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What Do I Need For My Vanlife?

JalanJalanMen! - One of the newer trends in travel that is gaining popularity everywhere is van life. You explore the world with the van. What's more, meanwhile not only half-world trips are planned with the van, but also the vacation time in general, more and more people like to spend in their own mobile accommodation.

What Do I Need For My Vanlife?

Many people like this type of vacation, travel and life so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives or at least a large part of their lives in a van.

But what is van life like? Why do so many people not only long to travel in their big car, but also to live in it? Is van life really that cool? We answer these and many other questions here in our article. We tell you how your life in a van works, what is important for a great trip and where you absolutely have to go with your van.

What do I need for my van life?

Well, that sounds trite, but first of all you need a decent van - or at least a vehicle that's van-sized. This must be equipped similar to a mobile home and by that we really mean equipped like a mobile home.

So it's best to convert it to one when it's big enough. A bus or a fire engine is also suitable for this purpose. For real! Because the larger the interior, the more interior equipment is possible and the more comfort you experience on your journey.

Your vehicle is really the most important thing for your van life. The top priority here is that you think about what kind of mobile accommodation you are going to hit the ground running with. In this you have to store all your equipment and you must not forget that you spend all your travel time in it. Therefore, your clothes and other utensils that you need for life are also included. So let's talk about the interior first.

Interior design tips

First of all, it is best to think about where you and your fellow travelers, if any, sleep. For this you need a van that is big enough for everyone traveling with you to sleep in it. In most cases, this is not possible without a certain degree of flexibility in the interior design. The structure of the furniture, the seating and the built-in or build-up kitchen must be carefully planned.

You may even need to hire an electrician and possibly other professionals to safely install the power supply in the van. If you plan to drive to sunnier areas, a solar roof is worthwhile. All the energy for the electricity has to come from somewhere. After all, you probably also want to charge your smartphone, connect a router so that you have WiFi on the go and you will also have to attach a lamp or two.

Water and gas tank must be well secured and should also be checked by a specialist - do not rely on the TÜV for this. Some security devices and emergency gadgets should not be missing either. It is always advisable to have a fire extinguisher with you.

For this whole part of the planning you should calculate a good portion of time and effort. After all, you also want to feel comfortable in your van afterwards.

Where do I travel first?

You already have your van with you and definitely want to plan your next trip? Even though you might not be able to go right now because it's not quite finished, it sure is nice to get some inspiration from some great travel destinations that you have ahead of you.

We introduce you to a few highly recommended destinations, ordered by distance.

Destinations in Germany

In Germany you will not only find plenty of places to park and camp with your van, but also many van life and camping enthusiasts. Once you're in this community, you're already part of it. They help each other willingly and like to eat together.

An often overlooked travel destination here is the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria. Here you can drive past many quiet places and enjoy lakes and forests. It is best to follow the Danube a little, so you often have a view of the water.

The city of Regensburg and the Walhalla, which is not far from the city, can also be recommended . The neoclassical building was built in honor of Ludwig I and towers high on a hill near the Danube. So you would have immediately checked out a top sight on your trip, which is still a real insider tip!

However, there are many other travel destinations that are worth visiting by van, such as Fischland-Darß-Zingst in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or Dorum in Lower Saxony. Especially on the Baltic Sea and North Sea, a well-equipped van is a great place to be.

Destinations in Europe

In Cannobio in Italy you can experience a dreamlike summer holiday. Especially if you have a van. If you can go on vacation for a longer period of time or would like to bring some sunshine into your van life, then Cannobio is the right address.

The small town is right on the sea and has a huge campsite. It is not only luxurious there, but above all very sunny. If you relax here in June, July or August you are guaranteed a great few weeks of summer.

Destinations worldwide

What would be your absolute dream country for a trip with your van? Well, in case you haven't thought about it, what do you think of New Zealand? The island is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and is the ideal place for vanlife.

This is partly due to the magnificent and impressive nature of New Zealand. In fact, this kind of van life is best for you if you appreciate the peace and quiet and want to get away from it all every now and then.

This is definitely the place for a mental reset. In New Zealand you will not only find holiday parks and campgrounds where you can stay, but also beaches and forests. In addition, New Zealand has mountains like you won't see anywhere else in the world.

While it's not that easy to get to New Zealand, once you're there, you won't regret making the trip in your van. Because with a car you can only really explore the island and you should really take your time for this.

For such a long flight, it is hardly worth spending just a week or two in the country. You can definitely experience the most impressive van life in New Zealand. 

Special tips

Last but not least, we have some special tips for you. These are all about special gadgets that you should have in your van. With these items you can give your vehicle's equipment a decent upgrade.

1. Foldable solar panel

A foldable solar panel can be useful, especially if you don't have another solar panel installed on the roof. You can easily stow such a foldable module in the trunk or in a drawer and set it up quickly if necessary. You can then use it with a solar charge controller.

2. Mosquito net

Basically, a mosquito net never hurts. But it can be extremely useful, especially in the van, because sooner or later you will need ventilation without several bloodsuckers invading your living space.

With a mosquito net you can also enjoy the view of the lake in a much more relaxed way, provided you take care to put the net on at the right time. You also keep other insects out of your van with it.

3. Storage boxes

Storage space in your van will likely be tight from the start, and this will only get worse rather than better over time. Since you'll often take things out and then put them back away, it's worth buying a few storage boxes of different sizes.

If you can slide these into the appropriate compartments, they are well accommodated in the van. You can take them out and carry around multiple utensils at once when you need them outside the van. On top of that, your utensils can be well organized because these boxes are easy to label.


Only you can decide for yourself what constitutes van life, what makes it special and what it should look like. For some it is a way out to have a place to stay, for others it is the fulfillment of a dream of freedom.

There are different philosophies and ways of life, also when it comes to van life in concrete terms. Some only like to travel in a van every now and then and then live in their vehicle for a few weeks or months. Some actually want to live entirely out of their van.

You know best what you want and what your planning looks like. In any case, you should plan your van life well. Like any other important step in life, it should be well considered. In addition, things happen in life that you did not expect before and this will also happen to you in van life.

Sometimes you will certainly worry yourself unnecessarily and then some things are much easier in reality than you think. Maybe you find it easy to cook or generally spend time alone in the van. However, something unforeseen can always happen that causes you additional stress and then gives you a headache.

This is completely normal, so don't be discouraged. Van life can be really great, especially if you have a great van with good equipment and the right gadgets are on board. So we wish you a lot of fun in your new phase of life, regardless of whether it means that you travel the country more often with your van or that you live completely in the van.

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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