Advice when planning to start out

Hi there! My boyfriend and I have just decided that living a simplistic lifestyle is what we were born for! Tired of this “9-5 working-for-a-living-so-that-you-can-afford-to-live” BS circle of non sense…

We’re starting to plan and looking for a van suitable for us, etc. My biggest question is how does everyone afford to pay their van-home insurance and gas? Trying to budget for it, but having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of how we’re going to pay for insurance while on the road… suggestions? tips?

Thanks everyone! We can’t wait to start our journey…

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Hey! Super stoked you’re choosing van life. The best way to answer your question is “work”. Some van lovers have a fixed income, social security, ect. But for myself personally, I choose to find temporary/seasonal jobs. Once I get one, I’ll typically work for a few weeks to a few months. With a very tight budget of $500ish, saving a few thousand during those temporary jobs can equal to months on the road at a time. You can find those jobs on sites like workampers or even craigslist. There’s lots of option, you’ll find them easily with some research.

And to add, this little work for a few weeks/months and travel for a few months setup I have going on is a nice balance. Just think of it this way: you want to do this to escape your ‘normal’ life. If you begin doing van life full time with no work, it would become your normal and the interest would start to die. So, with a little work here and there, it keeps you feeling good about work and traveling; neither become boring or saturated to you.

Good luck, maybe we’ll run into each other on the road some day!



Working so you can afford to live isn’t nonsense, it’s reality. You’re lucky enough to have full time jobs, and don’t even appreciate them.

Working your butts off while you’re young and healthy, and escaping on weekends and vacations is probably the best choice. Unless you can make an income of equal or greater than your current jobs while on the road, then it’s a foolish choice. And what about benefits? Transient workers don’t get benefits. No health insurance, no unemployment, no anything. What about when it becomes time to draw social security and you haven’t paid enough in? People are still working everyday into their 80’s & 90’s because they made poor choices when they were younger.

The time to start planning your financial future for the rest of your lives is right now. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes.

You have plenty of time to adventure without sacrificing the good life. Full time jobs never hampered anybody from enjoying life to the fullest, and in fact that terrible job, finances your full life much better than occasional work ever will. You can explore the whole world on weekends and vacations ~IF~ you have the money to do it. Never underestimate the benefits of full time jobs and full time pay.


I agree! My goal is taking just summer off & working the rest of the year. I think year round ‘van life’ would make me not enjoy it as much. But to each his own. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips! seasonal work is what we are leaning towards in terms of income. I was more wondering if people pay lump sums per year, or monthly, and if there were any cost savings doing either. Thanks :slight_smile:

Hi there!
I think I was a bit vague in my post. We don’t want to “not work”, we’re just tired of working for a someone who could care less about us, feeling easily replaced, and stuck in our geographical location. We both work a variety of shifts so we don’t get “weekends off” and 2 weeks vacation for the year isn’t quite enough when we have 2 puppies to think about and the itch to create a different path in our lives. We just want to be able to travel our beautiful earth, meet new people and gain new experiences. Something you can’t really get form just “weekend vacations”. (We also both have RRSP’s and mutual funds that we intend to continuing contributing to). I appreciate your input though!

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You might want to look into ways to make money online. I make much more working online for myself than I did from regular jobs, and I can do it from anywhere I have an internet connection.

Not Youtube, Instagrams, or blogs, but offering real goods or services, but for yourself, not someone else.

There’s lots of good choices, both online and offline, that can make you really good money working for yourself. There is a definite sense of freedom and accomplishment when you are totally in charge of your own destiny.


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thanks for the tips! We live in Canada, so currently trying to look into Canadian jobs (there’s a hell of a lot of options for US citizens, but few for Canadians it seems). If you or someone has job advice for us canucks up here, it would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Mostly leaning towards working at Parks Canada throughout the camping/summer seasons, and then travelling south for the winter to enjoy some sunshine… However, in the event that we choose to stay in Canada throughout the winter, any suggestions for online work or websites/links I can research ?

Kind regards :blush: