Christmas is upon us, you know how the saying goes, good things come in small packages. A van home may be considered little, this doesn’t mean that the ideas that come with it can’t be big.
Vanlife is having the freedom and knowing that all your NEEDS are in one space. However, this also means you are sometimes unable to bring all the little extras that you WANT. Why not aim for the best of both? Being the time of giving, what better way than to provide you with an Advan calendar?
Heres that you may want to consider for your upcoming holidays.
- Store clothes in your cushions – You will reap more rewards out of stuffing cushions this year than Christmas stockings. This is for all those who cannot bear to part with all your fashion pieces. Different locations result in alternate climates across your journey. Multiple clothing choices are a must, am I right? When your partner tells you not to pack that item, tell em to get stuffed.
- Store togs, underwear, and socks in mesh bags. You want to keep these little gems separated before they get engulfed by your other clothes. Skinny dipping is not for all.
- Velcro down or use gel pads on ornaments and use Rubber Mats to help items from sliding.
Shake rattle and roll, your van may like to get down and boogie but the contents inside get way too excited and end up crashing the party.
- Reversible Throws. My favourites are from Salty Aura and Wanderingfolk. Throws can act as bedspread, picnic rug, table-cloth, skirt, towel, or wall hanging. The choices are unlimited and having the dual colour schemes adds a little sugar and spice to your mobile home.
- GasBuddy APP. Fuel is the highest expense of vanlife living, so it pays to download a fuel app that shows nearby petrol prices where you can obtain the best price. Being active on the app provides an idea of average fuel costs along your route so you can budget accordingly.
- Latches. Without them, you are going to experience an around of applause every time you hit a bump or dip in the road. Sarcastic and annoying. Ensure all your cupboards and drawers are secured shut with quality latches and soft closing drawers.
- Adjustable Bench Space. Have the ability to add extra space when needed. We have two easy to assemble benchtops that fold out and connect to latches that we utilise for food preparation.
- 12 Volt Chargers For Electronics. Weather changes and sometimes you may not always have access to solar power. Install 12Volt chargers that don’t require your generator or solar to be on. That way you can still use your phone on those rainy days when you want your electronics the most.
- Mosquito & Fly Nets. How are you meant to enjoy anything when you’re being eaten alive? Bunnings stocks some very decent mosquito nets that are perfect for vans. If you’re travelling outback Australia, flynet hats are a must. They will drive you insane otherwise. Flys will attach to your eyeballs, explore up your nose, and even dive-bomb the back of your throat. Not kidding.
- Use clear storage bins and labels. Being able to capture snippets of colour or texture through a storage bin is going to save you time and frustration. Labelling ensures each item has an allocated home, which in turn makes for a satisfyingly organised and tidy van. Remember you’re only cheating yourself if you put items back in the wrong box.
- Travellers Mug And Compact Cookware. Find cups that can be used for both hot cuppas and cold bevies. Pots and pans can take up a load of space, you will benefit from an all in one stackable cookware.
- Portable Stereo. Radio isn’t always an option out on the open road. It’s epic to be able to take down to bonfires on the beach at night.
- Hooks to hang wet clothing. If you have some long-term travel coming up ahead, chances are you’re going to have wet clothing that can’t always be dried outside. You can install hooks and even have a detachable clothesline when required.
- Build using appropriate materials. We are talking sticker tiles, laminate flooring, and VJ board. The aim is to keep your vehicle as light as possible. Having ceramic tiles over a large area can weigh up and with a van moving they have the potential to crack. Laminate flooring is easy to assemble, durable, lightweight, well priced and ours still has no wear and tear. VJ board is flexible and lightweight perfect for van walls.
- Hanging fruit and veggie hammock. Storing fruit and veg in cupboards or in drawers means they are going to bruise easily. Hang in a market bag from a hook, goes together like two peas in a pod.
- Collapsible storage containers – Saving space is the game to play with vanlife. We have dog bowls, measuring cups, containers, and even a pop-up basin. Don’t forget about the utensils that fold into one another or how useful a spork can be.
- Interchangeable Day & Night area. Chances are if you enjoy vanlife, you love exploring different areas, which leads me to assume you appreciate variety in life too. Having the ability to change between a lounge, dining room, and bed for me is life-changing when spending a lot of time in a small space.
- Pull Out Storage. Have the ability to pull your storage out from the back of your van. You will use your belongings far more. We made the mistake of doing lift-top storage. Which means to get to our storage you have to either take the cushions completely off, no thank you, or hold it up with one hand while hoping for the best with the other.
- Eco Friendly biodegradable wipes. Okay, you are all thinking about it, but it seems to be a taboo topic. Sometimes you can go days between sites without a shower or access to water. If you’re involved with vanlife chances are your trips are surrounded by rivers, creeks, and oceans but on the odd chance, you aren’t. Biodegradable wipes are your go-to option and can clean your van too. Which leads me to the next hack.
- Join a gym with multiple clubs across the country. Surprisingly some memberships are relatively cheap. Time to burn off the Christmas tucker we all overindulge in and take advantage of the shower facilities. Winning
- CamperMate / NZMCA or WikiCamps Aus is the Australian equivalent. This is seriously your van bible, providing you with all the works such as freedom camping locations, reviews, trails, internet hotspots. Just get it, trust me.
- Solar Panels. Why would you not take advantage of these sun-loving creatures? Since when does someone work for free and not complain about it? You may not always use electronics but your fridge is a little more demanding.
- Heatshields. Windows are moody little things and can take it out on your vehicle. One minute they have it piping hot, next stone cold. Insulating can only help so much and having heat shields will aid in balancing out the mood swings.
- Google Maps. Yes, you may know that google maps provides directions, but are you taking advantage of the ‘save location’ feature? My vanlife experience went up a whole new level when I started saving all the places I wanted to visit straight into this app. Why? No more making lists and checking them twice, I have everything I need in this one app – the destination with the directions! There are often times you will be keen on hitting the road but unsure where to go, now all you have to do is open your saved locations and let the pins lead the way.
PS- If you are using Instagram and see a tagged location you like, just click it and it will open it up straight into google maps where you can instantly save it. How convenient.
- Fairy Lights – We live for the magic moments in life, having battery operated fairy lights creates an entire vibe in your van. It saves power by not using your generator and replaces harsh lights with a soft glow. A perfect way to enjoy a vanlife Christmas this year.