You’re here, you’re there, you’re everywhere. Coast to coast, city to city. Never in one spot for more than five minutes. The twenty-first-century nomad, the wanderer with no strings. Forever on the move, constantly onto something new. You’re tough to seek, and even harder to find.
You’re living the life, and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
But this existence, like any other, comes with its own set of cautions and risks. Being prepared is important. Having a plan can prevent panic during an emergency. You need a guide, a list of steps on where to start to ensure that your life on the road runs smoothly.
Step One: Make Sure You’re Covered
Your average commuter car insurance isn’t going to cover the kind of life you live. You need something for high mileage and substantial claim rates in case you’re in an accident.
When selecting your coverage, you want to choose something that fits well with your lifestyle and budget. Collect multiple quotes, and speak with representatives from each insurance company to determine the perfect fit.
If you live out of your vehicle, you’ll need a policy that covers stolen or damaged property. If your vehicle is renovated in any way, customized for cooking, eating, sleeping, showering, etc., your chosen insurance company should know this. That way, if your vehicle is ever stolen, you’re receiving compensation for the contents of the vehicle as well as the vehicle itself.
Search for plans that cover your security devices. Cameras, lock systems, and alarms can be expensive. Find policies that reimburse you in the event that these items are taken.
You put a substantial amount of work into this lifestyle, it’s smart to make sure you’re covered for it.
Step Two: Secure Your Vehicle
Not every second of the nomad life is spent in search of your next adventure. Most of it, like most of life, is spent sitting, or sleeping.
Make sure the area you choose to stop in is safe. Choose a popular campsite or well-lit area that allows overnight parking. Do your research before you arrive, and trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel safe, leave.
Plan to arrive at your destination before dark, this makes it easier to scope the area. Half the battle of securing your vehicle is surveying the location you’re placing it in.
When you’re staying in your van overnight, having the doors locked isn’t enough. Invest in an alarm system as well as additional bolting methods to prevent people from breaking into the vehicle.
Purchase a few cameras, one for the dashboard, one for the rear windows, and one for the inside of the vehicle.
Leave your driver’s seat free of clutter in case you need to leave in a hurry. It’s also smart to secure any cabinets or storage containers. You don’t want anything jostling around while you drive.
Purchase a fire extinguisher, lock your valuables in a small safe, and keep your car keys in an easily-accessible area. Keep a record of the places you’ve been, including the areas where you’ve stayed overnight. If you leave something, you’ll know where to go back to get it.
Safety is crucial for Vanlife. You want to be protected while you travel.
Step Three: Have a Point of Contact
Someone needs to know where you are at all times. When you’re traveling solo, share your phone’s location with trusted family and friends. Send a quick message to your contacts so they’re informed of your whereabouts, and in case of emergency, can let local authorities know where you are, where you’ve been, and where you intend to go.
Take these same precautions if you’re traveling with a partner. They should have a separate list of emergency contacts if in the event you’re unable to get in touch with yours. This also comes in handy if you get lost, or break down in an unpopulated area.
The idea of being “off-the-grid” and unreachable comes with its enticements, but, safety should always be the priority. You can experience the unplugged lifestyle while also being diligent with your security measures.
Expect the unexpected. You can plan as much as you wish, and oftentimes, everything will be fine; but all it takes is once for things to fall out of sync, and you find yourself in need of assistance. Be prepared, and take all necessary precautions. You’re more likely to enjoy your adventures if you know that you’re safe while doing them.
You’re the great explorer, an expert wanderer. Moving from place to place is the only way you’ve ever felt at home. Your way of life deserves to be protected. You should feel safe wherever you belong.