Van life is something that has seem to have gotten a lot of attention recently. What began as a cheap way of life, is now somehow the latest trend. Interested in Van Life and how it gained it’s newfound popularity? Keep reading!
What is Van Life?
Van life is a new type of living, heard of a house, yeah that’s so last year. Living in a van seems to be trending, but for those of you that live under a rock let me explain what is it. It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds… life in a Van. Buying and transforming a van into a mini home, and traveling the world in your house on wheels. Van life has honestly been around for a long time, it was just known as RV’s.
How Coronavirus Affected Van Life
As the Coronavirus hit and the world was sent into quarantine, Van life spiked. People all around the world including you and me were suddenly on lockdown and were stuck in there houses, apartments, condos, dorms, etc. all without a warning. Quarantine messed with all of our plans and trips that were planned months in advance, cancelled.
The safest way to travel at this time was by car. Thus, Van life. It was the best solution to everyones travel plans getting cancelled. Plus since everyone had so much free time during quarantine, what better way to pass time than by seeing the world?
Tiktok’s influence on Van life
Something else that blew up during covid was the social media app known as Tiktok. For those of you that aren’t addicted to it, Tiktok is a video sharing social media app. Just like any other social media app, there are influencers and trends. Van life influencers have been a thing on instagram for a while, but once Tiktok blew up so did hundreds of new influencers.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m on Tiktok way more than I need to be, and from personal experience I’ve come across a ton of van life couples, influencers and videos. Some of these videos include a day in the life van life edition, where these creators take you along their day with you and you get to experience van life first hand.
A lot of these creators seem to have a passion for traveling and that passion is extremely contagious. They share amazing views wherever they’re parked for that day and of course these videos started to create a lot inspiration. It showed people all over the world you don’t have to be rich to travel or wake up to stunning views. This is when more people bought there own van, revamped it and started their van life.
How much does it cost?
Van life gives the allusion of an expensive lifestyle, but it actually isn’t too expensive. Like any good thing, it costs a pretty penny but this penny amount is totally up to you. Van life costs vary from person to person, there are so many variables that change the price.
First lets talk about the van itself. You can find a van that already has all the bells and whistles and top of the line appliance. Or you can by a van and fix it up yourself, then the prices of all the appliances and materials are all up to you.
Now aside from the van itself, there a lot of other daily expenses that again, vary from person to person. Like any other car, your van needs gas to get itself going. Another expense that is totally up to you is where you stay overnight. You can choose nicer campsites or national parks that have a fee to stay overnight, or if you aren’t willing to spend, there are plenty of free campsites and parks all over the world. Believe it or not, Walmart is actually one of the places that allow to you park overnight!
How do you stay clean
Whenever I get home from a long day of traveling, whether it be by plane or car, the first thing I want to do is shower! However, not all vans have showers…obviously. So how do they stay clean? There are a couple ways to do so, the most known places to shower are at campsites. However, there a a couple other ways van lifers have figured out how to shower on the road.
A gym membership can get you access to a ton of exercise machines, but it also gets you access to showers! Planet Fitness offers a gym membership that will grant you access to 200o locations, this is the most ideal when it comes to van life. Another way to find a quick and cheap shower on the road is at gas stations. I know, it might sound gross, but Loves gas station is known for nice and clean showers, that even provide towels and body wash!
So why is it so popular?
Why is it that living in an old beat up van and having to shower in gas stations is so popular? The adventure aspect is what has drawn so many people in. I think it’s because this generation is so against the social norms. Gen Z is one of the most inspiring generation, the way they up for social issues and themselves is astonishing.
Now more than ever, we’ve seen more and more kids skipping college and going right into what they want to do with their lives. But for the first time, we are seeing people normalizing this instead of shaming it. You might be thinking, okay what does this have to do with Van Life? Well, a lot of Van Life people are actually from the younger generation.
A 9-5 job is not something that this generation is going to put up with. They have figured out there’s other ways of living, better ways. I mean come on, traveling from state to state, waking up to stunning views, doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Caitlyn is an aspiring writer, currently majoring in Communications with a concentration in Journalism.