The number of people living in their cars is rising fast, and it’s not just a passing craze. According to the New York Times, the number of people sleeping in their vehicles has almost doubled in the past seven years. Some call it “Van Life,” and others are just living in their cars because they have no other choice. The fact is, the economy is a mess, and despite endless promises of things getting better, they don’t seem to be improving.
The idea of living on the road isn’t new. In fact, it’s been romanticized in countless movies, songs, and books. But now, a new generation is embracing the nomadic lifestyle, whether it’s by design or by necessity. Whether you’re a millennial taking a gap year before going to graduate school, or you live in a city with a sky-high cost of living, the appeal of living out of a van is undeniable. You can save a ton of money, embark on adventures, and live a more simplified lifestyle.
What is the Rise of Van Life?
The rise of the #vanlife movement has been the subject of much discussion within the past year, and with good reason: it’s a relatively affordable way to pay less rent, travel more, and meet new people. But while many think that this life is all about spending time in the wilderness, it’s actually much more than that. If you’re thinking about giving van life a try, but you’re not sure where to start, here are some things to keep in mind.
A few years back, it was hard to imagine living in a van. Then it became the new best thing and millennials, in particular, have taken a shine to van life: the trend of living in a van instead of a traditional home. Now, the movement is seeing a surge in popularity and is attracting a diverse group of people.
The rise of van life is a relatively new phenomenon, with roots in the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This was a time when the cost of living was relatively low, especially compared to prices today. Many young people were increasingly disenchanted with the consumerist culture of modern life. As a result, many craved a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle and viewed driving a van and living in it as an adventure.
Traveling in a van is like traveling with a best friend. Vans are perfect for adventure, and there are millions of people in the world who choose to do so. The reasons are many, and they may change throughout your travels, but here are a few to get you started.
The first is safety. In a van, you have a large metal box surrounding you and your possessions. It’s not like staying in a hotel; the van is where you sleep, shower, cook, and sometimes even work. You don’t need to worry about anything happening to your valuables because they are right by you.
Much like the “tiny house” craze, the “van life” movement is an offshoot of the back-to-basics, sustainable living movement. Like a tiny house, a van is a small dwelling, one with wheels, to be exact. It’s the ultimate minimalist’s dream come true. But unlike tiny houses, which are typically purchased, built, and parked in a private lot, vans are typically used for full-time living. Those who practice van life usually live in one of three ways: “park and kip,” which means parking in a secluded area and sleeping in the van overnight; “van camp,” which means parking in a public area for a few days at a time; and “van dwell.”
The rise of van life in the last decade is connected to more than just the desire for a little more room. Sure, the average van conversion is bigger than most apartments, but the deeper reason people are choosing to live out of a vehicle is that it helps them live a life they love. Many have found that living out of a van allows them to enjoy the things they love without having to compromise on space, comfort, or even a traditional sense of home.
The first thing you need to do is to choose the right van for your travels. No matter what type of van you choose, you should be thinking about how much space you will need for your belongings, whether you want your bed to fold away completely or if you want to have an area to cook in your van. If you’re planning to go with a motorhome, you can also choose to go with a smaller motorhome, with one or two bedrooms.