It’s time for another book review and we’re delighted to share our thoughts today on one of our favourite ‘van life’ books – Mike Hudson’s ‘How to Live in a Van and Travel‘.
We stumbled upon Mike’s story on his blog a few years ago and downloaded his ebook that chronicled the conversion of an old van he’d bought. We enjoyed it so much that it was a no-brainer to get his follow-up book.
Where the first book detailed the how-to of van conversion from bare shell to a comfy living space, Mike’s second offering goes into the heart of actually living and travelling in his van.
And what a book it is!
Let’s dive in…
Humility reigns supreme
Mike could easily have gotten two or even three separate books out of this as there’s so much info in it. But we sense he’s not the kind of guy to want to take advantage of things.
His humility comes across on every page and his writing style is simple, straight to the point, just as if you’re having a chat with him over a cuppa in his van.
The contents page tells you what’s in store – and Mike doesn’t fail to deliver in every chapter.
He writes in detail about…
- van life (obviously, but it’s really useful to get his spin on things)
- tips on getting your van and preparing for the road (and the essential equipment you’ll need)
- van maintenance and how to deal with problems
- van safety and security
- wild camping and finding places to stay
- technology (satnav, solar panels, wifi etc.)
- how to deal with the police
- how he makes money on the road
- and lots more
Mike wears his heart on his sleeve and gives a really honest account of not only the practical side of van life but also his thoughts and feelings about life on the road. It’s not all plain sailing and he gives great advice about dealing with potentially tricky situations.
Think about this…
What would you do if a stranger knocked on your hab door in the night asking to borrow a knife?
Very awkward, indeed!
A gem on every page
The 285 pages in ‘How to Live in a Van and Travel’ cover every eventuality without it being ‘preachy’ in the slightest. Mike is simply telling his story and sharing his knowledge.
The book was first published in 2016, three years after he’d gotten his van and hit the road. Three years of personal experience travelling around Europe and North Africa, mostly off-grid, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and in communities, such as with The Vans of Berlin.
It’s clear to see in Mike’s stories that here is a young man who is more than prepared to step out of his comfort zone.
His back story – living a ‘normal’ life in England with a steady but soul-destroying job – will resonate with many people. We’ve all been there. But unlike most folks, Mike decided to change things.
He joined the crest of the van life wave and is still riding it. And he – like us – encourages you to do it too.
Our van life bible!
In summary, ‘How to Live in a Van and Travel’ is probably our #1 van life book. It’s perfect if you’re just starting out or already have lots of experience. Indeed, every time we dip into it we learn something new.
It’s ideal not just if you’re thinking about full-time van-dwelling, but also for people like us Hobos, who are part-timers.
As Mike says, “Whether you want to plan a short road trip, or start a whole new life on the road, this book will show you how.”
Indeed, it does. It’s our van life bible.
Get your copy now!*
Want to read our other book reviews?
Check out these titles we’ve previously reviewed…
Take the Slow Road – Scotland by Martin Dorey
Deep Country – Five Years in the Welsh Hills by Neil Ansell
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Under the Stars – A Journey into Light by Matt Gaw
*As affiliates of Blackwell’s we’ll get a tiny commission if you buy from any of these links. Our full Affiliate Products Disclosure Document can be read here.