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Must-haves for van travel

This is just a small taste of what you’ll need in your small space.

  1. You don’t need to look like you live in a van. Keep up with your appearance, get haircuts, realize how often you shower and do laundry. A toiletry bag like this one keeps me in order whether I’m at the beach, the gym, or a shady public restroom. I use just a handful of products and they fit perfectly in this bag.
  2. Baby wipes are a lifesaver. Don’t sleep on baby wipes.
  3. A dirty clothes bag and detergent. Take the time and do the laundry. And then put it away. Living in a small space gets messy very quickly, put away your clothes. It’s too easy to slip into a cycle of depression when you have a little cave you live in.
  4. Get a gym membership to a 24-hour chain like Planet Fitness. The gym itself sucks but they are everywhere and usually have a Chipotle in the parking lot. Personally, having a cheap gym membership gives me the motivation to workout.
  5. A backup light. A rechargeable lantern or an oil one. It’s important to have a backup light for emergency purposes, be safe out there.
  6. A basic roadside emergency kit with jumper cables. I generate all of my own electricity but one of the downsides to living in an old van is random power failures and shorts. Or me accidentally leaving my lights on.
  7. External battery packs. Having one with enough mAh to charge a laptop or phone a few times if affordable. Charge by day, swipe by night.
  8. I love having my longboard. Since I live in LA and don’t live in the van full-time, sometimes it’s rough finding parking close to my apartment. But I can longboard home in minutes. and it’s just fun to ride a skateboard, c’mon.
  9. National or State Park passes. Free for veterans (like me). And abundant bathroom facilities. You can park at some of the campgrounds for a few weeks at a time before you have to move and they have convenience stores and small towns close by.
  10. Portable speaker. UE Boom 2 is the one I’m using now. There are many like it but this one is sweet. Clear sound, easy connection, small enough to carry. You can link a few speakers together to create a wall of sound if you’re into that. Done and done.
  11. A journal has been a really cool and fun way to keep track of the unique people I meet, the interesting opportunities this van has afforded me, an just whatever pops into my mind.
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