Mini-adventure tips: van life edition

September 18, 2021

I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

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You know I love a good mini-adventure. Our whirlwind trip in a camper van highlights three of the key tips I recommend for taking the best mini-adventure. Mini-adventures are short, typically less than four days.  You don’t want to be spending too much time travelling, planning, or setting up.  Instead, you want to focus on the people you are with and exploring the destination you are visiting. Here are the hallmarks of our camper van trip that you can apply to any getaway to make in the best one yet!

Use a mini-adventure to test drive your dreams

I have been dreaming about living in a camper van for awhile now. I drool over the pictures of some of my favorite van lifers on Instagram. My favorites are definitely Katie and Ben of Two Wandering Soles. I know how deceptive social media can be though. Testing out this idea seemed like the smart thing to do. So, I hoped onto the website Outdoorsy (it’s basically Air BNB for camper vans and RVs). That’s where I found Vinny Van Go!

Inside of our camper van.
Our cozy home for the weekend, Vinny Van Go.

Testing out this dream was so important! Plus it made for the perfect mini-getaway. When Martin and I drove off in Vinny, we were unsure if we were going to like living this way. In the end, we loved it! We also learned what features of this particular van worked for us and which ones we would do differently. Most of what we realized are things we never would have thought of without actually experiencing it. Things may look fine, or may look inconvenient in someone else’s picture or video. Until you try them out, you’ll never know for sure what works for you

For example, the full size bed was a bit too cozy for the two of us and two dogs.  We agreed we’d sacrifice the larger cabinets for more mattress space.

Keep your trip local

I booked the van but we had no plan on where to go. The van was limited to 150 miles per day. You can actually get pretty far with that mileage. Since we only had the van for 2 days we knew we didn’t want to spend the whole time driving. Martin recommended Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. I spent my childhood going to the beach there. But Martin had never been. It was the perfect distance from home. Plus, it would give him the chance to live out his surfing dreams.

We rented a spot at Sea Coast Camping and RV Resort. I definitely recommend it! It was so clean. The bathroom facilities were spotless. It’s located a few minutes from the beach and there are plenty of restaurants and a grocery store right down the street. For those who are curious, we appreciated the clean facilities because we used the public restrooms, and the ones at the beach, instead of the composting toilet in the van. In an emergency, that would have been an option, though not a very private one.

Adventures and weekend trips don’t have to be far! How many places are within an hours drive of your home that you’ve never spent a lot of time in? I went to the beach in Hampton a lot as a kid. But that was about it. We discovered so many new to me places camping there like Throwback Brewery, Jenness Beach, and Donut Love. (Actually, I already knew about Donut Love, because well, donuts!)

Abby sitting in a chair on a farm drinking a beer.
Enjoying a beer at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, NH

Go with the flow during your mini-adventure

The day we picked up the van it was raining. With two dogs, it was bound to get dirty. There was no way we were keeping the floors of the van clean. I caught myself getting annoyed. Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself, you can clean it later. But later, we went to the beach and got sand everywhere. And I still didn’t clean the floors. The longer they went being dirty, the less I cared (and that’s saying a lot for a neat freak like me!). Sometimes you have to let things be a little dirty so you can spend the time actually enjoying your surroundings and the people (and animals) you are with. Camping of any kind, tent or van, is naturally going to be one of those adventures that is a little dirty. It was a good reminder for me, adventure is best when you go with the flow.

This is why we loved the camper van trip so much. It made it easy to go with the flow. We had everything we needed with us in the vehicle. When we showed up at the beach on the second day, we took the dogs for a walk along the beach. Then Martin changed into his swim suit and went surfing. I opened up the side door and cooked breakfast. Van life made it easy to decide, on the spot, what you wanted to do because you had everything you needed right there. It also made it easy for us to do our own thing with minimal preparation and planning.

Martin heading into the ocean with his surfboard.
Martin heads out for a morning surf.
Coffee through the open van door with the ocean in the background.
Coffee with a view!

If you’re itching to get out of the house, plan a mini-adventure!

Remember these three tips:

  • Test drive a bigger dream adventure
  • Stay local
  • Go with the flow

If you do that, you’re sure to have a great time and enjoy the people you’re with and the places you’re visiting.

Leave a comment below and let me know where you’re planning you’re next mini-adventure!

Two small dogs sleeping on a pillow.
Birdie and Quincy give van life a 5 star review!

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I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

categories

avoiding burnout

time management

finding joy

mindset

popular posts

Signs of Burnout

Time Management Tips

Celebrate Your Progress

See Services

I'll show you how.

Quit the start & stop routine. Instead, make consistent progress.