Are you looking to join the minimalist movement and live a life of adventure simultaneously? Maybe you want location freedom, or perhaps you’re looking to save a few bucks. This survey shows you aren’t alone. A recent study done by Move.org shows that Americans are ready to embrace van life now more than ever. It’s no secret that millennials have been taking to a new way of life over the past several years by means of affordability, sustainability and adventure. If you search the hashtag #vanlife on Instagram, you’ll be met with over 8 million posts of picture-perfect life on the road. However, while van life has been on the up and up for a while, it’s now reaching a new level of popularity. It goes far beyond just being inspired by #vanlife influencers on the gram, too.
Pandemic Pushing More Americans Than Ever to Van Life
2020 has been full of plot twists for everyone with the pandemic leading to unprecedented job losses and economic downturn. These COVID 19 curveballs have pushed more people than ever toward a more sustainable and frugal life on the road. Move.org’s study, which was conducted late September had some surprising numbers to show.
The study revealed that a whopping 72% of Americans would trade the comfort of their home to pay off debt. It also showed that 74% of participants would take up van life if it meant they could retire without worry. Additionally, 52% said they are more likely to consider it as a result of financial worries caused by Covid 19. There’s no doubt this year’s pandemic has led to economic turmoil likened to the Great Recession and has left many Americans hurting. However, finances weren’t the only priority for these participants. The survey also found that more than 30% liked the idea of spending more time outdoors. Moreover, 33% were primarily motivated to travel.
So, what’s the cost?
If you’re wondering exactly how much it costs to start well, it depends. Realistic monthly expenses fall somewhere between $1,800 – $2,500 for insurance, gas, laundry etc. According to Parked in Paradise, Rob of Little House Off Grid manages to live on just $850 a month and Alexander of Travelbum on $1,200. Far Out Ride provides a monthly breakdown of costs making it easy to see how expenses can be moved around based on your priorities. Either way, $2,500 is still a far cry from the $5,000 average monthly expenses for the average American.
Move.org stated in conclusion: “The key takeaway is that if you’re okay living in a space that is smaller than a studio apartment, living in a van is much cheaper than buying a home, no doubt about it.” – “And the perks of constant travel, closeness to nature, and minimalistic living are nice cherries on top of this affordable sundae.”
What’s your take? Would you consider a life of travel, affordability and freedom at the expense of your house or apartment? Whether you’re looking for a new lifestyle or temporarily save money, van life may be the way to go.