How To Stay Safe While Living The Adventurous Van Life

What Does Being Safe Actually Mean?

When it comes to safety, we can go quite broad. Because safety isn’t only about keeping yourself alive (OK in some way it is). But I mean, you do not only need to be prepared on ‘Prevent yourself from getting killed’ safety. Because it’s also about being financial, medical, emotional, drivers, pets,… safe. There are a lot of things that you need to be prepared and informed of BEFORE you start this journey. OK, I do know that you will learn a lot during your travel also. But a prepared man (woman) is worth two, right? The more you know before, the better. Besides that, feeling safer will make your travels a lot more fun and enjoyable. Because being safe doesn’t mean that you can’t take any risks or do something challenging anymore, not at all! It means that you do whatever YOU want, in a responsible and self-caring way.


“Safety starts with awareness, and awareness starts with you.”

safety lock

13 Tips To Keep Yourself Safe During Van Life


Van Interior Safety


1) Inside locks, outside locks, everywhere locks

Make sure that you have a good lock on the inside of your van so you can go to sleep with a confident and peaceful mind. Besides that, you should make sure that you check all your locks, in and out, regularly. This will give you a more strong feeling of security.

2) Use some dark privacy curtains

If you have curtains, people can’t see who is living in the van. It can just as well be a well-muscled, big strong man with a good-trained dog. So then ‘bad’ people are less likely to break in that fast. Also for your own privacy is this a good solution! Because you don’t want people to see every step that you are making in your van.

3) Get a smoke alarm / C02 alarm

You can’t be safe enough when it comes to fire, gas or c02. Not everyone might use gas in their van, but I know many of you do or will. So, prevent yourself from getting poisoned by carbon monoxide or gas.

4) Get some defense options

It’s always important to have something to defend yourself when it’s needed. There are a lot of options in this, but you should look for something that you feel most comfortable with. Because in the end, if something happened, you should feel like you are capable of using it. Some examples are, pepper spray, a hammer, a knife, …or you could consider taking some self-defense classes.

5) Go unnoticed

Even when it looks totally cool to pimp up your van on the outside, I would totally discourage it. Try to be as unnoticed as possible. Definitely when you travel alone. You don’t want all people to know that someone is living in your van. It’s better to let people think that this is just a regular car, work-car, or whatsoever. The smaller the van the easier of course. Another great tip that I can give you is to never sleep in the same place that you were spending your day at. If you are constantly getting in your van, out your van, cooking, cleaning,… people will notice that this isn’t just a regular car. So it’s better to drive a little further away if the evening starts to fall. When you arrived at that new spot, try to keep yourself as quiet as possible and dim or put out the lights.

6) Keep your keys close to you

You never know when you suddenly need to leave your spot immediately. Keep your keys always within reach or at a fixed place in your van. You should be able to pick them up and leave right away.

vanlife camper


Own Attitude


7) Follow your own intuition

If you feel like something is off, trust that feeling and don’t doubt it for a second. Just move on to another spot where you feel safer.

8) Act responsible and be alert

Even though being safe doesn’t mean that you can’t take risks in life, you do need to act responsibly and don’t put yourself in any unneeded danger. Be alert and smart all the time.

9) Don’t get paranoid

It’s one thing to follow your intuïtion, and that is something you should definitely do.
But don’t get too paranoïd as well. This can really ruin your whole trip! It’s unnecessary to act scared all the time over nothing. Because the more you get paranoïd the more scared you will get. Besides that, having a negative energy will more likely attract other negative energy. So if you don’t want to attract those negative situations, stop thinking about it.

be smart


Good Communication


10) Let family/friends know where you’re at or heading

If you know that you are heading to a place with less connection, then it’s better to inform a friend or family member about this. If something happens and they didn’t hear anything from you in the agreed period of time, then they can take action. This might sound a bit drastic, but it’s better to be prepared.

Girl with a cellphone


Medical Preparations


11) Take care of a well-provided first-aid box

Make sure that you have a well filled first-aid box and inform yourself when it comes to first aid in case of an accident. Living more minimalistic is good in many ways, but when it comes to safety, I rather have a bit extra then to fall without.

12) Be well informed and get a good medical insurance

Just as the title says, go to your medical insurance service to get well informed about ANYTHING you need to know before leaving.

First Aid Case


Financial Preparations


13) Get your finances right

Get well informed on your monthly payments and your obligations. And also get in contact with all the financial institutions to ask them to send everything on mail. Because it’s not handy if they keep on sending it to your house or domicile. Besides that, you should really make sure that you have a good overview on which monthly, weekly, annual payments you have before leaving. You don’t want to get into any unpleasant surprises.

A book for payments

Love & Joy

Girl with hands in the air.

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