Thinking About Van Life – Here’s Where To Start


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Living in a vehicle tends to be romanticized since you travel the world in your tiny home. Although it sounds simple, there is much more to it than hopping in your van and taking cool Instagram pictures. You should be well informed about what you are getting into before committing to van life.  

Here’s where to start and what to consider before starting your journey. 

Decide If Its Full-Time Or On Weekends

Determine if you want to do this on your weekends or if you will be fully into this lifestyle. This will help you plan your needed supplies. If you only do it on the weekends, you won’t need as much storage and can shower and brush your teeth elsewhere. 

If you commit to the full-time experience, you should ensure your living conditions are comfortable and functional to serve you in the long term. 

Choose A Suitable Vehicle 

Select the right vehicle to fit your lifestyle and simplify van life. It should suit your needs and travel plans. This is one of the most crucial aspects since it is where you spend all your time. Certain vans are more durable, faster or have more storage, so it depends on what you value most. 

For example, the Ford Transit has a lot of interior space, while the VW Bus is more for the vintage open road life aesthetic. Do your research to narrow down the vans that check all your boxes. 

Know Where You’ll Sleep 

You might imagine sleeping in a tent out in nature every night. Unfortunately, that won’t always be the case. You might find yourself in urban areas where you must stay in your van for the night. 

You should plan where to park and ensure it is safe and quiet so you can get a good night’s sleep for the next day’s journey. You will want your mind sharp to avoid drowsy driving when on the road for many hours. Nearly 800 fatalities and 50,000 injuries occur every year from these crashes. Have a solid sleep plan so you are alert when travelling.  

Make Plans For Bathroom Use

A warm shower every day is a great way to feel refreshed, but travelling in a van may limit your opportunities to have one. You will either want to make your own van shower or plan to visit gyms and recreation centers. 

Another option is to use a lake or other body of water. When living on the road, you will want to work on your flexibility with things like this since you won’t always have access to a traditional bathroom. 

You must also consider where to go to the bathroom. It can get tiring trying to find a toilet every day. Try bringing a portable toilet, bucket or something you can do your business in. It will also help the planet since the average person flushes five times daily. Just because you are on the road does not mean you should put a healthy digestive system on the back burner. 

Have A Plan For Bad Weather

You will likely run into bad weather during your travels. Since it is unavoidable, you should have a plan for keeping your van free from damage and learn emergency routes. 

There can be as many as 40,000 thunderstorms daily that cause floods and wind damage worldwide. Ensure you have plans to handle each weather condition that could arise. 

Figure Out How To Stay Happy and Healthy

Changing your lifestyle to van life can be challenging. You may worry about cabin fever and overstaying your welcome. You should aim to get your body moving outside of the van. There will surely be areas to explore, so find activities and hobbies you can indulge in while living your new life. 

Getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and two days of strength training activity per week is recommended. You can break this up into chunks when you make stops. Do some bodyweight exercises or find a trail to walk on to meet these recommendations to stay healthy.

Keeping your mind happy and healthy is just as important as your body. Try grabbing some things that will fuel your mind as you take pit stops. Books and crossword puzzles are great for passing the time and nourishing your brain. You can also listen to audiobooks while you drive. 

Get Started On Your New Adventure

You can’t avoid roadblocks when you’re constantly travelling, and van life can take some getting used to. Prepare for unexpected situations and circumstances to transition smoothly to your new lifestyle.

About The Author

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Check out @TModded for regular updates! 

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