No rent, no nine to five job, seemingly no worries–who wouldn’t want that? While living in a van offers all of these advantages, there are also some harsh truths about living on the road that anyone who is considering van life should be aware of. Here are 5 people who believe in and practice van life and what advice they have to offer about this drastic but rewarding lifestyle change. Can you live in a van?
Max and Lee
Max and Lee are a couple on youtube who live in a van, traveling through different countries with their adorable dog Occy. Their entire YouTube channel is dedicated toward van life with travel videos in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and more. They are fairly new to making videos–with their first being posted about three months ago–but have a great amount of advice to offer if you are thinking about living in a van.
When talking about making the switch, Lee advises to take some time to get used to the change. You can’t make this drastic lifestyle change and think you will love everything about it right away. Like any other change, give yourself time to settle into it, and learn to adapt to your new situation. They suggest that there may be a part of you that wants to give up on yourself if you don’t feel completely comfortable at first, but state that in their experience, they fell more in love with the lifestyle the longer they lived it.
Susi Cruz quit her job and university to travel the world in a converted van with her pup Peño. Susi truly embodies what it means to live life to the fullest, as she left everything in her previous life to follow her dreams. For those who wish to do the same as her, Susi advises to look inwards on yourself and see what you really want in life. Do you want to live in a van because a girl on Instagram does it and makes it look glamorous, or is this something that you truly desire? There is a large difference between admiration of the lifestyle and a true want of it.
Eamon & Bec
Eamon and Bec are another couple on youtube who are living in a van, making videos about their vegan lifestyle and of course van life. The Toronto based couple began living in a van around a year ago, making videos about travel, van conversions, and the lifestyle in general ever since.
The two have lots of great advice about van life, especially the finances of it. Bec advises to attempt to not go cheap when you first begin. When converting your van, it may be the best option to go for options that are slightly more expensive, as they will last longer and prove to be more sustainable long term. Eamon and Bec also recommend really looking into the expenses of living in a van, as it might seem like there is little financial responsibility with no rent, but the constant maintenance of the vehicle adds up. They also highly recommend the iOverlander app, which is a user generated app that gives information about places to park, where water is available, and more valuable knowledge for those living on the road.
Jinti Fell is currently traveling her home country of Australia in a van with her partner Chris and daughter Ayana. Her YouTube videos surround living in a van, her vegan lifestyle, and family life. When asked about the difficulties of living in a van, Chris spoke about the intimacy of such a small space. If you are planning to live in a van with a significant other or friend, realize that it can be the best and worst thing about the lifestyle. There are several advantages to living in a such close proximity with someone who has great meaning to you, but alone time is always necessary, so allow for some time apart each day.
In reference to a large lifestyle change in general, Jinti advises to start with introspection, asking yourself what you want in life rather than what you don’t. Putting the focus on visualizing what you seek rather than what is wrong with your current situation will allow you to see if you can live in a van.
Minimal Millennials , YouTube couple Christian and Aubry, are currently traveling the Americas in their Sprinter van, keeping it realistic and grounded by posting videos about what van life is really like. In a candid video about what the two wish they knew before living in a van, Christian and Aubry offered tons of valuable advice to those who looking to make the change. One important note they give is to know that everything is about the van you choose to live in, so choose wisely.
This is your new car, your new home and where you will be spending a great deal of time, so make sure to invest in this and be patient with the conversion. When you decide to switch to van life, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your decision and hop on the first good deal you get for a van, thinking you can fix it up to look pretty. Christian and Aubry advise to be patient, and know that the quality of the vehicle is what matters most, not the physical appearance you can give it.
They also spoke about getting into the van life community as soon as possible, as there is now a huge presence on youtube with tons of great free advice at your disposal.