Here’s five top tips on how to afford the vanlife
- Save, save, save
This is obvious but the first thing you should do is start saving - now. You’ll want to have as much cushion as possible so you can afford the little luxuries of life on the road, plus campervans and insurance don’t come cheap. Ideally you should save for at least a year before starting your vanlife adventure.
- Buy a secondhand campervan
Buying a secondhand campervan is much more affordable than buying new - plus it might have a bit more personality. You’ll find these listed mostly on Gumtree, Ebay or on specific Facebook groups for campervans. But be aware - in the UK it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’ and the onus is on you to find any faults before you buy it. If something does go wrong with the sale, you might have to chase the seller through the Small Claims Court which is a hassle no one wants to go through.
- Cook your own meals
One of the huge advantages of the vanlife is you can cook for yourself so don’t end up spending eye-watering amounts on tea and toast at a cafe. In the UK and Europe, groceries at the supermarket or bakeries are cheap so it’s easy to make an amazing meal on a budget. Just make sure you don’t entirely avoid eating out as this is part of the experience of being in a different country.
- Research free sites to camp in
Use apps like Park4night which help you find free, beautiful spots to stay in. The sites are user-rated so you know you can trust them. Plus it’s where other vanlifers are likely to stay so you can make some new friends or simply relish having safety in numbers.
Find out which other apps you need to live the vanlife
- Do free activities
If you do your research, you can look ahead and find which museums or galleries are free when and if there’s any fun festival or activity happening while you’re there. This will help save you a lot on sightseeing and make your vanlife trip much more affordable. And make sure you look into free walking tours - they’re not really free as you should tip at the end, but they only cost how much you think they were worth.