The simple life just might be the key to happiness. Especially for those of us who love being outdoors, traveling and embracing new adventures. If you have thought about trying out VanLIfe here are a few things you should know before you hit the road.

Living in a van isn’t all glamour like the pictures online show. It looks sooooo relaxing, sitting in a comfy bed, sipping morning coffee in the back of the van with the back door open to a glorious view of the ocean or mountains. First of all, you have know how to maintain your van. Most VanLifers can’t afford to ride the van into the shop every time is squeaks and creaks some weird way. And with the miles you will be putting on it, you should know and expect to fix a flat, check and fill the oil, check and fill the water. And then there are the goodies that were added on to make it a cool ride. Solar racks, kitchen appliances, mechanics to move things around in the van, all might need some maintenance. Don’t expect VanLife to be free.

Many of the articles you will read about VanLife boast of having the world as your backyard, Well, thats not really true. You will have lots of options but you still have to do some planning. Campsites do still have fees, but some VanLifers find rest stops or parking lots. Often, because it is a connected group, they plan  and stay in the same area, especially if there is a festival or concert going on. But what about showers and WiFi? Of course coffee shops and many fast food restaurants now offer free wifi so you will have to plan your trips around that if you work or need WiFi for any other reason. It might be prudent to invest in a cell phone plan with a hotspot so that you don’t have to worry about it. As for showers, look into a long-term membership with the YMCA or discount gym that operates nation wide. Remember, the van is a small space, so showers are a must!

A lot of what we read brags about adventure. Most of the time you will experience life’s small pleasures. Necessities like a your favorite shoes, a flashlight, knife or thermos will suddenly take on new value. Watching the sun go down after a long day at the beach is a pleasure most non VanLifers don’t get very often. Those are the times you will cherish, especially if you can share it with a loved one.

 

Article originally published on Tower.life