Van life. Those two words conjure up pictures of endless road trips, coastal sunsets, and lazy mornings in the mountains. For many, it sounds like a dream. The van life movement has been gaining popularity over the past few years and there are many people who have great van living ideas!

But how do you do it? We’re here to show you.

Van life may not be for everyone because of the lack of personal space –but people forget that personal storage is an option. Van living is becoming a convenient solution to problems like overcrowded cities and unpredictable housing markets. How much does van life cost? The cost depends on what you want out of van life! Whether you want to know how to live in a van and travel, or you’re done spending half your paycheck on rent and need a change, this guide is for you.

5 Tips for Living in a Van

While there is no right or wrong way to live in a van, there are some fundamental things to keep in mind before you set off. Here are five tips to take your van life experience from zero to sixty in no time.

1. Determine Why You Want to Live in a Van

If your reasons for wanting to become a van lifer are financial, do you have a long-term goal? Or are you simply looking to escape the rat race for a while? 

The low cost of living out of a van can help you save money for a sizable future investment such as a home or cash to start a business. Alternatively, van life can allow you to spend less time working and more time enjoying yourself.

Even though the cost of living in a van is low, there is still a cost to getting started and finding the best van for van life. One of the biggest costs is buying a van. Finding the perfect van to live in, whether it’s a camper van or a cargo van, or something else, is a big decision. Some of the most popular options include the Mercedes Sprinter van series or the RAM Promaster series. Another financial cost to consider is the cost of van conversion. You can either go with a professional van conversion company or a DIY van build, but it is another cost to keep in mind before committing to the van lifestyle.

Another common reason to live in a van is to travel. Over 50% of polled Americans responded that they had visited ten or fewer states. 

With so many world-class attractions and National Parks on one continent, van life becomes particularly appealing for those wanting to explore or take a long road trip. However, it’s important to note that the more you travel in your home-on-wheels, the more you’ll spend. With that said, most will tell you that traveling is a priceless experience.

2. Prepare for an Adjustment

Transitioning your living space from a house or condo to the back of a van is an enormous change. It’s more than moving from one home to another—it’s a complete lifestyle change. Showers become less frequent, space is suddenly more valuable, and public restrooms go from avoidable to essential.

The truth is, you can never fully understand how to live out of a van until you do it. Reading hundreds of blogs and watching videos can only take you so far, and while they’ll all tell you van living is an adjustment from regular life, the difference sometimes isn’t stressed enough.

With that said, change is also liberating. 

If you’re considering living in a van, you’re probably looking for a fresh start. In that case, the van lifestyle might be for you—just be prepared for a little shock.

3. Keep it Clean

With much less space than a typical home, messes can start to pile up in a van. When your bedroom is also your living room and office, clutter and garbage become even more noticeable.

Keeping your living space tidy is one of the keys to successful van living. A quick clean-up every day or two is recommended, alongside a deep clean every one to two weeks.

4. Find Reliable Income 

While van life is inexpensive compared to city living, there are still costs associated with living in a van. Unless you’re parking your home outside of your office, you’ll need to find another way to pay the bills while cruising around. There are three usual ways to do this:

  • Remote/freelance work – The ability to work from anywhere is one of the best parts of van life, and that means you’ll need a job that allows you to do that. Some 9-5 jobs might permit you to work remotely, but such a rigid schedule doesn’t always compliment the untethered van life. Better yet is freelance work, which lets you pick up projects as you need them (and when you have the time). Jobs such as copywriting, photography, and graphic design are just a few examples.
  • Seasonal employment – When you have mobility and flexibility, you can cross the country seeking temporary, seasonal work. In the summer, you can make money planting trees or picking fruit. In winter, you could work at a ski hill — or drive south to escape winter altogether and serve cocktails on the beach. Seasonal jobs are beneficial because they only last a few months, keeping you from staying in one place for too long.
  • Passive income – A stream of passive income allows you to live the van dweller lifestyle to the fullest since you’ll have to work very little. Dividends from shares or an investment portfolio can give you enough money to survive in a van year-round. And for homeowners, renting out your house while traveling in a van is an excellent way to make some cash and not have to sell your place.

5. Embrace Minimalism

When you own or rent a home, you typically have some extra room to store things. A van doesn’t have that luxury.

That’s why the minimalist lifestyle is your best friend when living in a van. Keep only the things you’ll need on a day-to-day basis, and consider transferring the rest to a storage unit. That way, if you get tired of the nomadic lifestyle or want to settle in your hometown for another six months before heading out again, you’ll have all of your furniture and keepsakes.

Ultimately, the more room you have in your van for personal space — and storing adventure gear — the better.

Storage Solutions for Van Life

If you’re eager to pack up your belongings, buy yourself a four-wheeled home and start full-time van life, you’re not alone. But you can’t take everything from your old apartment with you.

That’s where we come in.

At Price Self Storage, we’re all about living your life uncluttered. Price Self Storage has many different storage sizes to fit any need. Give us a call today, and we’ll help you store your prized possessions while you experience the wonders of van dwelling. You’ll be glad you have the extra space in your van!

Sources: 

Forbes. Percentage Of Americans Who Never Traveled Beyond The State Where They Were Born? A Surprise. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2019/05/02/percentage-of-americans-who-never-traveled-beyond-the-state-where-they-were-born-a-surprise/?sh=7104ddcb2898