LIFESTYLE: Thinking About Trying Out Van Life? Read This First!

Photo by Jan Kopřiva from Pexels

Van life is one of the fastest-growing travel trends worldwide, and the pandemic has only continued to fuel it. And the reason to transition into van life - or van dwelling - is not so difficult to guess! Buying and converting a van is relatively affordable; it allows you to feed your travel bug and gives you the chance to spend more time outdoors. 

Downsizing is an attractive alternative, especially for those millennials who have started to work remotely and are looking at cutting down on living costs. Essential, once you have a good Wi-Fi or phone reception, you can do anything you want from the back of a converted van!

While for some this sounds like a dream, van life is not suitable for everyone - and it undoubtedly comes with downsides! Here are just a few of the aspects to consider before you commit to buying a van!

Be Ready To Make Compromises

Sure, living in a van gives you all the independence you need to travel and when and where you want! However, this kind of alternative lifestyle does come with considerable downsides. Firstly, you are trading in comfort, privacy, and space. Even an incredibly spacious van requires you to limit your living space, have less storage, and live more frugally. If you are already into minimalism, this certainly won’t be a problem for you. In any case, you should always allow for a transition period. 

Where Do You Plan To Go?

Van life is undoubtedly a trend born in the US, which is taking over Europe and many other countries. However, travelling between states in the US is not the same as crossing European countries! When doing so, you will need to ensure that you are up to date with the latest visa requirements and not going against the local travel restrictions. Additionally, not every country allows wild camping - so you should always check where you can stay before setting off on the road. 

Ensure You Have Enough Space

Finding the perfect compromise between a small van and a lot of storage space can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any experience living on the road. However, when living in a van, you can enjoy every aspect of your adventure, just like staying at a hotel or hostel. Yet, it is essential to plan for your future trips. Firstly, you should consider hidden and smart storage options. 

Additionally, you might look at whether a toilet is necessary for your van. This is one of the greatest dilemmas for many van lifers. Naturally, everyone needs a bathroom - but will you be wild camping enough to need your own? If you are planning to stay often at a campsite, a toilet in your van won’t be of much use - but it will certainly eat into your available space!

Finding the Perfect Van

Lastly, it all starts with the perfect van. Whether you are looking for a readily available option or you want to convert your own, you should always start by assessing how much space and what facilities you actually need. If you are unsure whether van life is for you, you might consider used van finance alternatives, convert your vehicle on a budget, and upgrade it in the future!

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