How To Know if Van Life Will Be Worth It for You

Van life can be a realistic option when it comes to saving money and living freely. If you are adventurous and want to move often, it can be a great option and give you time for things that you love. There are some downsides to consider, however, such as limited space and van restrictions. 

Van life is a very popular option among many who want to be able to travel as they please and live their lives freely. It can be a sustainable option to maintain that kind of lifestyle if you are up for the ups and downs of van life. 

No living option is perfect, and van life also comes with its own pros and cons to consider before jumping in. It won’t be the right option for everyone, but it just might be great for you if you are up for an adventure. 


Van Life Can Be a Realistic Option 

Van life can be a great option for someone looking to break away from the daily grind to live a more free lifestyle. It gives you plenty of freedom while making way for adventure with no household obligations. 

Many people choose this lifestyle because it is a very cost-effective way of traveling and doing what you want to do. It removes the expenses of living somewhere and allows you to literally pack up everything you own whenever you like. 

If you are adventurous and want to travel, this can be a very realistic option for you to take on. It won’t be for everyone, but there are plenty of people out there who thrive in this lifestyle. 

The most important thing is to simply consider all aspects of this lifestyle before jumping in so that you are completely prepared. This is a big change, and you do not want to take this step lightly. 

The good thing is that it is still a much smaller decision than many other living situation decisions. It is not like buying a house or being roped into an apartment lease. If you wake up one-day hating van life, you can simply move on to the next option available. 

This is part of what makes this lifestyle so freeing from most of our lives since there are very few restrictions. You can do as you want when you want for the most part. 


Van Life Benefits That Make It Worth It 

There are many amazing benefits to van life and enjoying this free lifestyle. It gives you the opportunity to live in a way that many never get the chance to experience or enjoy. 

Van life does have its downsides, and we will get to those, but the benefits are also very tempting. Especially if you are already a free spirit and are tired of the daily grind. 

Here are some of the best things about living in a van. 


Low Cost as No Rent or Mortgage, and Less Bills 

One of the biggest benefits of living in a van is that it is significantly cheaper than any other living option. It removes the need to pay rent or a mortgage and gives you the freedom to use that extra money in other ways. 

As far as living expenses go, van life is very cheap and affordable for most people. It cuts out many bills that you would normally have to pay and gives you financial freedom. 


Freedom to Change Location 

Probably the biggest thing that appeals to people about van life is the freedom that it has to offer. There are very few other ways to achieve the kind of freedom that this lifestyle provides. 

By living in a van, you can pick up and move whenever you like without having to pack, give your notice or sell anything. You can travel all over the country sightseeing and doing whatever you like. 

It takes away many financial responsibilities and allows you to live day by day how you see fit without many limitations. For many, this is a dream lifestyle away from the daily hustle of making a living. 


Ability to Save Money as Fewer Living Expenses 

Not only is living in a van significantly cheaper than other living situations, but it also allows you to save your money. By not having to pay for certain living expenses, you are able to save your money and put it to better use. 

In fact, many people will live out of a van to better save money for their future. Many will live this lifestyle so that they can afford to buy their own house later on. 

This kind of lifestyle gives you the possibility of saving your money much faster and putting it to good use in the future. Instead of washing it down a money hole, trying to live out of a trailer or apartment. 


Bonding Time With the People and Pets in Your Van 

Living in your van also gives you the unique ability to have plenty of bonding time with the ones that you love. Whether this is your partner, family, or pets. 

When you live in a van, you get to have plenty of one on one time with the ones you love most. Taking them on adventures with you and getting to build your relationships. 

Even if you just live with your pet, this can be a great bonding experience. Instead of leaving them alone all day to work, you can finally spend time with them like you both want. 


Future Investment 

If you ever decide that van life just isn’t for you or you have other plans, you can also sell your van if it is in good shape. There are always plenty of people looking to buy vans made to be liveable. 

This can become a significant future investment if you put in the money to make your van very comfortable and dependable. Vans with a shower, toilet, and kitchen are especially valued for their comfort and ease of use. 

By putting in the money initially, you can later sell your van for more if you ever decide to make different plans. This can be a great future investment to give you a little more money to live off of. 

This, of course, will greatly depend on the value of your van as well as its condition. If you have been living in it for ten years, it may not be worth much anymore. 


Downsides to Van Life That Make It Less Worth It 

As with anything, there are going to be downsides as well as benefits. These are just as important to consider, if not more important. 

You always want to consider the pros and cons and not just the pros. Otherwise, you will be entirely unprepared and may even end up regretting your decision. 

Here are some of the most important downsides to van life to consider before jumping in and making your decision. 


Necessities Are Complicated 

The basic everyday necessities can be a bit complicated when you are living out of a van. This is because vans are not traditionally designed to be lived out of, making them less than ideal at times. 

This is especially true if you cannot put down the financing to install your van with these kinds of necessities. Such as a toilet, shower, and kitchen. 

Though there are ways around this that are still realistic, it can be uncomfortable to not have these necessities at hand. Going to truck stops to use the restroom and gym showers can get old fast. 

This is one of the biggest downsides to living out of a van and one that everyone should carefully consider beforehand. 


Minimal Space 

Another obvious downside to van life is the limited living space you will have. This may not bother everyone, but it can be a dealbreaker for some. 

Living out of a van can become considerably cramped for some people, especially if your van is on the smaller side. Making a van liveable will also diminish some of your living space. 

To live comfortably out of a van, you need to live light and not hold on to too many things. You don’t want to fill up your van and end up not having much space to actually live in. 

This will be a bigger issue for some people than it is for others; it really depends on your comfort level. Living out of a van is generally going to be cramped, so you want to make sure you know what you are getting into. 


It Isn’t Always Comfortable 

This downside goes hand in hand with cramped living spaces as van life is not always going to be comfortable. Some people are more tolerant of discomfort than others and will easily thrive in a van despite certain discomforts. 

But not everyone will thrive in this kind of lifestyle as it can be very limiting comfort-wise. 

Say goodbye to baths and long showers, decorating, and dancing around the house. You also will not be able to maintain certain hobbies or have a very large wardrobe, all big downsides depending on who you are. 

If you plan on living out of a van, you will need to be prepared to give up certain comforts to live more comfortably in this lifestyle. 


Parking Can Be Difficult 

Parking your van can also prove to be an unexpected difficulty as some places are more strict about this than others. Many places over the U.S. are very strict about where people can park their vehicles. 

This is especially difficult when you live out of your van, as more restrictions apply to vehicles being used in this way. 

This can make it difficult to find a comfortable and safe place to park, especially if you need to be near public restrooms or dumping areas. You can often use places for campers where you can pay, but this could add up to quite the expense over time. 

This problem could become increasingly difficult, depending on where you are, as more deserted places can have fewer options. While more heavily populated areas will be more restrictive. 


Finding Places to Dump and Fill Tanks 

When living out of a van, you will be using water tanks to have access to running water. These tanks often need to be emptied and filled to provide you with water that is safe to drink. 

This will only get more complicated if you can install a shower or toilet in your van. 

These tanks have to be dumped and refilled consistently, something that isn’t always feasible to do where you are. This can make traveling frustrating if you have to find a place to dump and fill your tanks. 

This can make traveling through more deserted areas risky as you do not want to run out of water in a bad spot. 


Van Repairs If You Break Down 

Van repairs are also a constant concern for anyone who lives out of their van; even the most reliable van will occasionally need work. Not to mention the fear of your van breaking down. 

Not only can these issues come up when you can’t afford them, they can happen when you are not near a repair shop. This can be a big issue and result in you having to get towed to a more populated area. 

Van repairs can be very pricey and often happen when you least expect them to. This is especially bad as you live in your van and will have to most likely rent a hotel until it is properly running again. 

This is an important concern to consider before jumping into van life, especially if you have very limited finances. 


Van Life Can Be a Good Investment 

Depending on what you want out of life, van life can be a great investment in your future happiness. Whether you want to live out of a van for financial freedom, adventure, or your future plans, van life is a great investment for many reasons. 

If you gave the money to invest in purchasing a van that is already made to be liveable or you buy one to renovate, it can be a great use of your money.  

Living out of a van is a great way to enjoy trips and adventures without the excessive cost that we usually associate with that. By living out of a van, you cut out travel and living costs when you want to take a trip. 

Even if you don’t plan on living in your van full time, this can be a great option if you still enjoy traveling frequently. It is an ideal option for road trips as you can take this kind of trip very comfortably. 

This is also a great investment in your future if you are trying to save money but struggle to do so with so many living expenses. By buying a van to live in for a few years, you can save money much faster and become more financially independent. 

This is why van life is a great option for many people as there are many benefits to it. Depending on how and why you do it, van life can be a great investment in your future. 


Van Life is Cheaper Than Renting 

Renting is one of the biggest money holes you will find as you are never actually moving towards something. It is also one of the biggest reasons why people struggle to save money month to month. 

Van life is significantly cheaper than renting in the long run if you play your cards right. It may not initially feel cheaper as you have to buy the van and turn it into a living van, but eventually, it will become cheaper. 

The nice thing about the expenses of living out of a van is that you are paying for your comfort and investing in your future. When paying rent, you are not investing in the future at all as you will never own what you are paying for. 


Van Life Can Be Expensive at First 

One important thing to keep in mind is that van life can initially be expensive when you first begin your journey. It is not always going to be cheaper, and you have to start off somewhere first. 

The initial cost of having to buy a van and change it to be livable can be a significant expense. Most people spend at least $5,000 to $10,000 to either convert their van into a van that is liveable or to buy one that is already converted. 

This is no cheap expiration when you are first starting out, which is why you want to be educated on van life and the pros and cons. This is not an expense you just want to jump into headfirst without careful consideration. 

You also want to avoid cutting too many corners as that can cause issues and more expenses later on. Buying a van, for instance, is an important decision as you want one that is comfortably large and dependable. 

You do not want a cramped van or one that has a history of breaking down. Cutting too many corners in this area can lead to much worse expenses later on down the road.