Surviving the Holiday Season Tips & Tricks for Vanlifers, Buslifers, and RVers

Celebrating the holidays on the road in a campervan is an incredible experience filled with adventure, creativity, and magic. Whether you’re spending the season solo or with friends and family, there are endless ways to embrace the joy of the season while living the vanlife dream. Here’s a look at how we spent our first holiday season on the road, and some ideas for making the most of your own holiday season in a campervan!

Our first year on the road for the holidays was a bit of a departure from our usual traditions, but it was also a chance to create new and unforgettable memories. Instead of gathering around the fireplace with family and friends, we found ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in dispersed campgrounds (on BLM and other Public Lands) and beachside parks. It wasn’t always easy being away from our loved ones, but we made the most of it by cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a camp oven (in the ground!) and enjoying Christmas dinner cooked in the Marina stealth camping in Venice Beach. As the year came to a close, we celebrated the last sunset of the year next to our campervan in Malibu. It was a different kind of holiday season for us forsake, but one that we will always remember with fondness. 

If you’re on the road and looking for ways to celebrate the holidays in your campervan, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Set up a cozy campsite: Make your campervan feel like home by bringing along some holiday decorations and setting up a comfortable campsite. String up some twinkly lights, put up a festive wreath on the door, and bring along some comfortable blankets and pillows to snuggle up in.
  2. Have a campfire feast: One of the great things about celebrating the holidays in a campervan is the opportunity to cook and eat outdoors. Gather around the campfire and cook up some of your favorite holiday dishes, such as roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. You can also bring along some hot chocolate and marshmallows for roasting.
  3. Go on a holiday-themed outing: Many places have special holiday-themed events or activities that you can enjoy while on your campervan road trip. For example, you could go on a holiday lights tour, visit a Christmas tree farm, or attend a holiday parade.
  4. Get creative with gift-giving: If you’re celebrating the holidays with a group of friends or family members in your campervan, consider coming up with a creative gift-giving tradition. For example, you could draw names and do a “secret Santa” style exchange, or you could create small handmade gifts for each other.

Overall, the key to celebrating the holidays in a campervan is to get creative and have fun. With a little planning and some holiday cheer, you can have a memorable and enjoyable holiday season on the road. Whether you’re making new traditions or embracing the nostalgia of past holiday seasons, the most important thing is to make the most of every moment and embrace the magic of the season. Here’s to many more holiday seasons on the road, filled with adventure and joy!

If you’re still looking for gift ideas for the vanlifer or RVer in your life, we’ve got you covered. We’ve already put together a comprehensive gift guide filled with practical and fun gifts for the adventurous traveler. From the essentials to small gifts that don’t take up too much space, our guide has something for every vanlifer and RVer on your list. Be sure to check it out for some great gift ideas that are sure to be appreciated.


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