We get it, road trips are the ultimate in independent travel van. Not only are you going on your own adventures, but you also have control over how you get there. While the government has allowed people to do some traveling in some places, the U.S has largely opted to avoid international travel. This has made road trips more lucrative than ever.
A recent trend that has taken over our social media is hashtag van life, where people modify vans into DIY RVs. They manage to fit a bedroom, a toilet, and even a kitchen area inside secondhand or repurposed vans.
While different travel van websites may recommend this for everyone, here are some things you should look at before you drop your savings to live your best #vanlife!
The advantage of having a hotel or a holiday home is space. When it’s freezing, you can cuddle up in a well-insulated room and crank up the heater. When you get stuck in the rain, you can dry off in one area of the house and not track mud or water everywhere. Because of the limited space in vans, neither of these are possible.
This is why you need to check the weather wherever you are to see if you want to adapt to living in a van in those conditions. So if you’re living in Europe and want to pop over to Germany, you’ll have to check Germany’s weather before you can safely travel. You can set alerts on your phone to send you updates on extreme weather conditions if you’re already living in a van.
A large part of the industry is dedicated to increasing the guest’s comfort in the hotel business. You get the comfort of living in luxury for a few days in exchange for their rates. However, if you want to save money and travel and live in a van instead, you have to plan to forego these comforts. There are certain limitations to living in a van, and not having a full-sized bed is only one of them.
Many people live in their vans and keep a gym membership to use their showering facilities. If your budget didn’t allow for a large van, you’d have to pay to use a business’s bathroom facilities instead. You should build a list of resources you currently use and see how to accommodate them before investing in your dream.
There are legal hurdles to traveling in your van. Because there are official rules about what can be safe to drive on the roads, you will have to search and find local laws surrounding motor homes. If your local laws are lax or it is easy to make your vehicle road-worthy, then you should celebrate! It is not similarly easy across the world.
You also need to ensure everything you will fit inside your vehicle is safe and plan the total weight to stay under official limitations. Thankfully, we are in 2021, and it is easy to search for information online. It is easier than ever before to know all the local laws that your van would be regulated by, including parking laws.
You have to be on the same page as your van when it comes to upkeep. Most people in 2021 go into this life thinking that the upkeep for a van is the same as a car. However, vans require a lot more maintenance than you think. There are constant updates that you need to install, multiple systems you need to keep connected for clean air and water, and more.
You need to know all the information related to repair and maintenance so that when you see the slightest sign of a problem, you know how to tackle it. Websites are dedicated to documenting van life from before 2021, so you should use these resources to get on the same page about upkeep.
Your final problem when living in a van is going to be about documentation. This shouldn’t be a problem if you use your van to travel within your own country. This is most likely in 2021 because of the pandemic. However, if you’re traveling internationally, the destination government will want to know where you are staying.
If you have friends or relatives, you can stay connected to them on official documents. You can also search for resources or websites for people who travel in vans who don’t have friends or relatives in their destination cities. There should be enough resources online to ensure a safe and worry-free vacation for you!