Van living makes cheap, long-distance travel with ease accessible to all! This ever-growing trend is finally gaining legitimacy with the public, though many are hesitant to try it themselves. I’m here to tell you that van living is absolutely for everyone! Here are just a few of the top reasons you should consider investing for your next vacation.
1. It’s a great way to travel!
If you’ve always wanted to travel but never had the money or are looking for more of a road trip than a vacation, van living is perfect for you! By sleeping in your personalized van, you’ll feel comfortable every night without any of the hassle of finding a hotel. It becomes significantly cheaper to travel far distances when utilizing van life, so it offers the perfect opportunity for anyone with long-distance friends they are looking to visit, people planning to visit all national parks or amusement parks, or just anyone looking to get away on a budget!
2. Save on living and travel costs.
Getting a van can cost as little as a couple of thousand dollars, plus a few more on building, though expensive setups can run tens of thousands easily. Some people may choose to live in their van full time, which usually requires specific modifications, but is very sustainable economically, as most costs will be spent on van repair, gas, and food, with most other funds free for entertainment. The majority of people will choose to live in their van only part-time, traveling when they have time set aside.
In any case where you choose to travel for an extended period of time, you can temporarily turn off electricity and water at your permanent residence. On the road, these costs will be minimal and usually found from other sources. In addition, saving on the cost of hotels makes trips significantly more affordable, with van life naturally being geared towards making long travel accessible to all.
3. Reduce stress by having home and car in one.
When looking for a place to stay at the end of the night, there’s no need to go through the hassle of procuring a hotel room. Simply find a place to park and climb in bed! There are many free options; most Walmarts offer free overnight parking for one night and many other stores allow the same thing, though you should always ask permission first if you are able. For those looking for a more scenic experience, state parks and local campgrounds often have very affordable overnight fees. With no need to find hotels or move any of your things, each night’s routine becomes increasingly easier.
4. Allows for tons of customization and creativity!
Options for buying and converting a van can drastically differ depending on what you are looking to prioritize. If you have a large sum of money set aside and are looking for a quick, ready-to-go setup, buying an RV or camper would provide a pre-designed living set up so all you need to do is pack and head out on your journey!
Alternatively, many will opt to convert and design the van themselves. This process may seem daunting, but it’s really rather doable for anyone, regardless of previous experience! Once your van is gutted, everything becomes customizable, so you can design everything perfectly based around your needs. Regular bikers will often vote for an elevated bed they can store their bikes beneath. Those who plan on meeting lots of friends along the way might choose to have a built-in table and couch section for gatherings, which can convert to a bed at night.
No matter what your preferences, everything down to the last detail is up to you!
5. Perfect project for the restless.
Since most people opt to renovate and design their van themselves, getting the perfect set up is always the end goal. Of course, the more complicated you want the interior to be, the more time it will take. Begin with a blank state and add only the essentials, such as a bed, food storage system, and any bare necessities.
Try taking the van out for a week. What do you find yourself missing or thinking about the most? Prioritize these things. Taller individuals may care more about bed space, while avid at-home chefs will likely want to install a kitchen set up. Go slow and make changes along the way, you’ll often meet people with helpful tips and great deals!
If you’re always looking for a project to work on, a van is the perfect opportunity to express yourself in a beneficial way!
6. Time commitments vary to fit everyone’s needs.
Having a converted van makes weekend getaways particularly easy, so it is convenient to plan a trip anytime! If you want to plan a several month trip, staying at campgrounds for a few nights makes long journeys particularly doable. There are tons of tips on how to stealthily live in your van for anyone trying to avoid paying overnight fees.
While you can travel as long or as short as you like, the set up of your van is also completely at your discretion. There are plenty of ready to go options or quick and easy renovations you can do if you want to leave soon. The more complex you want your van to be, the longer it will take to design. Be careful though, as most van livers suggest waiting to make major choices until after you’ve tried doing a little bit of traveling. You will often find your priorities are not what you expected.
7. Teaches resilience and adaptability.
No matter your age, it’s always good to improve your life skills. The energy that goes into designing and building your own van requires a lot of commitment and dedication, though it will always pay off in the end. Living on the road is another battle entirely; it isn’t for everyone, but those who can handle it learn to become adaptive, resourceful, and resilient in the face of problems.
8. It forces you to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.
Anyone looking to embrace the trend of living minimalistically should definitely check out van living! Vans offer extremely limited space, even less so if you plan to travel with a partner, or even a family/group (which is completely plausible). Either way, you will have to bring along only the essentials if you want a livable space, otherwise, you will quickly find it becomes too cluttered.
When trying to decide whether or not to bring an item, ask yourself: “Does it serve a singular purpose or multiple?” Most anything you bring should be versatile and multi-function. Instead of bringing your whole kitchen full of appliances and cutlery, invest in an Instant Pot or similar device which can do the work of seven machines in one. A single dish for each person which can double as a plate or bowl along with a three-to-one utensil will eliminate dishes building up and leave valuable storage space open.
9. Great way to form new social connections!
Especially with social media such as Facebook and Snapchat, its increasingly easy to keep up with the people you meet no matter where you both live. This can be done simply by talking to people wherever you go and meet up the next time you come to visit. Alternatively, there are lots of van groups you can join to get recommendations on places to visit and even meet up to show each other fun activities. For anyone looking to expand their social circle, van living makes winding your group as easy as stepping out of the van!
10. Leave a reduced carbon footprint.
Many people in the van living community find themselves concerned with sustainability, so you’ll be happy to know that this mode of travel is both economically and environmentally friendly! By reducing the amount of water and electricity you use, you will drastically lessen the impact of your actions on the environment. The multi-use tools you utilize during van living will also help with sustainable living. While eating out is inevitable for most, you will often find yourself cutting out single-use items as you find the options available.