security, organization, loneliness in particular.
Do you have any tips for new travellers? Please feel free to share them!
- Van Life How To: Your Complete Guide to Living in a Van
- Van Life 101: How-To Guide for Living in a Van – Bearfoot Theory
- 9 Essential Tips for Surviving Van Life – Wandering Wheatleys