The 'van life' travel trend is taking over the UK

Road trip anyone?

Person Sleeping In Van By Sea Against Sky, van life - stock photo
(Image credit: Ole Spata / EyeEm)

There's no better way to take advantage of the gorgeous summer weather than with a trip somewhere. Whether you're exploring a new country or sticking to your local area, most UK travelers seem to have an increased interest in van life.

You may be wondering if holidays abroad will be possible this year, but you may not have to take a plane if you follow the latest travel trend. According to research done by motorhome rental company, Camptoo (opens in new tab), searches for van renovations have risen by 2000% since 2021, with searches for van life also shooting up 2438% since 2017. So, if you're ready for a road trip, grab your best sunglasses and start looking at the UK's top scenic routes for the ultimate staycation getaway.

The trend is only on an upward increase too as there has also been a surge in specific van renovation searches. Camptoo's head of wanderlust, Ed Bassett also predicts that this research is a hint at what kind of vacations we can expect this year.

"The significant increases across all the relevant keyword phrases we looked at is telling of how much the trend has grown in the last five years and with summer staycations likely to be on the agenda for most people this year, the trend should only continue on its upward path," said Bassett.

For those on a budget, this type of travel eliminates having to book hotels as your vehicle becomes your place of rest. Camptoo also claims that van conversions are "open to interpretation." Meaning, you can convert your van, RV, or campervan however you want.

Young Asian woman sitting in her camper van working on a laptop - stock photo

(Image credit: Eternity in an Instant/Getty Images)

Depending on what kind of vacation you're taking, renovations can vary based on what you're looking to get out of your van lifestyle.

In 2021, beds were the number one renovation that people searched for with an increase of 929%, followed by toilets, sinks, kitchens, and sofas. Depending on your budget too, you should expect to spend anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars on these renovations. 

Since you'll be living out of your van you'll most likely want it to be comfortable and feel as close to home as you can.

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Never Still Large Backpack: £1,200 | Rimowa (opens in new tab)


Van life means taking only the essentials with you, so this reliable backpack will make a great new best friend for your journeys. The durable canvas means this will last you and keep its shape, even when stuffed full. And with a large drawstring compartment and 16-inch laptop-sized padded pocket inside and two zipped side pockets on the outside there are plenty of ways to keep all of your bits and pieces organised.

If you're ready to take the plunge and renovate your van, don't forget to pack a pair of the best leggings and grab your best Fitbit as you prepare to explore the UK countryside.

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.