Do you want to rent the #vanlife but are hesitant due to the variable costs of being out on the road? Are you planning your first ever VANcation and seeking guidance? We’re here to help.
Although each adVANture is unique, it is useful to have a starting point to gauge from. We recently partnered with our friend Shayla from Living On A One Way for an 8 day road trip from Phoenix, AZ to Minneapolis, MN and she generously broke down the costs and other tips from her road trip to help you with your planning. You can watch Shayla’s full video recap from her trip at the bottom of this post.
IMPORTANT: We generally do not provide one-way travel options, but occasionally we have special one-way promotions like Shayla’s trip. If you would like to receive these special offers, follow us on Instagram @voyagercampervans.
Shayla’s VANcation Breakdown:
- Pickup Location: Phoenix, Arizona
- Destination: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Trip Duration: 8 days
- Total Distance: 2,400 miles
- Campervan Rental: $1,000
- Gas: $280 (filled up 9 times)
- Food & Park Passes: $350
Total Cost: $1,630 ($815/person)
- One-way flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix: $250
Tips for reducing costs on your road trip:
Rent a small campervan.
- Not all campervans are created equally when it comes to gas mileage. To keep fuel costs low, rent a smaller campervan.
- Most campervans are considered Class B motorhomes and make boondocking (parking for free) and dry camping easier for adVANturers looking to travel off the beaten path.
Prepare your own food.
- Bring along your own food and prepare meals as much as possible. Voyager Campervans come equipped with a cooler, but make sure to bring your own if the van you’re using does not have this feature. Our campervans also have a stove, cooking fuel, cooking pot, pan and kettle so that you can still prepare home-cooked meals while on the road.
- Make sure you have a way to wash dishes if you’ll be cooking throughout your trip.
- If you want to save money on food, but don’t want to cook, you can also bring along MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). All you’ll need is boiling water to heat them.
Buy a national park pass.
- Plan ahead if you are going to be visiting national parks and other destinations that may require a pass to get in. If you’ll be visiting multiple parks, you can purchase an annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands pass for $80 here: America the Beautiful Passes
- NOTE: These passes are mailed to you so make sure you purchase them prior to your trip. Also, make sure to look up the parks you’ll be visiting to see if they are covered under the pass. Some parks are run by the state or city you’re in and will not be included.
Bring water bottles.
- Buying water while on the road likely won’t blow up your budget, but it is an easily avoidable and unnecessary cost. Plus, it’s much more eco-friendly!
- Pro Tip: bring a water bottle like the Seychelle Advanced Water Filter Bottle that will allow you to drink clean, filtered water from virtually any water source.
- Look at the weather forecast and plan what you need to bring accordingly. Always, ALWAYS bring a rain jacket, even if the forecast is bright and sunny. Planning ahead will help you avoid making unnecessary purchases on your trip.
Full Video: How much did our VAN trip cost?
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