You’ve done the thing.
You finally pulled the trigger and adopted a lifestyle of adventure! Your B-Van is stocked with all the essentials – yummy snacks, herbal teas, a collection of meaning-to-read books, even your favorite houseplants are coming along for the ride…
Before you officially depart, download these handy apps to make your Vanlife journey smooth, enjoyable, and easier than ever.
This app may just be the holy grail of Vanlife. Search for everything on iOverlander from stealth parking for the night, to potable water fill-up stations, to public WiFi, gas stations, and gray-water dump sites. This peer-reviewed app lists public facilities and campsites with all the information you need to decide where to stop along the way. Fellow app users will leave location-specific notes, photos, and updates on site closures. This is a must-have for Vanlifers of all levels and will elevate your Vanlife experience immensely!
Harvest Hosts is a Van & RV membership program that allows self-contained travelers to overnight at unique locations around the country, including farms, wineries, golf courses, and even museums! It’s an awesome way to switch up the scenery you’re used to – sure, stealth camping is a plus (that’s why we love Vanlife!) and maybe campgrounds are your thing, but Harvest Hosts allows you to take in the magic of unique destinations – sometimes you’ll even have the entire place to yourself! Imagine – just you, your road dog, your van, and the stars above your own personal winery at night. Now we’re talking!
The Dyrt lets you find and book your ideal campsite anywhere in the U.S., and is home to an active community of over 1 million registered members! Search 44,000+ campgrounds around the country and plan your perfect road trip while you reserve campsites near lakes, hiking trails, and more!
Campendium is another app similar to iOverlander, but the bonus of this app is that it lets you know what size vehicle can fit into specific camping spots. The plus side of B-Vans is that they fit into most parking spots! You’ll also be able to find cell service per carrier which is handy when you’re not sure which to use in specific regions.
This goes without saying. Download offline maps for wherever you’re going, before you head off on your journey so that you can access them online or off. You can use Google Maps to look up reviews and save places to stop along your adventure too. We really love the “things to do” feature, which allows you to check out all the interesting things to see in your location. You just write down things to do and the app will give you a list of sightseeing gems (from museums to hikes, etc.)
This free app could potentially save you hundreds of dollars in gas! Gas Buddy lets you check the fuel prices in your local area and make an informed decision before you fill up. Users update the app regularly and you can as well once you’re a member.
An awesome app for digital nomads and remote workers – Open Signal allows you to see where phone service exists and how strong the signals are. Super helpful when you’re living the Vanlife but also working at the same time!
A similar premise to Open Signal, but for Wi-Fi signals instead! We of course recommend adding in Starlink (off-grid Internet that’s a game changer!) when building your B-Van, but Wi-Fi Map comes in handy when you’re traveling through big cities.
A little different than the previous apps we’ve listed so far – Insight Timer is a free meditation app with thousands of tracks from teachers worldwide. Vanlife allows you to go inwards and reconnect to yourself in a meaningful way – the silence of nature is a beautiful backdrop to starting a meditation practice and we highly recommend it! Insight Timer is the world’s #1 app for sleep, anxiety, and stress. There are also wellness courses, sound healings, and music to enjoy throughout the app.
One of our very favorite apps, for the love of the outdoors, of course! All Trails is a handy resource for finding trails to explore in your local area – allowing you to make the most of your newfound life of adventure!
The number of Vanlife groups on Facebook is growing daily (watch this space – we’ll be debuting a Bemyvan Facebook Community group very soon!) and though many of us have varied opinions of the social media app – it’s still a wonderful way to connect and meet up with fellow Vanlifers in your area, as well as stay informed about upcoming Vanlife events. We can’t deny the power of Facebook for community building and connection!
Windy is so much more than a weather app! You’ll find detailed data for your favorite outdoor sports (think air streams for paragliding, winds for boating, wind gust directions and strength for bicycling), etc. and of course, general information on temperature, rain, wind, etc. all wrapped up in a lovely app design.
Last but not least, a long road requires entertainment! Download Spotify for all your favorite music streaming and podcasting needs. The paid version allows you to download music and podcasts for offline listening as well. A must for a journey up the mountain!
Now you’re ready for departure!