Van Life: 8 Tips for Making the Most of Van Living

Have you always dreamed of living the van life? If you’re thinking of making the move, then read on for some key tips for making the most of van living.

Living life on the road might sound like a wanderlust dream, but it does come with some rules to know. Your routine is likely to change and most of the small ordinary luxuries may be inaccessible.

Have you always dreamed of living the van life? If you’re thinking of making a move, then read on for some critical tips for making the most of van living. Learn about the pros and cons so you can be well prepared.

1. Getting the Right Van for Van Life

When considering van life, the most crucial decision is choosing a camping van. The best camping van should be efficient, reliable, and comfortable enough to avoid exhaustion.

First, consider fuel efficiency. This will help you explore more places with a smaller fuel budget and help protect the environment. And if you’re moving to areas with unpredictable weather and snow, think of a 4WD or AWD.

Avoid older vans with performance issues unless you won’t be driving a lot. For sunlight and fresh air, it would be best if you find a windowed van. 

2. What to Pack for Van Life

With van life, comfort is the top priority. Your van is where you’ll spend most of your time. And having the right essentials can make a massive difference.

Here’s a short list of van life must-haves.

You need a comfortable bed or couch. Go with a foldable if you want to save space. But if you want convenience and escape frequent bed making, a stationery bed can also be useful.

Research the weather of destinations beforehand and pack the right beddings and clothing.

Pack the least basics. For instance, if you’re traveling with your partner, pack two spoons, two cups, and two plates, and so on.

Install, a fridge, a sink, a stovetop, and a fan.

3. Powering up Your Van

You may buy the best camping van, but you can be sure it won’t be able to sustain your power demands. You’ll crave the same luxury you had in your apartment. But without thinking of alternative energy, your life will be frustrating.

Jarrod Tocci had everything planned for his van life. He had invested in a Mercedes Sprinter, one of the best camping vans on efficiency and reliability. He could not start right away for the lack of adequate power to run his new quest. 

This is until he met a team of renewable energy solution providers. That’s when his van life dream came true. Read on here to learn more. 

4. How to Stay Healthy When Living on the Road

When living on the road, the excitement and challenges can cause you to pick up some unhealthy habits. But your hygiene and health are in your hands. You can follow the following van life tips to stay fit, clean, and healthy.

  • Self cook to keep by healthier meal options
  • Do outdoor workouts to keep fit; take advantage of any gym facility that you come across
  • Avoid shortcuts such as junk foods; instead, opt for fresh farm groceries

Embrace swimming to keep your body fresh. For a regular shower, consider carrying a solar showerhead. A set of wipes can also help to keep you clean when water is inaccessible.

It’s also wise to do your laundry frequently to avoid a nasty pile up.

5. Plan for the Unexpected 

When living on the road, everything is unpredictable. You can run out of gas, get a flat tire, or run out of amenities. To avoid surprises, take the time to prepare against emergencies.

Have a checklist of all the items required in any vehicle. This can include first aid kits or fire extinguishers. Check any other nation-based requirements on the WikiOverland page

Carry a toolbox. You may need to make or repair something to make your van life comfortable. 

You can also pack:

  • A spare tire
  • A headlamp
  • Some lighter and matches
  • A compass; your digital devices can lose connection or run out of power

6. Where to Pack and Sleep at Night

For most people, sleeping in a van isn’t an issue. As long as the van has decent locks and is not easily noticeable, you can also get accustomed to van living. The only challenge you might face is finding a parking place and keeping yourself and your items secure. 

If you can make it look like commercial white cargo vans, the better for camouflaging. Also, get an opaque window tint or blackout curtains to keep out peepers.

For parking areas, consider businesses operating 24/7, parks, Walmart parking, bars and clubs, or churches. Park in a place where you’re likely to attract the least attention.

7. Maintaining Your Van Lifestyle

As much as van life cuts your bills, it can also eat up your savings and earnings. So you need to work to remain self-reliant and pay for the van life. For digital nomads like freelancers or remote workers, van life can be a smooth ride.

Professionals such as carpenters, teachers, or barbers can travel and offer their services in other places. People without specialized skills can work in farms picking fruits or do odd jobs traced from Craigslist postings.

8. How to Overcome Living on the Road Challenges

No matter how you prepare for van life, you could still face some challenges on the road. Here are some van life tips to guide you when things get foggy.

Ask for help when things are tough. Call friends or use travelers forums for van life tips. Make new friends in places you travel to.

Calm down and try to figure the best solution when your car breaks down or you run out of gas.

Take a break from van life sometimes. Rent out a room or use Airbnb to find a cozy apartment and refresh yourself.

Keep in touch with your network. Call or chat with friends, relatives, and colleagues. This will be a big help if you’re feeling lonely.

Living on the Road Should be Enjoyable

Ready for van life? Preparation and foresight is the key to an enjoyable life in a van.

You’ll meet challenges along the way. But with these tips, you can expect to enjoy van life flexibility, adventure, and affordability. 

For more tips and trips, check out our blog.

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