Van crossing the Midwest highway

Don’t Jump Straight Into the Van Life Without Doing These Things First

The modern definition of a home has changed, and no longer is it limited to the confines of four walls or a specific property that you bought a while back attached with a mortgage. Today, countless people have made their constant traveling lifestyles work, and more dynamic patterns of daily schedules are resurfacing, especially the ever-enticing van life.

Sadly, however, the same people jumping on the trend of living off a van and seeing the world from the driver’s seat are doing so haphazardly, and even if the first few weeks feel like bliss, they go through more blunders than they should. Thus, to help increase awareness and equip more people with the right knowledge and tools to make the van lifestyle work, we’ll be going over a quick and efficient checklist to evaluate just how ready you are for this next chapter.

#1 Don’t Just Choose Any Van
large van crossing the highway

Just because the concept emphasizes living in a van, you shouldn’t just choose the cheapest or the most accessible one you can find because let’s not forget that you’ll be staying in this vehicle for the vast majority of your day, be it rain or shine. Therefore, it is necessary to match some of the car features you want with your available budget and destinations you plan on seeing on your journey.

  • What Fits Your Budget?

    There are various van-life cars constantly being promoted from your cargo builds to those that tread the silver lining between a van and a recreational vehicle. But, going with either the cheapest or most expensive isn’t a realistic way of making a purchase decision. Luckily enough, van life is all about growing and evolving with your van, so even standard models will have a lot to offer given enough time. Plus, don’t shy away from new RAM pick-up trucks for sale or SUV models because attaching a camper or trailer is very popular, too.

  • What Places Do You Plan on Visiting?

    Besides budget, your destination and the type of terrain you’ll be dealing with should play a crucial role in how you go about choosing the perfect van for you. For example, if you still plan to drive in and out of city streets and roads, van models typically on the larger end become quite difficult to maneuver. Furthermore, for those leaning toward an off-grid lifestyle, vans well-known for needing regular professional maintenance might not be the best-suited option.

#2 Staying Healthy on the Road Is Important

Vans are great for seeing the world and matching your lifestyle with a more compact home, but when it comes to staying healthy, you’ll find yourself going the extra mile. Unlike an actual apartment or house, you don’t necessarily have extra space to spare for exercise equipment. Plus, there’s also your food situation, and unless you have one of the more flagship vans, kitchens aren’t a basic feature.

  • How’s Your On-the-Go Cooking Like?

    If you’re a big fan of experimenting with your dishes and trying new recipes like baking your first cinnamon roll or trying something exotic from the Mediterranean, expect on-the-go cooking to be a complete 180-degree turn. Remember, you won’t get access to all the specific kitchen tools and equipment that make food preparation a breeze, so you’ll have to be more creative with your meal planning. That being the case, we’d recommend getting in some practice ASAP.

  • How Do You Approach Exercise?

    For those planning to stay near metropolitan areas and major cities, getting a gym membership with branches across different states is an easy way of squeezing in some exercise with van life. However, if you prefer destinations that won’t have any nearby gym facilities, then it’s time you get into the habit of calisthenics and running. These two are your best bet at staying active while on the go, so don’t give yourself too hard of a time thinking about it.

#3 Money Can Be Tight, but Budget Is King

Now we understand why a lot of people might associate big savings with the van life since you’re not allocating a huge chunk of your income to mortgage payments and utilities, but that doesn’t mean living in a van doesn’t have its challenges as well. And depending on what your money situation is looking like, going over expenses can be tight if you don’t have any leeway for unexpected events.

  • Any Alternative Sources of Income?

    Apart from the primary career that lets you work from anywhere or a small business that you’re operating online, it doesn’t hurt to add a few additional sources of income through freelancing or investing. You never know what type of upgrades, maintenance, or fixes your van will need in the future, and you wouldn’t want to be caught lacking in funds when they happen. Furthermore, dealing with buyer’s remorse is a lot take when you don’t have the space to vent, so being extra careful with your money is important.

Proper Preparation Creates a Sustainable Van Lifestyle

Overall, just like everything else in this world that’s worth investing your time and effort, proper preparation is what creates sustainable success. Therefore, before you jump the gun on switching over to the van lifestyle, don’t forget to go over the details mentioned above to set you on the right foot for everything else to come.


Jimmy Carson

Jimmy is a lifelong car and motorcycle enthusiast with a deep passion for the world of automobiles. As a seasoned rider and automotive expert, Jimmy has spent years exploring the open roads, testing vehicles, and sharing his knowledge with fellow enthusiasts. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Jimmy's articles are informative, engaging, and insightful. Whether he's reviewing the latest models, sharing tips for maintenance and customization, or recounting his exhilarating travel adventures, Jimmy's writing captures the essence of the automotive world and inspires readers to embark on their own unforgettable journeys.

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