Van Life

Also called Vanwelling (a compound of the words «van» and «dwelling») is a lifestyle of living full- or part-time in a vehicle, typically a van that has been modified with basic amenities, such as house batteries, solar panels, a bed, storage space…

This idea of seeking freedom, self-sufficiency, and mobility without paying for a conventional stationary house makes a lot of travelers and Vandwellers live this lifestyle by choice. Although this term implies living in a van, many types of vehicles may be used for it, like buses (even school buses), travel trailers, and mobile homes.


The vandwelling lifestyle can allow for significant autonomy and a lower cost of living than having a mortgage or an arrangement. Also, they are free to travel as much or little as they would like.

An ideal notion of the Van Life is presented on Instagram using the hashtag #vanlife. Foster Huntington was the first user of this hashtag and he popularized it. Since that time, a romanticized vision of the vandwelling lifestyle has continued to flourish on social media. 

Many of the photos include idyllic natural scenery, either framed by the open back doors of the van, or with the van prominently visible in the landscape. Others feature spotless, stylized interior views of the living space. 


The toilet. There are some options for this. The first one, and personally the one that I like the most, is to use a portable toilet bowl and empty the content from time to time in an enabled place to it. The second option is to use public toilets and the third one is to use nature as your own toilet (of course always being respectful with the environment).

The shower. There are also some options to take a shower in a van. The most common one is to use natural places, such as lakes, rivers, beaches… You can also use public showers in places like gyms, swimming pools, or beaches. And the third option is to install a portable shower in your van to be able to take a shower whenever and wherever you want. (The last one looks way more comfortable, right?).

Cooking in a van. This aspect is actually very variable since you can prepare easy things like sandwiches, cereals… but you can also choose to eat more elaborate things, but in that case, you will need some additional devices or choose the option of eat in a restaurant. You have a lot of options to eat in your van while traveling.

Portable gas ovens would be a fantastic idea to save space and to cook some simple things (but you should not use them inside the van because it could be dangerous).

Public barbecues are located in some areas that are also adapted to park the van for take a rest and, in that case, you will have more freedom to cook more complex things. Some of these barbecues are located in public parks and you can also use them for free.

The last option is to buy food that does not need to be cooked or they are already cooked.

Some advice more for cooking in a van is to have your own cookware and some canned food. However, if you can afford a refrigerator and a microwave, you can install them inside your van, and it will make your Van Life easier.

Lights and electricity. This goes from using just a lantern when you need it, to have a 12 volts electric installation in your van to make work all the electronic devices you may have. There are some 12 volts electric systems powered by solar energy.

The fuel. It is an indispensable aspect to travel with a van. You should be sure that you have enough to arrive at the nearest fuel station. Sometimes people have extra fuel, but that is better for travelers who want to go to isolated areas.


Van Life might not be as comfortable as we all are used to be, but it es clearly such an amazing experience for those ones who love nature and travel. A lot of people also modified their own vans with their family, friends, or boyfriend, and in my opinion, create moments like those ones is what really makes you grow as a person.