For many people, there is no life like being on the open road, wandering from place to place. However, most people used to have to wait until retirement, after a lifetime of careful planning and saving, to enjoy such an existence.
But in today’s world of remote work, folks of all ages can set out on a life of travel and excitement. Unfortunately, many of them tend to jump the gun in their enthusiasm only to find out they aren’t properly prepared or equipped. To help with that, we came up with a few van life essentials needed to make your long-term (or permanent) road trip everything you want it to be.
Research the Different Types of Vans Available
The first thing you will want to get right before taking off for the open road is the van. After all, this isn’t just going to be your transportation; it’s going to be your home, too. Here are four of the most common vans used in this nomad lifestyle:
- Sprinter Van
- Cargo Van
- High-Top Conversion Van
- Class B Camper Van
Look for Remote Work
Unless you are a trust fund baby or recently won the lottery, you will most likely still need to earn some kind of a living. Fortunately, in this digital age of working from home (or the road), there are a lot of options available. A few van life essential gigs include:
- Web developer/designer
- Social media manager
- Virtual assistant
And even if none of these particular jobs are suited for you, you can always find temp work or day labor in whatever city you happen to find yourself in.
Locate Safe Places to Park/Stay in the Evenings
Of course, no matter how much of an adventurer you are, you will want to make sure that you are someplace safe before bedding down for the night.
This is at the very top of the van life essentials playbook. Not every place that looks accommodating to your van is a good place. Here are a few suggestions:
- Truck stops
- RV parks
- National parks/campsites
- Van/RV-Friendly parking lots
Pack What You Will Need (and Some Things Just in Case)
This is one of those times where it’s ok to pack a little extra than you need (as long as you have room). Of course, if you have a fully customized travel van then you may not need all of these:
- Cooking stations (electric burners/stoves, propane burners/stoves)
- Sleeping items (air mattress, sleeping bag, fold-out beds)
- Portable heat source
- Water containers
- First aid and kit and backup medications
Connect with Other Digital Nomads to Learn More Van Life Essentials
There is no reason to be a hermit just because you live in a van! Between social media and all the people you will run into at various rest stops and RV parks, you can learn a ton about van life and all the hacks that go with it.
Follow people online who share your interests and get involved in the comments and threads of popular nomad sites. There is so much valuable information out there and any of it could help amplify your journey.