Today, 84% of people want the ability to work remotely, and many of them want to do so while traveling in a van.
Living in a van is not a mythical lifestyle that you only see in shows and movies anymore. It’s actually more possible than it’s ever been!
That said, traveling while working in a camper or similar vehicle is also not a glamorous endeavor — it’s actually all about practicality, especially if you want to maintain your gig.
Are you preparing your rig to hit the road? Here are 8 steps to help you work while living out of your van.
First things first — hitting the road without a few stable projects may be your biggest challenge.
A great way to avoid this is to secure a couple of gigs before you hit the open road. This will ensure that you have enough funds to keep you going while also reducing the stress of finding the first job while working out where to stay next.
While remote work does offer an unprecedented level of freedom, remember that you need a few back resources in order to do your job. The main and most important one is the internet.
So, map out your trip and make sure that you always have access to a stable internet connection that you can check at least once per day.
This can be in the form of mobile internet, Wi-Fi in a campsite, or a similar alternative.
In addition to the internet, electricity is another essential resource you’ll need to do your job.
You’ll likely use a laptop or tablet for work, so keep an eye on their battery levels and create a plan to always keep your devices charged.
To ensure this, you may have to purchase a large power bank for your van and potentially solar panels as well, depending on what type of trip you want to take.
A whopping 91% of professionals feel like clutter reduces their productivity, so there is no denying the impact that disorganized spaces can have. The same (or worse potentially!) applies to your van and your work calendar.
Make sure that your van is as organized as possible, and purchase storage boxes with secure clips so that you can put things away easily.
Living the van life is the ultimate attempt at the perfect life-work balance where adventure seems to take the helm. But it’s essential to remember that your job is what allows you to continue that lifestyle.
Therefore, always plan your trips based on your work.
If your work revolves around deadlines, schedule them ahead of time to give yourself wiggle room in case of an unforeseen situation. Likewise, if you have to be present at calls, take these into consideration when driving to your next stop.
Public Wi-Fi networks and mobile hotspots may represent a security threat, so it’s essential that you take the time to establish a safe work setup.
For starters, you should always connect to an encrypted connection when you access the web. This way, hackers won’t be able to intercept the information being sent to and from your device, even if they manage to identify your network.
Learn more about encrypting your connection and staying safe while online.
Getting contracts with clients that understand your lifestyle may seem challenging, but it’s the best way to ensure a great professional relationship.
Moreover, you should keep clients informed of when you’ll be offline for more than 24 hours and make sure that all of your work has been delivered before logging off.
Does your van have a toilet? Where will you empty it? And if you don’t, where will you do your business?
Having a set of apps for van lifers can help you answer these and many other common questions.
The perfect set of apps varies based on your location, so you need to conduct research and figure out the best alternatives. Some of the most popular options include:
- Park Advisor;
- RV Parky;
- The Dyrt Pro;
- Free Roam;
Living out of a van has advantages and setbacks. Let’s take a closer look at each.
The pros of traveling in a van include:
- Explore New Places Constantly: as a van lifer, you can visit a new location every other day and stay in each place as long as you like.
- Maintain Costs Low: while there are expenses, maintaining a van is typically cheaper than renting a house or apartment.
- Easier to Stay Fresh and Motivated: having a semblance of a routine can help set the tone for work, but living out of a van means you’ll never have monotonous days.
One of the biggest cons of van life (and perhaps the only significant one) is that organizing professional calls is tricky.
This is because calls usually require super-stable internet, while creative and administrative work can be done with intermittent connections. And, it may be difficult to pick up a good signal if you like visiting remote places.
Traveling in a van while earning a living is a special opportunity, so get a few projects in the bag, secure an internet connection, plan your power cycles, and follow the other tips above to get the most from every stop.
There are pros and cons to living out of a van, but as long as you make the right preparations, you should be able to live the nomad life at its fullest.