Vanlife, a way of life and travel that has been particularly trendy in recent years. Living and traveling in a van is a joy, but don’t think that everything is rosy either!
The advantages of living in a van
When traveling in a van, you are free to move at your own pace, to stop wherever you want to take a photo, have lunch with a view, take a nap in a beautiful pine forest, or even sleep where you want to go. What we love very much about the life of nomadic van people is this feeling of independence and freedom. We are not dependent on accommodation booked for the night, the arrival time for check-in.
For some, van life can seem a bit precarious, I would say that it all depends on their travel habits, their priorities, and their desires. Traveling in a van is in fact the comfort of having a mini multifunctional house on wheels. All our things are concentrated in one place, no need to pack/unpack your bag or suitcase every day. Everything is there, tidy and within easy reach for any situation: moving, eating, sleeping, if the weather is good, if it is raining, and even for work. For us, it is a real weightless and a saving of time and energy on a daily basis! Our van is our own space, our little cocoon in which we feel good, in which we have our bearings. Finally, we feel at home, no matter where we are and that’s magic.
C. Close to nature and to oneself
This is one of the big advantages of van life in our opinion. Being able to live as close as possible to the elements. Luxury no longer depends on the number of stars in a hotel, but rather on those we see in the sky! Dine in the heart of nature, in an isolated location, listen to the silence (and sometimes the sounds of wildlife) of the environment that surrounds us. It’s this feeling of being back in the rough that makes us feel alive in a van. We realize that we need little to be happy.
Traveling with your van also allows you to get to know yourself better, understand yourself, and discover your limits. You will often have to get out of your comfort zone.
D. Take your time
Space-time is different when traveling in a van. If our vehicle is old then we have to look at the road slower. No highway, let go to make discoveries and spontaneous encounters along the way. Regardless of the destination, the entire journey is important. In the long term, having your van allows you to adapt the adventure to your pace and needs. When you leave for several months, it is not possible to be at 100 per hour every day. Having your van allows you to have this flexibility and to discover the joys of slow travel. Slow down to better enjoy and not miss out on your trip.
The disadvantages of traveling by van
For us, they are less, but it exists! Here are two in particular that can really slow down to pass the course.
Living in a van is living in 5m2! So you might as well tell you that you have to organize yourself to avoid letting yourself be invaded and overwhelmed by the mess. It is a confined space that must be functional, clean, and practical. A golden rule: everything has its place! Very quickly, when traveling in a van, a routine is set up. Who does what, when, and how. Essential habits that allow you to live together, as a couple or as a family in a van on the road.
Tidying up is really essential so as not to collapse under the disorder and not find anything on board! It’s true that traveling in a van accentuated our manic side. The bed is folded up as soon as you get up, the dishes are done after each meal, the clothes are put away in their cupboard and the floor swept several times a day. This makes it possible to cohabit without a fight in such a small space.
We get used to it quickly (or not!). After the big advantage of traveling by van is that we live outside most of the time, and this new garden changes depending on the spots found, what more could you ask for?
B. The toilet to be adapted
We’re not going to lie to each other, life in a van is not like living in an apartment or in a hotel, especially when it comes to hygiene.
In a van, apart from going camping every night, the showers will not be daily, the toilet will have to adapt and be done with less water (which makes it possible to be aware of the scarcity of resources). The luxury of the solar shower is a supplement and if the weather is neither sunny nor hot, then a cat toilet with a glove and a basin will be the alternative …
Unless you have a dry or chemical toilet in your converted van, you can use the toilets in public places, but honestly when you are well installed in a beautiful place and far from everything, the wee and wild poo (and sometimes with a view ) will be the rule! We equip ourselves with a small shovel, paper roll, and trash bag so as not to leave traces.
Life in a van requires you to get out of your comfort zone, but you get used to it quickly!
C. A better mode of travel when the weather is good
It was in Australia that we really discovered the joys of van life, the country where the sun shines very often! It’s that living and traveling in a van is still a lot nicer when the weather is nice! Being able to enjoy the outdoors and not having to stay locked up while waiting for it to pass! After that, you can also easily kill time on a rainy day, but it shouldn’t last a week.
Have you ever tried the van life experience? Does this appeal to you? Know that today there are many rental companies to take the plunge and discover van life. There is something for all tastes, profiles, and budgets. In any case, before setting off on the roads behind the wheel of your car, don’t forget to think about insurance. A part less glamorous, but essential to travel in a serene way. Rental companies offer more or less protective insurance packages in the event of an accident, check with them the applicable coverage and excess.