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How to Prepare for Van Life: Understanding the Pros and Cons


With Instagrammers constantly posting rainforest showers and clifftop sunsets, #vanlife has become super romanticized. But how does this Instagram ideal compare to the realities of the road?


First, let us say that van life is awesome… we wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t! But that disclaimer aside, it’s not for everyone – if you’re the sort of person who likes their service five-star, their bed king size and their pool infinite, a comparatively humble van might not be your style.


So let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of van life, and how you might prepare for an extended stay on the open road.


The pros of van life:



The world is your oyster

Your backyard can be whatever you want it to be: dense woods, snowy mountain ranges, a deserted beach. Van life is the opportunity to explore the world and all its wonders, all while taking the comforts of home with you.


Perfectly minimalist living

The minimalist movement is gaining steam, and van life perfectly distills this philosophy. With space at a premium, you’ll quickly realize how little you actually need to survive. In fact, you can have the time of your life without ‘essentials’!


Save A LOT of money

No rent, no utility bills, no worries. Trading in a house for a van means huge long-term savings. Food and gas are generally your two biggest ongoing costs, and even these can be minimal – a budget of $30 per person per day is often more than enough!


The cons of van life



A lack of privacy

No matter how well you kit your van out, it isn’t the same as a house. You’ll almost always be in a public space, so relaxing in your underwear may not be as acceptable as it is on your couch at home.


Where’s the bathroom?

Perhaps the most jarring difference between van life and house life is the lack of a shower and toilet. Most vans don’t have these features, so you’ll need to find them as you travel. Wet wipes will become your best friend.


Limited cooking options

The lack of full kitchen in your van can be seen as either a blessing or a curse. Cooking over an open fire or otherwise making do with what you’ve got will be charming to many. Others just want an oven.


Preparing for van life

Van life isn’t for those who are used to being waited on hand and foot. It’s for the adventurers – the ones who can live without a shower for a couple of days, who can whip up a meal with a fire, a frying pan and whatever’s in the cupboard, and who are happy to trade creature comforts for the opportunity to explore.


If that sounds like you, you’re officially ready for van life. So why not give the team at Drifter a call?



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