• Caitlyn Wickliffe

How To Live The Van Life - Is It Worth It?

Lately, if you go on social media, your streaming service, or the internet, you see more and more people are taking their homes to the road. First it was the tiny house lifestyle, and now it is the mobile version, which is even smaller than a tiny home: the van life! The idea of not having to pay rent, a mortgage, living a life of travel, and seeing the most scenic views is an enticing vision. As the price of education and homes go up, a lot of people dream of owning a home and living as bill free as possible. Living in a small space gives you freedom to travel the road, but what about income, electricity, and water? Read on to learn how to live the van life, and if it’s worth it for you.

Ducks in a Row

The van life sounds luxurious with the idea of traveling, being outdoors, and not having to pay high rents, mortgages, and utility bills, but this is a way of life that has to be planned. From choosing the van that will best suit your needs, having finances taken care of, remote work lined up, and living the basic necessities, there is a lot of planning to make sure you do this right, otherwise you are in a van that is compiled with too much stuff and a new life of adventures becomes a life of stress just like the world you were trying to escape from.

Downsizing and Van Types

To start the journey of living the van life, look at all your stuff and start making piles of what you need and don’t need. Going from a home that is 1000 square feet or larger to one like The Sprinter a van that is only 233 feet by 95 feet, will force you to learn how to live as a minimalist.

Now that you get the big (well, maybe small) picture, the next step is knowing which van to get and why. To the right is a great list of van options with pros and cons for each.

Advice and Where to Find More of it

Along with making the right van choice, it is important to get a sense of what it will be like on the road, so it would be a great idea to rent a van or a small RV, like a B or B+ Camper to have an idea of what van life would look like. A trial run will help you from making a dire mistake on your permanent adventure. You can also turn to social media, streaming services, youtube, and the internet. On TikTok, there are a lot of people showing what it is like to be part of the van life community and offer advice. One VanLifer is: @divineontheroad. You can also search the internet, there are websites, such as Wanderlust and GNomadHome, that also offer advice from those that have first-hand experiences.

Is it Worth it?

Weighing out the pros and cons, is living the van life worth it to you? Have you formed a plan of action? What are you and are not okay with? For me, it is totally worth it! The idea of the open road, traveling and seeing places I always promised myself that I would see one day, and no longer living on a time clock sounds like the adventure of a lifetime! Just make sure you do your research because not all rest areas allow you to sleep overnight. Some RV parks are incredibly loud and overpriced. For cleanliness solutions, get a gym membership that has gyms nationwide so you can shower. It is good to also plan where you are going next so you know where to fuel up, take care of your clean and gray water, do laundry, and buy groceries next. Is the adventurous life worth it for you?

If you still have questions, here are additional Van Life Hacks for you: Kombilife, Two Wandering Soles, and Parked in Paradise.