We are Maru, Martín, Gaia and Huella (our van). We have lived the van life and traveled the world for 10 years. First backpack and 6 years ago in our Van VW model 1983. We left Argentina in 2012 and arrived in Mexico. In that country our daughter, Gaia, was born. So since 2015 we travel as a family. Our project is called Kombi Rutera.
We were once sitting on that side of the screen dreaming of how to live a nomadic lifestyle. Until one day we thought…
if others can do it, why can’t we?
And here we are, living our best lives ????
How do you make a living?
We started van life with some savings and clothes we had bought from India to sell along the way. And sometimes we prepare food to sell too.
How much do you spend per day?
Each day we spend an average of 20 dollars divided in 4 (the number of people we live with).
*Important fact: You spend much less travelling than living in a city: we don’t pay rent, taxes, phone, or internet bills.
Below you can find the percentage of our van life expenses:
- Food 40%
- Gasoline 25%
- Our vans maintenance 24%
- Accommodation 5%
- Tolls 1%
- Customs taxes 1%
- Others 4%
As you can see our main expense is gasoline and food.
With 1 liter we can make it 8 kilometers. We have already traveled 40.000kms, so we have used up 5.000 liters which equals $5,000.
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! Yes, but don´t panic. Take into account that all these was throughout a period of 1000 days of travelling, which makes it only 5 dollars a day.
As for eating, we usually eat in markets where the food is fresh, cheaper and delicious. We also buy a lot of nonperishable products in supermarkets and cook in the van (which has a small built-in kitchen).
Have you got a credit card, debit or bank account?
Yes, we have got debit and credit and a savings bank in pesos and dollars.
We rarely use the credit card, but it is useful to have one because it can save you in certain occasions. For example, when we entered to Mexico we got to know that we needed to pay 200 dollars for warranty to let a foreign car in the country. (You get it back when you leave the country)
We didn’t have that amount with us at that moment but we were able to pay with a credit card.
Have you ever been robbed?
Yes, just once. We learnt a lot from it, especially that nothing was going to stop we could continue with our dream, that we don’t have to be afraid but to be alert and what is more important, there is always someone ready to give you a hand, even without knowing you.
How can YOU make money living on the road?
Throughout our journey we met a lot of travelers who paid for their trips inthe following different ways:
- Selling their pictures, postcards, calendars, stickers, magnets, their books, handcrafts, food, handmade notebooks.
- Giving photography courses, painting lessons, teaching a language or a sport (yoga, surf)
- Web design
- Making music, magic tricks, giving puppet shows, juggling, etc
In many places, especially in touristic places, there is always the opportunity to find one day, weekly or monthly jobs.
Another possibility is to exchange work for a room and/or food.
Have any questions van life? Ask the community directly on our Forum
Money shouldn’t be your excuse for not travelling and doing what you love.
The most important thing is to do what you are passionate about. Believe in yourselves and in your abilities. Strive to make your dreams come true.
It is better to regret what you have done, than regret not having done it.
You will discover that, throughout your journey you will learn things that you never expected. Remember there are many people in our community to help you out on your journey!