10 tips to living on the road with Will & Bear founders Alex & Loz.
There’s nothing like a good life hack but there’s nothing better than a Van-life hack! We’ve been on and off the road for a few years now, been through 2 vans and only now have we finally figured out what works for us. That’s the beauty of Van life, it's all trial and error. So to help you get on the road sooner, we wanted to give you our top 10 tips for making Van-life easier, functional and most of all, fun.
1 - Don't overthink it
You can plan forever, but the sooner you hit the road the sooner you will work out what you actually need for your perfect (not so perfect) life on the road. Each day we learn something new about how life works on the road.
2 - Expect the unexpected
We wish someone told us this, but seriously, learn to love the breakdowns. It’s all part of it, plus that’s where all the good stories come from and we’ve got tonnes of them!
3 - Location, Location, Location
Because your home is now on wheels, it’s all about where you park it. Downloading a campers app will help you find free local camping spots, national parks and private properties that you can camp on.
4 - Design your space to suit YOU
Gathering inspo from other’s van designs can definitely help but each van holds a completely different lifestyle. You’d think space wouldn’t matter as long as you had what you needed but we found that living in such a small space all the time needs tailoring. Just like two houses, no two vans are the same!
5 - 4WD or 2WD?
Work out which one you need first! Our first van was 2WD and we quickly realised we needed something with a little bit more guts to get us a little further down the dirt roads. Make sure you know where your van can go.
6 - Windows are your best friend
Not only do they create a more spacious feel in any circumstance but they also allow airflow which eliminates your risk of mould and makes for much stealthier camping. We replaced some cupboard space for a few extra windows which made the van feel so much bigger and now we have panoramic views of all the places we explore.
7 - Pack a good toolbox
An extensive toolbox is necessary, especially when your van pop-top canvas flies off whilst your driving and you have to somehow strap it back on to get you to the next town. Yeah, that definitely didn’t happen to us...
8 - Keep moving!!
We're big believers in a healthy body = a healthy mind. Find a routine that works for you that incorporates movement and nature. It’s easy to slip into holiday mode when you’re on the road but the everyday ups and downs still arise so you’ll need an outlet, trust us! We love yoga, pilates, HITT & meditation apps so whenever we find a spot to set up camp we always leave a little space to roll out our mats in the morning.
9 - Keep it clean
You’ve literally just condensed an entire home into a few square metres so things can get messy real quick! We like to make time each morning before we start our work days or hitting the road again to tidy things away and the same before we go to bed. We find that a clean and clear space = clean and clear energy!
10 - Soak it in
Remember to stop and enjoy the ride. Unless you’re on a tight time frame, make sure you spend time in the locations you love. We made the mistake of driving non-stop because we were so excited and wanted to see EVERYTHING but we realised that the most valuable moments and inspirations came when we spent a few extra days in the places we really connected with.
11 - Bonus tip: Always take a hat
Of course, our van is full of hats, but we honestly couldn’t picture our life without them. From long days driving toward the sun, hours spent under the blistering sun trying to fix the van to impromptu hikes in the freezing cold, we don’t go anywhere without these guys.