There are countless positives to owning or purchasing a van - as well as being portable, sizeable mobile homes, and of course,
good forms of transportation, they are the ultimate way to roam the great outdoors.
1. Your Accomodation Travels With You
If you're backpacking, travelling or simply living on the road, there are a few things that make exploring a little more difficult.
One of these is having everything you might need on your trip, in the one bag.
Wether you're backpacking around Asia or wheeling your heavy suitcase from hotel to hotel in Europe - your contents are limited and your
belongings you take and purchase, are entirely determined by size and weight.
Having a lot more space to store your personal possessions within the van makes it easier and possible to carry those items you wouldn't
normally be able to bring with you.
You have a place to keep your hiking gear in case you want to participate in an overnight hike, you have an area for those down jackets and
thermals in case you're caught in some cold weather and there's no need to hire or purchase snorkelling gear when you have the space to carry
your own. Items that are used everyday and objects that are sentimental are close at hand wherever we go - always within close reach. Hard drives
with our favourite images, a collection of novels we are currently immersed in, and our own portable Sprocket Printer.
You have many more choices with what is easily on hand and readily available.
And it is available, as you travel from place to place, wether for a day trip or overnight - your means of transport is also your daily accomodation,
carrying everything and anything you may or may not need on your journey.
2. Extensive Exploration
There's several things that are exciting about a good road trip - the music, stopping for snacks and roadside drinks, but the most enjoyable
part is always what you see along the way.
You're seeing every snippet of an area - you're seeing the road conditions, the locals, the hidden back streets, that underrated cafe, that secret
swimming hole and that not so popular State Park!
Those really popular places are famous for good reason - the Grand Canyon is incomprehensibly beautiful and BIG, Yosemite and
Yellowstone are remarkable, seeing the city lights of New York, Vegas and LA and their bustling streets is unmistakably beautiful.
But all these spots have one thing in common - tourists fly in and out and experience only these destinations, not their undervalued surrounds.
For me, escaping the crowds, seeing the beauty that is in every location and, finding a more remote, less-loved but no less spectacular landscape is
what infatuates me about travel.
Driving from place to place, from camp spot to camp spot and National Park to National Park allows you to see something beautiful everyday,
in the most unlikely and unsuspected places.
We always bring a camera on hand to capture these unique and unforgettable moments, and our Sprocketwhich instantly prints out these memories.
Straight from the HP Sprocket App, we select any photos of our choice of our personal experiences, and then hang them up on our wall - reminding
us each day of all the beauty we have encountered.
The more unknown, the more remote and the less busy - the better!
They are the spots travelling in a van takes you to, the moments worth capturing and they are always the areas that don't have queues waiting to get in.
When you think of travel, visiting different countries and seeing different landscapes, you think - expensive. And you might be right if you
were looking at spending your time and money in resorts, motels or on tours. These are still awesome choices, and probably a lot more stress free,
safe and a lot easier to stay clean haha - but when you're travelling on a budget they can also be a bit unrealistic.
Travelling on the road can be very diverse in terms of costs and affordability. It all depends on your mode of transport, your sleeping arrangements
and how good you are at minimising expenses.
If you're towing a Winnebago from a 4WD whilst staying at National Park campgrounds or powered camp sites - you're probably already spending
quite a fair bit of money every night.
There's also the option of driving a regular vehicle and either finding hostels and motels each night to sleep or setting up a tent on the closest flat,
legal piece of land. This can also increase your expenses rapidly - setting up a tent every night means it's harder to free camp in certain spots
(it might be a bit hard at your local Walmart) and hostel accomodation prices start to add up, turning it into quite an expensive holiday!
Not only does travelling in a van save you money on powered sites, hotels, hostels and room rentals - but most nights you're eating in and you're cooking
on a fire. The only shopping you do is at your local supermarket for groceries - and even then we budget and spend a lot less.
One grocery shop that will last us a week - costs a lot less than one meal would cost out in town for a night!
We do treat ourselves every so often and go out for dinner in a new and exciting city - but it's so rare that we appreciate it that little bit more!
4. You're Always On The Move
Whilst we are exploring on the road, most of the activities we enjoy and most of the sights we see are those that require a bit of walking!
Visiting National Parks and scenic locations allows us to stay fit whilst travelling. We regularly hike strenuous walks with our hiking packs
to escape crowds and camp out under the stars in our tent. This can also be a bit of a challenge for us physically as we always find ourselves hiking up
steep trails with massive inclines carrying over 20kg of weight!
Travelling in the van means washing is a bit more of a challenge, we don't have a hotel room with a pool or an ensuite bathroom,
so we usually exercise to find ourselves a body of water. By hiking to lakes or rivers we are able to have a private wash away from main
roads and highways.
We also find that our diet becomes a lot healthier whilst living on the road. Rather than buying takeaway and spending all our money
in one sitting, or staying at a hotel with breakfast buffets, we stick to more simple and easy to cook meals - containing all our daily nutritional needs!
This is one of the reasons that made me succumb to this type of travel!
Travelling in a van is all about being flexible - making decisions on where to go, what to see and for how long based on your current circumstances.
There are no bookings you have to rush for, nothing making you stay in a location more than you want or need - if you get to a
National Park and it is not what you expected or you're simply not enjoying yourself as much as you had hoped - you can leave, it's as easy as that!
It's always hard to determine what a site, location or area is going to be like until you actually get there, if you're not locked into
accomodation or tours than you're able to travel freely and without the pressure of having to stay.
Sometimes you come to a spot that's just too good to leave - once you arrive you wish you had a little longer to travel further, do
more activities or just relax. If you're on the road without any reservations theres no need to wish - you can stay an extra night
or even an extra week!
When you're travelling there are events completely out of your control - storms, natural disasters, heat waves, and flooding all come suddenly and unexpectedly. You can hope to have perfect weather for your destination but it comes down to complete chance - if you're not on a
schedule you can avoid places with not so great weather and return when it's in your favour.
All the best adventures have no time limit and no itinerary!
At the end of the day we are travelling new locations, learning new cultures and exploring different landscapes whilst having a place to return to that we call home. It's our own personal space, decorated to our tastes and lifestyle - the cupboards are filled with our favourite foods, the bed is moulded to our regular sleeping positions and our walls are covered with Sprocket photos that bring us much joy and happiness. There's no need to check into a hotel that caters to any and everyone, no new layouts to get used to - it's our own, made just the way we like it.
For more information on the HP Sprocket printer checkout their website and CLICK HERE!