The van life looks like a charming escape from the stifling world composed of the daily grind, commitments, and bills. However, before you get wholly accustomed to life on the road, there are challenges and financial hoops you must go through. Whether you plan to do it full time or during the weekends, preparing for van life might take longer than you think.
This kind of lifestyle requires thorough planning, given that you’ll live a portion of your life or spend some days in a compact space that won’t have some of the facilities you see in a traditional home. Preparing your van might take a while since you most likely have to have its interiors customized and create and design the mods yourself to ensure that they will answer your needs while you’re in the wild.
Despite the tasks you need to get done so you can finally hit the roads, once you accomplish the preparations you need, you can fully enjoy discovering places and wandering in the destinations on your bucket list.
Choose Your Build
Working your way around the limitations of a premium space is one of the first challenges you need to surpass. Unlike traditional houses, living in a car will not give you an area for walking, much less separate ones that you can use as a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
The back seat will be all you have. A four-seater is out of the question; a van, coaster, or bus are some of the best choices you have.
Design and Customize Your Interiors
After selecting your type of car, you have to retrofit it with storage spaces, a sink, portable toilet, stove, and overhead lights to make it livable.
You’ll also want to install waterproof flooring if you feel like stopping by in a coastal location and availing of fishing charters so that once you go back to your van, moisture from your clothes won’t damage the surfaces. Having solar panels and a heavy-duty battery is also vital to keep your devices charged while on the go.
Stock Up on Essentials
Some destinations abound with rest areas and shops where you can buy essentials; on the other hand, some places don’t offer the basics. If you’re heading to a place you know little about, it’s best to get some shopping done before you go.
Considering that you don’t have much space in your vehicle, you need to only stock up on necessities, like food, water, medicines, and selected toiletries.
Pleasant surprises often await you whenever visiting a new place. But if you can, doing a little research about a town or city will save you plenty of trouble. When you know which facilities you can access, you don’t have to get additional supplies on top of your existing ones.
Looking up a place before your drive will also save you the hassle of frequent stops to ask for directions, plus it will let you know the best spots to visit and explore like a local.
Plan Your Distress Calls
No matter how much foresight you have and how perfect your plans seem, there will still be unforeseen circumstances you cannot escape. To have a backup for your plan B, you need to create a good escape strategy if things look dangerous while you’re out and about.
For instance, having regular car maintenance will help you prevent severe car troubles in the future. Knowing the establishments in an area such as its hospitals, the police station, and other facilities will also help you tremendously along the way.
Know Ways to Sustain It
If you’re falling deeper into the appeal of van life, you’re probably already considering living in your vehicle full time. Driving around still costs plenty, even if you compare it to leasing a home. You have to pay for gas, maintenance, food, and other essentials, which is impossible to fund without a steady income.
To generate the finances you need, you can switch to a remote job with a flexible schedule to get monetary sustenance.
Sure, in the places you’ll visit, you’ll have access to garbage cans, but clutter is not welcome in your vehicle. You’re already dealing with a lack of space to boot, so if you add more clutter to it, you’ll have fewer areas for your valuables.
While you’re in this lifestyle, learning minimalist practices is best. By keeping fewer things with you, you’ll appreciate what it means to live with just enough and content yourself with what you have.
Living the van life means you’ll have to give up many things, including convenience and constant access to essentials. However, this kind of lifestyle will also shape you to become a better individual, like how you’ll learn to live within your means and think of unique ways to solve problems.