At its core, #vanlife is both adventurous and comfortable — the best of both worlds if you ask us. Still, some people aren’t as familiar with the ins and outs of the lifestyle, and we often get questions from people who are just starting out or those who are considering it. “What are the best things about van life?” they want to know. “Is it really worth it?”
Naturally, anyone who enjoys this way of life is going to answer in the affirmative! But we’re anxious to tell you that it’s not just a lifestyle that adventurous, explorer-types enjoy. In fact, we’d venture to say that many more people would love van life if they just gave it a try. Below, we’ve outlined our top 10 favorite reasons for living the van life. Take a read through and maybe you’ll jive with enough of them to try this lifestyle out for yourself!
The Freedom to Go Anywhere (Anytime)
Number 1 on our list of reasons to love van life is the freedom to go anywhere, anytime you want.
This benefit cannot be overstated. If you’ve never had this freedom before, it’s a rush, let us tell you! You can wake up one morning and decide you want to start trekking across the country, or you can simply go down the road a few miles and camp near a beautiful lake or overlook. You can go into the city, wander through small towns you may have never heard of before, or visit unique attractions.
Van life is so versatile that you may actually end up suffering from choice overload or “over-choice,” the phenomenon in which you are stifled and impaired because you simply have too many choices! Trust us, though — this is a pretty good problem to have.
Saving Money While Exploring
Who says you can’t travel on a budget? No, we don’t mean cramming into crummy motels and eating fast food. Van life offers you the opportunity to save money even while travelling in style and going any place you’d like.
Many people have it in their heads that traveling has to be expensive any way you look at it. When you’re living the van life, however, you’re able to save money in a multitude of ways. First, you just own less — there’s simply no room for all that extra stuff. You can’t bring it with you, and you can’t buy it and store it. Next, you’ll probably end up cooking a lot of your own food “at home” in the van. This includes snacks, coffee, drinks, and meals. Finally, you’ll be bringing your “hotel” with you wherever you go. Except for gas, camping, and parking fees, that means free stays wherever you are. All great ways to save.
An increasing number of companies are allowing their workers to work remotely. This is great if you can work at home while you live in an apartment or house, but it’s even better if you want to travel.
While van life isn’t typically a very expensive way of living anyway, you probably still have at least a few bills to pay and other expenses. This makes remote work an even better deal. You’ll be able to work no matter where you are, and you may even manage to accrue substantial savings.
Feeling at Home Wherever You Go
When you stay in hotels, motels, or even large resorts with multi-room suites, you’re unable to have your own personal possessions with you. Instead, you just have what could fit in a suitcase or maybe a work bag or purse. We all know how frustrating this can be, and it certainly makes for a less comfortable stay no matter where you are.
As a van dweller you’re able to take your belongings with you wherever you go. You’re traveling along with your home and the comfort creatures that come with it. This means you wake up every day to your own coffee maker, a comfortable living space, your own complete wardrobe, and of course, your own luxurious bed when you go to sleep at night.
Want to do better for the planet? Van life is for you. On the road, you can have a smaller carbon footprint. Your home will be small, your energy use will be lower, and you’ll be smarter about your possessions and purchases.
Of course, as a van dweller, you will certainly be driving, which means using gas. However, think of all the environment-impacting fuel expenses you won’t have. You won’t be paying a huge electricity bill. You won’t be using massive amounts of water. You won’t be heating or cooling a huge home. Furthermore, today’s RVs are far more energy-efficient than they used to be and many offer amazing solar packages or options to add on to your van.
A Clearer Head
Have you ever walked through your house or apartment and been so distracted by all the piles of things, papers that need organizing, drawers and closets that need organizing, dishes that need cleaning, and other diversions? The gutters need to be cleared, the garbage needs to be taken out, the carpets should be cleaned … the list goes on and on. All of these things interfere with our thoughts and emotions. They distract us and keep us from focusing on, well, whatever it is we would rather be focused on.
Van life is the opposite of this. It’s simple, basic, and focused. You’ll notice immediately that it gives you a clearer mind and sounder sleep.
Meeting New People
Making friends while on the road may seem unlikely, but it’s easier than you’d think to meet other like-minded people who also love van life!
At campgrounds and parks, for example, you’ll naturally end up talking to other van dwellers like yourself. Be sure to always put safety first, but also, don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with others if they seem open. Plan some excursions together, or you might even consider going out for dinner or drinks — or hosting a bonfire potluck at your campsite!
Do you love to draw or take photographs? Are you a writer or painter? Do you enjoy cooking varied cuisines with locally-sourced ingredients Van life can provide you with inspiration for all types of arts, crafts, and other skills. Makers of all kinds have found their calling with this lifestyle. Even if you are not making while on the road, you can grab and nab ideas and inspiration for new work, then complete it at a later time.
Even the simple act of being on the road itself can end up influencing your life experiences, and this will inevitably work its way into your art and passions.
A Better Connection With Nature
Inevitably, with van life, you will be forced to get up close and personal with nature. But is this a bad thing? We think not.
Even if you’re not the “outdoorsy type” right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t change. Van life brings you closer to nature without you really even deciding that you want to get closer to it! You’ll be camping at campgrounds, eating outside, watching the weather more closely, and simply interacting with nature itself on a more frequent basis. Trust us — it’s a relationship you’ll want to cultivate.
Appreciation for the Little Things
Being a van dweller naturally means owning less. For some, this can be a big adjustment, and it can be hard. But we’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t go on and on about how much this change has meant to them. Very rarely does anyone lament getting rid of their “stuff.”
Because, after all, it is just stuff. The van life gives you an appreciation for what really matters in life — people and living things, relationships, and experiences. It makes us appreciate the world around us and the “little things,” which really aren’t little things at all: a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, a beautiful sunset, lapping waves against the shore, a soft breeze through the trees.
Join the Van Revolution
So! Have we sold you on the benefits of living the van life yet? Remember, you’re always just one good decision away from a whole new way of living. Could the van life be for you? Visit Rec Van today to take a look at our state-of-the-art camper van selection and join the revolution.