We chat to Liam and Candice who are full time Vanlifers with 2 kids travelling around Europe. In this article they go through the joys and challenges of Full Time Van Life with Children and offer their advice to anyone considering in taking the leap to Van Life!
Table of Contents
What van are you currently living in?
2011 Sprinter LWB
How did you find your van and where did you buy it?
We found our van off Facebook and went and viewed it the same day in the pouring rain. We were so impatient to get it home that we made an offer straight away.
Approximately how much did it cost to purchase?
Approximately how much did you spend building it out?
Did you complete all the Van Build yourself?
Liam converted the entire van by himself, with friends helping out along the way. It’s surprising how many people are willing to give up their Saturdays to help you make your dreams come true.
What was the most difficult part of the campervan conversion?
When you’re first starting out, every aspect of the conversion feels new and scary. Cutting holes in the van for the windows and fans was pretty scary, but so was wiring all of the electrical. The biggest lesson we learned is that we can work anything out if we have enough faith in ourselves.
If you could change one thing about your van build what would it be?
Is there anything you forgot to bring and didn’t have in your Van once you started Vanlife?
So many things! And on top of that there are so many things you don’t even know you need until you’ve actually moved into the van. But nothing really important, there were just lots of stops at Ikea the first couple of weeks living in the van though.
What do you work at when on the road during Vanlife?
Has Vanlife changed your life and if so how?
When we first decided to live in a van with our kids no other families were doing it. The community was full of solo travellers or couples living on the road. And for a long time we questioned if this lifestyle was compatible with family life.
In the end we decided to just go for it and we’re so glad we did, there is no greater experience than getting to show your kids the world. And since then, so many families have started living this lifestyle, which has meant we’ve been able to connect with some incredible and inspiring families that share our values and outlook on life
What is the hardest or most frustrating thing about living on the road?
What is something you expected to be difficult in Vanlife that actually turned out to be quite easy or not an issue?
What would you do differently moving back into a house now than before the trip?
We used to consider ourselves minimalists before we moved into the van. But we were shocked by how much we had when we had to condense all of our belongings into such a small space. It’s surprising how little you actually need. I find we’re much more deliberate about our purchases now and really ask ourselves what value is this going to bring to our every day lives. I think when the time comes to move into a house again we won’t feel the need to fill it with useless stuff that fills rooms but never gets used.
What is one place you want to take your van that is still on the bucket list?
Liam laughs at me because I want to go everywhere! But we talk about buying land and settling down once we’ve finished our travels. So I want to see as much as possible before that time comes. We met a couple on the road that were doing the old Hippy Trail and that really sparked something in me. I’d love to drive all the way from the UK to India and make our way through Asia to Australia. That would be the ultimate trip for me.
What is the best place you have visited in your Van and why?
This is a hard question for us, because living in a van it’s so easily to fall in love with a place. We’ve loved so many places and for such different reasons so this question has a different answer every time someone asks us.
Our first trip was the Scottish Highlands and I swore nothing could ever top that experience. But we’ve found ourselves sad to say goodbye to so many places since then. We spent three weeks in Berlin and we loved being able to go get fresh pastries and coffee every morning and going to the playground every afternoon. Indie loves Croatia because there are so many friendly stray cats. Atlas’s favourite place so far has been Budapest for the trams. So I guess it really depends on which family member you ask too.