PLANNING A ROAD TRIP ACROSS AMERICA IN A VW BUS

by | 2019 | The Lills, Travel

One might think that there’s a ton of planning that goes into a road trip across America…but for us, that wasn’t the case. There were only a few decisions we needed to make, before taking off on an adventure of a lifetime.

WHAT ROUTE SHOULD WE TAKE ON OUR USA ROAD TRIP?

When it came to mapping out our trip, we went with the “what feels right” strategy, instead of choosing destinations before leaving. We felt that trying to control things too much, would interfere with the natural experiences that could unfold. We believed that it was best for us to let go of the reigns, rely on our intuition and be there, for whatever was meant to be. Our only real plan, was to let our hearts be our guides.

WHAT SHOULD WE BRING ON OUR USA ROAD TRIP?

We had just been hit by Hurricane Matthew, so we had very few belongings to begin with. We donated almost everything we had and discarded the rest, until we were down to a computer, a camera, a phone, some bus parts and tools, some kitchenware, clothes, toiletries and a few sentimental belongings. It felt amazing to be so lightweight and we became confident that less was more.

HOW TO LIVE IN A VW BUS CAMPER? – 80 SQUARE FEET

We had spent the last 7 years together, living and working on our little design business, so we were used to living on top of each other. We were used to living and working out of small spaces and getting by without much. We shared everything we had and we loved living a simple life. The trip ahead of us meant that all of America was about to be our front yard, so we imagined the small space wouldn’t be a problem for us.

When it came to finding a shower or where to park our bus at night, options could get slim. We had learned from past road trips that there was always a way, if we had the will. We also knew the power of asking others. Other travelers, locals, business owners and families were always willing to point us in a possible direction to food, water, shelter or fun.

WHAT CAN WE EAT ON THE ROAD IN A VW BUS?

On the day we left, we brought tons of fresh fruit, veggies, water, healthy snacks and nibbles in our portable coolers. We knew how to shop and eat healthy on very little, whether it be at a grocery store, farmers market or farm. It was important to stretch our money as far as we could, so we figured we’d only treat ourselves at a café or restaurant, every once a while to celebrate. We understood there would be times when fresh or healthy ingredients wouldn’t be available, or when we’d be down to so little that we wouldn’t be able to afford healthy options. That was a reality we were willing to face.

SHOULD WE BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE ON OUR ROAD TRIP?

We decided to say goodbye to social media (other than uploading our travel videos on our YouTube channel) for over a year, while on our adventure across the United States. Our concept was to have a, sort of, off-grid experience, where there would be no distractions from living, experiencing and being in the now. Rather than being focused online, we focused on where we were and what we were doing. Our trip wasn’t about gaining attention or anything tangible. We were out for a distraction-free adventure that would lead us to our Simple Life With Big Adventures!

HOW CAN WE MAKE MONEY WHILE TRAVELING?

Being our own boss has been a blessing and has absolutely been worth the time, sweat and effort that it took to create a small design business for ourselves. We focused on a variety of selft-taught skills that we honed over the years: website design, videography, graphic design and photography. Our approach to making money on the road was realizing that every new destination we arrived in, was an opportunity to connect with people who need great design work for their cause, brand or passion.

Before heading off on our adventure, we had a few design projects that were close to being finished and others that were in the works. We knew that we could get by on these small projects for some time, if we could stretch our pennies. If push came to shove, we were open to taking on smaller projects and migrational work to keep going.

Yes, we would need some money along the way, but we knew we didn’t have to be rich to see America or to spend over a year traveling, coast to coast. It was as simple as we made it and we’re doing our best to keep it that way, as we continue traveling on.

We hope to encourage others to reorganize life, take a leap of faith and go for their dreams. For anyone who is tired of the same routine, who has a passion for travel or wants to go on an adventure, feel free to message us with questions. We’d love to help anyone who wants to get out of the box and into the world!

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