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Australian Van Life: How to Live as a Couple?

Australian Van Life: How to Live as a Couple?

In the collective imagination, Australia fosters escapism, adventure, and infinite freedom on its winding roads. This is what is called “van life.” Van life in Australia can be considered much more than just a way of traveling. It is an ode to freedom and an invitation to reconnect with the essentials. In the intimacy of the confined space, we learn to be content with little and savor the present moment.

It is also a quest for meaning, an exploration of who we are. We discover ourselves, reinvent ourselves, and transform ourselves as we journey along. But beyond being an individual adventure, van life is also and above all a shared adventure. As Christopher McCandless said in Into The Wild : “Happiness is only real when shared.” Everything is amplified by the presence and complicity of the Other.

It is then essential to understand the ins and outs of living in a van as a couple. From shared finances to changes in plans, to managing personal space in a confined area, each aspect deserves special attention.

Communicating and Sharing Responsibilities

In the close quarters of a van, the dynamic that builds between two people is essential for maintaining harmony and camaraderie throughout the journey.

Respecting Each Other’s Needs

You and your travel companion must be able to freely express your thoughts, emotions, and expectations. For example, you may find yourselves facing divergent desires. The need for compromise then becomes inevitable. Occasionally giving in is acceptable, but when it becomes the norm, it can become frustrating. For the adventure to proceed smoothly, it is imperative to find common ground. Each person must take a step towards the other for communal harmony.

Sometimes unspoken feelings accumulate and become insurmountable. A month-long road trip with someone can quickly turn into a nightmare. And we don’t wish that upon you! Communication is the key.

Managing Daily Life in the Van

The distribution of daily tasks is also important in the dynamics of van life. Basic chores such as dishwashing, cooking, cleaning, and even driving should be shared between you. Of course, find the right compromise: one cooks, the other does the dishes, and vice versa.

The same goes for music! Although it may seem trivial, divergent musical tastes can quickly become a source of tension. In this spirit, alternating playlists can be a wise compromise to maintain a good atmosphere in the vehicle. (It would be silly to ruin a friendship over music preferences, don’t you think?)

Bonus Tip : we’ll share our special road trip playlist with you if you book your van with us!

Finances of Van Life in Australia: Splitting Everything… or Almost?

Ah, finances, a delicate subject! Expense management can quickly become a real headache, even threatening the most solid relationships. To avoid disputes, it is essential to mix anticipation, caution, and ingenuity.

Apps for Sharing Expenses

Fair division of costs is essential to maintain harmony. Thanks to apps specially designed for this task, such as “Tricount,” you can track your expenses in real-time. Each of you records their expenses for the group, and the app automatically calculates the necessary adjustments to maintain financial balance.

This practice offers complete transparency regarding each person’s expenses, thus avoiding any misunderstanding or resentment related to financial matters.

Find other useful road trip apps here!

Don’t Forget to Treat Yourselves

While having common expenses, it’s wise to adopt a flexible approach. When it comes to dishes where tastes and preferences differ, or meals eaten out, it’s often more practical and fair for each person to pay for their own.

This maintains a certain freedom and individualized budget management and avoids any unnecessary pressure regarding food expenses.

Finding Balance Between Couple Time and Alone Time

In van life, where spaces are limited and moments of solitude are rare, it is crucial to recognize and respect the need for personal time. While shared experiences strengthen bonds and nurture complicity, taking time for oneself is equally essential to recharge and regain balance.

You can spend time in the evening reading, writing, browsing social media, or watching videos. This habit allows each person to immerse themselves in their personal bubble while being there for each other. It’s a way to reconcile the need for intimacy with the desire to stay connected.

If this doesn’t happen, one of you might implode, and the adventure might end prematurely. It is crucial to consider each other’s well-being, as it is just as essential as collective comfort.

Do you also want to experience van life in Australia? Find our complete guide to van rental. Also, receive a first itinerary and a no-obligation estimate by contacting us!

Article written by Manon from