What is #VanLife?
“Van life” is a lifestyle choice that many are embracing in order to create balance in their lives. It’s living an endless summer of road trips and adventures. Van life revolves around the community that want to reduce their footprint by living simply and on the road.
This community is thriving and to many, it’s a life full of chasing sunsets and exciting adventures. While it is one big adventure, there’s more to it than just that. It’s also a lot of work, planning, compromises and commitment.
So, before putting up the ‘for sale’ sign outside your house, let’s look at what it truly means to live life on the road with just bare essentials.
Find out if the van life is for you by answering 7 questions below.
Think unlimited Wi-Fi, long hot showers, throwing in a quick load of laundry, fancy clothes, your shoe collection. Pretty much everything besides what you really, really need. You can only fit so much in a van and you wouldn’t want to use that space for something you will only use once a month.
Unless you have a customized shower installed, you’ll have to look for someplace else to take a shower. Sometimes that means it’s the Starbucks bathroom and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a communal shower nearby. The good thing is, you can always drive to the nearest river and take a quick plunge into the refreshing water.
If your job permits you to work on the go, good for you. If not, are you ready to look for other ways to earn your bread and butter? Even if that means doing odd jobs for a while? The best way around this is to be financially prepared. Save enough to be able to afford to be jobless until you can find something that will go with your new lifestyle. On a positive note, there’s plenty of jobs you can do. Start with freelancing or by being creative such as writing a blog and monetizing it.
Sara and Alex James from 40 Hours of Freedom are a great example of creativity. Both with marketing and business backgrounds who found freedom by living on and off the road, they also help others monetize their passion online to help them become full-time travelers.
If you’re a pet mom/dad, you know giving away your beloved furry baby is not an option.
But living with a pet in a standard house can be challenging enough, can you imagine what life would be with a dog in a van, on the road? If you’re imagining public parks, beaches and campsites, you’re missing the bigger picture. There will be times you’ll have to sacrifice going to these places because they won’t allow dogs. Or it’s just not suitable for your furry baby.
There will be frustrating moments when the van is a total mess and you won’t even know where to start. Napier’s SUV/CUV/Minivan tents can come in really handy for times when you need the extra space, attach to your minivan or trailer and you can instantly create the additional space for your pet to have a play area while you do the cleaning!
If you think bringing your pet would be the real challenge, try bringing growing and hyperactive kids. If you don’t have children, feel free to skip to the next question.
Children are a true gift, but they do come with extra energy and sometimes, devilish tantrums. You’ll have to consider all of the details associated with traveling with children, as well as plans for their schooling.
Some parents opt to homeschool their children while they’re on the go. This can be an amazing opportunity, as they get to experience the world through their own eyes, and learn about flexibility and independence at a young age. Megan and Mollie of the Step Van Diary are a mother and daughter duo who are full-time travelers cruising across North America. Mollie learns new skills and life lessons not only through her mother, Megan but also through the people they meet on the road.
If you have a minivan, a Napier SUV tent would be the perfect companion. You can even set it up as a makeshift classroom while you’re parked at the beach! Now, that’s a dream every child has.pc: @dontmaketurnthisvanaround
Living in a vehicle can sometimes feel like living outdoors. You’re constantly on the move, you sleep wherever the road ends, or wherever your vehicle can take you. When you have snowcapped mountains in front of you, you can’t not have the windows/doors open, even if that means braving the cold in exchange for a great view.
Living the simple life means accepting the fact that sometimes you have to switch off the AC and enjoy the fresh air.
Fortunately, there are many ergonomically designed products out there to help make life in a van easier, such as solar powered heaters for the cold or fans or portable awnings to protect you from the sun.
Van life means constantly changing plans and enjoying the process. Had plans to go surfing but got a flat tire instead? Enjoy dinner in a strange new town while your van receives its much-needed repairs. Maybe you’ll catch a local outdoor show or see an old friend—you never know!
The key is to always be prepared for whatever the road throws your way, but also be able to go with the flow and truly enjoy every bit of the adventure. Even if that means detaching your trailer from your truck/suv to visit a National Park, if you’re prepared you can still enjoy the experience using a Napier Truck or SUV tent, just like Shelby (@shelbyadrift) did!
Of course, there will be other things that will matter depending on your individual preferences, but if you answered “yes” to all of the questions above, you are almost ready to hit the road! If not, you can still enjoy a good car adventure with a Napier vehicle camping tent, get one for your SUV or your pick-up truck and a have a taste of the simple life. See for yourself and be the judge!
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