Tom and myself have been traveling as minimalist travelers for over 5 years now.
Being able to jump on a flight for a 3-month long trip with just a 19L backpack is an amazing experience – no bulky luggage to lug around or useless items that you never end up using in the end.
At the same time I was looking at tiny homes – perfectly designed living spaces built with minimalism in mind.
But what if you could combine both travel and tiny houses in one?
Well, that’s exactly what #vanlife is all about.
This summer we decided to “test out” van life by renting a vintage VW in Portugal for a surf trip.
Suffice to say, we’re counting down the days until we have our van all to ourselves.
In the meantime, here are some of the best van life instagram accounts you’ll find (mine excluded – I don’t qualify yet!):
Alison and her rescue dog Max travel the world while working as photographer for publications such as the National Geographic and many more.
There are two types of fun. The first type is predictable and planned. You know how you'll feel, perhaps you've done it before and want another chance of feeling the experience. The second type of fun might not be fun at the time but when you look back, you realize just how amazing it was. It might be scary, difficult, unpredictable, hard, emotional, and perhaps it might be riddled with anxiety at the time but looking back, it might be the most fun you've ever had… might be the one experience that gets thought of the most, and the first story you tell friends. What does the best experiences have in common? Fear. Sure, it's scary to do something that isn't predictable but the rewards are great. You gain confidence, strength, and those feelings are contagious. Do the thing you've been wanting to do but are afraid to do it. You will thank yourself later. Believe me, I have to remind myself of this when I feel uncomfortable. #notetoself #getuncomfortable
Casey, Ransom and K2
An ’86 Westfalia is all these three need to call home on their adventures.
Well friends, the day has come: we left our van with dear friends in CO for the next two months and are en route home to make a few bucks and spend the holidays with family. It's a bitterweet moment, but we are excited to say that we cant wait to get back on the road in the new year. Mexico 2018! . . . #everyroadleadstohome #getinthevan #thevansinstorage #vanlife #wayoutthere #mexico2018
Betrand, originally from France, travels around Europe in his VW van taking epic shots, many of which you can find in his book “Drive Your Adventure”.
Bryce turned an old school bus into a tiny home, while working as wedding photographers who aren’t afraid of hitting the road to seek adventure.
When you really want to cook spaghetti on the propane stove after riding the trails, and a crazy wind storm moves in…you eat gritty spaghetti while the bus sways and life is good off the grid! 🌬🍝 • • • • • • • • • • #lifeontheroad #getoutside #finnyhillphotography #beboldseekadventure #tinyhouse #alternativeliving #schoolbusconversion #skoolie #schoolbuslife #vanlife #tinyhousenation #boondocking #livewithintention #travelphotographers #buslife #boondocking #tinyhousemovement #tinyhouseliving #moab #mountainbike #homeiswhereyouparkit #beinthemoment #minimalism #homeonwheels #travelgram #welivetoexplore #lifeofadventure #optoutside #wildernessculture #letsgosomewhere #beinthemoment
Did you ever want a van that can truly go anywhere? Well, you might want to check out this beast: a 1964 Unimog. David is an accomplished film director and vanlifer with shots spanning the globe.
I tried looking but couldn't find any snow along the west coast. #bestcoast #unimog #uniblog #snowday #adventuremobile #campvibes #mercedes #benz #mercedesbenz #pacificocean #pch #pismobeach #oceano #oceanodunes #rei1440project #getoutdoors #lifted #4×4 #overland #neverstopexploring #keepexploring #natgeolandscape #natgeotravelpic #landscape #expeditionportal @expeditionportal @motusworld #sundaybeachday #lostincalifornia #lifeintheslowlane
Her Instagram by-line is “professional weekender”, and her snaps will certainly make you spend your Saturday and Sunday somewhere else than your couch – perferably in a big yellow van lost in the desert somewhere!
Sina and Carsten
In 2016 this couple graduated from university, quit their jobs and bought an old VW T4 camper to hit the road through Europe.
Sarah & Bryan
In a van called Copa, this duo travels around North America. Theirtalent for premium guacamole and Mexican condiments proves that van life doesn’t have to mean sacrificing great food.
There are lots of staged "back of the van" photos out there (especially with lots of 🍑), but not this one. This is a typical night for us. Dirty dishes on the counter that we're too lazy to wash. The dog tearing something to bits on the floor. The "not clean but not yet dirty" pile of clothes on the cabinet. Foil still in the windows from a blazing hot day. Baby wipes falling off the shelf. Sarah playing on her phone instead of reading the book in her lap. Myself, doing the same thing in the passenger seat. So then I did something I don't normally do on nights like this…I quietly picked up the camera and squeezed the shutter 📸 -Bryan
James lived out of a van and then traded it in to live on a bike! He’s currently travelling from Alaska to Argentina, and you’ll appreciate his background as a professional photographer in his Insta-snaps.
For the last 3 years I’ve lived in my 1976 VW van. Since May of this past spring, I’ve lived off of my 1996 Suzuki DR650. Check out my updated website to get the full scoop on the backstory and beginning of #thepanamericantrail. A little late on the draw but will finally have bi-monthly field reports coming soon to an internet browser near you. Link in bio! ☝🏻
Jessica travelled with her family accross Europe in a 1987 Syncro Westfalia. You’ll find inspiring shots from all across Europe that will inspire you to ship your van over to the old continent immediately!
The first and only time I have ever used the front screen to get on the roof, but I remember being quite unexpectedly hungover and this just seemed easier. Anyhoo, anyone out there looking to buy a Westy roof and canvas? With the installation of our Coast Mountain hightop we're holding. Hit me up or whatever the kids are saying! 📸 @rebeccaandlindsey #salesalesale #vanlife #vanagonlife #westylife #coastmountainhightops #adventuremobile #vw
Jon’s work has simple, yet compelling aesthics of shots from the back of his van from his travels.
Juliana + Richmond + Roscoe
Living out of a Ford Transit and hailing from Oregen this couple and their trusty pet Roscue explore the west coast. And if you want to build your own house on wheels, they have a book on just how to do that yourself you can check out.
Kit + J.R. + Sunshine
Living out of their yellow van since 2012, Kit and J.R. have been living the #vanlife before the hashtag even existed! Follow them for pics from accross the US and check out “Orange is Optimism”, their book blending a novel and photobook in one.
Fall is the sunset of seasons. – Just as the clouds glow pink at nightfall, the aspens delight us with shocks of yellow before winter arrives. – The earth knows exactly what she's doing. She comforts us with a blockbuster show when we it need it most, a burst of color before the world turns cold and leafless and grey. #orangeisoptimism
Sabrina and Jimmy
Love great vegan food and vans? This account from Sabrina and Jimmy combines both along with shots of pure Americana on the road.
Noel manages to pack in van life, travels and working at a homeless shelter in Oakland as well as traveling with TWO dogs.
To be compassionate, is to be brave. Compassion asks questions, and waits patiently in the uncomfortable silence of unknown Compassion creates space for growth and change and movement And affirms the unexplained One time I sat in child’s pose for an entire yoga class In pain from an illness that I’m still learning to live with Angry, tears pooled beneath my face on my purple mat Then the teacher touched the small of my back and said softly “Meet yourself with compassion.” So I stayed there, for another hour, forehead pressed to the ground. Compassion calls us to stem the gap of unfamiliarity And resist the culturally conditioned response of fight-or-flight To love beyond reason, and rally against judgement. Every day my job requires me to extend compassion to those on the outside But I’m still struggling to follow the guidance my teacher gave me that day And I’m ok with that…so, I guess I’m getting somewhere.
One of the biggest Instagram accounts in her Swiss homecountry, Martina rolls around the world in her orange VW. Follow for the jaw-dropping shots of the Alps!
Our Van “Charlotte” that we rented in Portugal in June 2017 for a trip down through the Alegro region on a surf trip.
Renee has visited 28 countries before the age of 26, but she isn’t stopping there. Her professional background as a travel photographer shines through in her breath-taking shots from life on the road.
Stunning shots of vans and waves along the north-western coast make Jarret’s account a “must follow”!
Sam and Ryan
These two architects combined their love for tiny homes and travel to kit out an old school bus as their home after an impulse buy in their last year of college.
Tim’s own personal hashtag is #redbusrolling, and he’s on the move in Europe without any particular destination in mind.
Viktoria & Michael
Two Austrians travelling around Europe in a VW, their Instagram account is packed with insanely beautiful pics from the Alps. amonst other destinations.
Hours of driving never get boring with a goofball by my side 🤹🏻♂🙉 Any pro tips for driving long distances, guyssss? 😊 _ _ _ _ #bluemoonthecrew #greatnorthcollective #moodygrams #vanlifediaries #roadtrip #artofvisual #diewocheaufinstagram #homeiswhereyouparkit #travelphotography #earthfocus #discoverearth #ourplanetdaily #exploretocreate #roamtheplanet #earth_shotz #austrianblogger #blogger_de #blogger_at #travel #travelblogger #travelgirl #instagood #sonyalpha #vanlife #visualsofearth @natgeotravel @folksouls @instagram @theglobewanderer @instagood
Katch and Ben
With a van called “The Tardis”, their Instagram feed is full of snaps from rock climbing and riding through the desert.