Your Van Life Travel Guide – Tips To Live And Work While On The Road

Van life is a growing culture and for plenty of good reasons. We’re living in a more mobile world than ever. Many people can work from anywhere, getting from one place to another is easy, and staying connected with family and friends is possible no matter where you go. 

Whether you’re interested in starting van life this summer or you just want to plan a stellar warm-weather road trip, some tips will make the experience easier and more fun. 

Packing up your van and hitting the road is exciting, and one of the main ideas behind van life is exploring and getting involved in new adventures. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead. 

So, how can you make the most of vanlife this summer, and enjoy every second of your nomadic experience

Stay Safe

One of the biggest challenges you can face when road-tripping or living out of a van is safety. Let’s face it, locking your doors on a van isn’t exactly as secure as deadbolting a front door on a house. The last thing you want is for your vehicle to get broken into or for your belongings to get stolen. 

Thankfully, there are some safety precautions you can take to keep yourself and your van safe, no matter where you are. 

Start by preparing yourself before you hit the road. Let a few trusted friends or family members know where you’ll be, and give them a rough itinerary so they can check in. Then, make sure you have the proper safety supplies on board, including:

  • A first aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Car locks
  • Extra security locks
  • A security camera
  • Motion sensor lights

When you’re driving or you have to stop for the night to rest, make smart choices about your safety. Park somewhere before it gets dark and hide your valuables from sight. Even if you’re in a safe location, there could be people around who can’t resist taking what they want when they think something has value. 

Always keep your van locked and turn your security camera on when you’re parked. Many of today’s smart cameras will send alerts to your phone when there is movement or unusual activity, so you’ll always be aware of what’s going on around the van without having to get out and check things out for yourself. 

van life

Make Money From the Road

A major reason van life is possible for so many is due to the rise in remote careers. According to a Gallup poll from October 2021, 25% of people work exclusively from home

Even if your home is on four wheels, you can have a successful career while scratching your itch to travel. If your current career doesn’t allow you to work remotely, it might be time to switch things up. 

There’s no denying that uprooting your life and living out of a van is a big step and major commitment. While you’re at it, it could be a perfect opportunity to decide if you’re happy with your current career path. Why not consider starting your own business from the road?  You can operate a home-based business from anywhere. If you have a unique idea, a sound business plan, and understand the legalities of starting a business, you could accomplish your dreams of travel and entrepreneurship at the same time. 

Even if you’re not ready to own a business, there are plenty of jobs out there with remote availability. Or, consider using your skills to take on freelance work. The gig economy is larger than ever, and businesses all over the world are looking for skilled workers to help with projects on a job-by-job basis. 

If you’re worried about making enough money while traveling, create a budget and find clever ways to cut back on your spending. Things like paying less for gas, keeping your van well-maintained, and optimizing your driving can offset any pay cuts you might have to take. 

inside the van

Take Care of Yourself

Packing up and seeing the country in a van can feel like the ultimate form of self-care if you love traveling. But, it’s still important to manage your mental and physical well-being while you’re on the road. It can be easy to fall into the trap of not getting enough sleep, eating too much fast food, and driving when you’re tired or distracted. 

If you want to avoid burnout while you’re on the road, keep these self-care tips in mind: 

  • Don’t eat out at every meal
  • Don’t create unrealistic expectations
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Exercise every day
  • Spend time outside
  • Connect with friends/family every day
  • Find ways to de-stress

Having some structure and routine to your day is still important, even when you’re living that #vanlife. It’s meant to be an unforgettable adventure, and you don’t want to risk burning out and getting sick of it because you aren’t prioritizing your health. 

By staying safe, having a solid source of income, and taking care of yourself, you can enjoy every second of the van life this summer – and beyond! Keep these tips in mind throughout your travels, and have fun creating unforgettable, funny, meaningful, lifelong memories. 

van at sunset

Lived in England since 1998 and travelled the world since 2005, visiting over 100 countries on 5 continents. Writer, blogger, photographer with a passion for adventure and travel, discovering those off beat places not yet on the tourist trail. Marco contributes the very best in independent travel tips and lifestyle articles.

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