Vanlife 101: The Trending Lifestyle of Living on the Road

Vanlife couple in cab of van with small white dog

Vanlife 101: The Trending Lifestyle of Living on the Road

Buy or Sell Campers

Buy or Sell Campers

17 April 2023

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Vanlife has become a trend in recent years, with more and more people seeking to break free from the traditional way of living and embrace a nomadic lifestyle on the road. It’s a way of life that involves traveling and living in a van, truck, or RV, allowing you to explore new places, meet new people, and experience life in a different way.

This is intended as a wheel-spin through all you need to know about vanlife. For the ultimate guide, check out:

Vanlife Popularity

The popularity of vanlife has exploded in recent years, with social media playing a significant role in its rise. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are filled with vanlife influencers and bloggers, sharing their experiences, tips, and stories. This has inspired a new generation of people to embrace the vanlife lifestyle, seeking the freedom and adventure that it offers.

But why is van life so popular?

Van life is popular due to its appeal of freedom, adventure, and simplicity. It offers a chance to escape the traditional routine of life and explore the world on one’s own terms. It has also become more accessible and mainstream with the rise of social media and digital nomadism.

Vintage VW camper van with vanlife friends sat on roof

Vanlife History

Vanlife has been around for decades, with people choosing to live on the road for various reasons. In the 1960s and 70s, it became a symbol of counterculture, with people embracing a nomadic lifestyle as a form of rebellion against the status quo.

However, the rise of the internet and social media has given vanlife a new lease of life, making it more accessible and attractive to a broader audience.

Lifestyle of a Van-lifer

Vanlife is all about simplicity and living off the grid, with most vanlifers opting to downsize their possessions and embrace minimalism. Living in a van or RV means you have limited space, so you have to be selective with what you bring along.

This lifestyle encourages a more eco-friendly and sustainable way of living, with many vanlifers incorporating solar panels and composting toilets to reduce their carbon footprint.

Lady living vanlife using laptop on a bed in a campervan

Okay, but how do van-lifers earn money?

Many vanlifers choose to work remotely or freelance to sustain their lifestyle, allowing them to work from anywhere in the world to earn money while vanlife. Others have turned their vanlife experience into a business, becoming social media influencers or starting their own blogs or YouTube channels to share their experiences and offer advice to others. 

There are also opportunities to work seasonally, such as campsite or park rangers, or picking up odd jobs in towns or cities along the way.

This is a whole topic of it’s own. Take a look at our blog ‘13 Ways (Vanlifers May Not Have Thought Of) To Make Money on the Road for the best answers to the question ‘how do vanlifers make money?’.

The Pros & Cons of Van Life Living

Pros of Van Life

One of the biggest pros of van life is the freedom and flexibility it offers. You can travel at your own pace, stay in a location for as long or as short as you want, and change your plans on a whim.

It’s also a more affordable way of living, with lower expenses on rent, utilities, and other living costs.

From a self-care perspective, many people think that living in a van must be frightening. We’ll be honest: it’s not without its dramas. But vanlife also encourages you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of modern life and embrace a simpler way of living, which can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health.

A significant of vanlife is the lower cost of living. With no rent or mortgage payments, no utility bills, and no property taxes, vanlife can significantly reduce your living expenses. The cost of food and fuel will become your primary expenses, and there are ways to reduce those costs by cooking your meals in your van and reducing the distance between park-ups.

In short, van life offers the opportunity to simplify life, travel freely, and live a minimalist lifestyle. It allows individuals to escape the traditional routine of life and explore the world on their terms.

The Cons of Van Life

Vanlife also comes with its own set of challenges and cons. Living in a van means you have limited space, and it can be difficult to find a balance between comfort and functionality. 

You’ll also have to be prepared for unexpected breakdowns or repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Living on the road can also be isolating, and it can be challenging to maintain relationships with friends and family back home.

Vanlife couple kissing by pop-top camper

Vanlife FAQs

How Do I Prepare for Vanlife?

If you’re planning to embark on a van life journey, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. The first step is to plan your budget, figure out your expenses, and research the cost of living on the road. You should also choose the right van for your needs, equip it with essential amenities like a bed, kitchen, and bathroom, and consider storage solutions for your belongings. 

It’s also important to think about how you’ll make money while on the road and have a plan for staying connected with family and friends. With proper preparation, van life can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Can a couple live in a van?

Yes, a couple can live in a van. It requires downsizing and living minimally, but with proper planning and organization, a van can provide a comfortable and cozy living space for two. Many couples choose van life as a way to travel together and build a deeper connection through shared experiences.

What is the hardest part about van life?

The hardest part about van life is the lack of space and amenities compared to a traditional home. It can also be difficult to adjust to the constantly changing environment and living on the road.

What is the best power for VanLife?

Solar power is one of the best options for van life as it is a clean and renewable energy source. It allows for the use of electronics and appliances while living off the grid.

Is van life eco-friendly

Van life can be eco-friendly if individuals practice sustainable habits such as using solar power and reducing waste. However, it can also have negative impacts on the environment if individuals do not properly dispose of waste or use non-renewable energy sources.

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