Instagram has seen rise to an awful lot of niches. Some are as broad as travel, others are as niche as poverty porn, but none has been quite so emphatic as the bohemian social media movement known only as #vanlife. Mmm hmm. What started off for some as an innocent attempt to enjoy a simpler way of life has become one of the most enviable lifestyle brands out there, the kind that doesn’t need filters to sell it.
It is one of the most tempting forays you could ever get into. Of course, nothing is as simple as it looks, especially not a simpler life. So, if this is something that takes your fancy, then you may want to read on because the rest of this post is dedicated to avoiding the common mistakes.
Here is a brief overview of what you will want to know:
You Need A Van Not A Plan
This is the most crucial part of your initiation and which van you choose can have a big impact on the lifestyle that follows – both in terms of money, space and comfort. As a rule of thumb, you want to go with something used and something that offers you enough space without it being a hassle to park. Don’t restrict yourself, though. Have a look at somewhere like truckdealersaustralia.com.au and get creative. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you convert a truck. We’re talking serious space. We’re talking seriously unique. That’s what Instagram wants.
Pack Light. Really Light.
The smaller the van the bigger your small stuff will look. It is really debilitating. It makes your living space a black hole. First off, don’t pack anything you didn’t use excessively before. Salad spinner? Nope. What you want is 2 bowls, 2 mugs, 2 forks, 2 pillows and a set of sheets, a sharp knife, a picnic table, a frying pan, saucepan, set of utensils, 2 camping chairs, a hammock, books, blankets, a few outfits and then your favourite foods.
Join A Gym. A Big One.
There is just no better place to go for a shower than a lovely clean gym with wonderful facilities. It’s the one expense that is well worth paying a premium for. Of course, you need to make sure they have locations everywhere across the country and that your membership covers you for them all but, yeah, it’s so worth the extra pennies.
Only Buy A To Be Food
Nothing is going to crush your morale more than seeing your gorgeous fresh veggies wilt inside your can-slash-truck. That is why you shouldn’t go overboard when you find a store. Just buy enough to get you to the next destination. You can eat really healthy, simple meals this way, and save yourself a bunch of dollars.
Pick Your Rest Stops
Knowing where you are going to sleep is a must-have bit of information. We’re not talking about your sleeping quarters, we’re talking about where in the world. Campsites, beaches, parking lots, RV parks. You’ll find this is what a lot of #vanlife travellers do and that makes it great for a) meeting other people and b) getting ideas on how to better improve your van situation.