Van Life? Real Life.

If you spend any time on social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram, you know the photo: A couple of craft beers in artistic cans and a few hand picked wildflowers sit on the adorable fold-down table inside a Scandinavian inspired vehicle. The curtains and pillows are earthy and subtle, accented by a gorgeous wood interior – and just blurred out of view are unwearably fashionable hats, a vintage camera, artwork, and rope for climbing. The surfboard is always a mint condition singlefin and there’s always an acoustic guitar.

Van life, or, as we should say #vanlife, has hit its stride as a 2020 trend – while many people tired of staying home, the allure of an open road and a safe little luxury home to travel in was at a peak. The reality of living in small spaces with a partner or a family is slightly different than the pinterest-shots – but we believe that you can absolutely make your best memories while in an RV or van. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

Pack for Real Life:

You’ll need more than two outfits, more than 2 perfectly matched plates, and plenty of storage that’s functional, not just beautiful. Remember that your vacation, trip, or life are really lived – not just photographed. Ensure you pack functionally, with intention.

Expect the Unexpected:

You may lock yourself out, find yourself in two weeks of rain, run out of gas on the side of the road, have a mattress choice go horribly wrong, or a host of other less-pinnable problems. The truth about any adventure is that the unexpected makes the stories worth telling. Our friends at LOST Travel have an entire podcast about travel gone wrong (link here:

Document the Memories:

Even if everything goes wrong, or if the paper plates aren’t as picture-perfect as you imagined, take the photos and keep a journal. Some of your most meaningful conversations, funniest anecdotes, and memorable sights may take place while you live a real life in a van or RV for a weekend, a week, or more.

Encourage Others:

Part of exploring a campground, National Park, open road, or new place is staying open to meeting others. And when you do, stay positive! Encourage those you meet to try out their own adventure. While RV or van life may not be for everyone – the lessons of staying flexible, making do with less, and finding joy in the journey translate no matter the situation!

If you haven’t joined Midwest Outdoor Resorts for a camping or cabin adventure, we encourage you to check us out. We have vintage trailers, tiny homes, and RV spots in midwest states with beautiful views and awesome communities.

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