When starting off your van journey, you do need a little planning, especially about your budget and route. Your main expense would be food and fuel. Besides simplicity and packing less, you need to know some other things too:
Eating Fresh Food
One of the things you would most probably want to stock is food. You would think how am I going to survive on a two day long drive without food? Hoarding food is not all that bad but doing too much of it and doing it unwisely is definitely bad. Your vegetables would go stale and you will be left with a bad smell in the van.
On your way, you will definitely find towns and villages that have fresh produce. Nothing is better than a meal cooked from freshly harvested veggies. You can search ahead and see what kind of towns cross your way and buy only as much food as you will require on the way to that particular point.
Brace Yourself to Eat Anything
You cannot be too picky about food while living in a van. You should brace yourself to try different things as you travel and to be honest, this is the real fun of a van life. See it as an exhilarating part of the adventure as your taste palette develops with the foods of different places.
Also, you need to cook simple and less, only enough to feed you one time. Not only will you escape washing dozens of dishes, you will save a lot of money as well. Always make sure you eat healthy because you do not want to fall sick while on the road.
Estimate Your Fuel Expenses
Gas is going to be a major cost especially if you move around a lot. The prices vary greatly from one area to another. You need to search the prices of gasoline in the regions that fall in your route in advance. You can even find apps for this purpose and if you carefully plan and choose places with cheaper fuel, you might end up saving quite a bit.
Finding a Sleeping Spot
You can park on a camping spot, a parking lot, RV park or a rest shop and sack off on your way. Again if you plan ahead a bit, you can avoid the difficulty of finding a parking spot. Make sure you park at a spot where it is not illegal to park a van. Usually it is an RV that is charged for overnight parking so vans get away with this charge.
You will find a lot of van dwellers in the parking lot of Walmart at night, almost like a community of them that gathers at night. RV parks are another good option but it will cost some bucks. But then you have facilities like laundry and showers, which truth be told, seems like a treasure when you are living in a van.