Van life has always appealed to a specific subset of people. However, with developments such as the pandemic, we have seen an increase in popularity for the van lifestyle.
The Philosophy Behind Van Life
The family above invested in van life because it provides them with increased mobility for work. Like the couple above, young people are drawn to van life for the flexibility it offers as well as the ability to travel and see the sights on a budget.
With air travel carrying risks due to the pandemic, the van life provides an alternative that is ideal for a self-contained, safe quarantine experience.
With all the tumult of 2020, people are now prioritizing safety and enjoyment; the van life provides a way to effectively actualize both whilst also enjoying new experiences.
The Sustainable and Minimalist Lifestyle
Simplistic living has also increased in popularity over the years. With Marie Kondo teaching touting minimalism and adequate organization of aesthetic space, many have shifted their priorities away from things and towards a need-based philosophy of living.
Vans are a multidimensional tool to achieve minimalism. The van life, by default, also reduces consumption and waste, thereby having benefits to the environment as well. Vans encourage movement away from overindulgence and towards living in the moment.
How Much Does the Van Life Cost?
A functional and comfortable van is the most important aspect of the van life. Brand new, high-end vans can range anywhere from $15,000-$100,000. RV vans come in a range of prices and designs. A second hand van in reasonable condition will likely cost somewhere between $6000-$9000.
If you’re on a budget, you can busy a van for $1500-$3000. While the condition may be sub-par, this gives you an opportunity to refurbish the van and turn it into your very own DIY project. A little bit of time and effort can transform a dilapidated van into a cozy home.
Check out this video of two van life experts getting their DIY on:
Is the Van Life Legal?
Many think that van life must be illegal because we all know that sleeping in cars parked on random streets or in parking lots can be dangerous. However, van life is completely legal.
National and State parks are ideal places to park your van for the night. However, many of these require bookings and require advance planning. Bureau of Land Management sites are another great option.
In terms of car parks, stores such as Walmart, Costco, Cracker Barrels, and Costco parking lots are all decent options with surveillance cameras and lighting. If you’re parking in car parks, check for signs to ensure that there are no restrictions on parking and living in vans.
Bathroom and Kitchen Needs on the Road
It’s a good idea to invest in a toilet and kitchen for your van. However, if your van isn’t equipped with either, there are many sites located across the country that allow you to park your van.
National and state parks tend to have communal bathrooms and showers. These parks also have outdoor grills that are very convenient to cook on.
Tips for Transitioning into Van Life
If you’re interested in hopping aboard this trend, we recommend charting out a plan.
- Focus on decluttering and disposing of items. Cut down on clothing, utensils, and appliances that you don’t use on a regular basis. The van life will force you to consider a need-based approach to living rather than that prioritizing desire and the accumulation of things. Renting a storage space is also a great option that will provide you with enhanced mobility.
- Learn to cook. While traveling, the availability of food might be limited. Eating out frequently can also affect your budget negatively. The best way to maintain health and financial security is to learn to whip up easy, nutritious, and satisfying meals. Most vans come equipped with a fully functional kitchen, allowing you to live your culinary dreams!
- Invest in outdoor equipment. Spending time in the great outdoors will require proper tools and gear. Ensure you’re equipped with essentials such as jackets, hiking boots, reusable water bottles, tents, backpacks, sturdy shoes, and self defense equipment such as pocket knives or bear spray.
The Numerous Benefits of Van Life
The van life is a worthwhile investment, not only in terms of safety and resources but also mental wellbeing. Spending time in nature, seeing the sights, and connecting with your loved ones is sure to result in happiness and inner peace. If this lifestyle appeals to you, there’s no better time than the present. Grab your equipment, turn on the engine, and set out on an amazing adventure!