0 Comments on “Accessories”

  1. Merry Christmas Jess and Greg!! We miss you this Christmas but look forward to spending time with you when your travels bring you back around again.

  2. Hi Jessica, Great post. I am spending a great deal of time planning a “micro house” trailer to pull with my Jeep and these tips were very helpful. I liked the tip about the collapsible buckets – I went to the Colapz website and they have many cool products. https://colapz.co.uk/
    The shower solution was completely new to me. I had no idea something like that existed. I have a Nemo Hilio for camping. It is nice, but not as fancy as your product. https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/helio-shower/
    And the harbor freight moving blanket converted to a insulated black out curtain with rare earth magnets was brilliant. Love using what we have vs buying more things. Well done,

    Have fun and keep posting.

    • Thanks Greg – you found some great options as well! It is great that tiny/minimalist living is gaining momentum and there are more products coming to market everyday! Take care, Jess & Greg

  3. Awesome! and also funny a bit!!

    I never experienced van life as it is not very popular in my country, especially due to safety reasons. But I always dream to enjoy this exciting travel experience.

    You have highlighted several negatives of van life, few are pretty funny (smell from dirty feet, F-word, pooping in scenic nature), and these are really tough to tolerate for 18 months long. Taking shower irregularly is a big deal. I personally feel headache if I don’t take shower at least once a day unless it’s extreme cold.

    But for a 7-15 days van life, these all are tolerable, which I am looking for.

    Thank you for sharing such an awesome description of your personal experience.

    • Thanks Dr. SD, it’s great to hear perspective on travel from people in other areas. I imagine it would be a completely different experience in a place where safety is a concern. We’ve only felt unsafe a few times and we just drove somewhere else. A lot of people prefer to take showers more frequently, and there are definitely moments where I wish I could!
      Thanks for reading along!

  4. wow what a great read. A great and unique article for once

    I have never thought of living in a van because I am scared something might happen while I am out there alone. Are you never scared of this?

    The farting part made me really laugh. it is indeed something you can never run away from lol.

    • Thanks so much! We have definitely had experiences where we felt unsafe, but the beauty of living in a van is that we can just drive somewhere else. Most places we travel are very safe and we enjoy finding campsites where we can be alone.

      Thanks again for reading along!

  5. Great post!
    I have always been interested in van living and you gave a lot of helpful information.
    Researching a lot will always give you more information and help you be prepared for a purchase, especially a bigger one such as a van.
    There is so much freedom with this kind of life. It sounds like you guys made the right decision to go with the van you bought as opposed to the other options.
    I look forward to learning more about van life from this site.
    Thanks for all the useful information!

    • Thanks so much, we are happy to share our journey and hope that the information is helpful for others! Choosing a new van can be a huge task, but one that is worth it in the end.

      Thanks for reading along!
      Greg & Jess

    • Hey Tyler! Thanks for reading along, we’re glad it was an interesting article for you!

      Greg & Jess

  6. That van is like a small camper. Would a camper be better or worse mileage? It just seems like it would be roomier. It’s cool that one van can have so many perks. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Cathy, that’s a great question! Most campers are larger and will get worse gas mileage, but we’ve met some people with small ones that are similar. A lot of campers are much roomier, but we like that the van is the same size as a full-size truck and can fit in a normal parking space without issue. Although, I’ll admit, a little more space would be nice sometimes!

      Jess & Greg

  7. Wow, that makes me want to go back on my motorbike again. I miss that thing. Anyway, great post, and I have considered traveling on a motorcycle for significant distances like across Australia. I haven’t thought about putting it on the back of a van. What a great device, though, and the fact that you can leave it all attached when you open the doors is excellent. I wrote that same bike around Sri Lanka, and they are a lot of fun. Especially on the beaches πŸ™‚ I think it is worth spending a bit of money on the carrier just for piece of mind and all… I lost a trailer with my motorbike on it on the freeway once. Wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone πŸ™‚ Happy travels!

    • Thanks for reading along, Hendrik! You sound like you’ve had an adventure or two! Sri Lanka on a motorbike would be an epic trip, what an amazing opportunity.
      We do love bringing our motorbike along with us. It is a total game changer!
      Happy travels to you as well!
      Jess & Greg

  8. Back in 2010, I went up the east coast from Knoxville, TN to New York City just to visit different places on the east coast. I did this in a Subaru Baja. I wish I had your van back them. Much more spacious and looks like it would be great for sleeping in. Thanks for the information.

    • Hi Bob, thanks for reading along! The trip you did in your Subaru sounds really fun! It would definitely be more spacious in a van, especially since we can sleep in it. We would love to drive along the East Coast one day. Maybe next summer or 2021! The list of places we want to visit just keeps getting longer πŸ™‚

      Jess & Greg

  9. Great review of the mototote mtx motorcycle carrier. It looks like it’s made of good quality. I really like the loading ramp and the fact that it comes with everything except the tie downs.

    • Thanks Karen, I am so glad that it was a helpful and informational review for you. It is a really nice unit and we are super happy with it.

      Jess & Greg

  10. I loved your article. The whole story with the travel, can, using the motorcycle, camping made me feel like I was there.

    I envy your traveling lifestyle and especially using the motorcycle for convenience and in remote areas. What a convenient way to carry the motorcycle too.

    • Thank you for reading Brian, it is so nice to hear that you enjoyed our review! We certainly feel very grateful to live this way and love the freedom that the motorcycle gives us. The MotoTote makes it so easy to bring along that we wouldn’t have it any other way!

      Jess & Greg

  11. Excellent article about van life and the motorcycle tote review. I can definitely see the appeal of having a motorcycle tote on the back of a van or small RV. It would be nice to park the van or RV at a campsite and go exploring on a motorcycle with some off road capability. The price point did not seem outrageous to me at all. In fact, I thought it would be higher. Definitely something to consider for anyone that travels a lot with their vans. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Tom – that is great to hear that our review of the MotoTote MTX Motorcycle Carrier was helpful for you. We love being able to set up camp and then just take the motorcycle out to explore! I suppose cost is all relative, so I am glad to hear that you didn’t think it’s too expensive. We certainly feel that the quality of the rack is worth every penny!

      Jess & Greg

  12. Great post.

    I am glad you are warning people about not getting into debt just because of a car or van.

    I know this because I have gone through owning a car where I had to worry about monthly installments.

    I can only imagine how worse this would be if I am living full time in a van.
    On a site note I really love the Promaster especially since you said it accelerates very quick.

    • Thank you! Debt can be so suffocating, I hope you were able to work through your car payment and get it off of your shoulders! We wouldn’t have so much freedom if we had debt with our lifestyle. The Promaster is great, almost feels like your driving a regular car sometimes. Until you realize it’s actually pretty big!

      Take care,
      Jess & Greg

  13. From the description it sounds like a good sturdy device that will help with traveling around with a heavy duty back on the back of the van.Also another good reason to have the back on the back of the truck or van will be good back up vehicle in case of emergencies.

    • Thanks for reading along Erick! Yes, you are right about that. It would be a great backup plan in case the van gets stuck! We have been stuck before we had the motorcycle and had to wait for someone to come along with a truck and pull us out. Hopefully never again!

      Jess & Greg

  14. Hello,

    This is really great. I was wondering how van-life looks like because I always wanted to try it. I live in Germany and having a van like this dodge ram Promaster. I loved the idea this van has a relatively big space inside with good hight.

    However, I have my concerns regarding its cons, I understand most of them are common among cargo van’s owners but still, I have my doubts to be able to handle such problems such as Transmission Fluid and clearance. Anyways, I love this cargo van.

    Thank you very much for this amazing review, it is amazing to see all these details with your honest opinion and experience using it.

    • It is true with any vehicle that there are odd little things you have to take care of, for sure! SO far, we’ve been able to manage those with the Promaster, but I understand why that would be something to make you cautious about owning one. Vanlife in Germany would be such a great experience! It really is a great way to live, as long as you have places to sleep at night that are legal and safe.

      Thanks for reading along!
      Jess & Greg

  15. Hi Jessica,

    I am in love with your website and I respect what you guys do!
    I have never traveld with a campervan but let’s say that it’s a dream of mine that I want to accomplish one day.
    New Zealand is a magic destination for hikers and backpackers and this article proves it.
    Thanks for the valuable insights.

    • Hi Asen, thank you so much for reading along! New Zealand really is an amazing place, I am glad to hear you are hoping to go there one day. I encourage everyone we talk to about it to go. The coolest thing about New Zealand is the variety of landscapes. You can go from the beach to a glacier in a day, how crazy is that?!

      Jess & Greg

  16. What a thorough and informative review of Dodge Ram Promaster Cargo Van.
    I liked the way you explained things and the sincerity you have in your review.
    As you so rightly said, go into debt to buy a van. Yes, I think this applies to all areas of life.
    When I read the pros and cons of I noticed that despite everything, the Dodge Ram Promaster Cargo Van seems to be perfect for a vanlife adventure; except the fact that the clearance is low.

    • Hey Sebastian, thanks for reading! Yes, you are right that the clearance is pretty much the only downfall of the Promaster. Otherwise it is the perfect vanlife vehicle! We have really enjoyed it so far. After living in it full time for over a year and a half, we feel like we’ve worked out all of the kinks. It’s a great little home on wheels!

      Jess & Greg

  17. The F-word is brilliant. That made me laugh out loud. I didn’t notice it so much when I was traveling in my Van around Australia, because the windows are always open, it’s just too hot otherwise.
    I get what you mean with the clutter, and I find boxes work best for me. Even if you have to move a box around it feels more organized, unless you open the box πŸ˜‰
    Have you thought about just wearing flip flops in the shower and around? I know they can keep your feet cleaner a little longer.
    The worst thing in my van-life was that I couldn’t stand up completely, but that kept me more outside,, which was nice too, I guess. Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh right, standing up all the way is critical to our happiness in the van! Greg is 6’2″ and it was essential that we bought a van he could stand up in. But it makes sense that it would keep you outside more, which is partially the goal anyway, right?! We should shower with shoes on, that would probably help!
      Thanks for reading along!
      Jess & Greg

  18. Thanks for sharing these ideas! I’m not Van Lifer myself but I nurture the lifestyle, kind of. Very cool site! πŸ™‚ What would be your top recommendation for this list?

    • Thanks for reading Ivan! We already own most of this stuff and that’s why we recommend it. Our favorite things to receive as gifts are the “extra” things that we don’t really need, but we kind of want. But because we live so minimally, we rarely treat ourselves to those things. The beanies, hats, and warm socks are a good example. We already have those things, but a nice quality one would be a good upgrade from what we have πŸ™‚

      Thanks for reading along!
      Jess & Greg

  19. Hi there, this is quite an extensive list! I didn’t know some of these items existed so you certainly taught me some new things. I like the collapsible bucket and dish tub. These provide great ways to maximize space as that is key when living with space constraints that is experienced in van life.

    • Hi, thanks so much for reading! I am glad that this post gave you some ideas for compact and minimal living. There’s a ton of great products out there that work for us and are essential to keeping our clutter down to a minimum. And they’ll work for small apartments and tiny homes too!
      Happy Travels!
      Jess & Greg

  20. Some great gift ideas for van life, and for many other applications. Anyone that travels in a van, RV, truck, or a car for that matter will find these gifts to be useful and timely. With the nice selection, there is something for everyone. I will have to bookmark this post for future buying considerations. Thanks for putting this together. Tom

    • Hi Tom! Thanks for reading along. You’re right, anyone traveling and enjoying the outdoors would appreciate these gift ideas. Happy Holidays!

      Jess & Greg

  21. WOW!

    These are great ideas. I love to go on camping like this in a van. With someone special it will be even more fun. What’s interesting is that the items you can buy to take with you without spending a lot of money.

    • It’s true, many of the items in our gift guides are not as expensive as you’d think. And a lot of these items are perfect for anyone traveling, not just van lifters! Happy Holidays!

      Jess & Greg

  22. Wow, I really love the idea of owning a van and going everywhere with it. I understand in the States and Europe countries it is common. But in Malaysia, we don’t practice that. But I would love to try, I also like what you say, don’t go into debt in pursuing a van life. It is my dream maybe one day when I am financially free, and I am able to work anywhere I want in the world, I will perhaps go for van life choosing a country in Europe. Thanks for the article πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I can see why vanlife wouldn’t be as popular in places like Malaysia. The weather is pretty hot and humid for it. Having financial freedom is a great goal to reach before vanlife. Once you have that, you will be able to travel so much easier! Thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

  23. Thank you for these insights!
    A few years ago I was nearly going to go into van life, because I found the constant moving around with rentals so tricky.

    Probably not the best perspective, and I had 2 children with me at the time. I do believe my research back then has stayed with me, so I’m keen to keep an eye on the possibilities and insights that people like you share!

    Great considerations … I hadn’t fully considered some of these aspects before!

    • Vanlife with kids would definitely be more complicated, but I’ve seen parents do it! It’s a great way to keep expenses down and have more financial freedom. Thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

  24. Thank you for some great ideas for van life.

    My girlfriend and I have been seriously thinking about becoming van-lifers and your article has been very helpful in deciding some of the things we will need to feel more secure when we are on the road.

    I am sure I will be visiting your site again for more ideas from experienced van-lifers like yourselves…. keep up the good work!

    • That’s awesome! It’s always great to meet aspiring vanlifers! We love living in a van and are happy to share our experience with others. Happy travels and thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

  25. I am not a van lifer but have thought about getting a caravan. Seeing all the wonderful things you can do these days makes me want to pack my trunks and go on a month’s hike anywhere. Some really inspiring ideas here. Thanks.

    • That sounds like a great idea! We have really enjoyed vanlife and love sharing it with others. It’s such a relaxing lifestyle, we recommend everyone trying it for at least a little bit. Thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

  26. Thank you for the nice and informative article!
    I’ve been thinking about getting a van for quite a while. I have 2 small kids, and that makes things a bit more complicated. What age do you recommend to take kids on a van trip?

    • Thanks for reading along! A van is a great way to travel with a family. The Ram Promaster is a great van and it’s less expensive than the Mercedes sprinter vans. Happy travels!

      Jess & Greg

  27. Hi, Drifter,

    What a nice read. You pinpoint several valid points to consider. Honestly, I had never thought of buying a van, but it seems like a good option. I usually travel with family and although we never go camping, I think we could all travel in one.

    I’d love to go on a road trip and I could even save up on the hotel.

    And yeah, I definitely agree with not getting into debt. That’s what I want to worry least while on the road.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Enrique, you’re right, we save so much money while traveling by staying in the van. It would be harder with a family, but I’ve seen people do it!
      Thanks for reading,
      Jess & Greg

  28. Shopping in Amazon is always fun. It is an all-in-one store, no wonder that they have items for travellers. These are a good choice of collections for people who travel in van or RV as a family. I love to get a guitar when I relax enjoying nature.

    • Thanks for reading! A travel guitar is a great gift for anyone. We have a travel guitar and 2 ukuleles and we love playing them when we’re out camping!

      Jess & Greg

  29. Hi,

    Loved your article and all your advice!

    I’m working towards making all my money online, with the aim to live full time in a van.

    Things like a shower and a fridge are really important to me.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of very good things about the mercedes sprinter van, but looking at them, they are very expensive.

    Do you have a favorite make of van?

    I’ve bookmarked you now, and I’ll be back πŸ™‚


    • Hi Judy, thanks for reading! It’s always nice to meet another aspiring vanlifer! We have been in our Ram Promaster for a year and a half and we love it. We couldn’t justify the expense of the Sprinter van. I have another blog Called How to Choose Your New Van that outlines why we decided to buy the Promaster.
      It’s a great van and we’re glad we bought it. Good luck in shopping for you van and feel free to reach out if you need any more help!

      Jess & Greg

  30. Hey, what a great post! Such wonderful suggestions. I don’t own a van myself, but I’ve got quite a few friends that do so there’s plenty of great suggestions for me to pass on to them. It’s amazing how much you can find for life on the road, thanks for a great read. I really like that you cut straight to the chase as well, I’m sure travellers all over the world will find these suggestions invaluable πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for reading! We always get questions about our van “essentials” so we thought a gift guide would be the perfect solution! There are tons of great items that help save space and are extra functional for vanlife. Thanks for sharing with your friends, we are so grateful!

      Jess & Greg

  31. I want to live the van life so bad. It is why I am doing Wealthy Affiliate.
    I love that you were so honest here. It is awesome!
    I am going to put my email – one because it is required but two because I would love to connect. Shoot me an email if you’re interested in chatting a little. Someone recently said that I should talk to people who actually live the van life before I venture out to do it! I was like woah what an incredibly profound idea hahaha duh I should do that.
    Yay, well look forward too hearing from you.

    • Hi Molly – it’s always great chatting with aspiring vanlifers! We really love this lifestyle and love sharing it with others as well. We’re happy to share anything that you’d like to know!

      Thanks for reading along,

      Jess & Greg

  32. That’s funny, my husband and I just talked about a road trip with a van!
    It will be our first time to travel with a van and I’m sure some mentioned products will definitely help us, especially the Camping Stove, the Jackery Portable Power Station and the Tred Pro Recovery Tracks.

    Thank you for sharing this post, your recommended items were very helpful for us to plan a road trip and it will be also very helpful for other vanlifer as well.

    • I am so glad that some of my suggestions are helpful to you. I hope you guys have a ton of fun on your road trip!

      Thanks for reading and happy travels!

      Jess & Greg

  33. Hello,

    The best time for presents during the year is coming and this post would be very useful for me.
    I have a couple of friends that are die-hard van lifers and I can choose a gift for them thanks to your guide.
    I particularly like the inflatable light. It’s super candy.

    • That’s great, I am glad that some of these items gave you good ideas for the holiday season. I hope your friends enjoy the gifts as well. Thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

  34. Dear Greg and Jess
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to take towards their healthy lifestyle – vanlife, outdoor adventure and travel. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Andrey, thanks so much for the kind words! We love living this lifestyle and enjoy sharing it with others!

    • That’s awesome, glad the gift guide covers the important things! We love our luci lights too!

      Jess & Greg

    • Those are definitely good items to have on your wish list! You can never be too prepared to get yourself unstuck!

  35. Hi, Jess and Greg,

    This is such an excellent list! Some of them could be nice gifts even if the recipient is not a traveler or someone who lives in a van. I might even include one on my wish list for my next gift exchange lol.

    The good thing with Amazon and all those online platforms is we can get what we need from the comfort of our homes. We don’t have to step outside.

    I will be looking into the list more carefully and see what I can get my parents for Christmas.

    Thanks for this this together. Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Enrique, thanks so much for the feedback! We love sharing this lifestyle with others and are so excited to hear that the gifts for vanlifers gift guide was helpful to you. Hopefully you get what you want from Santa this year! πŸ˜‰

      Jess & Greg

  36. This is great, especially if you are still looking for some Christmas presents for your drifter friends. I own a couple of luci lights and love them. The fact that they give back makes it even better.
    You didn’t mention a foldable shovel. That was always something I had in my van, for obvious reasons πŸ™‚

    • Hey Hendrik, that’s awesome that you like the holiday gift guide. We really like our Luci lights as well. The foldable shovel is also an essential of ours and we included it in our gift guide for under $50-$100. You know your adventure gear!

      Thanks for reading along,
      Jess & Greg

  37. This is great. I was never very aware of how much I spend during my time traveling in my van. I knew it was cheaper than renting or owning a house. I wonder if you could cut down on the gas, even more, when you use alternatives like running an engine on cooking oil, but I believe you can only do that with a diesel engine.
    Your phone bill seems high. I pay $40 for mine, and I even have 3 GB data. I did have to call them a couple of times to negotiate a better plan, but it’s worth checking, especially when the phone companies have new offers. Or it’s getting close to Christmas πŸ™‚
    All in all, it’s just amazing how much freedom van life brings, sure there are some sacrifices, but I think they make up for it when you can call anywhere you wake up your home. Cheers

    • Thanks for reading! Now that we’ve done this analysis, we’re definitely going to find a way to cut costs here and there. Our gas costs were much higher than expected because we traveled so much. You are 100% right when you say that the ultimate reward for this lifestyle is the freedom we have!

      Jess & Greg

  38. What an amazing way to be able to travel and see the country. One thing that I was wondering was how much did it cost to get the van all set up for living in it for that long? I can imagine that there might be a lot of added costs up front to get it all set. Looks like fun for sure. One other question is do you park at campgrounds to sleep or just find a parking lot. Would be cool to do but with two kids a can would be way to small for sure. We have been looking into a bigger camper to be able to travel but the costs we were unsure of and now I have a baseline to go off. Thank you for all the great info and I hope you continue to enjoy life on the road.

    • Hi Douglas, thanks for reading! You make a great point, there was definitely a large upfront cost for the van and the conversion itself. I will probably write another blog post dedicated specifically to that since so many people ask! We typically try to find free camping in the woods, but will sleep at a truck stop or WalMart parking lot if we can’t find anything else. We try hard not to pay for campgrounds because we don’t really use the facilities! I know traveling with a family is a whole different ball game and it makes sense that you would be looking for a bigger camper. Ideally, you can find a camper that fits your family, and cut costs in other ways. Everyone is different though!
      Happy travels and maybe we’ll see you on the road sometime!

      Jess & Greg

  39. Thanks for a very interesting and well-written article. I have thought about buying or renting a van someday and travelling with it at least for a few months. This article provides great information for budgeting!

    • Thanks for reading along and I’m glad this was a helpful article for you! Happy travels!

      Jess & Greg

  40. Hi, Jess and Greg,

    I loved reading your article. It gave me more insight into what vanlife budgeting is like.
    I do have experience budgeting for house expenses or traveling, but I had no idea what it would be like for vanlife. I’m not that adventurous, but it’s always good to know.
    You covered some important points above and I’m pretty sure they will help whoever is interested in it.
    It’s important to prepare for the unexpected as things don’t always go as planned. Thanks for reminding us of that.
    I will share this with my friends. Thanks for writing this up.

    • Hi Enrique, thanks for reading! You are right, it is similar to budgeting for living in a home, but different in a few aspects! You gave such a unique perspective and we appreciate your feedback!

      Jess & Greg

  41. Thanks for putting this budget for vanlife together. I am planning on doing this in the future with our little one and drive across America, following the sun. To be honest I am only now learning about budgeting. They don’t teach this stuff at school, so you got to teach yourself.
    Compared to living in a house it seems quite a bit cheaper. I think we will put our house on Airbnb and then hit the road for a year. That way we still got some money coming in and get to offset some of the cost.
    Great advice and I am going to set up an account and start saving πŸ™‚

    • It’s very unfortunate that they don’t teach how to budget in school. Living in a van is quite a bit cheaper than a house, which makes it a lot easier to sustain as a lifestyle. I’m glad to hear that you’re planning a trip across America, that will be an epic adventure! Putting your house up is an awesome way to make a passive income, we have thought about rental properties as well. That seems like a smart way to go!

      Happy Travels,
      Jess & Greg

  42. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You for sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the building a budget for vanlife and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in detail.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)


  43. Wow, this post is gold! I had to save it in my bookmarked websites because I’ll want it when I decide to live this life for myself :).

    I never thought of buying a battery-generated water heater. That’s my favorite tip, followed closely by the Jackery Power Station. Thank you for writing such an informative post!

    • Hi Gabe – thanks for reading along, we are glad the information is useful to you! The portable hot water heater is priceless!

      Happy Travels,

      Jess & Greg

  44. Hi Jess & Greg,
    Wow, I envy you! Sounds like an awesome life you’ve built for yourselves.
    We are nearing retirement, and living on the road has crossed our minds. Unfortunately, we have other concerns living in Canada.
    For one, travelling down to the USA (which we would to visit our son in Texas) for months at a time cost a lot more when you add the exchange.
    Travelling around Canada only works from late spring to early fall as we get snow so early and it seems to last forever. Not much fun in that kind of weather.
    Maybe we’ll head to Bali like you did, lol.
    I really enjoyed your post, thanks again,

    • Hi Suzanne, thanks for the comment! It is definitely more expensive to travel in the US after the exchange. We know a few Canadian couples doing it, it just takes a little more planning and budgeting. The weather in the winter in Canada is certainly a deterrent to living on the road during that time of year. We find that most people are either winter sport enthusiasts, or they are snow birds that follow warm weather south. Bali is a very inexpensive option! I hope that you find happiness in whatever path you choose when you retire!

      Jess & Greg

  45. WOW! What a fantastic journey you are on. I have always dreamt of the traveling nomad lifestyle but never found my route to it, until recently. I currently have a full-time job working in AZ but spend every spare minute working towards my dream of traveling on a full-time basis. I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate to anybody looking to live this lifestyle. I wish you the very best of luck with it all.

    • Thanks Catherine, I completely agree! This lifestyle is great and we are incredibly happy! I hope you realize your goals of traveling full time very soon!

  46. I think it all depends on where you park. Some places cheap and others are exspensive. Nighty rates work out more expensive in the long run compared to a seasonal pass. Some people are happy staying somewhere for a few months at a time but others want to be somewhere different every night. It all depends on your preferences and planning.

    • HI Catherine, we couldn’t agree more! We definitely could have spent less if we stayed in one place for a longer period of time. I think over time, we will travel less miles and stop for longer periods more often.

  47. I have used nearly every item you recommend here – apart from the instant hot water heater. What a fantastic idea, being able to have a hot shower wherever you are! I must invest in one of these. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    • Aren’t all of these vanlife gadgets so neat? We love having a portable hot water heater. It makes all the difference when traveling full time. And then we don’t have to pay for a gym membership!

  48. I think you made an excellent choice, it is of a good size but still easy to park. Big vans are great to be inside but difficulties arise when finding places big enough to park it. All the very best.

    • Thanks! That’s exactly what we like about it! It’s not too big, not too small… It’s just right!

  49. The article is quite interesting. I always dream of this lifestyle for a long but I can’t find a way to do it. The most important issue is income. It’s difficult for me to make money if I live like that. I know nothing about that.

    Luckily I landed on your site. Your post really opens my eyes. I didn’t think of I can earn money in that way that supports my life on the road.

    I will bookmark your site and share it with all my friends. I think I have to read your little more time to digest the article better. It’s a good start for my life. Thank you so much. I believe your post can helps many people. Please keep sharing with us.

    • Hi CT, thanks so much for reading along. I am so happy to hear that my article was helpful to you and hope that you get to travel sometime soon!

  50. Very interesting, and informative article about vanlife and how to afford it. I have to say that I am envious. I know that I have the desire to live like this, but I suppose fear of not having enough income would be my greatest concern. I am only about 5 years away from retirement, so this may become a reality for me then. I think that working as a freelance writer, or travel blogger would make the most sense for me to help subsidize my lifestyle. Enjoy your adventures. Tom

    • Hi Tom, you’re so close to retirement, that is amazing! You could definitely travel a bit then, we meet a lot of retirees on the road! Maybe we’ll see you out there one day!

  51. I am pretty sure that many people would want to have a nomad lifestyle like you do. But, one of the things that hold them back from doing it is, financial– the thing that you can not overlook.

    And your post, providing infos and tips would definitely solve the problem.

    • That’s very true, financial burdens are a tangible barrier to traveling for many people. I’m glad you found our tips helpful! Happy travels and thanks for reading along!

  52. You have no idea how envious I am or your lifestyle! It sounds amazing and freeing! Working a full time office job definitely takes a toll. If I didn’t have two kid at home, I would jump at the chance to travel and supplement as I go along. I will be vicariously living through you, at any rate! Expect a FB follow!

    • Thank you so much, we are so glad that our lifestyle inspires people! Thanks for reading along!

  53. Great article friends! You hit all of the points. As you know, my gig is seasonal restaurant work, although any restaurant work is great for nomads. Happy trails and thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Zach, glad you liked it! Restaurant work is perfect for nomads and it’s awesome to see that you like it!

  54. Hi and thanks for your post!

    This is such an amazing thing you’re able to do. So many people talk about this but never actually do it because they’re not disciplined enough.

    It takes a lot of planning and budgeting to make this work, which you’ve obviously done. And it’s working beautifully for you… bravo!

    I like to think that maybe one day we’ll do something similar, but not quite so rustic, lol. We have a married daughter in Canada and a married son in the US. So our plan is to travel between the two when my husband retires. I can’t wait!


    • Hi Suzanne, thanks so much for reading along! That sounds like it would be really fun to travel and be able to see your kids in the US and Canada! Lots of people do it in larger rigs and you’d love it! Maybe we’ll see you out on the road one day!

      Happy travels!

  55. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this topic for a
    while and yours is the best I have came upon so far.
    However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure
    about the source?

    • Thanks for reading, I’m glad you found it to be a helpful resource for choosing a van. We are still very happy with the outcome and would recommend the Ram Promaster to anyone who asks us what van to buy!

  56. I agree with you on this one. Squatting in the wild is healthier as well since you squat and take in some fresh air. Imagine you poop in the van, and it’s too cold outside to open the windows. πŸ™‚
    I never had a toilet in my van, and I also would not do it. Especially when you are an outdoors person, I don’t think it is a big deal just to hop outside.
    I did always have a foldable shovel in my van to dig a hole just in case. Also I believe google always finds a public toilet for you. Perhaps there are even some apps to download? Great article as always. Happy vanlife!

    • Hi Hendrik, thanks for your insight. You make an important point about ventilation in the van! We certainly prefer a poo with a view!

      Greg & Jess

  57. I love the article.

    And no, you don’t need a toilet when traveling in the US.

    Back in 2010, I decided to take a trip up the east coast. I started in Nashville and ended up in New york. I paid for the trip by going into salons & sharping the stylist salon scissors. I mostly slept in my Subaru Baja and when I needed to go to the bathroom, I went into a fast-food- restaurant or a Walmart. If I was camping out, I had toilet paper and toilette wipes for cleaning up.

    Looking forward to reading your next article on traveling in a foreign country without a toilet.

    Take care,


    • Hi Bob, that sounds like quite an adventure you went on! I admire your resourcefulness when it comes to making money and finding bathrooms on the road. We certainly haven’t had an issue and love hearing that others are enjoying their travels as well!

      Jess & Greg

  58. I have stayed in a van before and never had a toilet. I agree with you about how much space they take up. I have definitely wished for it some nights but the reasons for not having one outweigh the reasons for having one.

    • Hi Catherine, that’s great to hear that you didn’t have any issue without a toilet either. A van is so small, theres no reason to lose more space to something unnecessary! Happy travels!

  59. Hello, thank you for this informative post. I always go camping with my son. The toilet is always a big problem for us. Luckily I landed on your site. I can see you spend a ton of time. I like your post include portable toilets for me so I can buy it directly. At least, I don’t need to do further research online.

    I totally agree with cleaning the toilet in the van is much troublesome than handling the portable toilet.

    I will bookmark your site and share it with all my friends. I believe your post can helps many people. Please keep sharing with us.

    • Thanks for reading along and I’m so glad that this article was helpful for you! We are happy to hear that one of our solutions will work for your camping trips with your son!

  60. I have the coolest sis and bro in law in the van life community! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜ their posts are amazing and always helpful to others aspiring in really any area in life even not living in a van honestly! Always look forward to reading what they have to share!!