A few weeks ago I tried Van Life for the first time. I went on a road trip with a Camper Van Rental company called Travellers Autobarn and it was one of the most exciting decisions of my life. Our journey took us through some of the most picturesque spots in our hometown, a place I truly underestimated for its beauty. Since we wanted to explore California, we rented with Travellers Autobarn's Camper Van Rental in Los Angeles.
Planning the trip:
During our road trip we planned to hit Sequoia National Park and Mammoth Mountain. I wanted to enjoy a Van Life adventure that was relaxing...No driving 8 hour days. Instead, we got to enjoy nature and wake up with a view I would never get tired of each morning.
Sequoia National Park
The van was so spacious. We were able to store all our luggage, enjoy the built in bed, and even cook inside it!! It felt like a little home. I think my favorite part of being in the van was feeling immersed in nature 24/7...
Our first stop was Convict Lake, in Mammoth California, a hidden gem nestled amidst beautiful mountains and lush pine trees. The turquoise waters of the lake mirrored the surrounding scenery, creating a surreal painting-like landscape. We hiked along the shores, soaking in the tranquility, and marveled at the breathtaking views. As night descended, we gathered around a crackling campfire, making s'mores under a starlit sky, sharing stories and laughter that echoed into the quiet wilderness.
Honestly, it was a little bit scary camping alone in the forests...I thought we were going to see bears or other creatures! We did have a run in with a coyote...I think I totally prefer camping in a van vs. camping on the floor in a tent. I would be horrified to see an animal and not be able to crawl into bed in the van haha!!
Each morning, we made breakfast at the lake and got to enjoy morning paddle boarding. Staying in a car with a kitchen was such a surreal experience to me...
OUR FAVORITE FOODS TO COOK IN THE VAN:
- Coffee each morning
- Shake and pour pancakes
- Burgers for dinner
- We kept fruits in the van fridge as well for snacks
It always felt like we got to be the first to experience nature each morning since we woke up with a view like this. I will truly always have an appreciation for Van Life...
OUR FAVORITE STOPS ALONG THIS ROAD TRIP
- June Lake
- Convict Lake
- Mammoth CA as it has beautiful forests you can camp in for free and without making a reservation
On some other nights, we camped in BLM land, which is public land anyone can camp at without reserving a space or paying money to stay!! This felt a lot more wild as we found ourselves in the forest and even had a run in with a coyote...I almost was hoping we would see a bear (from far away). To find BLM land, we used some camping apps that share locations all over California that you can use...
If you're thinking of trying van life for the first time, YES, it is 100% an experience of a lifetime. I truly enjoyed being in nature 24/7. Travellers Autobarn makes amazing vans that are fully stocked for all of your adventures as well. I definitely think it's imperative to rent a van with a kitchen and a bed so you can truly feel at home wherever you travel...
IF I WAS TO DO IT AGAIN:
A few things I would be sure to do next time:
- Pack extra camping chairs
- Bring extra blankets
- Make the trip last a few weeks!!
Where to get started:
If you're in the USA, you can book a Camper Van Rental USA with Travellers Autobarn in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Fransico. If you are looking to book your own abroad Van Life adventure with Travellers Autobarn, they are available for Campervan for hire in Australia and Campervan for hire in New Zealand!! Next time I am hoping to do a Camper Van Rental Japan with Travellers Autobarn as Japan has been on my bucket list for the longest time!!