Some say it’s crazy but we say van life as a couple is one of the most rewarding and incredible things to do. Sharing a tiny space will help you to understand and respect each other like nothing else. Being on the road and constantly pushing boundaries, means that you will grow and flourish together. And of course, sharing beautiful moments and unique experiences will reward you with an everlasting bond.
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There will definitely though, be moments when you quite frankly want to throttle each other and after 18 months of van life as a couple, we have had our fair share of these moments. Living a harmonious life as a couple in a van is all about finding that balance and establishing boundaries with yourself and each other, and we hope these tips will help you to do just that.
Van Life As A Couple- Choosing Your Van….
1. Think About Your Van Before You Move In
Knowing what you want from your small space and fulfilling those wants as much as you can is going to make van life as a couple a lot smoother for you both. Start by sitting down together and listing the essentials for each of you, as well as adding in ‘things that would be nice too’. There might (and probably will) be some compromises to be made but it’s better to get those sorted beforehand, so you can enjoy your time on the road.
2. Make It Feel Like Home
Making your van feel homely, cosy and adding some personal touches will mean that you will feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed in it. As a couple, you may have different tastes, and in a tiny space, it may be tricky to add touches from each of you without it looking too cluttered or busy. Agree on a theme together or split different areas so you can both put your stamp on your tiny home on wheels.
Wondering how we work from and live in our van full-time —> read more here.
On The Road As A Couple…
3. Plan Your Van Life Adventures As a Duo
Van life is one big adventure but adventures do take some planning. To enjoy the whole journey sit down jointly and map out where you are going, what you would really love to see along the way and maybe even pop in there a couple of secret spots from each of you. Remember to include the things that you both really love to do and if they are different be prepared to give your partners choices a try, you never know you may even like it.
4. Take Care Of The Hiccups As One
There will inevitably be a few hiccups along the way, hopefully, they won’t be too serious but whatever they are we would recommend working as a team to get them resolved. Under times of stress tensions can run high, just remember that getting into an argument over the tone that your partner has chosen to take when they are trying to deal with something pretty urgent is probably not a good idea.
5. Talk To Others
It’s easy when travelling together to get into a routine, especially when off-grid in a van of only talking to each other. When you do come back to a place where there are other motorhomers, campervanners and people take advantage of it – go out, have a chat, make friends and learn from the experience of others.
It Takes Two To Van Life As A Couple…
6. Give Each Other Space
In our opinion no matter how much you love each other and see yourself as one you are still two separate living entities and your personal space should be valued. Be mindful of this as you share your tiny space, perhaps by giving each other the room to relax on your own with a good book for an hour or time to go for a walk alone. Everyone needs time to replenish their own energy and when they do it means they are fuller and more able to give to others.
This might mean deciding on particular jobs that you each do or splitting up the jobs when they need to be done, either way being in a campervan will certainly come with its fair share of extra jobs. If you work together to get things done such as filling water, getting rid of your grey waste, the dreaded job of emptying the loo or getting everything set up inside the van after a long journey, you’ll have more time to enjoy the fun that van life brings.
Make Your Van Life As A Couple Romantic…
8. Make The Most Of The Cosy-ness
One of the best things about van life as a couple is cosying up inside together with a cup of tea and breakfast in bed, a movie and some yummy snacks or a glass of wine and a homecooked meal. Nothing beats the feeling of being cocooned up inside of your van with each other especially when it’s cold or raining outside.
We love our fleece snuggly blanket, it’s perfect for cosy mornings and can even be plugged in and heated when hooked up to electricity. We have the —> MaxKare Electric Heated Throw blanket <—
9. Take Advantage Of The Amazing Locations
By this we mean organise special things in the places that you visit – pack a picnic, some candles, and a bottle of wine and go sit and watch the sunset on the beach. Get up extra early, take a flask of coffee and watch the sunrise over a castle. Plan to visit special places when there’s no-one else around – if somewhere is super touristy rise before the crowds arrive and enjoy the peace and tranquility with just the two of you.
10. Spend Lots Of Time In Nature Together
Whether big or small, time in nature will always help you to reconnect, we think as a couple spending a day in the mountains or walking a rugged coastline is one of the most romantic things to do.
11. Enjoy Cooking For Each Other
They say that the way to a man’s (or women’s) heart is through their stomach, however in our experience, if you attempt to prepare a meal together in a tiny weeny space then you are not really filled with joy and a good appetite afterward. Make the most of this by taking it in turns to cook and enjoying the delights that you create for each other. And if one of you is really awful at cooking you could always have a romantic meal out when it’s their turn.
Think About What Each Of You Want From Van Life…
12. Take Some Time For Yourselves
We mean each of you as individuals. If you spend all of your time living and breathing as a couple, you may lose sight of what you would like from your adventures, van life and life in general. It’s vital to take some time to sit with yourself and reflect on how things are going and how you want them to be. This will, of course, mean that you are serving your relationship from a much healthier and positive place.
13. Start A New Hobby
Being away from it all and away from, for want of a better way of putting it ‘normal routine’ can mean that you’ll have lots more time and energy to focus on new things. It can be really fun to try new things whilst on the road and may even add a sense of routine into your days. You could try painting, yoga, knitting, journaling, drawing or meditation, to name a few.
Take A Break…
14. Take A Rest From Van Life And From Digital Too
Last but by no means least, as we really believe that this is one of the key things in achieving balanced van life as a couple – take a break. Don’t keep travelling when you are both worn out and need to rest, take advantage of having your home with you and being able to stop whenever and wherever you choose. As well as this think about the amount of time you spend online, there is a fine line between sharing your journey and keeping up with family and friends or even the world and being in the moment and enjoying where you are. This is where boundaries with yourself and each other com into play, know them and recognise when it is time to stop, unplug and recharge.
Do you travel or live in your van as a couple – are there any experiences or tips you would like to add? Are you thinking of starting van life as a couple and have some questions?
Let us know in the comments!
Kelly and Adam x