A Day in the Life: A realistic look at Van Life

Maybe it’s obvious what a day in the life of “van dwellers” entails. Maybe it’s not. I’m sure there are vanlifers out there who get all dressed up for the day (or their instagram photo shoot) and maybe they even go clubbing at night. To each their own and awesome for them but we’re on the more simplistic/frugal side of the spectrum. We plan to make this last as long as possible and we want to focus on exploring. Luckily, once you factor out the upfront cost of adventure gear and our National Parks pass, the adventures themselves typically cost $0. Glorious. So, without further ado, I give you the super glamorous “Day in the Life”.

We’ll start with a non-rest day:


day in the life morning
Colin trying to coax Lisa out of bed in the early morning hours.
  • Colin wakes up. Makes coffee.
  • Lisa sleeps as long as she can until Colin wakes her up.
  • Lisa puts the toilet back in its nook. (It stays out at night because it’s harder than it should be to pull it out of its case in the middle of the night and then Lisa gets cranky.
  • Make breakfast.
  • Make lunch for the day (sandwiches).
  • Pack up the van so everything is in its place and ready to go.
  • Hit the road!


The approach for our first climbing day in Red Rocks.
  • Arrive at destination. Get to hiking/climbing/exploring!
  • Lisa takes many pictures. Colin laments about number of photos.


  • Pay for a shower if needed.
  • Change back into comfy clothes (read: sweatpants).


day in the life Evening
Admiring our sweet snag of a camping spot for the evening.
  • Find a dispersed camping spot for the night.
  • Park at BLM land.
  • Crack open a cider/beer/G&T.
  • Cook dinner.
  • Read/play Scrabble/watch a movie.
  • Crash.

Rest Day:

rest day
*Lisa’s Rest Day face
  • Sleep in as long as possible. Colin still wakes up early. Lisa grumbles.
  • Colin reads. Lisa continues sleeping.
  • Hang out at campsite.
  • Go to a Starbucks/library. Charge all the devices!
  • Grocery shop.
  • Write a blog/research future adventures/download a movie on iTunes/read.
  • Evening: follow same steps as above.

All Day Every Day:

  • Marvel at how lucky we are to live such an extraordinary life.

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