Vanlife is a very exciting, alternative, and somewhat radical way to live. Being on the road full-time, with only the inside of your van for comfort and security, is certainly as risky as it is liberating. As much as vanlife has been glorified on social media, the truth of the matter is that it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Some people simply want or need more stability in their life, and that’s totally fine! Especially, because you can experience vanlife temporarily, by renting from Rocky Mountain Camper Vans.
In fact, renting a van for a week or two is a great way to figure out if Vanlife is truly something you’d potentially like to step into. Here are a few other important things to consider, when it comes to peeking over the edge of that potential leap into the van camping lifestyle, or if maybe you should just take a temporary van camping trip with a Rocky Mountain Camper Van rental.
Do you relish the comforts of home?
Some people are homebodies, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Certainly there is tremendous comfort in having a stationary home, Netflix, a full kitchen, a big fluffy bed. Not everyone is meant for the minimalist lifestyle involved in vanlife, so the first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is: just how important are the comforts of home to your well-being?
Are you the type of person who is always itching to get out and about? Do you consider your home mostly a place to eat and sleep, but derive more joy from being out among people or nature? Then it could be that the vanlife is for you. However, if you get homesick even over a weekend of camping, I think you already know the answer.
Are you spontaneous?
One thing about vanlife is, you don’t always have everything planned out, and even when you do, it’s not always going to go according to your plans. Are you the kind of person who gets nervous if things don’t go as expected? Or are you more the spontaneous type who is down to roll with the punches, and take it in stride? It’s definitely the latter sort that will do well in vanlife.
Imagine being on the road, and suddenly there’s a lot of traffic, so you’re running behind by an hour or two. Then, when you get part of the way to your campground destination, you discover that the road which takes you there is actually closed for the season, but your navigation didn’t know that. It becomes clear you aren’t going to be able to make it to campground you already reserved for the night, and you have to find somewhere else to park. There are no Wal-Marts or similar big box stores within range, in this remote area, so you decide to find the nearest gas station, and ask the attendant if they know of anywhere you could park overnight.
If the above situation sounds nerve-racking to you, you might want to reconsider if vanlife will be for you. While it’s not going to happen all the time, you should expect to run into a lot of situations like that. You have to be ready to roll with the punches.
How particular are you about hygiene?
The vanlife is more comfortable than living out of a tent, but you are still essentially camping full time. As we all know from camping, you gradually get dirtier and dirtier. Of course, you can and should clean yourself and your van, but you will inevitably have a more wind-swept, dusty existence, if you live out of a van full time, for months and months. So, how important is it to you to always be squeaky clean?
Can you wear the same clothes over and over?
There’s not a lot of space in a van, and so you’ll have to have a pretty limited set of clothing you bring with you. We’re talking probably 5-7 of your base layer of tshirts, socks, and undies, 2-3 pairs of pants, a layer for each level of temperature, and assorted minimal accessories. So, if you’re the kind of person who would be bothered by having essentially one week’s wardrobe indefinitely, you might want to consider a more temporary van camping adventure.
How about that money?
You will certainly have to make money while living on the road, and this can be done via remote income (working from your computer), or working seasonal jobs as you go. There are actually more and more ways to have remote income, these days, so if you think the whole digital nomad thing is only for people with fancy coding and IT skills, you might be surprised. There are customer service jobs, freelance writing gigs, sales and telemarketing, and all sorts of other ways to make money from your computer.
That being said, this will be something you should definitely figure out before hitting the road. You don’t want to get out there coasting on savings, and start having so much fun that you don’t get your income situation figured out.
Are you a people person?
Actually, I think either the introvert or extrovert life can work, for vanlife. If you want to keep to yourself, you can be a total hermit, but also if you are great at meeting people, there will be plenty of opportunities at campgrounds. And with the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with the people you meet along the way. However, it is noteworthy that if it’s important to you to have a set of friends who you see on a regular basis, this may be severely lacking for you, in full-time vanlife.
What’s the verdict?
All things considered, is the van life for you? Personally, I love going for van camping adventures, but I also love the comforts of my home, and my community. That’s why it’s so great that there are luxury camper van rentals available, or you can try it out first.