What we learned from 10 weeks living in a van

living in a van

You may have wondered why we have been a little quiet lately? Well it’s been a pretty busy time, because we are in the process of moving house. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as smooth as we had hoped! Due to reasons that make me too mad to discuss, we had to sell our existing property and move into our campervan until our new house had gone through. So we packed all our belongings into family garages, and headed to our local campsite for a bit of an adventure.
It sounds fun, right? And truth be told, it was, especially at the beginning. But as a few weeks slowly turned into 10 weeks, we began to see some of the pitfalls of #VanLife. So, we thought we would share what we learned from our 10 week adventure living in van. If you are planning an extended van adventure, hopefully this blog will provide you with a bit of insight!

What we learned from living in a van

You don’t need as much as you think

You really only need what you would normally take on a holiday, so remember to pack light. We took half the kitchen with us and it all stayed in boxes!

If you can find someone to do your laundry, do it!

Trekking to the laundrette every week is a real pain, so if you can find a local laundry service (or even better, a very kind family member) then we definitely recommend splashing out.

Stay somewhere with good campsite showers

If you are going to be in your van for a long time, a good shower is a must. Look for a campsite that doesn’t have annoying push buttons and has room to get dressed without getting soggy. Or park up near your gym and really take advantage of that underuse membership!

Keep track of your money, you will be surprised what you save!

One of the great things about living in the van was looking at the savings go up. If you can find a cheap campsite then it’s usually a lot cheaper than rent and bills.

Get a canopy or event shelter for more space

Having something to mark your outside space next to your van makes it feel homelier and stops other people parking too close! Plus it gives you an extra bit of storage for your camp chairs, table, BBQ etc.

Invest in an internet dongle if your campsite doesn’t have Wi-Fi

You will soon find yourself using up your mobile data watching Netflix and YouTube! An internet dongle gives you a bit more usage and can easily link up to your laptop for a bigger screen.

You will get an enviable tan

You won’t realise it but you will find yourself sitting outside whenever it isn’t raining, and people will soon begin to notice your amazing tan!

It’s not like a holiday if you have to get up for work every day

Unfortunately, when you have to get up for work every day you will soon realise that it’s not like a holiday at all! More like a business trip in a 2 star hotel!

People have one of two reactions when you tell them you live in a van

People will either tell you how brave and great you are, or look down their noses in disbelief. Luckily, we found the second to be few and far between.

You nearly always have great neighbours

Since everyone else around you is on holiday, they are usually really happy. And you say good morning to at least 5 before you have even brushed your teeth!

You get much more time out in the fresh air

One of the best things about living in the van was the amount of time spent outside. Instead of lazing in front of the TV you will be outside with a good book round the BBQ.

Checking the weather forecast will become a daily activity

When you are living in a house you don’t always notice if it rains or drops a few degrees at night. But in a van, you will plan your life around the weather, so don’t be surprised to find yourself checking the forecast daily!

You are usually the topic of conversation with your friends

Whatever people’s opinions are of your newly found #VanLife, they will always want to talk about it, so be prepared for questions about showering, sleeping, eating and pretty much everything else!

 

We have now been in our new house for a couple of weeks, and are now pretty well settled into life inside four walls again. Surprisingly for the first couple of weeks we spent more time sitting outside in the garden than we did on the sofa – a force of habit I guess! We learned a hell of a lot while we were living in a van, and although it had its challenges, it will be 10 weeks we will likely never forget! And to those people who truly live the #VanLife – we applaud you!

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