The absolute best times of my life have always been when I’m surrounded by my best friends! From traveling the world to discovering new cities with my besties, there has never been a dull moment.
Now, traveling alone is fun and all but traveling with your friends is a blast. This year, my friends and I decided that we wanted to travel across Canada for the summer and explore what our beautiful country has to offer. While there is still a LOT of planning to do, I’ve been spending the majority of my days watching YouTube videos for inspiration. A great example is a web series created by Kijiji that showcases the amazing things that people have done with the second-hand economy. One episode is all about decking out a Westfalia van, so you can say I’ve been inspired.
I’ve compiled a list of ways to build the ultimate road trip van which is sure to come in handy this summer when I’m off with my friends exploring Canada. And hey, it might even spark some curiosity in you too!
Purchase a Volkswagen Westfalia van because how else are you going to get around?
The very first way to build the ultimate road trip van is to, well, get your hands on a van. If you’re a hard core tripper, you’re going to want to purchase one. I mean, you'll be living in it after all, and it will definitely come in handy on all those road trips you have planned. I know what you’re thinking… “Ana, I don’t have that kind of cash." Well, did you know that you can actually rent a vintage VW Westfalia van? If you're on a tight budget, there are plenty of listings where people are renting out their vans and if you have the money to buy your own Westfalia, the site is a good place to start looking.
Invest in a nice bed because hello, sleep.
If you’re going to be road tripping like my friends and I are doing this summer, you’re most likely going to be sleeping in your Westfalia van. Unless you’re one of those “fake” road trippers who drives in their van but sleeps in a hotel. I’m sure you aren’t though, so let’s move on.
Investing in a nice bed is going to change your life. I’m not saying that you need to invest in the same kind of bed that you have at home, but you need to take into consideration that you will be sleeping in this bed all summer and you’re most likely going to be sharing it. If you’re trying to save a little more room in your van, consider building a sofa bed that you can switch day and night. There are tons of DIY videos on the internet and if you take a look at them, you'll notice how surprisingly easy it is to build your own bed frame. All you really need is some wooden pieces and of course, a mattress.
Storage, storage, STORAGE!
Living in a WF van all summer can prove to be extremely cramped. Let’s face it… it’s no condo. But if you’re smart, then you know how simple it can be to add some space to your beautiful camper van. The trick is that you don’t want to leave things lying around because then your camper van will always look messy. The solution? Storage. Building your own storage doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you just need to utilize all the space you have. For example, adding some sliding cabinets under your bed will create a lot more space to stash all of your belongings!
A mini fridge will come a long way. So will a microwave. And a camping stove.
This one is a little more obvious because you have to eat. Just because you’re going to be on the road doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to cook up your favourite meals. Consider finding a second-hand mini fridge on Kijiji for super cheap. You can actually score everything that you need to pimp out your kitchen! Now you can wake up to the sweet sweet smell of sizzling bacon every damn day!
SOLAR PANELS ARE YOUR LIFE.
If you’re not environmentally friendly then sure, go ahead and invest in a generator. But just remember that putting solar panels on the roof of your camper van can actually power up your mini fridge, electric camping stove, your computer, any other outlet inside your van, lights, and of course, your stereo and tv.
Invest in a wireless Bluetooth speaker because you’re going to want some tunes on the road.
Sure, you can get tunes from your camper's radio, but what happens when the camper is turned off? See, you didn’t even think about that! Well guys, this is the easiest fix. Get your hands on a Bose wireless speaker and jam out to your favourite tunes. And if your speaker needs to be charged, don’t worry, your solar panel has got you covered!
Purchase a second-hand tv + your favourite video game console.
After a long day of activities, you’re going to want to come home for some Netflix and chill. Yeah, you can Netflix using your laptop, but wouldn’t it be nicer if the screen was bigger? Hell yeah. Now, what if you’ve already watched all the best episodes of Grey’s Anatomy? What then? Well, this is where your favourite video game console will come in handy. I highly suggest Super Nintendo because it’s SUPER NINTENDO. Who doesn’t love Mario?
Decorate the interior with some lights, picture frames, and curtains.
It's what's on the inside that counts right? Your camper van is going to be your home for however long you plan on road tripping, so you might as well make it as comfortable as possible. Get some old Christmas lights from your home and place them around your bed for a cozy vibe. You can also decorate the walls by adding some picture frames, cute quotes or posters! Lastly, don't forget to add some curtains for some privacy and consider making your own DIY cushions and pillows for some added comfort.
So you see guys, building the ultimate road trip van is not all that complicated. Just know that it will require a lot of time, but all the best things in life require a little bit more love.
If you still need a little more guidance on how to transform your camper van, check out this video from Kijiji’s web series, Second-Hand Van: