What You Should Know Before Signing Up to Travel the US and Work From a Van

Many remote workers are embracing alternative lifestyles and satisfying their wanderlust thanks to increased job flexibility. Since working remotely lets you work from anywhere, many workers are choosing to travel the US by van while they maintain their careers.

Van life can be incredibly freeing, but it also has its challenges. The most important element to van life is flexibility. Things often don’t go as planned, and in fact, they usually don’t, so the first thing to let go of is the need to stay on a strict schedule. Whether you are doing van life full time or part time, these are a few of the other more important things to figure out before you hit the road. 

Pack lightly

If you’re used to living in a house or apartment, paring your possessions down for van life can be rough. In fact, you’ll almost certainly bring too much stuff your first time out. Traveling lightly will become your new mantra, otherwise, your things will quickly take over the van. Remember to leave enough room for a small work area. 

Make sure you’re always connected

When you’re working on the road, it’s imperative that you have a strong WiFi connection at all times. Check out this list of national and international mobile WiFi hot spots for some of the best solutions. Remember, you can almost always turn your phone into a hot spot through your mobile carrier. 

The views are sure to be stunning | Submitted by Hannah Ballard

Get a gym membership

A monthly membership at a nationwide gym doesn’t cost very much, and will be one of the best investments you make. Gym memberships allow you to work out and, most importantly, shower to your heart’s content.

As beginner van dwellers quickly figure out, bathroom time is a top priority. Planet Fitness is a popular choice, and besides free showers, the gym includes the following amenities:

  • Use of any Planet Fitness club worldwide
  • Free WiFi
  • Bring a guest free anytime
  • Free fitness training
  • Use of massage chairs
  • Use of tanning
  • 50 percent off drinks
Parking spots like this are hard to beat | Submitted by Nate Smith

Decide where you’ll be parking

It can be very stressful driving around trying to figure out where to safely and legally park the van for the night. When you’re taking your home office on the road, making plans and arrangement for where to spend the night will make for a much more enjoyable experience. You can always pay for a campsite, which usually offer other amenities like showers and laundry facilities. 

There are also free options for staying overnight, including Walmart parking lots, where vans, campers, and RV’s stay the night at no cost. Check here to get the details and rules, and to find a Walmart lot near you that allows camping. You can also download the RV Parky app for a full, updated list of campgrounds, RV parks, gas stations, rest areas, and stores that allow you to park overnight. 

Cell signal is the key

One thing you will always have to keep in mind when living and working remotely out of your van is cell service. A great option for a lot of digital nomads is Google Fi, which automatically chooses the strongest signal available. 

Working remotely while you travel the US in a van is an incredible way to see the country, enjoy total freedom, and have amazing adventures.

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