7 Solo Female Van Lifers Tell Us Why They Do It

While it might not be for everyone, traveling alone in a van is empowering and adventurous. However, if you’re a female van lifer who’s never…

While it might not be for everyone, traveling alone in a van is empowering and adventurous. However, if you’re a female van lifer who’s never traveled alone, you might be a little anxious to hit the road.

Don’t panic, though! There’s a whole community out there of badass women navigating the world on their terms, traveling where they want and when they want, and you can do the same. 

We’ve spoken to seven experts to give you a taste of solo van life as a female. In this article, we’ll share their experiences of life on the road and a glimpse into the lifestyle. Let’s get started!

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1. Brenda, Ford E350 Campervan

Image Credit: Brenda, @theroadthroughmyeyes on Instagram.

Brenda has been traveling in her Ford E350 with her furry companion, Ranger, since 2020.

While living abroad, she was inspired to live in a van full-time after seeing vans in Byron Bay, Australia. When we asked her to describe her travel style, she said, “Dwelling in the boondocks; I tend to post up somewhere for weeks at a time.”

Brenda admits that her passion for van life comes from a childhood spent camping and hiking. She urges women thinking about van life to give it a try. For her, the best part about van life is the utter freedom, and she encourages others to be bold and brave. 

However, there are downsides, too. Brenda told us the worst part is the errands that consume a lot of her free time. When we asked her for three things people should know about solo van life for women, she said:

  • It’s not scary like people say it is.
  • It’s actually quite easy.
  • You’ll meet amazing people everywhere you go. 

2. Heather, Chevy Express 3500 Campervan

Image Credit: Heather, @travelingwhilebutch on Instagram

Heather has lived part-time in her Chevy Express 3500 Campervan, Dorothy, since 2021. She’s always loved the great outdoors, and van life lets her enjoy it to the fullest.

When discussing her travel style, Heather told us she likes to do a bit of everything, including spending time in Italy and Baja.

We asked her to advise other women who were considering van life. Here’s what she said:

“If you’re unsure, rent a van for a week… Test it out. If you like it, then go for it. And if you don’t, at least you tried.” 

She also gave us some valuable tips. She encourages solo van lifers to use their best judgment, listen to their gut, and not let their fears dictate what they do. 

Like Brenda, Heather believes the best thing about van life is the freedom it brings. However, she also admits it can get lonely. Luckily, she finds it relatively easy to make friends.

3. Shannon, Mercedes Sprinter Van Build

Image Credit: Shannon, @shaninavan on Instagram

Shannon fell in love with van life when she fell down a rabbit hole on YouTube. She now lives full-time in her Mercedes Sprinter Van

She prefers slow travel but always ends up moving fast because she’s too excited. Although she didn’t have much camping experience when she was younger, she loved running and hiking. 

For her, the best part about solo van life is having the van all to herself. On the other hand, the worst part is not having a copilot to help navigate. 

When discussing safety, Shannon said, “For the most part, I feel safe. I follow my gut, and if I don’t feel safe somewhere, I leave immediately.”

Her advice to other women wanting to hit the road is to take the risk because you’ll be surprised by how rewarding it is. Shannon said, “Just get out there! You won’t regret it!” 

She believes two things women should know about life on the road are that it’s not as dangerous as people say it is and that you don’t need a partner to protect you.

4. Melissa, Mercedes Sprinter Van

Image Credit: Melissa Hungerford, @melsvanlife on Instagram

Next, we have Melissa, a traveling nurse who hit the road in 2021 in her Mercedes Sprinter, which she lives in full time. She got the idea to live in a van from social media and her passion for hiking, camping, and skiing. 

We asked Melissa to tell us more about her travel style, and she said, “I do a little bit of everything. Boondocking, at work, national parks, ski resorts. I love traveling around to new spots.”

Like the other experts, Melissa urges women to try solo van life. She wants everyone to know that women can do anything men can and that we can travel alone. 

Melissa loves hopping in her van and going wherever she wants but admits that living in a small space can be challenging at times. She regularly bumps her head. 

Melissa has some advice if you’re concerned about your safety on the road. She believes that staying aware of your surroundings and where you park will help you stay and feel safe. 

5. Stephanie, Chevy Box Truck Conversion

Image Credit: Stephanie, @thevanlifechronicles on Instagram

Stephanie from @thevanlifechronicles has been a full-time van lifer for more than five years. She initially wanted to move into a tiny home but quickly fell in love with van life when she saw other van lifers on social media. 

Now, she called her Chevy Box Truck “home” and travels wherever the road takes her. She enjoys sightseeing and slow days on the road. 

In her opinion, the best thing about solo van life is living on your own terms. She also loves the community of like-minded people you get to know on the road.

The worst part about van life for Stephanie is doing all the cleaning and other chores on her own. She admits that it would be nice to have someone with her occasionally.

As far as safety on the road is concerned. Stephanie did share her worries. She told us that women do need to be aware of their surroundings but that, in reality, living in a van alone is no different from living in a house alone.

Overall, Stephanie believes everyone should try solo van life. She encourages others to ignore the horror stories and to “just do it!” 

6. Olivia, Ford Transit Van

Image Credit: Olivia, @transientperennial on Instagram

Olivia is new to the full time van world, so she’s a great person to ask about solo van life if you’re a beginner. 

Olivia’s travel style involves trying to move locations every six months, and living out of her Ford Transit makes that possible. When we asked her for some advice for our readers, her number one tip was to “Learn how to say no when you want or need to because the van is your home and boundaries are important.”

Olivia also told us what she thinks are the best and worst things about van life. She believes the best part is being able to make your own decisions. In her opinion, the worst part is having to ask for help or to use a shower.

During our interview, we also asked Olivia to share two or three things she wished people knew about solo female van life. Here’s what she had to say:

  • “The van is the perfect way to build community and be out in nature.”
  • “I am someone who likes to turn my phone off as much as possible. Caveman TV, aka fires, is my favorite way to pass the time.”

7. Brooke, Dodge RAM Promaster Campervan

Image Credit: Brooke @pettyprinethepromaster

Brooke is a full-time solo traveler living full time out of a Ram Promaster van. Her love for van life developed after she rented a Ford Transit Connect for a road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road. 

Brooke described her travel style as all over the place. She loves seeing new places with her dog, Totopo, and can regularly be found exploring big cities or working in a coffee shop. 

Her advice to other women thinking of solo van life is to reach out to others. Brooke has formed great relationships with fellow female travelers on Instagram. These connections regularly answer questions and recommend campsites. 

Her favorite thing about solo van life is never having to consider anyone else’s opinions. Her least favorite thing is not having support with things like cooking when she’s sick. 

Regarding safety on the road, Brooke told us she’s never felt safer than in her van. However, whenever she’s felt uncomfortable, she’s always followed her gut and moved on. 

Brooke’s takeaway for other women is to “worry less about Instagram photos and more about your experience.”

It’s difficult to sum up the full essence of solo female van life in one article, but hopefully, we’ve given you a peek into life as a solo traveler. Thanks to our experts, you should now have a much greater understanding of what van life entails as a solo female traveler. So, is it for you? Or is there more you need to learn first before you can decide?

Want to Live the Van Life? Here are the 16 Best Vans to Live In

white 2018 mercedes sprinter parked on a ranch during sunset
Photo Credit: VanCamper

If you’re considering living the van life, a lot goes into choosing the right type of van for your needs. If you want a campervan but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered! 

I’ve lived in a Toyota Prius, a Chevy Astro Van and now a self-converted Sprinter van. In this post, we’ll outline the best vans for van life so you can travel as a weekend warrior or full-time van lifer.

12 Ridiculously Overpriced Camper Vans And Trucks

Photo Credit: Hymer

With over 16 million posts tagged #vanlife on Instagram, it’s no wonder the van life trend has now become mainstream. But it’s not just Millennials and Zoomers self-converting old vans posting on the platform. 

More and more people are hoping to hit the road and go on a long off-grid adventure, but they don’t want to give up the luxuries they have at home. So manufacturers are responding by producing rigs that can travel anywhere while resembling a 5-star hotel room inside.

Here are the most expensive camper vans and trucks we could find on the market.

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