Are you dreaming of traveling around the country in a van? That dream may just become a reality if you can make it work for you.
Families had to change how they were living due to the pandemic and social distancing, and many are now looking for a ‘vanlifers’ guide. They want to cut down on costs and travel securely on the road.
There are many things you need to consider before packing your bags and living in a campervan. Thankfully, we’ve broken it down for you in this complete and essential guide to living in a campervan.
Read on to learn how to make your dream come true in safety and style.
Making the Most of Limited Resources
Pack only the necessities as space is limited, and bring items that can serve dual purposes. Consider versatility when it comes to clothing.
Choose versatile shoes, such as sandals and slip-on sneakers, that provide both comfort and style. Use packing cubes and containers to organize items in the van.
Essentials to Pack for Your Vanlife
Even though it can be very simple and freeing, there are some things you need to bring to make sure you are relaxed. Basic things like a comfortable bed or mattress, bedding, storage cases, battery-powered lights, and a portable fan or air conditioner.
It’s also important to have a way to store and clean water, a first-aid kit, food tools, and clothes that you can wear in different ways. Don’t forget to bring a good set of tools, a map, and the things you need to keep your car running.
With these important things in your bag, you’ll be ready for a great trip that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Strategies for Eating and Staying Healthy
Eating healthy on the road can be challenging, as there are often limited resources. The best approach is to plan ahead and always have healthy snacks on hand.
Pack nutritious snacks like granola bars, trail mix, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. Stock up on healthy items like whole-wheat pasta, canned soups, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Eating out should be avoided, as it can be unhealthy and costly. Staying healthy on the road also involves getting plenty of exercise and fresh air.
Try and go for walks or hikes when possible. Swimming is also a great way to stay active and cool off. Away from city lights, the stars look amazing at night — take time to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
When staying in one place for an extended period of time, take advantage of local resources like farmers’ markets, public parks, and recreational centers.
Keeping Your Space Clean and Organized
Declutter your van and determine what is important for your day-to-day activities and what can stay behind at storage. Utilize stacking boxes and shelves to keep items off the ground and easier to access.
Make sure dishes and cooking items are easily accessible, along with any camping gear. Additionally, use mesh bins or shelves to free up cabinet space.
It is important to have a designated cleaning and laundry area too. Make sure you bring adequate cleaning materials and minimize excess supplies that can accumulate quickly. When you have a clean and organized environment, you will feel calmer and more productive.
Maximizing Storage for Maximum Comfort
Maximizing storage for maximum comfort is an essential component of living comfortably while van-dwelling. Take time to carefully assess your needs and choose pieces of furniture and organization tools that fit your storage needs.
Utilizing drawers and modular shelves to store clothing, camping supplies, and food can help maximize space. Simple shelves with Velcro strips work well for items such as hats, towels, and books, while storage cubes provide shelving for toiletries, spices, and pots and pans.
By having essential items in designated areas, it is easier to locate them and saves time. In addition, using appropriate covers for sofa beds, futons, and other furniture is an effective use of storage space.
Having an overall well-organized storage plan ensures that there is plenty of room for comfort and convenience for a smoother van-dwelling experience.
Staying Connected With Portable Data and WiFi
Portable data and WiFi allow vanlifers to have the best of both worlds – the freedom to explore the outdoors along with having access to the internet, friends, and family back home. Having a mobile hotspot device along with a long-term plan is an effective way for vanlifers to have access to the internet when staying in areas without WiFi or a cellular connection.
Staying connected with portable data and WiFi can be a great asset to vanlifers, allowing them to stay up-to-date and in touch while living life on the road.
Creating a Cozy Home Away From Home
Living in a van full-time doesn’t mean giving up the comforts of indoor living. A vanlifer’s guide to living comfortably on the road starts with creating a cozy home away from home.
Simple touches like curtains, lanterns, and rugs can help make the van homey and provide a place for relaxation. Battery-operated string lights or LED lights can provide soft light to the living space while still being efficient with battery power. With a few personal touches, it is possible to create a truly comfortable and cozy home on the road.
Powering Up With Generators and Solar Options
Generators can provide energy for battery-powered appliances, like mobile laptops and phones, when the sun is not available. They come in many sizes and wattage to fit a vanlifer’s individual needs, with gasoline, propane, and solar-powered options available.
Solar panel systems are often used to power up electronics and are fitted to charge car batteries; plus, they are also very efficient and affordable. Generators and solar panels offer much convenience and comfort and are a great way for any vanlifer to enjoy life on the road.
Maintaining Personal Hygiene
Living on the road has many advantages, but it can also be a challenge when it comes to maintaining personal hygiene. There are some simple strategies you can use to make sure you stay clean and healthy while on the road.
One of the most important is to establish a regular bathing and showering schedule because it can be surprisingly easy to go without showering for days at a time when living out of a van. It is also important to carry personal hygiene items such as towels, face washes, toothbrushes, and toothpaste so you can always be prepared.
Another helpful tool is a set of reusable makeup remover cloths because they are quick and easy to use and can be washed and reused multiple times. Finally, be sure to take care of your skin and stay hydrated by making sure to apply your favorite lotion and drink lots of water throughout the day.
With these simple strategies, you can stay clean and comfortable while living on the road in your van.
Keeping Your Van in Good Condition
In order to maximize the longevity of converted vans, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and other mechanical checkups. Additionally, sheltering the van from extreme conditions and promptly addressing any damage can also help to keep it in top condition.
Finally, regularly inspecting the exterior and interior of the van is essential for ensuring that it remains in proper working order. Additionally, the van should be kept clean and organized to remain livable.
Taking the time to maintain and furnish the van is a key step to achieving a comfortable and enjoyable vanlife.
Creating the Ideal Sleeping Environment
For a comfortable and enjoyable night of sleep while on the road, one must create an ideal sleeping environment. First thing first, invest in a mattress that is specifically made for van life and make sure it fits nicely in the van.
For optimum comfort, get a mattress topper and extra pillows. Make sure to also find a good bedding set that is comfortable and can keep you warm.
Additionally, invest in blackout curtains to block out the sunlight while you sleep. Using sound machines to create relaxing, soothing sounds is also a great way to get a good sleep.
Finally, try to stay away from processed and unhealthy snacks and drinks before bed. These van life tips and tricks can make your nights of sleep much more restful and enjoyable.
Navigating Different Locations and Weather Conditions
A journey can present a number of challenges when it comes to navigating different locations and weather conditions. However, with a few basic tips, vanlifers can take the guesswork out of living on the road and enjoy a more comfortable experience.
Firstly, be prepared to read weather forecasts and plan ahead. Second, take note of the local limitations and etiquette when moving between different states.
Third, invest in a weatherproofing solution to ensure you are able to cope with inclement weather. Finally, remember to have a reliable means of communication when you are on the road.
With these tips in mind, vanlifers can rest assured that navigating different locations and weather conditions will be an easier feat on their journey.
Exploring the World Safely and Affordably
Vanlifers often explore the world on a budget, so it’s important to learn how to live comfortably while on the road. For starters, it’s important to travel with the right vehicle. Make sure your van or RV is in good condition with working windows, locks, and headlights.
Additionally, prepare for shelter and safe transportation by carefully packing blankets, an air mattress, and simple cookware. For safe travels, research the road conditions in the areas you’ll be driving, and always keep a copy of your route with you.
To save money, plan ahead and utilize free camping spots, cheap overnight stays, and food-saving apps. Also, figure out and stick to a budget so you maintain good finances while traveling.
Lastly, equip yourself with adequate safety precautions like extra spare tires and flashlights, and a first-aid kit. With all the right preparations, you can explore the world safely and affordably.
Managing Finances While on a Road Trip
Managing finances while on the road might seem like a daunting endeavor, but a vanlifer’s guide to living comfortably on the road can make it relatively easy. To stay on track, it’s important to keep careful track of how much money is coming in from any source of income – whether that’s a side job, a retirement fund, or just enough to cover the basics.
Make sure to have an emergency fund available in case of unexpected expenses or unpleasant surprises. Budget a small amount for leisure activities and amenities like eating out or going to the movies, but don’t overindulge.
Cut back on meals out and try finding cheaper meals in markets or from street food – you can often get really delicious food for a fraction of the price. Lastly, use online banking services to make sure your account balance is monitored and up to date.
Keeping finances in check while on the road is possible with some determination and dedication.
Choosing Where to Park or Camp
Living on the road in a van is a great way to explore and adventure, but it can be challenging to find the right spot to park or camp. As a vanlifer, you want to choose a place that is safe and comfortable.
One way to find appropriate overnight parking locations is to use resources like websites and apps dedicated to giving reviews of parking spots for vanlifers. Additionally, you can ask friends and fellow travelers for advice on finding quality spots to camp.
You should choose a spot that is close to nature and amenities like convenience stores and restrooms. When you find the right spot, make sure to verify the legal regulations and restrictions for that area.
With some planning and research, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot to park and camp while living life on the road.
Ultimate Vanlifers Guide to the Best Road Trip
Living in a van has its own unique set of challenges, but with some imagination and creativity, vanlifers can find a way to make it work. Whether you’re a veteran vanlifer or just getting started, the comprehensive guide has given you the essential knowledge to make your stay smooth and comfortable.
Say goodbye to mundane routines and start living life on the open road with confidence!
Check out our other blog posts for more tips!